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How Can I Make the Best Use of my Time at Home?

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If you run a construction business but have decided for safety reasons to stay at home during the lock down then how can you make the best use of your time?

Whilst you might be tempted to use the time to watch endless boxsets on Netflix  or catch up on lost sleep, if you really want your business to be successful then you should use your time wisely.

You may ask “How can I use my time wisely to improve my construction business, I cannot build from home?” You can use this time to evaluate how your business is currently doing, prepare for the difficult times ahead, look at where you can improve your business and plan for the future.

In this article, we are going to briefly look at:

  1. How can you evaluate your business?
  2. Preparing for challenging times
  3. Planning your future
  1. How can you evaluate your business?

 

As difficult as it is, let’s start by putting Covid-19 pandemic to one side and to examine how your business up until now has been operating, what has been good and not so good?

In my last article, I mentioned how important it is to have an up to date profit and loss report. This detailed report will give you a full understanding of the money that is coming in and going out and it enables you to look at what is profitable for your business and what is not. You can find out more about how to create a profit and loss report from chapter 8 of my book which you can purchase here ‘Building Your Future: A Step by Step Guide to Building a £1 Million+ Construction Business’ 

Ask yourself the following;

What in your business has been successful? Where are your leads coming from? How have you been converting them to win sales? Who in your team is performing and who is not? If they are not performing, is there something you can do to support them to get them to where they need to be or is it time to let them go?

Perhaps you know something isn’t working in your business but you are not sure what it is. That is why it is vital to break it down completely into a profit and loss report for you to evaluate.

Separate your business into the following departments (even if just one person is covering several of these roles)

Marketing

Do you have enough leads coming in to sell to?

How are you advertising your business?

Which avenues of advertising are producing the best results?

What is your cost per lead?

What is your brand and do your customers understand your brand?

What is your USP? Read my article ‘How to Find Your USP’

Sales

How many sales do you convert from your leads?

What is the quality of your leads?

Are you unselling?

Are you making enough sales?

Are you winning enough sales from leads?

What is your sales process?

Is your sales team performing?

Have you provided your sales team with the correct tools?

Operations

How much are you spending on materials?

Could you be getting a better price/payment terms on materials?

Do you have a lot of material waste?

How productive is your team?

Is your operations team carrying out the task as per your sales pitch?

How can you improve of spend?

What can you automate?

Accounts

Are you profitable?

What is more profitable than not?

What is not profitable?

Where should you invest your money?

Grab a pen and paper or your iPad and take some time to answer each question. Do this whilst looking at your profit and loss report and don’t whizz through this, really think about it. It will start to give you a clear idea of where your business is at, what you are doing well, but more importantly it should highlight some key areas of where you need to improve. It may also highlight areas you think you should be doing, but that are not making much of an impact on your business and are just wasting valuable time and money.

 

  1. Preparing for challenging times

The majority of small businesses in construction will feel some kind of impact in the upcoming months with the Covid-19 pandemic. If you can prepare right now as much as possible you may be able to cushion the blow. In my last article, I discussed cutting back on expenses. If you haven’t read it already then you can find it here ‘How to Cut Expenses for My Construction Business’ 

Whilst you are at home, if you do the social media for your business or if you don’t do a lot of social media and would like to ramp it up then you can use schedulers like Hootsuite. Whilst at home why not plan the posts for the rest of the year, schedule them in and think of the time you will save. If you are not sure what to post have a look at my article ‘Should I Use Social Media for my Construction Company?’ 

Is there an element of your business you are paying out for that you know you could do yourself if you just knew how to do it? Well, now is the time to learn. You can get some cheap but high quality courses on UDEMY. I am not suggesting that you take this on in the long term as I do believe when things are back and busy you should delegate out as much as possible, and not become bogged down with work, but if you have a lot of spare time on your hands and can get work done that will benefit you for the future, then go for it.

I have a book out at the moment, it is a step-by-step guide to evaluate and really improve your business in all the areas I asked you to assess earlier and if you apply the 7 step DEVELOP strategy you are sure to see some great results. You can purchase it from Amazon here and work through it ‘Building Your Future: A Step by Step Guide to Building a £1 Million+ Construction Business’ 

It’s all well and good evaluating the business prior to Covid-19 but will people still be spending in the same areas after? This might be a time where you need to reinvent yourself and focus (at least to get you through the difficult times) on the clients that will be spending money on construction. I will speak more about this in the upcoming weeks

 

  1. Planning your future

Interestingly, although this is point 3 in this article I have written today, in my book and on my course this is point 1: Planning your future with a detailed road map.

Where do you want to end up? What is the final goal or where you would like to see your business? Then you can work backwards and start planning the journey.

What obstacles might get in the way of that?

This includes the coronavirus pandemic, it is just an obstacle to our destination, a bump along the way. If you plan your future with the end goal in mind and planning for this obstacle that will be on the route, then you will be successful and will overcome it, whilst sadly you may see many of your competitors fall when they reach this obstacle if not prepared.

There is so much you can do during this time at home to help your construction business thrive. Don’t waste this fantastic opportunity to pause, evaluate and then reinvent yourself.

Building Your Future: A step by step guide to building a £1million+ construction business is the perfect book to help you do this. It goes into real detail and if you start implementing the strategies you will see for yourself immediate results. You can purchase it here  ‘Building Your Future: A Step by Step Guide to Building a £1 Million+ Construction Business’ 

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Ballymore strikes deal for 2,800-home West London site

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The Partnership’s ambitious masterplan for the project has capacity for up to 2,800 homes in a major mixed-use canal-side town centre with a forecast development value of £1.7bn.

The project will involve restoration of an historic canal basin, and a generous mix of retail, including a 130,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s, leisure, community and small business workspace.

As part of this project, a new 130,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s store will provide a fresh, modern approach to trading with increased capacity for home delivery services. The agreement will ensure continuity of trading within the existing store until the day the new store opens.

Sean Mulryan, Chairman of Ballymore, said: “Partnerships like this one show the type of innovative approach needed to tackle London’s housing shortage.

“We are pleased to be a step closer to submitting an application and realising our ambitions of a mixed-use scheme that will transform the area.

“We’ve commenced early consultation with local stakeholders and look forward to hearing directly from local people how they envisage the future site can best suit the needs of the local community”.

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EA tackles illegal exports of construction’s plastic waste

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A specialist team from the Environment Agency (EA) is seeking to combat the illegal export of contaminated waste plastic produced in construction.

Read Full Article: The Construction Index

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Government pledges another £81m for cycle lanes

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The money will promote cycling and walking across the country and further increase the construction of bike lanes.

The government said: “This funding will help see the construction of hundreds of miles of new high-quality cycle lanes.”

A new version of the Highway Code is also being published which “ensures road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they may pose to others.”

The new code will also give “guidance on safe passing distances and speeds and ensuring that cyclists have priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Millions of us have found over the past year how cycling and walking are great ways to stay fit, ease congestion on the roads and do your bit for the environment.

“As we build back greener from the pandemic, we’re determined to keep that trend going by making active travel easier and safer for everyone.

“This £338 million package marks the start of what promises to be a great summer of cycling and walking, enabling more people to make those sustainable travel choices that make our air cleaner and cities greener.”

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