Is Now the Time for Your Contracting Business to Look for a Better Workspace?

Having a lot more time to think about your workflow outside of the jobsite might make you realize that your workspace isn’t working. And even if it is, it may be a good opportunity to revisit what you’re getting from the space, and what you could have instead. A sudden vacation of a lot of commercial spaces due to COVID-19 has changed the dynamic. It’s also changed the way you think about doing construction, on and offsite. These five aspects can help you determine if you should stay where you are, or consider moving to something different.

Your Workspace Needs Have Changed
It would be hard to find some aspect of your workflow that wasn’t changed by COVID-19, but your workspace may be the biggest. If you were accustomed to doing most of your work onsite and relying on a separate workspace for administrative tasks, you may find that this no longer suits your work dynamic. Many companies are shifting to offsite construction, mostly through the use of modular building practices. If you have discovered that you need much more space than you had before, or much less, it may be time to think about moving.

You’re Overpaying on Your Rental
A sudden decrease in demand for workspaces has led to a drop in prices in some areas. If you are overpaying on the rent you pay for your office or shop, you may be able to negotiate a better deal right now. Do some research in your area to see how often owners raise rates, and how much. It also may be practical to take this information to the owner or property manager of your current space, in the hopes of getting a discount on your next renewal. Keep in mind that if you have an active lease that’s not on a month-to-month schedule, you may have to pay hefty fees to break it early. It may or may not be worth it, so be sure to do the math before you pull the plug.

You’re Barely Making Ends Meet
Getting a big discount on rent for a workspace can be a boon, but you’ll pay for it at first. Rentals usually involve deposits and possibly the first and last month’s rent required in advance. While this might not be a big deal for an established business with a lot of assets, not everyone is feeling that kind of stability right now. In some cases, trying to cut your future expenses may have the potential to sink your business in the present. If your cash flow is running too close to empty, you may be better off waiting.

Pandemic Closures Limit Your Access
Many office complexes and coworking spaces closed during the pandemic, which made it far more difficult for tenants to get in and use the space. And while some landlords compensated by discounting or even canceling the rent, it was hardly the norm. If you were one of the lucky ones who enjoyed unimpeded access to one of these spaces, that stroke of fortune might serve you well in the future if closures happen again. On the other hand, if you were unable to retrieve your equipment or complete work offsite because your workspace was closed, you may need to consider alternatives.

You’re Not Sure What You Need
It’s hard to predict where construction will be in six months, much less in a year or two. As such, it is perfectly fine not to be certain what you need right now or going forward. This is a good indicator that you should stay put. If you can, give yourself the time to think. Revisit the subject in a month, when you have more information.

Finding a great workspace may be easier in the next few months than it will be next year or the year after. If your current situation just isn’t working, your contracting business may thrive better somewhere else. For more information about running a modern business as a licensed contractor, contact CSLS today!

Hidden Project Inefficiencies Your Contracting Business Should Consider

Since COVID-19 is changing lots of industries, it may be an ideal time to rethink your processes. You’ll be spending more time on certain aspects of your workflow, while others may have to go out the window entirely. But you don’t want to go back to a pattern of overpromising and under-delivering, even if that’s common in the industry. Here are a few inefficiencies you should consider, so that your project timelines can remain accurate now and in the future.

Finding Workers
Just this spring, the construction industry in the United States laid off nearly 1,000,000 workers. It’s hard to tell at this time exactly how that will affect your ability to find skilled employees and subcontractors for your project. But since construction was already facing a labor shortage, you can expect that whatever you need someone to do, it will probably take longer to locate them. People in busy, expert fields will likely continue to have high demand for their services. As such, you may not know for sure how long it will take to secure someone’s work until you have already done so. Be sure to research averages if you don’t have a regular subcontractor for a particular task.

