As I sit down to write my annual list of resolutions for contractors, I am amazed at how much things changed in 2020. Construction was going well and then, in March 2020, COVID-19 hit. At first, we thought it was going to be a disaster for the construction industry. States, cities and towns shut down projects and many applied for PPP loans. Then, something amazing happened. Construction was considered an essential service and everyone was back to work.  That said, the work world changed: companies were donating their PPE to frontline workers, COVID-19 protocols had to be followed and paperwork had to be filed. Everyone was scrambling to figure out how to comply and keep their businesses going. So, you may or may not ask, what was I, as a construction lawyer doing? I spent March and April thinking about the new risks contractors/construction companies were facing and developing contract clauses to protect the industry. I wrote a number of blog posts with clauses to add to your contra

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

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