Contracting businesses come and go. Many of those who fail do so because of common contractor mistakes that can easily be avoided with the right preparation and commitment to excellence.
4 Common Contractor Mistakes: How to Avoid Them
Let’s break down some of the contractor mistakes you should try to avoid with your own business.
Neglecting Safety Standards and Measures
Some contracting businesses repeatedly neglect basic safety measures and standards. While every contracting business has to adhere to the OSHA guidelines, in theory, some companies don’t comply to cut costs or because of laziness.
In the best-case situation, these companies are fined whenever they’re investigated. In the worst-case situation, one or more of your contractors may be put into life-threatening situations regularly.
It doesn’t matter if adhering to safety regulations costs a little extra; it’s always a smart choice in the long run.
Make sure your contracting company is up-to-date on current OSHA guidelines so you aren’t unnecessarily fined.
Many contractors or contracting companies also make mistakes when it comes to pricing.
For instance, they might make incorrect estimates or build an inaccurate estimating system. This means that they might consistently charge less for each visit, earning less money than they ought to in the long run.
Fortunately, you can correct any pricing issues and make sure that you’re charging what your business is worth by using software solutions.
Consider investing in niche-specific software tools instead of generic estimating software. For example, ServiceTitan’s bidding software can help electrical contractors perfect their estimating system and ensure that they charge fairly. If you’re in the HVAC business, an MEP and HVAC estimation software like the one developed by Fablink can help you bid on work more accurately and efficiently. It also aids in integrating estimating, drafting, and manufacturing processes into one seamless workflow. And if you run a specialty business, such as window and door installation, software like Joist is perfect for estimating, invoicing, and managing window and door installation projects. Regardless of the services you offer, bidding jobs correctly is paramount to ensure profit.
Preventing Scheduling Issues
Good contracting companies and their executives or managers will do their best to avoid scheduling issues. If you fail to do so, your entire project or workday could grind to a halt.
Scheduling mishaps include:
- Failing to complete all worker schedules on time
- Miscommunicating about who is expected at what worksite or customer home and when
- Failing to consider the weather or physical constraints for individual workers
- And more
Make sure that your contractors are scheduled correctly and consistently. It’s the best way to ensure that all your projects get done on time with a minimum of confusion, as well as lowers the likelihood of delays.
Making Accounting Mistakes
Even the smallest contracting companies need to have effective accounting systems.
Your finances are always more complex than they initially appear, so you should leverage accounting software to ensure that you don’t lose any money and pay all of your workers on time in the correct amounts.
Even basic solutions like QuickBooks can help. But contractor-specific software like ServiceTitan can be of great assistance due to its versatile features and specialized solutions.
The key is this: make sure that you practice regular accounting and don’t leave any math or financial estimates to chance. Every dollar needs to eventually be accounted for come tax time, anyway.
Ultimately, long-term business success is about both practicing good contractor policies and minimizing mistakes.
Do your best to avoid the above mistakes and your business will flourish in the future.