Moving Equipment
The time it takes to move equipment to and from the jobsite depends on:

  • Where it’s currently located
  • How big it is
  • What it takes to get it there

Some tools are easy for you to transport, while others may require a rental company to handle delivery. Keep in mind that pandemic-related closures may cause delays in your ability to rent equipment or have it delivered to a particular jobsite. You also may have to wait to pick something up, if you are handling the delivery on your own. This will add extra time to your project delivery schedule.

Waiting on Tasks
If there was any industry that could figure out how to get work done more quickly just by adding more people, construction would be it. However, there are certain tasks that simply take a specified amount of time no matter how much you want to rush it. In a new era of staggered shifts and social distancing, you may spend more time waiting for tasks to be completed in order to move to the next step of the project. Identifying which jobs can be done at the same time, and which ones must be done in a certain order, can help you figure out how to stagger shifts for the best productivity.

Site Cleanup
For a lot of jobsites, clean up and sanitation is something that happened a couple of times a week. Now, it will almost certainly need to take much more time. This is because virus prevention requires careful sanitation at least daily, if not more frequently. Forming regular habits of clearing a particular spot of debris and sanitizing the equipment can help to make the process more efficient. But if you have to do it between tasks, you should factor that delay into your daily schedule.

Paperwork
It is usually good to have more than one person looking at agreements before you commit to them. If you are working on a public works project, it may be a requirement. This can add weeks or even a month or more to your project, depending on what paperwork you need reviewed and who needs to look at it. Although technological innovations have come a long way to make this process shorter and more efficient, you will still encounter plenty of delays in this respect. For example, the time it takes to get certain types of building permits has increased significantly in 2020. You’ll also notice a longer delay for inspectors. Keep tabs on the average wait times and don’t underestimate, so that you can factor them into your bids.

The year 2020 sure is changing the way people in construction think about efficiency. With the right education, you’ll know how to help solve those problems for your contracting business. To get started, visit CSLS today!

5 Ways the Post COVID-19 Construction World Will Change Your Contracting Business

If you look back at the way you thought the year would go in January, it might be hard to imagine a different conclusion. So much has changed in the past few months that the whole world seems almost unrecognizable. Yet, work will continue, and over time, you’ll find ways to get back to the jobsite. Here are five things you can expect will be significantly different, so that your contracting business will be better prepared.

Long-Term Changes in Demand for Projects
Industry experts have wondered regularly over the last couple of years when the backlog of construction projects would finally ebb. While it seems that 2020 has tipped the scale as they predicted, most people did not anticipate the way the demand for projects would change. In most instances, the predictions included a general decrease in demand for all projects, not a sharp decline in certain areas.

In this case, demand for commercial construction, specifically hotels, hospitality and retail spaces, has significantly dropped. Large hospitality industry stakeholders like Airbnb have seen a huge decline in demand and revenue. This means that while construction may see an increase in certain kinds of commercial and residential projects, there will probably be a notable decrease in demand for projects like these.

Adaptation to Remote Work and Project Management
Although it isn’t usually possible for construction-related businesses to do all of their work offsite, you’ll probably observe an increasing reliance on remote work. This may also be a good time to re-examine your project management practices. If you’re in the habit of keeping an eye on people as they work, this will probably have to change. Instead, you may find more opportunities to give your employees greater freedoms to control their own productivity. You may also discover developments to the modular construction segment of the industry. In fact, that may offer new career fields or an expansion of existing ones.

Heavier Reliance on Technology
Just like you can plan to spend more time off the site going forward, you can expect to use more online or virtual tools to collaborate and communicate. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course. Using tools to get certain aspects of the job done more quickly increases your efficiency and may also improve your income. However, not everybody in the industry is excited to grab the latest app or device. This means that you may need to do more work to persuade subcontractors, clients and employees to get on board.

Increasing Project Delivery Times
Ultimately, one of the biggest hurdles that contracting business owners and clients alike will have to accept is that projects will simply take longer. The need to invest more time into safety, coupled with the importance of reducing the number of people on the site at any one time, makes it harder to accomplish more in one day. You may be able to minimize the worst of it by scheduling separate shifts. This may not be possible for all projects, or for all regions of the state at any time of year. If you want to reduce overrun in your project timelines, you will need to add in these factors and adjust your commitments as needed.

