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Do You Have a Blueprint for Success?

George Hedley

You have a choice as to how you run and manage your company. You can continue working too hard and earning low profits, or, you can make a decision to change how you do business and make what I call “Best-in-Class” profits.

Most construction business owners are overworked and underpaid. They try to run their company without systems or controls in place, and are too busy to do what they need to do to make more money. Owners of Best-in-Class companies, on the other hand, make more money, work less and their businesses—because they have the right plans, systems and structures in place—are management team-run with loyal, long-term customers who give them profitable work.

Is there a method to building a Best-in-Class company that works effectively, grows steadily and makes consistently high profits? Yes. Best-in-Class companies—the top 5 to 10 percent—generally follow a similar business plan that is proven to work time after time.

Over time, I have observed what works, and have developed the BIZ-BUILDER BLUEPRINT Action Plan. Companies that have dedicated the time and commitment to draft and implement their BIZ-Plans have been able to improve their net profit by as much as 5 to 10 percent, while taking control of their businesses, and developing an accountable and responsible management team capable of and dedicated to improving the company’s long-term growth and performance.

Implementing Your BIZ-BUILDER BLUEPRINT Action Plan:

1. Realize you are stuck. The owner’s name is the most important box on any company’s organizational chart. You are the business, and likely can’t handle any more work yourself. When you come to realize that you may be holding your company back from profitable growth, your company can then move to the next level.

2. Take more risk. To realize your vision, you’ll have to take more risks, including relinquishing some control and delegating more, focusing on new customers and projects, and investing in people, systems, technology and your company’s future.

3. Decide to Grow. You can’t get your business to work unless you decide to make growth a top priority. To grow, you’ll have to stop doing so much of the work yourself and focus on identifying, developing, and selling better project and customer opportunities. Build an accountable management team by hiring the right people and then delegating, and by establishing a set of effective systems.

4. Draft your BIZ-BUILDER BLUEPRINT. Draft your strategic business action plan detailing your five-year vision and your company’s purpose, core values, targets, goals, organizational chart, systems, financial plan, business development sales and marketing plan. Include the steps to get your business to work the way you want it to. Hire a business coach and commit to a two- or three-day management team retreat to get your BIZ-Plan on paper.

5. Design Your Organizational Structure. Prepare an immediate, short-term and long-term organizational chart that includes all the functions needed to run your company. For each position, provide detailed job descriptions and the desired results. Working within a well-organized management structure will transform your job from hands-on controller and doer to coach and leader.

Companies that have dedicated the time and commitment to draft and implement their BIZ-Plans have been able to improve their net profit by as much as 5 to 10 percent, while taking control of their businesses, and developing an accountable and responsible management team capable of and dedicated to improving the company’s long-term growth and performance.

6. Hold Regular Team Meetings. Regular strategic project or team meetings are necessary for building a strong, well-managed company. Your management team must meet monthly to review and update the progress of the BIZ-Plan. Financials, systems, estimating, sales, personnel, scorecards and projects must be reviewed on a regular basis. Ongoing tactical meetings must also be held separately for estimating, sales and marketing, project management and field crew leaders.

7. Install Written BIZ-SYSTEMS. Sound management and consistent operations begin with a clear set of written guidelines specifying how you want to do business. Construction operations, administration and production excellence start with complete systems to ensure on-budget projects, excellent service, quality workmanship, on-time completion and a safe workplace. Replace yourself with written systems to get everyone doing things the same way, producing consistent results.

8. Track Scorecards. Implement scorecard performance tracking systems for your key numbers, success factors, company and project results, finances, pricing, profit, job cost and estimating to monitor and track results. Calculate and track progress to reach your overall goals. Create financial controls and action plans. Install a fully integrated accounting system and use job cost scorecards.

9. Focus on Profitable Growth. Once your company is working the way you want it to, you can move over to the get work side of your business. Now is the time to develop a plan to grow your business with better customers and higher margin work against less competition.

10. Draft a BIZ-Development, Marketing and Sales Plan. Implement your written plan to grow your top and bottom lines. Determine which projects and markets have the most opportunity for success, develop project and customer target lists and tracking systems, and create a marketing and sales calendar. Create an ongoing marketing and sales program to build and maintain loyal repeat customers.

11. Differentiate. Set your company apart, exploit your expertise and market niche, and go after specialty work. Move towards selling higher value versus lower priced but more competitive services. And create strong, trusted relationships with a select group of loyal customers.

12. Build Equity and Create Wealth. Leverage your success by seeking new markets, other business opportunities, partnerships and ventures. Use your profitable business as a stepping stone into other strategic alliances, joint ventures, real estate developments, or any additional products or services that complement what your company already does.

13. Enjoy the Freedom of Owning a Business that Works! When your business operates the way you want it to, you can invest back into your business and hire better managers, develop more business opportunities, focus on sales, spend more time with your family and friends, or give back.

Now is the time to get started building a business that grows, makes a profit and works for you. Only you know what you want your business to do for you. Take a look at where you are, decide where you want to be, and then determine what steps you need to get there. Start now by taking the first step—getting out of your comfort zone. Let me know your progress or if you need help taking that first step.

George Hedley, CSP, CPBC, is a certified professional construction BIZCOACH and popular industry speaker. He helps contractors grow, make more profit, build management teams, improve field productivity, and get their businesses to work for them. Visit for more information.