One of the big questions I am asked as a general contractor is, “How are you structured?” This can be a tricky question to answer. I do it all, everything from answering phone calls to completing a project on my own. I’ve received mixed emotions from clients about that. Some clients think it’s awesome that I am so involved in all aspects, and comfortable with the fact that I am on the job. Yet others give me the deer in the headlights look and then ask, “Are you sure you can handle this project?”
I have been in business for almost 10 years now and in the construction field much longer. I have always prided myself for being onsite every day and doing the work myself. It has given the client a sense of comfort knowing the owner of the company is on the site and available. However, over the years I became frustrated because I’d see competitors growing their business while mine stayed the same. It’s the reason I now structure my company by using specialists in the respective fields: plumbers, electricians, contractors who specialize in hanging drywall and molding, etc. Some people call them sub-contractors but I call them specialty contractors because they specialize in certain areas and have mastered their skill. This not only frees up my time to spend more time talking with the client, making them feel special, but it also allows me to become more creative for each project. By using specialists, the jobs get done faster or on time and the specialists are understanding of everyone’s time and schedule.
What do you do when you want to grow your business? You do what all successful entrepreneurs do. You hire a coach. Over the past few years, I have worked with a few that specialize in different areas of my business but all of them have come to the same conclusion: get off the job and hire specialists who are licensed in their field. That way I can work on the business and not in the business. It has been an adjustment trying to change the way I did things for so many years. It has only been a short few months, but I already see jobs starting and completing faster and on budget. This is a win-win because everyone is happy, the client, me and my specialty contractors.
I have truly loved running this business and working on projects myself with my clients. However, as we’ve grown, I am grateful to have been given the advice by my coaches and have the talented specialty contractors join my team so I can continue to grow Baden Contracting.