Greater Attention to Site Cleanup and Sanitation
Dropping work equipment and leaving debris at the jobsite was neither a clean nor sanitary practice. But now more than ever, people are putting their own lives at risk if they fail to clean up after themselves and ensure a sanitary workspace. The level of risk in any given area is going to depend on the state of the virus at the time. However, contracting businesses should prepare to clean and sanitize equipment and protective gear after each use. They will probably also need to provide PPE like masks and gloves, and additional hand-washing or sanitizing facilities.

COVID-19 has changed the world, and in many cases, your contracting business. The way you move forward helps determine your future. To start on your career path, visit CSLS today!

Is Now a Good Time to Create a Partnership for Your Contracting Business?

If your goal has always been to become an independent contractor, the independent part might be one of the most appealing aspects. You get to set your own hours and run your business in your own way. In an economic downturn where the whole industry has been turned on its head, you may need to collaborate. Here are five factors that can help you decide if forming a partnership would be a better path forward.

Related Fields
In order to form a partnership, you need to have someone whose skills and services relate closely to yours. If you’re finding that there are too many contractors and not enough jobs in your own field, you may want to find someone whose services and products are in an adjacent field. For example, if you find that you’re hiring the same subcontractor every single time you have a project, this might be an indicator that you have two businesses that could work well together. Be wary of duplicating your own skills, though. Unless you have more work than you can handle, doubling the paycheck obligations may not be enough.

Working Relationships
As a general rule, business partners get together as a result of a long-term professional relationship or other type of relationship. This means that you have to have somebody in mind before you can form a partnership. Advertising that you’re looking for a partner may take a lot longer, and it would be harder to tell if the people who are interested would make a good candidate to partner in your business. Think about the people that you have a good working relationship with, who aren’t employees. If you don’t know of anyone who meets this requirement, it might be time to beef up your networking skills.

Financial Stability
In the middle of an economic downturn, no one may truly believe that they are financially stable. But the last thing that you want when you start a partnership is for one person to be on great financial footing while the other is inches from disaster. This kind of imbalance can create a lot of conflict in the partnership, that may ultimately cause it to fail. Make sure that you are forming a partnership so that you can both help each other, instead of one person providing financial support to keep the other one going. A slight imbalance is manageable. But unless you have so much work and stable funding guarantees, you’re probably going to struggle to support two on the money that used to support one.

Balance of Skills and Services
Similarly, you want to confirm that both professionals have at least a moderate wealth of skills and services that they can provide. This depends greatly on the field you’re working in, and the nature of the industry at large. But typically, you both should have a variety of advantages that you can bring to the table. Don’t forget soft skills and other needs for business administration like sales and marketing. Ensuring that you can split tasks in a way that feels even to both of you will help to guarantee that everyone remains satisfied with the partnership going forward.

Collaboration
Ultimately, not everyone is cut out to be in a partnership. Sometimes, you can end up in a partnership with someone that is simply unsuited to work with you or vice versa. In other cases, you are just better off working by yourself. Think about the way you collaborate. If you can set aside your individual ambitions and work together to reach a consensus almost all of the time, then you will have a much higher chance of a successful partnership. By comparison, if you have a difficult time conceding the point to others, that may be a sign that you will have a lot of conflict in a partnership.

Forming a partnership is one way to run a contracting business, but you need to be sure you can do it right. To start on your career path in construction, contact CSLS today!

Is Your Contracting Business’s Waste Management Strategy Putting You at Risk?

When you think about waste management on and off the jobsite, it’s more than an issue of cleaning up a mess or making sure you dispose of hazardous materials in the right way. It’s a matter of your own safety and the people around you. Here are a few factors to consider as you decide if your waste management strategy is ideal, or could use a reboot.

