How to win back time in your construction business

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How to win back time in your construction business

  1. When you are a construction business owner you want to make sure that you are using your time in the best possible way to reach the goals of having more freedom, time and money. But with so many responsibilities and draws on you, how can you win back time in your construction business? 

For most of us, the time that we can win back is going to come from the systems and processes we have in place. How would you rate your back-office systems? This includes your admin side of the business, and the systems you have in place to manage your workflow, finances and workforce. 

 

A lot of us don’t want to think about that from day to day. If we are tradespeople at heart then we can go out and build a large extension or a complex refurbishment with no problem, but when it comes to admin, spreadsheets and paperwork it all seems to go over our heads as it’s not our strength.

 

In this article I am going to cover three areas: 

  1. 1. How to access where you need to make changes in your business 
  2. 2. How to create effective systems 
  3. 3. What are some of the best tools to help you implement those systems in your business
  4.  

How to see where you need to make changes 

 

In order to see where the areas you need to make improvements are, I always recommend that my clients take some time to analyse where they are with the organisation of their business. Once you have looked at how your systems operate over all sides of your business, then you can take the steps needed to automate, delegate or outsource it so that you are not chained to a desk. 

 

Where do you start though when it comes to analysing? As I have worked with multiple construction companies I have developed a process to take a snapshot, almost like a camera taking a photo, of where you are. First off it is useful to ask yourself a series of questions. It can be helpful to make a note of the answers to these questions as we begin for you to refer back to. 

 

Ask yourself:

  • Do you have the systems in place? 
  • Are you fully automated? 
  • Where would you rate yourself? 
  • How are your systems? 
  • Are you highly organised? Or are your systems a bit of a mess? 

I want you to use these questions as a guide to look into every department. Now I know that it can be overwhelming to think of what you need to change, and often when we are overwhelmed we end up not doing anything. So it’s good to remember that while we want to be organised and automated or outsourced, it takes time and processes to put this into action. 

 

It’s a good idea to work out from your list 1-3 top areas that you want to improve and get better systems in place, to prioritise so that you won’t be taking on too much at one time. Think about each department and the frustration that comes from each department. Think about how much time it takes you to do the work. This will often equate to how much money you could save if you manage to automate that process. 

 

Let’s take an example of how this can work in practice. Imagine that you look at your finance systems, and you realise one problem is receipt management. You spend hours trying to gather all of the receipts for your accountant from across your team. Or maybe in marketing, you spend a lot of time stressing because you do not know what to post on social media. Perhaps typing up estimates takes hours of your precious time. These are all areas that you ideally want to hand off to someone else or automate. 

 

So out of these areas you have identified as problem areas, pick out the top three. These are the ones that take you the most time and ultimately cost you the most money. You can now prioritise the first thing that you should be sorting. Over time you can cover all areas of your business systems and go across the board. A successful business is one where every department has successful systems in place either automated or delegated. 

 

One thing that I work on with my Mastermind clients is putting the right systems in place and basic foundational processes. Once you have these fundamentals in place you will start to really notice a difference in the time you free up for more important things. But how can you go from identifying the problem to putting the answers in place? The next step is to create standard operating procedures or SOPs.

 

Create Standard Operating Procedures  

 

When you think about your top 3 problems you may start to look for a system or application that can fill that need. However, the first thing I would say is that it doesn’t matter what you spend on fancy systems if you don’t have a standard operating procedure in place (an SOP) on how you complete that task then you will just spend a lot of money on something you’re not using properly. You could have a wasted expensive tool that doesn’t ever get used. 

 

How do you create a standard operating procedure? You need to list out the processes that you want your team to use for the problem. Let’s use our example of receipt management. The process that you would like your employees to implement is that every time they get a receipt from builders merchant they use software like Decks or ReceiptBank. They use this software to scan the receipt and automatically it will go into Xero for your accountant to manage. No need for you to now spend hours collecting and collating receipts, wasting your time. All of your employees will know the procedure and the applications will be used in the most efficient way. 

 

If you list out the basic processes then all of your team will know exactly what they’re doing and how they can all integrate the systems into their work routine. Once everyone follows it then the software will help you implement that. You can apply these principles to every area of your business. So with your list of top 3 areas you would like to improve, create a Standard Operating Procedure for each and enforce it across your business.

 

There is some great software out there which can definitely make your life easier and automate a lot of manual processes. Here are a few of my favourites that I have found not only work for my coaching clients but also in my own business. 

