Recently, I returned from a relaxing holiday overseas. On the plane, I was sitting beside a lady and after the usual introductions, we got on to the topic of work. When I told Mary what my company did she exclaimed: “Oh, how I wish I knew integrated building industry software existed!”.
Working “IN” the business
Mary and her husband Ted started an electrical contracting business, quite a few years back now. Before they knew it, the business grew and so did Mary’s workload. It was still growing a few years later on. As a result, they were even busier with around 15 staff and vehicles and jobs to manage. Mary said she learnt how to use Excel to get the information she needed. However, she would spend hours trying to get critical business information about their projects that their MYOB software was unable to give them.
Leading into the end of that current financial year, Mary described how she decided to get all their paperwork up to date. The results were interesting. The business financials clearly highlighted what she already suspected, and what Ted was trying to ignore.
After all the client payments had been received and banked and all their creditors, sub-contractors and employees had been paid, plus all the company tax and other liabilities brought up to date, the remaining monies were negligible. They had barely made a profit that year.
Rapid construction company growth gave increased stress.
Mary and Teds’ stress levels increased as the business grew. Stress management in the construction industry was something they hadn’t even thought of before their business expanded. Arguments became more frequent, as they felt they were losing control of their business. They now regretted growing to the size they were in such a relatively short time frame. Mary described in gory detail some of the obstacles she had to overcome. These obstacles however, were insignificant compared to the biggest obstacle she had yet to endure.
Building project estimating skills suddenly disappear
Ted became quite ill due to his increased stress levels. Sadly it all became too much and Ted passed away, despite a great deal of medical attention.
Mary was now left with a dilemma. Building project estimating was Ted’s domain and he took all that knowledge with him. Stress management in the construction industry was not often talked about back then, so Mary was unaware it existed. Struggling for quite some time trying to keep the company running was beginning to take its toll on Mary too. As her stress levels continued to rise, Mary started to experience health problems herself. As a result she made the decision to wind up their construction business.
“Oh, how I wish I knew integrated industry software existed!”
Mary’s story is one we hear all too often. When people come to us they are at a point of feeling like they are losing control of their business. Alternatively, their accountant has informed them they will make little or no profit this year.
People who tell us they feel like they have no control over their business, have in fact recognised, their current processes are not working. Most are using Microsoft Excel for estimating and maybe for project cost management. They then add in some sort of generic accounting software for the financials. In our fast paced construction industry, this just does not cut it! We have very specific needs to meet the legislative requirements of our industry and generic software usually doesn’t fit those specific needs. Not to mention with generic and multiple software packages, comes multiple data entry. So for example: enter the estimate, then enter a manually created purchase order, then enter a manually created tax invoice and so on. The days get longer as the workload increases and stress sneaks up on us before we notice it is there.
Reduce stress by getting construction industry specific software tools to help manage your business
Don’t leave it too late to get help with your building business. Regrets don’t grow a successful business. You need careful planning to grow your business in such a way that you remain in control. So when using integrated construction management software like Bizprac, every staff member’s work is transparent. If the lead estimator was run over by a bus you’d have all their relevant data for all their current jobs and estimated jobs at your fingertips. Zero stress for the business and you. Using integrated construction management software like Bizprac means that workflow is reduced, because there is no need to repeatedly input the same figures to create different documents. And in reducing workflow you’ll find you reduce the need for stress management.
I feel very strongly about stress management in the construction industry. In fact, it’s one of the reasons that I bought Bizprac. Based on my personal experience, I strongly believe that with the right processes and tools in place, we can prevent many construction businesses from failing.
I feel very strongly about stress management in the construction industry and it’s one of the reasons that I bought Bizprac. Based on personal experience, I strongly believe that with the right processes and tools in place, we can prevent many construction businesses from failing.