Sunday, November 10, 2019

Why You Should Find a Mentor in Construction

I represent many, many contractors and construction companies.  Some have never been sued or seen the inside of a courtroom over the life of their business.  Others have had more than one dispute and seem to be fending off attacks on a regular basis.  Owning a construction business is about more than being a skilled contractor.  It's also about running a business.

In law, a coach once told me there were three aspects to running a law firm: finding, minding and grinding.  In other words, you have to find the clients.  That involves marketing, networking, word of mouth, advertising, you name it.  Minding is running the business.  There's the accounting, employee management and interaction with clients.  Finally, there's doing the work.

The reality is, no one can be an expert in every aspect of a business.  So, do an honest self-assessment, or have a "retreat" with your team.  What are your goals? Where are you succeeding?  What can you delegate? Are there areas that need improvement?

I have a number of clients who are involved in more than one lawsuit.  They are probably great at building, but in my experience, their communication skills are lacking.  They could use some guidance in how to interact better with customers and avoid unresolved disputes.

That's where mentors come in.  The most successful contractors I know talk to other people in the business.  They belong to construction groups where more experienced builders mentor those who are starting out.  These mentors help them address the weaknesses in their business.

It is hard to recognize that we have skills that could use improvement, but admitting that we need help is the first step in making your construction business more successful.  Contact a builder you admire and take them out for coffee.  Most people will be flattered and happy to help.  Your business will benefit as a res