Each year starts with a list of rash new-year's resolutions to eat less, exercise more, stop shouting at the kids or staff and speak to your mum more often. With ongoing tax increases on cigarettes, a more financially profitable outcome would be achieved by giving up smoking, not to mention the obvious health benefits.
But to help improve your business why not do something different and make resolutions that focus on checking and improving your work practises - and you don't need to wait till next Xmas to make the list and action the points.
To help you here is my suggested list of items, in no particular order of priority, that directly affect the profitability of your operations :
- when your client wants to amend or add something to their original contract, first get them to sign a written instruction which includes possible cost implications
- think safety when planning your daily activities
- ring your sub-contractor at least 3 times leading up to the time you need them on site to remind them of timeframes and start times
- think about, plan and start organising for what you will be doing several days ahead. We recently had the example of a builder who is a member of a major industry group sending the apprentice out several times a day to buy one box of screws, or extra timber, etc. This is clearly inefficient and expensive.
- measure twice and cut once [hopefully this is already done]
- identify each project’s specific risks at the outset and control them during construction. See our Risk worksheet on our BoB website here
- only accept best practise documentation for your projects
- think about an alternative job so any gaps in workload can be avoided
- discuss differences of opinion supported by documents with your Building Inspector and ask for reasons when your data is not acceptable
- use checklists that are on the BOB website for a variety of your operations
- make a list of your 5 worst events on your last project, pin it up in a visible place in your office or on site to make sure you don't repeat them on your current project