The construction market in Florida has thankfully sustained momentum through the pandemic, although with the exception of certain markets and segments hit hard by the restrictions and precautions enacted since March.  Oftentimes contractors who work primarily in the private market—both residential and commercial—are given that work due to a relationship with the client or a mutual contact.  Typically, this is the only form of vetting these private clients do, especially when they may not have another construction need for quite some time in the future.  It is not really vetting at all, but it is easy, and it feels nice to trust in the connection.   Oftentimes, we see the trust platform emerging not from a former relationship, but rather from a shared heritage from each party’s country of origin prior to arriving in the United States.  It doesn’t really matter how a contractor and a client in need of the building or trade service connect: what ultimately matters is the ability to complete the project with mutual satisfaction and with the business relationship intact.  A contractor can utilize the relationship for referrals, and under their license have an obligation to do so.

We sometimes meet potential new clients who reach out to us with staffing challenges.  When we meet with the owner or hiring manager, we discover that, although they are correct in desiring additional staff, attracting and keeping the right staff they need may not be as simple as they imagine.  We usually do not take on the staffing assignment until they can provide the right company structure to attract and maintain the right people they need. Oftentimes as they are discussing their challenges, my heart aches for both the contractor and their clients, for they are headed for a disaster that is not that easy to fix, especially if budget and time restrictions are evident.

Hiring staff for projects is only one side of the equation. 

The more qualified and reliable construction industry professionals, in leadership, management, accounting and administration, have choices.  Even if you happen to hit them during a lay-off and they agree to join your team, if the employer does not offer a secure future that meets the mutual expectations, I guarantee it will be a short-term endeavor.  The more emotionally intelligent candidates will be more consonant with timing for a resignation and try their best not to burn a bridge or hurt your endeavors further, but will not stay if they do not see the professionalism to which they are accustomed.

We read in Proverbs that “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1, NIV).  Although any business learns by their mistakes, in construction there is usually a bigger price than a typical business, for construction mistakes can literally be deadly. Construction as an industry needs people who want to increase the industry’s reputation more than they want to serve their own interests. People outside the industry cannot necessarily distinguish between the good and bad contractors, but a bad experience with a contractor can deter them from working with our industry in the future.  And even if they do work with our industry again, it won’t be with the cause of their dissatisfaction.

Here are a few of our past articles that provide helpful tips on building a reputation and business that will put you in a position to attract and keep the best clientele and the best personnel.  This will help you uphold the foundation of sustainable growth needed for your business and team.

Other industry articles found at:

Construction is a team sport, and your team is only as good as the owner, coach, and team members inside it. Your clients trust you to deliver the project for them on time, within budget, and with the quality they contracted you to deliver.  It is not easy, but it is necessary, not only for the sustainability of your company, but also for the reputation of the construction industry itself.

To You – The Entrusted One,

Suzanne Breistol

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