The chicken and the egg parable comes in handy in describing a lot of the problems we deal with in attempting to operate and grow a construction business.
To make more money, I need to turn more business. But in order to turn more business, I need more people to get all the work done. But in order to hire more people, I need to make more money.
The image of a treadmill also comes to mind. But that’s a bit pessimistic. At least with a chicken and egg, you could get somewhere if you had a chicken. Or an egg.
So how do you come up with a chicken, or an egg? Don’t get discouraged. The answer is simpler than you think! It’s the same reason why humans no longer live in caves. It’s called tools!
Humans have always lived in a chicken and egg situation, but we have progressed from one level of existence to the next because, at each step of the way, we came up with a tool that broke the chicken and egg cycle by dramatically reducing or eliminating one of the hurdles in the cycle.
Funny we should mention tools in reference to construction! Can we think of any tools that have made construction work more efficient over time? Well, let’s see… there are electric hand tools like the skil saw, reciprocating saw, and drill. And then battery powered hand tools. And pneumatic nailers, there’s a big one… And laser levels, and…
OK, you get my point.
So the idea is that the right tool disrupts the chicken and egg cycle by making one of the required elements of the cycle so much more efficient that it no longer limits you from getting to the next level of productivity. As construction people, we are very familiar with the idea with using tools to become more efficient.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I give you… ContractorTools!
OK, ContractorTools… what does it do? And why do I need it? How is it going to help me get more work done so I can turn more business so I can make more money so I can hire more people so I can get more work done so I can make more money?
There is plenty to discuss in describing how ContractorTools will improve your construction business. But to begin with, it is important to note that improving your business is only half of what using ContractorTools can do for you. The other half is what it can do for your relationship with your customers.
Your Relationship With Your Customer
This is a difficult subject that many contractors would rather not have to deal with, and so it tends to get ignored. But like it or not, the quality of your relationship with your customers is as important as any other part of running your construction business. Why?
Let me count the ways…
1) Your customers are human.
Psychology research reveals that a new home construction or major remodeling project is one of the most stressful and anxiety producing experiences that people might have. Most people who have been through it say they would never do it again. Why?
Major purchases are stressful for everyone. Even when you can see and touch what you are buying – like a car. But a major purchase – the largest purchase of your life – is much more stressful when it is for something that does not even exist yet. Your customer is signing their life away, and putting all of their trust in you… their contractor.
People get anxious when they are out of control and don’t trust the people who are in control.
Yes, hiring a contractor to do a custom construction or remodel project means the customer is not in control – you, their contractor, is in control. But why do your customers lose trust in their contractor?
People fear (don’t trust) what they don’t know.
Your customers lose confidence and trust if they don’t know what’s going on. They reasonably assume that if they don’t know what’s going on, then you may not know what’s going on either. How do you build and maintain your customer’s confidence? I will discuss this in detail in later posts, but it can be summed up in two words: Documentation and Communication.
You can build and maintain your customer’s confidence and trust by providing complete and accurate documentation of their entire job, starting with the estimate, and including detailed change orders, and clear and accurate invoices, and making that documentation readily available to your customer.
How do you do that? With ContractorTools. Just by using ContractorTools, you will by default create and maintain complete documentation of the job project. Good construction management software will make it easy to present that information in a personalized and professional manner to your customer, either on paper or by email.
2) Your customers talk
People like to talk to their friends and family about their major acquisitions, right? And they don’t just talk about the good parts… they also talk about what they didn’t like. This is what’s known as “word of mouth advertising”.
Guess what? Your customers talk to their friends and family about their experience with you, their contractor. Do you think your relationship with your customer is going to make a difference in how many referrals you get? You better believe it! Successful construction contractors don’t need to do any advertising or job prospecting because they get a steady stream of new clients from their past clients’ referrals.
So here I have brought up key areas of your business that can benefit from the use of ContractorTools:
- More efficient, organized, and accurate estimating, change orders, and invoices.
- Improved customer relationships.
I’m here to tell you that these benefits can be achieved without having to hire an army of clerical staff. All you need is good construction software.