Every construction project has risks associated with it. As a construction company owner, this is part of doing business. How you deal with and mitigate these risks will determine how successful your job and business can be.
Here we will discuss some of the most common risk factors, how they affect your business, and how to address them.
Too Few Workers Equals Lower Productivity
Once you are under contract for a job, it is essential to keep on schedule to complete the job quickly. Managing workers & crew sizes are part of the scheduling process. As such, how you deal with absent workers or labor shortages will determine whether or not the job stays on schedule. Overages and unforeseen change orders can be a disaster for any business and lead to a bad reputation and lost profits.
The easiest way to ensure you always have enough great people isn’t always about the money. Of course you have to offer wages that are on par with competing construction businesses, but keeping all team members in the fold of where the business is going, including clear communications, is critical . Giving employees opportunities to learn will also improve productivity and keep your crew on top of their work.
Your employees are your most valuable asset on any job. Equipment can be replaced, but your team cannot. Any contractor’s primary concern should be to keep employees safe, protected, and happy.
The proper investment in safety training can ensure that your job sites remain accident-free. Safety training is not a one time process. You should hold routine safety drills and meetings before and after jobs to keep your employees updated on safety procedures. Investing in proper personal protective equipment like hard hats, harnesses, and other gear is also a must. Having all the right tools at their disposal will keep your employees safer in the long run.
Dealing With Subcontractors
The long and short of hiring a subcontractor is that you’re hiring someone to do part of a job for you. They are also a direct reflection on you, and your company. A typical customer doesn’t know the difference between your employees, and the subs you hire. This means that part of your business is left in the hands of another person or company. Most of the time, this works out fine. However, in the event of a problem, it is crucial to act quickly.
To avoid problems, it is always good to vet your contractors as thoroughly as possible. In the event of a delay, communication is vital. If a contractor has to be terminated, having a backup in mind or on standby is an excellent way to avoid costly delays. It’s essential to consider these types of situations before you ever hire a subcontractor.
Project Change Orders
Change Orders are an unavoidable part of the construction business. How you prepare for and handle these changes can make all the difference. Having a solid change order process in place will make the different between a profitable job, and one that loses money. Your change order process should be explained thoroughly (and systematically) all throughout the sales process. When a client requests a change order, they should all know the procedure, and what it will cost. This will mitigate the chances of an unhappy client, and keep the project on schedule.
The change order process doesn’t stop with the client, and your internal process to deal with them. Educating your subs on your company’s change order process is a critical piece to maintain your margins, and your relationship with both the client AND your subs. Without clear communication, you can lose the trust of your key subcontractors, and even cause them to stop working for you. On top of that, you can earn the reputation for being a difficult and disorganized builder to work with.