September 2014: Business Building

Words: George HedleySeptember 2014

Business Building

Shoot Par in Your Business

Shooting par in golf means that you did exactly what you wanted to do. If you could shoot par in your construction business, you would finish your jobs on time, please your customers, and make lots of money. Your estimator would price the work at exactly what it costs to build it; your project manager would do what the contract calls; and your foreman would bring the project in on budget without any punch-list items or call backs.

In construction, as in golf, you also need the right tools, standardized techniques, and repeatable systems in place to assure everyone does things the same way over and over.

Shooting par every time

Managing construction projects is difficult as there are so many moving parts totally out of your control. You don’t control the weather, complete constructible plans, a fair developer, competent architecture, perfect engineering, prompt payments, excellent supervision, subcontractor workmanship, supplier deliveries or field conflicts. And then, add a multitude of unforeseen problems if you don’t control how your foremen manage their crews and perform their work properly. In order to shoot par on your projects, you have to maximize the controls and systems you have in place, assure they are implemented and followed, and then manage the process to assure things happen the way you expect them to in an ongoing fashion.

Your job, as the owner or manager of a company, is to follow the example of professional golfers and assure your field players do things the same way. Assure they are continually trained to follow your company standards, monitored and assessed to assure your systems are followed.

What field systems will guarantee you shoot par?

When my group coaching members get together, we talk about their best business practices and compare notes. After working with hundreds of successful contractors, it becomes obvious why the top performers stay at the top of their games. Top contractors do the same things to ensure success. What five or 10 things done perfectly would ensure the success of your field operations, project managers, estimators, accounting or administration?

Field Top 10 list

Get your field superintendents, foremen and crew together and make a list of your Top 10 field task systems that, if installed properly, would guarantee perfect workmanship. With your Top 10 company field standard systems in place, your superintendents and foremen can then be held accountable and responsible to always do things the company way. Your job as manager is to enforce and continually train these standards and make sure they are followed. Make sure you are clearly understood by your foreman, superintendents, and project managers that there’s no choice whether these systems are followed or not.

Company department Top 10 lists

With each department in your company, including estimating, project management, accounting and administration, create Top 10 must-do standard company systems for each area of your company that must be followed.

Weekly structured meetings

Top companies make time to be organized and in-control. Every week, hold a company field foreman/superintendent meeting to discuss every job under construction. Review and ask each foreman and superintendent how he managed the job last week, including the actual results versus the budget. Next have him explain what he is planning to do during the next week. Also have him turn in the project paperwork, including four-week “think-ahead” schedules, timecards, receipts, meeting minutes, safety meeting reports, equipment usage tracking reports, and field change orders.

Other structured weekly meetings that work include an estimating meeting, business development meeting, accounting meeting, project management meeting, and also a monthly company strategy meeting.

Shooting par consistently takes extreme focus and lots of hard work. To be a top construction business, do what successful companies do and develop standardized systems and structure that guarantees the results you want. Perfect your swing, improve your bottom line, and get in control of your company by doing the same things over and over, without exception.

George Hedley works with contractors to build profitable growing companies. He is a professional business coach, popular speaker and best-selling author of “Get Your Business To Work!” available online at To sign-up for his free e-newsletter, join his next webinar, be part of a BIZCOACH program, or get a $100 discount coupon for online classes at, email

George Hedley, HARDHAT Presentations, 800-851-8553

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