Small construction business? Don’t make these big mistakes

Sometimes the biggest lessons are made by making the tiniest mistakes, right?

Sure, let that be the case when it comes to learning how to train a puppy or ride a bike. When it’s your business though, the training wheels are off. You don’t have time to be making costly, bottom-line consuming oopsies.

Whether you’re a team of two or 200, your construction company likely has goals for growth. Like, really big goals. The last thing you need standing in your way is yourself. That’s especially true if you’re at the helm of a smaller biz.

The only difference between lean teams and those that seem to grow by the hundreds of employees each year? Smaller businesses have fewer resources and less margin for error.

Every. Penny. Matters. So does every employee’s contribution.

It’s not only your profits at stake. We’re talking employee morale mayhem, charred credibility and a ripped reputation. In fact, according to a study, “The average time U.S. construction professionals spend on rework, conflict resolution and looking for project data – issues that can be avoided with improved communication and data management – is costing the industry more than $177 billion annually.”

That’s a big price to pay for something that can be prevented in the first place.

Do you really want to wait for a project to implode before you give up on spreadsheets and text messages and seek out better alternatives?

Say it with us: The answer is a resounding no. Just because your business is small, it doesn’t mean you have to make big project management mistakes. Here’s the biggest blunders to avoid and tips to do just that.

1) Don’t just wing it

Grit. Determination. Really hard work. It’s how you built your business from the ground up.

Take a deep breath and feel proud. You did it. Enjoy this moment.

OK, now time to get back to work.

As your business grows and matures, the need to be strategic becomes more important. More employees are involved now, and that means more communication is needed. More clients are trusting you, and that means more scheduling. More projects are under your command, and that means more documents, more to-do’s, more everything!

Relying on your gut just isn’t good enough anymore.

So, what can you do? Embrace technology and invest in the right tools. A construction project management platform is an easily scalable solution that ensures seamless communication and collaboration between all stakeholders.

2) Glossing over obvious project risks

You’re the captain of this construction company ship. That means you can navigate as you see fit. Want to think out of the box and try something new? Batten down the hatches and get to work!

But you haven’t collected your treasure yet. Completely ignoring or underestimating obvious risks for the sake of getting the job done can lead to your business having to walk the plank.

No need for your shivers to timber. All isn’t lost yet. The best way to avoid this is to implement a culture of transparency. Make sure all your sailors – ’er, we mean team members – have a big-picture view of projects to better anticipate challenges. In fact, your pirate map to success is communication, openness and having a system to ensure everyone is on the same page.

From regular meetings and smart document management to synchronized calendars and effective project management tools, there’s tons of way to make sure your team avoids rocky seas. Sail, ho!

3) Focusing too much on results not processes

Results. Results. Results! It’s what every small business owner wants to see. While you’re sprinting towards deadlines and revenue, don’t lose sight of the actual steps required to achieve quality work.

When that happens, your results may be something you don’t want to see after all.

Processes. Processes. Processes. That’s what you really want to see anyways. Maximize resources, minimize risks and break down every step. Here, it’s all about the journey and not the destination.

4) Failing to track and monitor progress

It’s not enough to simply get the ball rolling. You have to track and monitor how it’s going every step of the way. This is the only way you can see any issues that have to be addressed and catch them before they snowball.

Carefully monitoring each task means you’ll have metrics, data and analytics (yay numbers!) that allow you to make better decisions about upcoming projects. It also means you can check in on the efforts of every one of your team members and subs. No slackers, welcome.

True, tracking project progress isn’t the most fun task. As a small business, you’re likely wearing multiple hats with many other responsibilities that require your time and attention. The last thing you need is something else to do. Well, you’re in luck. There’s now software designed specifically to make tracking easy-peasy.

Graphic showing hours lost every week due to poor management.

To maximize resources and spend less time on operational tasks, smart tech may be the solution.

It’s a mistake to assume that just because your company is small, you don’t require the same attention as larger companies. After all, customers and clients will demand the same level of effort.

The right tools can go a long way towards avoiding big mistakes, and a good place to start is a construction project management platform. Contact Buildertrend today to learn how our unique solution can help grow your business.

Leave “learning by mistakes” in the past. It’s time to step into the future.