Monthly Archives: July 2020

10 Things to Do if Your Contracting Business’s Project Shuts Down for COVID-19

You know it could be coming, and it might even happen within the week. When whole states are shutting down construction projects to try to slow the spread of COVID-19, it may not take long before your contracting business is affected. There are times throughout your career that you will need to suspend work on an ongoing project due to weather problems or even a contract dispute. If you have to shut down, even for just a few days, here’s a checklist of things you should confirm before you leave the site.

Organize Paperwork
Unless your business operates exclusively electronically, there is probably a few pieces of paperwork that you will need to take with you. This might include:

  • Contracts
  • Purchase orders or invoices
  • Equipment rental information

Make sure that you know where everything is. If you are required to leave some of it at the jobsite, double check that you have copies that you can access elsewhere.

Update Status of Project
Once you have left the jobsite, it may be much more difficult to establish where you were at for specific aspects of the job. Take the time to assess the status of each task and document what has been completed before you go.

Confirm Contact Information
Regardless of the reason you need to shut down a project, you will probably need to be in regular contact with your employees, subcontractors, suppliers and clients. Make sure that you have the correct information for all involved parties, especially a way to reach them if they are not currently working in the office.

Identify Items to Remove
If you suspect that it may be a while before you’re able to come back to the jobsite, it’s a good idea to remove at least some of the things that belong to your company. This might include laptops, materials and other equipment. Make a checklist of what you need to take with you so that you can confirm you’ve got it before you go.

Determine What Needs to Stay
Likewise, there will be many things that you must leave at the jobsite. Be careful of taking anything with you that does not belong to you, to avoid getting into a dispute over the contract. If it’s not yours and you are worried about leaving it at the site, make a note of this and contact the person responsible for it so they are aware of the shutdown.

Arrange for Equipment Pickup
If you’re renting equipment or using resources of another business, they may need time to pick it up before the jobsite is closed. Be sure to give them as much notice as possible to collect the equipment or arrange for someone else to get it.

Protect Against Weather
If you suspect weeks of waiting, you may need to protect the site against heavy rain or winds. Cover open piles or pits, and secure loose materials so that they do not topple over or blow around. Avoid placing anything against a security fence or in obvious view from the street.

Notify Employees and Subcontractors
While you wait for the site to reopen, everyone will need to stay away. Contact any of your employees or subcontractors working on the project to let them know. Confirm you have a viable way to update them once you have new information.

Post Notifications
Just in case someone didn’t get the message, create a sign that you can post somewhere alerting people to dangers on the jobsite. You may also need to post a notification that the site is currently closed.

Secure the Jobsite
The last step is to secure the jobsite. You can do this by:

  • Securing materials
  • Locking up equipment
  • Moving technological devices out of visibility
  • Locking the fence or gate
  • Turning on a surveillance system

This decreases the likelihood that anyone will try to break in while you are out.

Waiting on a shutdown can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to ruin your project. Taking these 10 steps ensures a better result. To start building toward your own contracting business, visit CSLS today!

Do You Have the Right Soft Skills for Contracting Business Success?

Running a business requires you to be an expert in sales, marketing, accounting and more. Of course, you must have the skills to become a licensed contractor, but that’s usually not enough. You may not think much about it when you’re figuring out which field to choose or what services you want to offer. But you’ll miss out on lots of opportunities if you don’t. To keep your business on the rise, you should also invest in developing these soft skills.

The act of selling something to a client is one of the most important things you will need to do as a business owner. You have services that you would like people to request, and the best way to achieve that is to figure out what they need and how you can give it to them. This involves a lot of careful dealing with prospective customers, in both conversations and your marketing materials. If you know what your likely clients are going through and how you can solve their problems, you can tailor your approach in a way that is more likely to appeal to them.

Similar to selling, negotiation is a skill you have to build in order to negotiate with clients, subcontractors, organization administrators and more. Negotiation is the way that you let another party know what you need and what you expect, and find ways that you can come to an agreement that works best for everyone. This isn’t always easy, as you will often encounter people who will try to bowl you over to achieve their own ends. Negotiation is what helps you stand your ground and keep your business running smoothly until you get to the next project.

Even if your business technically is a one-person show, you are still going to be working with a lot of other people. Your ability to build a team that will help support you during the toughest of projects is a matter of survival. You need to find employees and subcontractors who can get the job done well and be reliable at the same time. You’ve also got to persuade them to stick with you when they get better opportunities. There are lots of different ways that you can do this, and not all of them are ideal. You’ll notice that the companies with the best team-building skills are the ones with long-term employees who are good at what they do and protect the business owner’s interests at the same time.