 

What software to use in the construction business

 

Asana 

Asana is a workflow management tool which is fantastic for creating project plans and managing workforce and operations. If you have a large team across different projects it can work really well to use this tool to keep on top of where everyone is and what they are doing. I like to use this tool to:

  • – Track projects and assign tasks 
  • – Setting to-dos for different parts of my team 
  • – Day-to-day time management 
  • – Defining process and systems 
  •  

Office 365

Office may not be the most flashy of tools, but this workhorse has many features that work across different areas of your business. Are you using them effectively? Here are some of my favourite features:

  • Full suite of basic tools like Word and Excel 
  • One drive is an excellent file management and sharing tool, easy to access on the go from any smart device 
  • Email assigned to employees keeps your branding and messaging consistent, which goes a long way to a professional image
  •  

Calendar 

Having a shared team calendar can work really well across a team. You can share when you are busy or when you are able to talk and help things to run smoothly. You can:

  • – Use outlook on iCloud 
  • – Make sure you share with your admin as it shows when you are busy 
  •  

Email folders 

Do you feel drowned by emails? Do you have a system to keep on top of them? My top tip when it comes to emails is to use the folders effectively to keep on top of your communication. You can do this by:

  • – Having different project folders for to-dos
  • – Keep inbox empty by moving emails into folders immediately
  •  

File storage

Having clear file systems across your team will ensure information is up to date and easy to find. I like to use a cloud-based file program like Onedrive or Dropbox so that all of my team can access the information they need to. Here are some of the folders you can collaborate with your team on:  

  • – Finance 
  • – Operations 
  • – Sales & Marketing 
  • – Office 
  • – Legal 
  • – Insurance 
  • – IT 
  • – Private 
  •  

These are just some of the tools that I have used to win back time in my construction business. In my Facebook group Construction Trades Accelerator we have a community of like-minded construction business owners who share best practices for their companies, including systems and software. If you would like to benefit from this shared knowledge and experience, please join us here today. 

 

So to sum up, if you want to get back more time from your business if you think you are wasting precious energy on things that you could use elsewhere then follow my three tips:

  1. Take five minutes today to work out where you need to prioritise making changes.
  2. For each of the main areas, create Standard Operating Procedures that you would like to see used across the team. Communicate these operating procedures with your team as soon as possible. 
  3.  

Once you follow these three steps you will find that you are able to create more time, freedom and money in your work life. I work with construction business owners who want to grow and scale up their companies without scaling up problems or mess. If you are looking to grow a £5,000,000+ construction company, then come join me for my Mastermind coaching program.

 

This program is ideal for hard-working company owners who enjoy working on strategy and have the resources to delegate tasks. The course is broken into seven modules over twelve months and covers areas such as:

  • Realistic target setting based on data and current financials
  • How to find and promote your USP to deliver unrivalled service
  • Effective branding, marketing and social media strategies
  • How to use analysis reporting to adapt and improve
  • Using operating systems to run a well-oiled machine

If you would like more information, or to just have a quick strategy chat, then book in your call with me here



Step 1

Schedule a Call

Step 2

We Create a 12-Month Plan

Step 3

Enjoy The Results

We are Develop Coaching, and we love helping construction business owners grow their construction companies to £5million and beyond.

We understand the struggles and pains from running a construction company.

 

Why? Because Greg has ran a construction company that failed. And that was hard! But he bounced back and grow another consturction company to making millions.

 

That’s why Greg founded Develop Coaching, a coaching company, helping other construction company owners to aviod the mistakes he made and to help them grow to the position they want to be in.

 

Greg’s passion is helping other people. You focus on delivering fantastic results and we will guide you in the right way to grow your business.

Want to see how we can transform your construction company?

Benefits You Can Expect From Choosing Develop Coaching

Earn More

Earn over £150k+ per year

More Time

Win back your time

Fast Growth

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Step 1: Schedule a Call

Book in a Scale Session so we can understand your goals & see if we are a good fit.

Step 2: We Create a 12-Month Plan

We’ll come up with a solid 12-month plan of how to hit your goals & how you can achieve more time, freedom & money.

Step 3: Enjoy the results

Work closely with Greg & his team to implement the strategies and watch how your business flourishes

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Step 1: Schedule a Call

Book in a Scale Session so we can understand your goals & see if we are a good fit.

Step 1: Schedule a Call

Book in a Scale Session so we can understand your goals & see if we are a good fit.

Step 1: Schedule a Call

Book in a Scale Session so we can understand your goals & see if we are a good fit.

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