Environmental Risks
Whenever you work on a construction site, even if that place is a warehouse or your own home, you may have a variety of environmental concerns to worry about. Since this is heavily dependent on your working location, you’ll need to inspect each site and conduct testing as required before you can establish the type of environmental risks you’re facing. For example, you might have to deal with high levels of certain contaminants in the soil, like radon. The presence of a free-flowing water source nearby may make prompt cleanup more important, to avoid contaminating that water supply.

Population Concerns
You will also need to pay attention to the people who live and work around your construction site, and how the production of waste may affect them. In 2020, many construction workers in California have been invested in renovating or retrofitting existing hospitals to accommodate increased numbers of patients due to COVID-19. However, doing construction work in a hospital that has patients in it presents unique risks to a highly vulnerable population. You should consider the impact that dust and debris can have if they shift from the area where you are working before you have a chance to clean it up.

Cleanup Intervals
There are many different approaches to waste management on the construction site, and most of them have a different cleanup interval. If you are in the habit of cleaning up when a project is completely done, and not one minute before, you may be putting yourself and others at risk. The chance that dust and debris can blow away from an open jobsite is relatively high. But you should also keep in mind that it can create a slipping or tripping hazard while you continue to work in the space. Setting a more frequent cleanup interval, as often as every hour, keeps the excess out of the way.

Disposal Practices
Although cleanup at the jobsite is a major part of your waste management strategy, it is not the last step. You also need to dispose of your construction debris and garbage on a regular basis. Knowing how to dispose of materials is a vital skill that you as a business owner must master. In many cases, being able to control all aspects of site cleanup is a matter of following the law. If you haven’t thought about these practices in a while, now may be a good opportunity to re-evaluate them. You may have more options for recycling or local disposal than you did in years past.

Employee Training
As in many industries, you may discover that there is a significant difference between what you are supposed to do and what people are actually doing. In a lot of cases, this is an indicator that people are unaware of how to dispose of waste on a construction site. Since this can be a serious matter of health and even life or death, training should be an important component of your business practices. Make sure that you know how you should handle site cleanup depending on the site and the type of project that you are doing. Then invest the time and money to confirm that everybody you work with has that knowledge as well.

Waste management is a time-consuming task, but one that you need to do for your health and the security of your contracting business. For more information about building a successful business in construction, contact CSLS today!

What Does Contractor Confidence Mean for Your Contracting Business?

When you read about consumer or business confidence, it feels like it could mean a variety of things. What does it mean to be confident in a particular aspect of the economy? How does this data change the way that you make decisions for your contracting business? And what if people turn out to be wrong? With this information, you’ll understand what confidence means in finance and how it may affect your contracting business.

What Is Confidence?
If confidence feels like a somewhat nebulous standard of measurement, that’s because it is. Confidence is the way that people feel about themselves or some aspect of their world. It is not always an indicator of the way things actually are. However, finance experts use confidence as a way of determining what may happen in the future. People make decisions based on the confidence they have in certain aspects of the economy. For example, contractors look at their existing and expected sales and profit margins as a way of determining how confident they are in their own fields for the next several months or longer. It’s not a certain way of predicting the future, but it helps complete a more robust picture.

What’s the Difference Between Consumer, Investor and Contractor Confidence?
Now that you have a general idea of what contractor confidence means, you should know that there are indexes meant to measure confidence in other aspects of the economy. For example, you may read about increases in investor confidence in a thriving stock market, or decreases in consumer confidence based on rising housing prices. While you must keep in mind that confidence is highly subjective and heavily dependent on specific measurements, it can still give you an idea of what people plan to do with their own money. Specifically, if confidence in the economy starts to drop, you’ll notice that people will become more reserved in the types of financial risks they are willing to take.

