10 Questions for a Successful Contractor’s Business

Two men in hard hats, who appear to be contractors, are looking at a tablet.

It can difficult to be objective about the strengths and weaknesses of your own business. We have compiled a list of the top ten questions to ask for a successful contracting business so you can make an assessment of your own and implement changes that might not have made it into your top priorities yet. Read the questions below and see if you are inspired to tweak your approach to any part of your business.

1. What is my Vision for the Company?

While it may be obvious to some, the fact remains that it is absolutely critical to have a vision of what kind of Contracting Business you are running in order to educate yourself on and secure your market position.

2. What is my Vision for Leadership?

Consistency, dependability and fairness are trademarks of a strong leader. What is your expectation of employees in their conduct towards you? How do you want respect to be demonstrated? How does all this factor into your work culture?

3. Do I Continue Education & Training?

Having a system of ongoing training for employees is of great benefit, creating the possibility for more flexibility in your scheduling and building a more competent, confident team. Consider what you can have at the ready to educate your crew for a few hours on rainy days.

4. Do my Team Members have Diversified Training?

A natural extension of the education and training concept, workers with diverse capabilities will naturally ease scheduling, but it will also keep your productivity strong and profitable.

5. Do I Communicate Directions and Goals Daily?

It is always advisable to maintain a habit of daily meetings with your team in which you outline the goals for projects on a longterm and shortterm basis. Not every target will be met, but it makes sure that everyone is aiming in the right direction, providing focus and inspiration.

6. Have I Promoted a Work Culture With Laughter?

You might not expect this to be a top ten priority, but that is because it is often overlooked in general.  The effects of a positive work environment are huge; reducing stress and encouraging cooperation and communication. Acknowledge success and share laughter for loyal, productive employees.

7. Am I Finding and Fostering Strong Field Leaders?

Despite the fact that you might prefer to be everywhere at once, contractors are limited by the same physical laws as dentists and accountants. Be sure to have effective field leaders or foremen on top of the daily to-do so you can attend to the responsibilities that you alone are able to accomplish. Do this and and observe the improvements in profits and performance.

8. Is There a Sense of Urgency or Emergency?

If your employees are kept in a constant state of “panic mode” they will burn out, lose enthusiasm and eventually move on to more livable job prospects. However, urgency is a desirable mode of operation for your projects. You can encourage this by clearly communicating your expectations and sharing the successes and failures of the company with your workers.

9. Do I Have a Worthwhile Incentive Plan?

Your team is as strong as its members. Keeping your strongest and competent workers around longer is just good business. You can accomplish this by establishing a performance based reward system of bonuses or incentive-based compensation for your workers, but regardless of what your system is be sure that your workers are familiar with the process and why their work is worth acknowledging.

10. Is my Team Involved In Planning?

The final question is one which really says something about the company culture you’ve developed. If your workers know their jobs intimately, including all the tools, equipment and techniques of their projects then it can be incredibly helpful to have a system in place with which they can provide their input. Once you’ve put in the work to educate your employees, why not utilize their experience and perspective for strategizing on new work?

We hope these questions have been helpful in assessing the current state of your operations and prompted you to look at your company with a new perspective. Education is at the heart of our values at CSLS and we believe that improvement and refining your skills and strategies are a lifetime project. Stay tuned for similar contracting blogs from us and do be sure to share this with anyone who you think would benefit!