If you are a Builder, Remodeler, or General Contractor – you are in the project
management business, you just happen to manage construction. Contractors live and
die one project at a time, so how you manage your project is how you manage your
business because that is your business.
Contractors work themselves out of work, one project at a time. It is all about signing up
and completing the next project, so if it is central to all that you do – then managing the
process of building your projects well is the key to success. Project management is
about the process, Project management is information management; if you get this right
you will know where you are going and how you got there.
One of the key elements to managing a project is understanding that ALL information
flows through the project manager, without this key step control of the project is lost.
This is a huge task! You can become overwhelmed with information, receiving it,
distributing it, pricing it, and managing it. Your business is unique in the way you
manage your projects. There is very little else from the client’s point of view that will
Once the design is approved, materials have been selected, and the layout and plans
are defined it is then time for you to showcase the magic of building the project. When
the project is completed, by you or another builder, it will honestly look the same – or
very close to the same. The only real difference between you and another contractor is
how you get from the lead call to move-in. So, your management style is your business
and it starts with the first call where you gather information for the first time.
Project Management is Key: Your Business is Unique ONLY in the Way Your Manage your Projects
If you look at project management backward, as an ability to follow the information and
the flow when the job is completed, then you can lay it out in a fashion that works for
you. Six, eight, or twelve months from now, how you will know what was reviewed at
that first call – do you have a CRM for contractors? This is the start of information management and
thus project management. Each contractor will have their own process which is why
each construction company is unique and each contractor believes they are better at
this than everyone else.
Develop a system and look for ways to improve it every day, when there is an
information gap find a way to close it for the next job. As you do each step… write it
down and this becomes your operations manual. It will change as your business
changes but will be an invaluable tool as you grow and hire out all the roles you do now.
Your first project manager will have written guidelines to follow that defines how your
business runs and what sets you out from the pack.
To integrate project management seamlessly into accounting I recommend a cost code
system that mimics the CSI codes. This should be established from estimating to the
contract to billing and payment. Follow one number and everything you want to know
about drywall will be there. Contractors may shy away from cost codes and numbers,
but they are an easy way to follow the same item from information management to
Study project management, best practices, and how to be great at it. It defines how you
do business for the Clients and your vendors and is the distinguishing factor that sets
you apart from your competition.
Of course, if you need some business coach from a construction industry expert, I am
happy to collaborate with you either in a group coaching session or in a one-to-one
coaching session where we can deep dive into any current obstacles your construction is
currently coming up against. I assist contractors nationwide and can be reached by
email at email@example.com or by calling me at 203-826-8096