If you’re in the construction business and have gotten bigger in size over the year then you sure as hell have employees. Once you got a good home remodeling crew, a fantastic concrete group, or you are a framer and have some good-ol-boys that can frame things up in no time at all, you want to keep it going and working great to keep your construction business growing. Face it, without good employees, your business will wither away and die. You need them. But, with having employees, come all sorts of rules and compliance that you must follow.
Things like giving your workers two 15 minute breaks a day, making sure that they take a lunch break at the proper time and make sure that they do not go past the “5th hour” without taking a lunch because more potential penalties will start to really pile up. In states like California, fines for those types of violation can run into the thousands. Then you have some states requiring businesses to add sick time and sick pay to your payroll too. It never ends!
All of these employee compliance rules cost employers thousands of dollars a year.
And how does this happen?
Politicians and their campaign promise to supposedly “help the little guy” from the clutches of these big bad businesses that take advantage of hard working folks. The poor worker does all the work and the greedy business owner, like you, the owner of a construction business, keep all of the money all to yourself.
It really is a great way to get elected right? I mean, workers outnumber business owners in construction businesses by al least 10 to 1. It is an easy way for politicians to woo hard-working Americans into voting for them and their stupid employee compliance rules. Little do all these employees realize that business owners profits are actually quite slim. There are some businesses that only bring in some slim 10% returns. With such slim returns, construction business owners will always look for ways to cut expenses. What this means is that they may lower the hours the give, cut out some benefits they provide, freeze hiring, or worst, start to lay people off. All these added expenses don’t come at a cost. Employees are pretty much shooting themselves in the foot thinking they can get politicians to get their employers to give them better perks when the complete opposite takes place.
So, how can you as a construction business owner start to change things?
It’s actually not that difficult to do, and if every single small business in America began to do this, a lot of this unnecessary regulation would never even get on a ballot.
It’s simple really. Let your employees know more about the actual business that you run and how they are an integral part of it operating smoothly. Let them know how you bid on jobs, how you calculate cost, how much materials cost, taxes that must be paid, and how you come up with the numbers that also include their wages. Even be upfront with them about what type of profits you expect to make on a job. Be transparent. I bet a whole lot of the employees you hire probably already like you on a personal level!
The thing here is to let them know what really takes place in a construction business. Let them understand that you put up all the risk and money to do the work and that is why you take a profit. A profit you use to further grow your business and also provide a good life for your family. You see, your employees will see the sacrifices that you make to get work and make a living. They will begin to see the inner working of how a job is bidded in a way so that everybody wins. Customers get great quality work, employees get more hours and more work, and the owner makes a profit. They will start to see how they themselves can help lower the costs of jobs to help increase profits, thus allowing for added raises and even benefits.
If every construction business owner were to do this, then those 10 to 1 ratios politicians love will become completely one-sided. The employee will always side with his boss. The employee will see the conniving snakes in the grass those politicians are with their weak promises.
Special thanks to a special crew out in Las Vegas, NV and their business Great West Asphalt Paving Las Vegas that helped us out with a lot of the information on this post.