TV’s construction guru on what it takes to make it in the business and how technological innovation is shaping the industry.
What’s the biggest misconception behind a career in the construction industry?
It is the general public, or maybe the white collar world, that looks at the trades as a lower paid, less educated, limited future, and not necessarily as a business. I think that’s a big misconception: this is a business, and you can turn it into a massive business. You have to be highly educated to go into specialties, there is good earning potential, and the only difference is the amount of sweat you may drop during the day.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to a construction business entrepreneur?
My one piece of advice to the younger people in the trades is to take an online course, go to night school, and learn how to run a business. Because you can be the most highly skilled person in the world at your specific trade, but if you don’t know how to run a business, you won’t be able to do the marketing, make the sales, account for everything, pay your taxes, put a little bit away for a raining day. Grow your business and actually enjoy it and profit from it.
For someone just starting out with a construction business, what is one common mistake that could be avoided?
You need to put the hours in. I think the guys that first get into business and pay everyone else to do the work, that’s where the mistake is. You need to put in the hours, put in the sweat equity. You need to keep going, keep doing it.
Are there certain steps you take during every building project to ensure long term success of the project?
We make sure we are starting every project with clear expectations and understandings of the homeowner and of ourselves and we make sure that they line up. It really is communication, communication, communication. That is the No. 1 cause of any breakdown in any business relationship. Be open and honest, and you really can’t go wrong.
How has your team embraced technology over the past decade?
In a couple of ways. The availability of tools, new laser measuring devices, 3D devices, and all kinds of things help speed up our process. The other side is smart home technology in general has changed so much. You can plan things more offsite, put more things in the blueprint and the planning process upfront. We can create, change, and modify things in real time in 3D right in front of the customers face, so that’s helped with decision making. I think it general it has really opened the door to communication at the end of the day.
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