How Does Confidence Affect Your Business Right Now?
At the moment, contractors are reporting lower levels of confidence in their ability to continue to grow sales and keep their profit margins high for the near future. As a business owner, you can imagine what those kinds of concerns may do for the way that you run your business. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to get enough sales this year, you might limit your overhead as much as you can. You may decide against hiring more workers, and if the trend continues, you may have to consider laying people off. This can affect the way that your business runs. That might mean that you have a simpler workflow, or it could mean that you have fewer services you can offer and more limited selection of projects.

How Can Low Contractor Confidence Change the Construction Industry?
Confidence in one aspect of the economy can change on a dime, but it depends heavily on the pivot point. Once people are worried about the future of their contracting businesses, they may make decisions that affect their ability to continue the business long-term. If these changes happen at the same time as lenders tighten loan requirements, or at the same time that a lot of other industries are noticing a drop in sales, there may be broader effects. Ultimately, part of rebuilding the economy after an economic downturn or recession lies in establishing confidence once again. After the last recession, it took a few years before the construction industry was able to run at levels even close to where they were before the housing crisis.

Contractor confidence may not mean a lot to you yet, but it poses serious long-term effects to your contracting business success. For more information about starting on a construction career path, visit CSLS today!

 

What Does Contractor Confidence Mean for Your Contracting Business?

When you read about consumer or business confidence, it feels like it could mean a variety of things. What does it mean to be confident in a particular aspect of the economy? How does this data change the way that you make decisions for your contracting business? And what if people turn out to be wrong? With this information, you’ll understand what confidence means in finance and how it may affect your contracting business.

What Is Confidence?
If confidence feels like a somewhat nebulous standard of measurement, that’s because it is. Confidence is the way that people feel about themselves or some aspect of their world. It is not always an indicator of the way things actually are. However, finance experts use confidence as a way of determining what may happen in the future. People make decisions based on the confidence they have in certain aspects of the economy. For example, contractors look at their existing and expected sales and profit margins as a way of determining how confident they are in their own fields for the next several months or longer. It’s not a certain way of predicting the future, but it helps complete a more robust picture.

What’s the Difference Between Consumer, Investor and Contractor Confidence?
Now that you have a general idea of what contractor confidence means, you should know that there are indexes meant to measure confidence in other aspects of the economy. For example, you may read about increases in investor confidence in a thriving stock market, or decreases in consumer confidence based on rising housing prices. While you must keep in mind that confidence is highly subjective and heavily dependent on specific measurements, it can still give you an idea of what people plan to do with their own money. Specifically, if confidence in the economy starts to drop, you’ll notice that people will become more reserved in the types of financial risks they are willing to take.

How Does Confidence Affect Your Business Right Now?
At the moment, contractors are reporting lower levels of confidence in their ability to continue to grow sales and keep their profit margins high for the near future. As a business owner, you can imagine what those kinds of concerns may do for the way that you run your business. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to get enough sales this year, you might limit your overhead as much as you can. You may decide against hiring more workers, and if the trend continues, you may have to consider laying people off. This can affect the way that your business runs. That might mean that you have a simpler workflow, or it could mean that you have fewer services you can offer and more limited selection of projects.

How Can Low Contractor Confidence Change the Construction Industry?
Confidence in one aspect of the economy can change on a dime, but it depends heavily on the pivot point. Once people are worried about the future of their contracting businesses, they may make decisions that affect their ability to continue the business long-term. If these changes happen at the same time as lenders tighten loan requirements, or at the same time that a lot of other industries are noticing a drop in sales, there may be broader effects. Ultimately, part of rebuilding the economy after an economic downturn or recession lies in establishing confidence once again. After the last recession, it took a few years before the construction industry was able to run at levels even close to where they were before the housing crisis.

Contractor confidence may not mean a lot to you yet, but it poses serious long-term effects to your contracting business success. For more information about starting on a construction career path, visit CSLS today!

How to Measure Your Contracting Business Productivity While Working Off the Jobsite

When the world is operating as usual, you probably spend most of your time on the jobsite. There, it’s easy to set goals and determine if you’ve achieved them. If you’re working from home or trying to manage an ad-hoc workspace, productivity takes on a whole new meaning. Here are some ways you can evaluate your work and set goals that are easier to measure and reach in a different working environment.

