Construction Business Owner December 2012
Dodge headaches and save money by avoiding these common missteps.
What’s the best defense against a bad employee? Never hiring one in the first place.According to the results of a CareerBuilder.com survey, “a bad hire costs much more than the average cost-per-hire,” with a new hire costing an estimated average of $1,000-$5,000, and a bad hire more than $25,000....
CBO highlights 10 apps that will enhance productivity and communication in the field and on the go.
We’ve been talking quite a bit about the popularity of mobile technology, rugged technology and the BYOD (bring your own device) trend at workplaces here at Construction Business Owner. There are many ways in which both consumer mobile devices and specialized industry devices can improve efficiency...
QuickBooks is more versatile than most contractors realize.
Imagine you’re in the middle of a building project and you take a coffee break with one of your best drywall hangers. In the course of conversation, he mentions that he’s a master electrician. Now, this employee is  more valuable than you realized.While you might not run into this kind of a...
Instant communications for mobile workforces join forces with modern technology.
In today’s age of smartphones, tablets and lightning-fast 4G LTE wireless networks, you might not hear the push-to-talk (PTT) chirp often while strolling down the street or browsing a store. Consumer PTT has quieted over the last several years, as many people now use texting for short, quick...
The American Rental Association explains why many contractors are choosing to rent equipment in order to conserve capital.
Equipment rental has been on the rise in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. The American Rental Association (ARA) forecasts a 9.2-percent increase for construction and industrial equipment rental in 2012 and an 8.9-percent increase in 2013. All signs...
Adopt a digital drawing solution to communicate change orders in real time and minimize associated costs.
How does the contractor prevent change orders? This is the critical question we all face on every project. The customer doesn’t want a change order, the designer doesn’t want to have to review change orders and the subcontractors and material suppliers don’t want to price and manage that change all...
How one company’s holistic approach to safety enriched their program
Safety has always been an important topic in our industry. However, with the onset of larger-scale jobs, increasingly stringent requirements from insurance agencies and tighter schedules, many contractors have had to revisit their long-standing safety practices. Taking a fresh look at safety can...
Contractors who understand how materials impact energy code compliance will have a competitive advantage.
Most commercial building owners want their buildings to have “curb appeal.” Some compete for tenants, others compete for customers and all want to satisfy and attract employees. At some point, whether during construction or renovation, building owners rely on their architects and contractors to...
A general contractor shares the challenges and successes of converting a dilapidated building into a sustainable modern office.
Despite green and sustainable buildings representing only a small percentage of the markets across the United States, the market for such buildings has been growing substantially over the last 15 years. Throughout the 10-year history of our Texas-based contracting firm, Burt-Watts, we have advised...
To change the way we think about civil projects, we must be able to measure the value of sustainable efforts.
Civil infrastructure is everywhere, and it represents our most prevalent footprint on the earth. Considering the 3.9 million miles of public roads, 1.4 million miles of water and wastewater pipes, 157,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, 120,000 miles of railroads, 25,000 miles of...
Don't let compliance requirements scare you away from this lucrative work.
How does a business find more lucrative opportunities? This is a question that all companies face, and in the current economic climate, many construction organizations have found that the answer may be to compete for government business. Not only can government business be a good source of revenue...
Change is constant, but there are always ways to prepare.
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are they who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”     – George Bernard ShawContractors...
Think like an economist to stay ahead of the competition.
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a six-part series titled “The Project Manager’s MBA,” which analyzes six key components of leading business practice and applies them to the construction industry. To read the first article in the series on finance and accounting, click here.Contractors in today...
Tackle challenges aggressively and reignite your passion.
Without new obstacles to attack, new ideas to implement or new opportunities to pursue, business becomes stale and boring. Doing the same thing for five, ten or twenty years gets old and creates rust. Using the same systems with the same strategies and the same people doing business the same way...
Our 100th issue: A look back at opinions from expert authors, longtime readers and industry insiders
Eight years ago, when Cahaba Media launched Construction Business Owner, the construction landscape looked very different. Though the market has changed, the mission of the magazine—to provide the kind of business management knowledge that is of real value to owners—has not. That’s why we are here...
Common ratios for benchmarking against industry standards
While not an all-inclusive list, the following ratios are often used during benchmarking by the construction industry, which are interpreted by the Construction Financial Management Association’s Construction Industry Annual Financial Survey:Liquidity ratios measure a company’s ability to repay its...