Lessons From Construction Guys

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“Spread out the tools,

then go for donuts!”


No, those eight words are not part of what construction guys can teach to small business owners. In fact, those eight words may account for the building industry employment transience we so often hear about.

No, I’m talking about seven (7) magic words!

Did you ever have a house built? (No not those seven words.) If you’ve ever had a house built and asked something dumb like “Gee, when do you guys put in the main water pipe and wire connections?” (“Oh yeah! Plumbing and electric? No problem; we can run those lines after the house is done; we’ll dig the yard up again and re-cement the concrete foundation we’ll have to break, along with maybe a wall or two, but don’t worry!”)

Did you ever have an addition put on your house? (“Uh, what cough, cough, dust is that, cough, cough, that you didn’t expect? I, cough, cough, don’t see any dust!”) Was your builder marching to his own drummer? (“Duh, what blueprints?”) Odds are the lesson you learned was to never do it again, right?

Well, let me tell you that there are two great lessons to be learned from construction guys that can make a life or death difference for small business owners. One, which comes from such an unlikely pair of experts as a carpenter and a heart surgeon — but which probably started with the carpenter since carpenters have been around a lot longer than heart surgeons:

Measure twice. Cut once.

This little 4-word gem of a mantra is the unspoken guideline for many successful small businesses. It’s one way of making sure there’s minimal or no waste of time, money or effort. It’s also expressed as “getting it done right the first time” (or “haste makes waste” as Granny used to say).

It’s the idea that we can actually help ensure maximum productivity with minimum expenses and liabilities. It’s all about making sure there are no rocks under the water we’re diving into. This little piece of reassurance can have untold value and appeal to a small business owner’s wallet and sense of well-being.

And what are the other three words of wisdom?

Chunk it up!

Whether you’re overwhelmed with a ten mile-long “to-do” list or a project with altogether too many parts, or you’re looking for a value-added way to entice customers by offering them a staggered payment plan, construction guys score again!

They don’t kill their customers with the whole monster total price to pay at once, they charge you what? One third up front (to cover the costs of materials), one-third half-way through the job (to cover salaries), and one-third on completion with satisfaction (to cover profits).

If they only get the first third up front, they’ll never wind up on the short end of a parts/supplies bill. If they get the second third halfway, they can only not make a profit, but will have paid for all materials and labor and put money through their bank. This approach works for nearly all business services and most large ticket item products.

The customer is happy to not commit all their money at once and will prefer a pay-as-you-go option to keep more control on the work that’s booked. 7 words: Measure Twice. Cut Once. Chunk it up!

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302.933.0116 Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US

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One Comment to “Lessons From Construction Guys”

  1. […] . . and then –because they don’t get it right the first time– have to RE-send a corrected or edited or updated version to say what they should have taken the time […]

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