The End of the Year
Wow! This year has come and gone quickly. In many of our minds, it will be remembered as a tough and trying year. We have seen an economy that continues to be less than what bad describes, and no relief on regulations and government interference with our business. That is all bad, but I think we all have become better business people. I know I am more aware of costs and where money needs to be spent here in my company than ever before.
Rather than reflecting too much on the past, I want to look toward the future. I believe we all see better things ahead, but also we realize there is much work to do. Here at the MCAA, we continue to work hard for the future of mason contractors and our industry. We do this in several ways, and I thought I would share a few.
MasonrySystems.orgMarketing masonry and our companies is no doubt one of the most important concerns we have. We all need and want more work! Here at the MCAA, we have www.MasonrySystems.org. It is educational, informative and a great marketing tool that we can all use. It is a website of links that carries you through a highway of topics and design issues. There is no extra charge for you to use it. You also might want to consider purchasing advertising on this site. I believe it is a good way to promote our companies to the right people. It’s just another way the MCAA is working for you.
Training/EducationTraining and teaching our employees is another big concern we have regarding the future. I know many of you might wonder why we’d train if there’s no work. To me, that is being a little short sighted.
If we market properly when the economy turns the corner, we must have the people to perform, although I am not talking just about our field operations. I also am talking about estimators, project managers and other support staff for the field. Our Education Committee is working on several initiatives that will help us in the future. Of course, they always are working on classes that will assist mason contractors to become certified. I also have asked them to set up classes that will be good for apprentices, mason tenders, estimators, project managers, forklift operators, etc. Other classes could teach proper installation of flashing, selling to design-build contractors, understanding the effect legislative issues have on our bottom line and, most of all, how important Vision 20/20 is to our industry. This is a huge way that the MCAA is helping us to prepare for the coming year.
Vision 20/20I cannot close this article without talking more about Vision 20/20. I am asking the Marketing Committee to activate this program at the MCAA. Our partner, NCMA, is doing a much better job than we are. Then there is the BIA, who aren’t engaged at all. I want us to become better, and it is my goal to get the BIA engaged. What is Vision 20/20? It is you and I, as mason contractors and suppliers, getting to know our city officials and school board members. Take them to lunch, play a round of golf or go fishing or hunting; just simply get to know them on a personal basis. Mention our product and how it will help their city or school system. Get them to allow you to make a presentation to the city or school board. Are you scared to do this? Ask for help, because there are plenty who are not scared.
There are “tool kits” containing information that will sell masonry on the MCAA website. Once the door is opened, we then will call in a community planner to present a masonry ordinance. We will help get it passed. There is an army of us, and it is time that we rise up and reclaim our market share. We want to sell masonry wall systems!
I am excited about the New Year that is rapidly approaching us. I know we have a lot to be thankful for today, but I guess I still have too much kid in me: I just can’t wait until tomorrow, because I have so much I want to do! Until next time, this ole cowboy says, “Shoot for the moon and, even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”
About the Author
Mackie Bounds is Owner of Brazos Masonry, Inc., in Waco, Texas, and has served as Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President of the MCAA. In 1989, Bounds started Brazos Masonry, and his first act of business was to join MCAA. He has always been active in the masonry industry. He became the first subcontractor to be elected to the Board of Directors of the Central Texas AGC and subsequently was elected to the National AGC Board of Directors. In 1995, he was elected as the first President of the Central Texas Mason Contractors Association. Bounds spent eight years on the MCAA Executive Board, including two years as President from 2010-2012 and was the recipient of the 2013 C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award.