Communicate with Employees and Subcontractors
From the very beginning, you should communicate with your employees and subcontractors to get a sense for what they are able to do off the site. At present, lots of people are dealing with interruptions to their time due to trying to work with children or other family members at home. This makes it harder for people to focus, and can make it even more difficult for someone who needs to work on a dangerous task. Although productivity is important, it is also vital to start with goals that people can reasonably achieve.

Re-Evaluate Project Risks
If you are like many business owners, you conduct at least a basic risk management analysis for each project that you do. Some projects that you formulated prior to shelter-in-place orders may need to be re-evaluated. Specifically, you may want to look at timelines, budgetary concerns, and alternatives for components that you planned to assemble or build onsite. This will help you to figure out where you need to put most of your resources, and which areas are best for getting work done off-site.

Set Goals Based on Current Expectations
Businesses in a lot of industries will be finding their way to a new normal over the course of the next year. You can do the same by recognizing that the standards you set for productivity last year probably won’t work this year. Take a look at your current situation, including limits on where you can work and with how many people. Build in some flexibility if you can, to take advantage of changes in restrictions as they happen. Ultimately, be sure to keep your goals realistic not just for your employees, but for you as well. It serves no one if you are constantly setting standards for yourself and others that you simply cannot meet.

Aim for Self-Management
In a new, post COVID-19 world, your management practices will also need to change. If your standard so far has been to keep a close eye on everybody working under you, now is a good time to rethink that. People don’t tend to be more productive if they have the sense that a supervisor is watching them constantly. Micromanaging bosses in all sorts of industries are starting to find out what a productivity-killer this can be. Let this be an opportunity for you to invest in employees and subcontractors you can trust. That way, you can let them do their work and focus their time on productive activities, instead of responding to your monitoring system.

Use Tools to Collaborate
Since people working offsite and individually may keep different hours, being able to standardize your expectations and make them accessible to everyone is crucial. If you haven’t already started using online collaboration tools that allow everyone to look at goals for the project and the individual day, this is your opportunity to start. Collaboration is likely going to look very different for the construction industry in the next few years. Learning how to share visual updates and keep everyone on the same page can make it easier for you to measure progress and ensure that the workflow continues forward.

When you run a contracting business, productivity isn’t just a buzzword. Finding way to stay on top of it during a crisis can make the difference between success and failure. To get started, visit CSLS today!

Public vs. Private: Where Your Contracting Business Can Look for Projects in 2020

It looks like the big picture for construction is changing fast in 2020. What you might have expected to happen at the beginning of the year is probably significantly different from the industry now. There are still a lot of options for contracting businesses, but you’ll need to go in the right direction. Here’s how to decide if public or privately-funded projects are the way to go.

Stability
When private investors lose confidence in the construction industry, they stop investing in projects. If the financial industry is worried that contractors and investors are about to default on their loans, they may tighten their lending standards. This makes funding in the private sector harder to get. By comparison, funding for public sector projects tends to be more stable. California still has a lot of development projects in the works, and the funding for it probably won’t dry up overnight. Just keep in mind that the funding intervals may take longer, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get more if you run out unexpectedly.

Variability
Some business owners prefer the ability to pick and choose who they work with and which kinds of projects are best for their bottom line. If you are dying to break into a niche service that may not necessarily have a lot of demand, the private sector is probably your best bet. This may not be the safest financial approach at the moment, but it does give you more variability. On the other hand, if you like the comfort of the familiar, public sector projects tend to be larger and more predictable in general.

Timelines
Do you like to pick a project to work on next week, with the idea that you can finish it quickly and move on? Or, do you prefer to plan out your projects as far in advance as possible, giving you greater assurance of income for the long term? The answer to these questions can help you decide. Public works projects often run on much longer timelines, in part because there is more bureaucracy to get through. This means that if you’re in a hurry to start the project and finish it so you can get paid, private projects are probably better for you. But if you are willing to wait a few months before you begin, public projects may make it easier for you to book your schedule a few months in advance.