When you decided to go into business for yourself, did you know how much time you would have to spend maintaining relationships with other people? This is one of the biggest aspects of business success. The ability to develop a working relationship with suppliers, subcontractors and people doing similar work in your industry can help you:

  • Save money
  • Find more work
  • Establish your business on firmer ground

If this isn’t a natural skill for you, you’ll need to practice at it so that it doesn’t come off unnaturally. People can usually tell when you’re trying to fake interest in them or the work they do. A genuine attempt to engage with them can pay off decades down the road.

Conflict Resolution
During the course of your business, you will have lots of opportunities to deal with stressful situations. You can ignore this fact and try to pretend it won’t be a problem, or you can learn the best ways to get through it. Conflict resolution is something that you will encounter between yourself and employees, with clients or colleagues. If you know how to de-escalate a conflict, you can minimize the chances that a simple disagreement will turn into a crisis. Helping yourself and the other involved parties to reach a peaceful resolution allows business to continue, and helps you preserve those important working relationships for the future.

Sometimes knowing the skills to produce products and services isn’t enough. In many cases, you need a lot of soft skills to make your business thrive, too. To find out how you can begin a career in construction, visit CSLS today!

Is Your Contracting Business Relying Too Much on Backlogs for Reliable Work?

Scheduling work far out in advance is a good way of protecting your cash flow. But what happens when the flow of new projects dries up? The pandemic has changed the demand for construction significantly, although some areas are affected more than others. If you’ve been relying on a backlog to ensure that you always have something to do next, now might be the time to change your tactics. Here are a few things to think about as you plan.

How Have Backlogs Protected Construction?
The construction industry often has a slow season, although this depends on the area and the specialty. Contracting business owners have long had to plan for slow times and expanded their business offerings so that they can keep paying their bills until they get busy again. The thing is, construction hasn’t had much of a slow season for several years. This is how the industry kept growing, even as other industries were starting to notice slowing in 2018 and 2019. Having a large backlog of future projects translates into a more reliable income. That makes it easier for you to hire regular employees and provide a better guarantee of paying them consistently.

How Are Backlogs Measured in the Construction Industry?
In the construction industry, backlogs are measured by a certain number of months. If you have a backlog of 8 months, this means that you have 8 months’ worth of projects already in the pipeline. Over the past year, backlogs for the industry have dropped by about 0.5-1.5 months a handful of times. If you were tracking along with much of the industry, that might mean that you have not added as many new projects to replace current ones. Over time, if backlogs completely run out, that means companies may lose a significant amount of potential income.

How Significant Have California’s Backlogs Been in Recent Years?
Of course, backlogs are region-specific as well as related to the specialty. Anyone who lives in California should be well aware that the state has had a significant backlog of housing and commercial projects that could extend out for several years. The changing economy can throw this into flux. If land prices remain high and investors remain wary, it’s likely that new construction starts will drop. If prices go down or if the economy rebounds strongly, investors may feel more comfortable about funding construction projects.

What Does a Loss in Backlogs Indicate for the Coming Years?
In the middle of a crisis, it is difficult to predict what will happen in the next five years. After all, in 2010, it wouldn’t have been unusual to claim that California would never have the same kind of construction momentum that it had in 2005 or 2006. Yet the industry rebounded and moved even faster. In the short term, it is likely that the loss of backlogs means that you may need to take fewer risks with your cash flow, or find other ways to protect your income.

What Can Contracting Businesses Do to Protect Future Income?
It might seem logical to extend projects to increase your backlog, if only to protect cash flow. But in this case, efficiency is more likely to win the day. Think about the ways that you waste time or money unnecessarily right now, and cut back. Focus on maintaining cash flow and being realistic about your estimates. Avoid bidding below your costs on projects, as this may only drive a race to the bottom with companies competing against each other to earn less. Instead, focus on providing a value relevant to the current economic climate.

Building a backlog of projects can help to protect your income, but you can’t always count on it. To start building a contracting business you can count on for the rest of your career, visit CSLS today!


Money Management Tips for Your Contracting Business

In order to run a successful business, you have to keep an eye on your money. This is particularly true in the first few years, if you have to do your own accounting. There are lots of reasons to hire a professional to handle your bills and income, but it’s still wise to keep your own tabs on it. Here are a few money management tips to make your business run more smoothly.

