2018 in Review for Builders

This time of year gyms are full of enthusiastic folks in new workout clothes, a new personal budget is created, and some go as far as creating a calendar to stay on top of a busy home life.  Within weeks, enthusiasm wanes and we quietly cancel the gym membership, stop checking the budget, and begin chasing our tail on the personal time management.

But sometimes resolutions stick, and we see real fruit from the new initiatives.  Maybe 2018 was a great year for your business; what can you do to make 2019 even better?  Or how about this: the last year was very difficult, with losing a key employee, cost overrun on a project impacted your bottom line, or you lost a few bids you felt were a shoe-in.  The books are closed on 2018, but we’re just kicking off 2019; here are a few ways to make this next year memorable.


Take some time to review your expenses for the year—even if you’re business operates on a different fiscal calendar.  What changes might you make in 2019 that will lead to a healthier balance sheet at the end of the year?  Where have you under-spent?  Are your client and vendor relationships stronger today than at the start of the year or were there challenges that impacted those relationships?  Are you satisfied with the service and quality of your subcontractors?


An investment of capital, time, or thought ON the business rather than working IN the business can go a long way.  If you’ve been in construction for a while you’ll recall the early days of the time-saver, the 9.6v cordless drill.  Up to that point you were either dragging around an extension cord and corded drill or shredding your forearms installing hardware, cabinets, and retrofit windows.  What new technologies have come in the last few years that will save you minutes to hours on a typical day?  Consider the aggregate time saved over the year and decide if the time savings are worth the hundreds or thousands in that tool.

Remember The Office

The same applies back at the office—how are your computers and software stacking up?  Are you leveraging new estimating software or project management software to help you better stay on top of your jobs?  Do you have your customer and business records well-organized or do you have a tidy “in box” on the desk that started out 3 papers now is looking like 3 reams?  It’s worth carving out an afternoon to sort through accumulating paperwork and set up some drop folders in the filing cabinet for those new clients or projects you bid this year.


Follow Through

As 2018 comes to a close and we open a new chapter in 2019, remember the success of these new resolutions for your business often come down to your resolve.  The extra time, extra capital, extra energy are more than likely up to you.  May 2019 find you energetic and optimistic in the potential of your business and team, and setting new personal and professional goals you will see through the end of the year.


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