Bureaucracy
When they say that public sector projects maintain a lot of paperwork, they’re not joking. Although you should plan to carefully review any documentation that you receive for private or public projects, work funded by the government generally carries an extra load. You must be ready to invest the time it takes to understand what you need and how to meet those standards for every project. This is why some experts say that it is often more difficult to break into public projects after years of working with private companies than it is to go in the other direction. It’s still a choice you can make, you just have to be ready to do the homework.

Flexibility
When you’re first starting your contracting business, you may have no idea which direction is best for you. And as the industry changes throughout 2020 and for the next couple of years, you might want flexibility more than you need to make a single firm decision. If you have the ability, it may make sense to try working with both private and public projects. This will give you experience and let you determine which one is already working out better for your business. That should make the path forward much clearer, with a higher likelihood of success.

When you run a contracting business, you’ll have options to work in the public or private sector. The choice you make this year may affect your success for years to come. To learn more about creating a viable contracting business, visit CSLS today!

How to Minimize Downtime on Your Contracting Business Equipment

Once you have a thriving contracting business, you’ll probably have a set of equipment that you use all the time, with other pieces that you don’t need quite as much. Since your financial success depends on you being able to maximize efficiency, you want to minimize downtime for all your equipment. Consider adding these practices to make sure you’re getting the most output from your assets.

Plan Out Equipment Use
If you don’t have a lot of equipment, you might wonder why you even need to plan it out. You have a job, you use the equipment, and then you put it back. However, failing to plan out when you need to use multiple pieces of equipment can make it harder to ensure that every tool is available when you need it. Additionally, creating a plan helps you to establish how much you are using the equipment, as well as how often. This will make it easier to determine the level of maintenance and repair that you may need to perform on each piece.

Cycle Through Multiples
If you have more than one of the same kind of tool, you may notice that you use one of them much more often. While this can be an indicator that one of them works better than the other, it may also be a simple factor of habit. The tool that’s easiest to reach is probably the one you’ll use the most. In this case, it makes sense to plan to cycle through your use of multiple pieces of the same equipment. This ensures an even wear pattern, so that one is less likely to break or wear out while the other one sits virtually untouched.

Set Maintenance Schedules Wisely
All pieces of equipment will need maintenance on some schedule. Some, especially those that sustain a lot of wear or are older, will need maintenance more frequently. The last thing that you want is to take on a project with a tight turnaround only to realize that you’ll have to delay maintenance in order to make it work. This puts added stress on the equipment and increases the likelihood of downtime. Instead, pay attention to the condition of your equipment. If it needs maintenance, plan out the most convenient time to get it done.

Don’t Skimp on Upkeep
It’s tempting to think that the best way to minimize downtime on equipment is to use it constantly. But keep in mind that the more pressure you put on a tool without tending to it, the more likely it is to break down. Instead, aim for maintenance to be a short break between long periods of productive use.

This is true for equipment that you use every day as well as equipment that you only use on occasion. Tools and vehicles can sustain a failure if they aren’t used often enough. In some cases, they break down because you didn’t see a repair need before setting it aside for several weeks. Even if it appeared to be in great condition the last time you used it, you still need to inspect it periodically and perform upkeep as needed.

Evaluate Use Data
Once you have a reasonable schedule to increase use time and minimize downtime, you’ll want to build points into the schedule to evaluate your use. Your project needs may vary depending on the week or month, but they may also change as your business becomes more established. Taking time to look at how you use equipment compared to how you used it in the past will help you determine if you need to change your maintenance schedules, or even consider a different management process for your equipment.

Equipment efficiency lies in how you use it, as well as how you manage it. Understanding how to do both helps you keep your contracting business in great condition. To begin, visit CSLS today!