Watch Your Cash Flow
When you handle your personal expenses, you probably wait until you have income before you pay the bills. But what happens when you have more bills to pay than income to handle it? What do you do when you have a lot of money that comes out at one time, while the income slowly trickles in? Keeping an eye on your cash flow helps to ensure that you have the money to pay the bills when they come due. This also helps you to avoid having to make tough decisions, like determining whether to pay yourself or pay the rent on your workspace.

Beware of Excessive Overhead
Overhead is a term used to describe the bills you have to pay from the revenue that you bring in. If you have a lot of bills to pay, cash flow may be a bigger problem for you. A lot of people working in construction need to pay for:

  • Labor
  • Equipment rentals
  • Supplies
  • Workspace
  • Services

You may have to make some decisions about whether or not to buy or rent equipment, or how much inventory of supplies you keep on hand. Keeping this in balance gives you more flexibility with your income.

Minimize Debt Load
It’s hard to run a business without incurring any debt, particularly if you did not have a significant amount of savings to start with. However, running up a lot of debt can increase your overhead. If you have to choose between paying credit cards or a line of credit on the equipment and supply purchases and paying the people who work for you, you will be in a very difficult position. Be strategic about your choices to get into debt for the business. Sometimes, it may be unavoidable. At other times, there may be alternatives that make more sense, like delaying a purchase.

Don’t Forget to Invoice
When you are traditionally employed with a regular boss, you don’t have to worry too much about when you’re going to get paid. You just wait until payday and get your money. As a business owner, you have to ensure that you receive payment for services. And while this may seem obvious, it can be more difficult than you think. When you agree to a contract for a business or a private property owner, you may need to bill them throughout the project and at the conclusion. Then you have to wait for payment according to the stipulations of your contract. If you forget to invoice, you may end up waiting longer for the money.

Pay Bills on Time
Many construction fields require you to have a decent setup of equipment and supplies before you can start to offer services. This means that you may have bills before you have reliable income in which to pay them. Write down all of your expenses or use an accounting program that helps you keep track of them. Ensure that each of your bills can be paid on time whenever they are due. This will help you to avoid late fees, which can make it more difficult to manage your cash flow.

Money management is just one more way you can set yourself up to be a great licensed contractor. Passing the exam is the first part. To discover the benefits of expert exam preparation, contact CSLS today!

How Do Environmental Regulations Affect Your Contracting Business?

As the owner of a contracting business, your work might require you to take certain precautions related to environmental regulations. There are quite a few of them, and the ones you’ll work with depend on the jobs you do. Here are a few of the most common you can expect to encounter while you’re on the jobsite.

Clean Water
Everybody needs clean water to drink. Part of the way that we achieve this is by sending water supply through water treatment to test for and remove contaminants. But while this provides a moderate level of protection, it doesn’t ensure that there will always be clean water under all circumstances. As the owner of a contracting business, you may need to take care to ensure that debris from your jobsite does not end up in the local water supply. Environmental regulations may dictate how close you can set up to sources of water, as well as how you dispose of waste when you are done.

Dust Management
When you are working on a construction site, you have to manage what you bring in and use, as well as what you unearth in the process of your work. For example, lead is a naturally occurring element that can be toxic if people inhale or consume it. Lead was also a common material used in construction, particularly in plumbing and paint. If you are renovating or demolishing an old building, you will need to pay attention to whether or not you may stir up lead dust in the process. Careful mitigation of harmful toxins like lead or silica can minimize the likelihood of illness or injury to people living and working nearby.

Hazardous Waste Disposal
Many construction jobs require the use of possibly hazardous materials for manufacturing, building or cleaning. While this may seem like an uncommon part of your job, you may actually be dealing with hazardous waste disposal on a regular basis. For example, you need to have a plan to dispose of paint that you do not need and cannot use for another project. Similarly, it’s unsafe to leave piles of debris around the jobsite. Proper disposal ensures that it doesn’t blow down wind or get caught up in the water supply. Waste materials don’t have to be actively toxic or poisonous in order to represent a hazard. There are many natural elements that can still cause significant harm, like mold.

Why Environmental Regulations Exist
If you pay attention to politics, you’ll notice that politicians will often write laws dictating the way that businesses need to run in order to protect the environment. On the other side, you may see politicians who want to limit these kinds of regulations because of the ways that they can make running a business more difficult. As a business owner, you will need to balance these two perspectives. You don’t want to accidentally harm the people near a jobsite, but you also need to get your work done. Understanding the environmental regulations that are most common for your field and what you should do about them will minimize the hassle that you face on a regular basis.

