As a Tradie you have to take advantage of business opportunities when and where they arise to keep your business profitable. When the construction industry is going strong, there are plenty of jobs going around as big companies often need contractors to get through their projects on schedule.
A construction site can be a hive of activities with more than one company working on site. You might have contractors coming in for a short time or over a few days, and moving from project to project. All this will need to be managed and scheduled well to make it work.
If you’re new to working in the construction industry, you’ll want to make sure that you get started on the right foot, as there are many pitfalls that can get your business undone rather quickly. And when that happens, it will not just affect your business, but also the life of your employees or contractors. To help you avoid some of these pitfalls of working in the construction industry, here are our tips.
Keeping on top of payments
With many construction projects Tradies often hire as sub-contractors to form a big enough team to get the job done. Whether you’ve got staff on your payroll or have a team of contractors, you’ll need to be able to have enough cash flow to pay them when they’ve done their job for you.
The key is to keep a really tight rein on your financial administration. This will allow you to cover the payment time lag you may experience from project to project. The old way of doing your admin is long gone and has been replaced with powerful new accounting software which is accessible on the go via your mobile devices. You can issue invoices and take payments on the spot, when you’ve got the right systems set up.
Get expert help with your financial systems and company set up
If you’re not sure how to get started using “cloud-based” software such as XERO, find a team of experts to set it up right to start with. This will put you in good stead to weather any storms that can hit the construction industry due to its unpredictable nature.
Make sure you hire a bookkeeper and accountant who work with the latest online software, so that you can have peace of mind knowing you’ve got a true handle on your cash flow, what’s coming in and what’s going out. The biggest advantage of using this type of online software is that everything is happening in real time. If you enter a payment for wages or payment to the supplier, it will immediately show on your bottom line.
A really important aspect to working in the construction industry is to have the right company structure and insurance set up. You can also protect your company assets by incorporating your business, and your accountant can give you the best advice on what is the suitable for you and your operations.
Get in first and stand out from the crowd
When people are looking for a Tradie, they often ask their mates or other people they know for a recommendation. The same applies to companies who are looking for sub-contractors for a large building project. If the Site Manager has had a particularly positive experience with your company, he will more than likely want to work with you again and refer you on.
Building a good rapport and reputation with the companies you work with is a great way to encourage word-of-mouth referrals. Use mobile job management and quotation systems to get in first with your quotation… and it doesn’t hurt to keep a clean shirt in your Ute to make a lasting first impression. They might have other people attending as well, and being well presented just adds to a professional image.
Last but not least, make sure you don’t neglect your knowledge of safety laws and other building regulations. Keep your certifications up to date by going on training courses. This is important whether you’re a builder, electrician, plumber, carpenter or other worker. Your insurance may also depend on up-to-date certification – and you’ll probably get more work, too.