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March 24, 2010 7:00 AM CDT

Do More to get More

By

Do you often stress about increasing sales as available opportunities shrinks, and the competition increases? Most companies try to work harder in tough times. But the best they can do is hope to stay even, doing the same things they always have done. The truly successful contractors and suppliers do things differently from their competition to get ahead. They go the extra mile. They do more than their competition. They provide more than the minimum per plans and specifications they are contracted to perform. They do more to get more, and this gives them a competitive edge and gets them more signed contracts.

41 Extra Things I Want

As a general contractor, I get asked what more I want or expect from my subcontractors and suppliers. My long list includes the following:
  1. Be a friendly team player


  2. Provide competitive, fair and consistent pricing


  3. On-time, accurate and complete bids and proposals


  4. Educate my estimator about the options available


  5. On-time delivery of supplies and materials


  6. On-time submittals and shop drawings


  7. Know the business of contracting


  8. Be professional, look sharp, and act first class


  9. Return your phone calls within 30 minutes


  10. Have a regular time you can be reached every day


  11. Use email for everyday correspondence


  12. Use digital cameras to send photos of job issues


  13. Do your own project clean-up every day


  14. Know construction contracts and do what they say


  15. Be well funded and have adequate working capital


  16. Charge the right price on change orders


  17. Always include proper backup on invoices


  18. Visit jobsites before you are called


  19. Stay ahead of job schedules


  20. Never create down time for our crews


  21. Don’t bid jobs you can’t handle


  22. Never delay jobs with lack of manpower


  23. Do your own punch-list before we do it for you


  24. Provide responsible, decision-making, English-speaking foreman


  25. Have a professional, ongoing safety program


  26. Don’t over-bill and front-end-load invoices


  27. Have the same salesperson/estimator who is friendly, positive, in our office every week, quick, knowledgeable, not a pest, and anticipates our needs


  28. Be someone who helps us sell


  29. Bring us lots of leads


  30. Pick up plans and return them timely


  31. Suggest other subcontractors and suppliers


  32. Recommend architects, engineers, bankers, real estate agents, insurance and bonding agents


  33. Keep us stocked with up-to-date product literature and samples


  34. Take us golfing or to lunch with potential customers


  35. Provide subscriptions to industry trade publications


  36. Invite us to industry association meetings


  37. Have a great Web site with product information, technical materials, engineering data, and up-to-date industry standards


  38. Invest in our development projects


  39. Bring us joint venture and equity partners


  40. Tell us what we can do to improve and make a profit


  41. Give me great front row Lakers tickets!
Providing the minimum at the lowest cost will continue to get you marginal, low-profit work. But to get the results you really want, you’ve got to do more. Consider implementing a few of these pro-active ideas and get more than the minimum.

Originally published in Masonry magazine.


About the Author

George Hedley is a best-selling author, professional speaker, and business coach. He helps entrepreneurs and business owners build profitable companies. Email gh@hardhatpresentations.com to request a free copy of Everything Contractors Know About Making A Profit! or signup for his e-newsletter. To hire George to speak, attend his Profit-Builder Circle academy or find out how he can help your company grow, call 800-851-8553, or visit www.hardhatpresentations.com.

 

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