When you own a contracting business, you’ll need to follow a lot of rules to ensure that you can keep it running smoothly. To find out how to get started, visit CSLS today!

Skills You Need for a Career in Construction

Construction’s a great industry to work in, but it helps if you can start off on the right foot. Although most jobs give you some flexibility, others may require you to spend a lot of time on your feet or working with your hands. Your ability to succeed in your field depends on the skills that you bring to the table. If you’re thinking about starting in construction but you’re not sure if you’re a good candidate, here are a few skills to develop as you decide.

Problem Solving
Like many jobs, construction requires you to solve problems on a regular basis. Some of them might call for you to act quickly, while others demand a thorough analysis and a careful response. You will need to practice different approaches to common issues in your field, so that you are ready to address them as they come. For example, learning how to handle a minor dispute about the details of a contract may help you to avoid escalating it into a major crisis. Although this is something that often comes with experience, the ability to analyze all sides of a problem and draw the best conclusion from there will make it easier to avoid mistakes in the first few years.

Quick Thinking
In most careers, your decisions don’t usually put your coworkers at immediate physical risk. Construction is somewhat unique in this arena. In many construction fields, the decisions that you make from minute to minute can ensure an ideal outcome for your project, or create disastrous consequences for your business and the people working with you. Quick thinking comes with practicing the job, but also analyzing the risks inherent in any particular task. The more you know in advance, the easier it is to make a decision on the fly, when moments matter.

Good Communication
As the owner of a contracting business, you will be communicating with:

  • Prospective and current clients
  • Subcontractors
  • Contractors
  • Employees

You need to be able to get your point across clearly, simply and in the right format. This means studying up on basic communication techniques for emails, phone calls and even text messages. It also includes developing an understanding of the different methods people use to communicate, and which ones are best for the task at hand.

Math and Simple Accounting
If you were a high school student who wondered when you would ever use math knowledge after school, you might be surprised to discover how much you use it in construction. And it’s not just the ability to determine the correct angle or measure something before you cut it. At first, you might be doing a lot of your own finances for your contracting business. Being able to correctly estimate items on an invoice or figure out how much income you need to balance your expenses is a skill you need for your business to survive. You don’t have to be an expert at mental math. You just need the basics, and the ability to find apps that will help you.

Willingness to Learn
You’ll often hear education experts say that they can teach someone how to do something, but they can’t instruct them how to care about learning it. Although construction is an industry that’s been around for thousands of years, it is in a constant state of change. New technologies, equipment and building practices are always just over the next horizon. This means that once you’ve mastered the skill, there’s a high likelihood that you will need to relearn it in a different way within a few years. The ability to do this, and the eagerness to do so, can help ensure that your skills remain current and that your business can stay relevant with the changes.

Building a career in construction calls for a lot of basic skills that you may already have. To see if you’ve got what it takes to start your own contracting business, visit CSLS today!

How Your Contracting Business Can Practice Social Distancing on the Jobsite

For the moment, social distancing seems to be the order of the day. While you can still do work, your contracting business needs to be accomplishing as much as possible. But trying to do that while you stay six feet apart from everyone else and avoid touching things feels impossible. Here are five things you can do to keep your workplace and jobsite safer, with a few concerns to note along the way.

Ensure Access to Sanitizing Implements
When you’re working on a job site, things tend to be a bit rougher than they might be inside a workshop or office. Instead of standard bathrooms, you might be dealing with portable toilets. However, this is one of the most important times to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to wash their hands and to keep the place sanitary. Your health literally depends on it. If the site where you are working doesn’t already have these tools, bring them in. Request additional assistance from clients if necessary.

Structure Tasks for Maximum Distance
Depending on the type of work that you do, you might have several employees working at various points on the job site. Or you might have two or three people working head-to-head. If you’re in the former category, keeping a minimum distance of 6 feet might be easy. If you’re in the latter, you may need to rethink your workflow. The reason for social distancing is that if someone coughs or sneezes, the droplets can only go so far. Ensuring a safe distance between workers minimizes the chance of contact.

Clean Each Station Between Tasks
Outside of industries like healthcare where absolute cleanliness is vital, most employees may not be accustomed to cleaning the area where they were just working. To understand the importance of cleaning stations, tools, and reusable protective gear, imagine that you’re just about to follow someone at the gym. When a person is done using a particular piece of equipment at the gym, it is a standard practice to wipe down everything that they may have touched. That’s mostly to keep the equipment from getting gross, but you can see how it applies to keeping your workplace sanitary. Providing anti-microbial wipes or sprays in various places will make it easier for people to clean up when they are done with a task.

Encourage Practical Use of PPE
Many industries have diverted significant numbers of supplies of personal protective equipment to the healthcare sector. This is because there has been a dramatic shortage of PPE like:

  • N95 masks
  • Sterile gloves
  • Protective gear to limit contact with eyes

Even if you don’t think you or any of your employees have contracted COVID-19, you may not necessarily be able to assume that nobody could. The virus has an incubation period of 7-14 days, which means that somebody may have it for up to two weeks before they see any symptoms. This doesn’t mean that everybody needs to suit up like a hazmat expert before they start work for the day, but maintaining a reasonable commitment to regular cleaning and the use of PPE as needed can minimize transmission.

Implement a Sickness Protocol
If you haven’t already significantly changed your standards for how to handle a worker who is obviously sick, now is the time. The last thing that you want is to have an employee infected with COVID-19 coming to work because they feel like they have no recourse. Take a moment to examine new federal policies concerning paid leave for workers who have COVID-19. And then make sure that everybody on your team understands that they need to stay home when they are sick.

While construction remains an essential service for the state of California, you may need to continue going to the jobsite and finishing projects as needed. Taking this advice can help you minimize your risk. For more information about building a safe contracting business, 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!

What Happens When Your Contracting Field Is Headed Toward Automation

Although it feels like construction is going through a lot of changes toward streamlining processes and automation, it really takes many years to drastically alter the function of the industry. You can probably think of many fields that used to include a lot of long work by hand that are now easily done by a machine, in some cases without the careful attention of an expert operator. At present, some jobs may eventually be replaced as a result of automation. Here’s what to watch for, and what you can do once you see the writing on the wall.

Watch Innovations in Similar Industries
Since construction tends to be an industry that adopts technology relatively late, it’s important to keep an eye on what is happening in other similar industries. You can also keep track of the trends in your field in other parts of the country, or in the world as a whole. For example, a burst of development in autonomous equipment in the mining industry made adaptation for the construction industry much quicker. These developments aren’t necessarily a bad thing, especially since so many of these jobs currently go unfilled. But if you want to know what’s going to happen to your job in the next 10-20 years, you should pay close attention to people who do similar types of work as you in different parts of the economy.

Keep Track of Automation-Heavy Fields
Although automation is starting to happen in nearly every aspect of the industry, there are certain fields that are in the process of big improvements right now. Professional trades like:

  • Carpentry
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical

could have as many as half of their existing jobs automated within the next 30-40 years. That seems pretty far out at this point, but it’s not likely to happen overnight. If you’re planning on going into one of these fields, you may want to pay attention to what experts believe the job forecasts will look like in the next 10 years.

Avoid Knee-Jerk Reactions
When you start to think that your job may be rendered unnecessary, it is tempting to stick your head in the sand and pretend that it won’t happen to you. But this is possibly the worst choice you could make. In industries with rapid development like information technology, people can see their jobs become obsolete within a couple of years. By comparison, you probably have some time to prepare. And if you take that opportunity, you have a much higher chance of remaining relevant.

Study the Latest Techniques
The fact is the technology cannot replace the entire construction industry. There will still be a need for lots of skilled workers who can operate or monitor machinery that produces structures. If you want to have one of those jobs, you need to know how to do these things. Innovations are developing on a regular basis, and what might be a standard practice now could be extremely outdated five years from now. Paying attention to these developments, testing out new techniques whenever you have the chance, and considering adopting them into your business practices gives you the best chance at beating the competition.

Consider Changing Fields
If ever there was a case for expanding your educational opportunities, a change in the construction industry would be it. The last thing that you need is to find yourself stuck in a niche part of your field where you will struggle to diversify your services. Instead, be flexible enough that you can change your business model if it becomes clear that your field can’t sustain the number of workers in it right now. Adding an extra classification to your license or teaming up with someone in another field to provide a more complete service package are a couple of ways you could consider doing this.

Discovering that your intended career is likely to be automated in a few decades isn’t ideal. Making a plan now can help you figure out how to make your business work for the future. To begin on your construction career path, 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.

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!