Build Your Construction Business Like McDonald’s Makes Burgers

It’s often been said that McDonald’s is a billion-dollar company that is run by teenagers. If you’ve ever looked up at their signs that say billions and billions served, it’s hard to believe that a bunch of teenagers could do so much. But how? And how can you take some of the lessons that were engineered by Ray Croc to build a construction business that can do the same for you?

Most people that start out and build a construction business are usually people that start off as an employee of another construction company. Most of the time, they are extremely good at what they day. Be it being a framer, a cabinet installer, a flooring installer, a roofer, or even a plumber. They are a great worker and know how to do the job right. Some might even say that they do an even better job than the boss that they work for. They do such a great job that some start telling them that they should break off and build their own construction business with those skills they have. That’s when “Bobs Plumbing” is born, “Todd Thompson Roofing” is established, “Gary Shultz Flooring” is incorporated. All these so-called construction businesses are built and created with the owner and experts name all over it.

The problem is, these construction businesses are built with the goal of having the owner operate every single aspect of the business. From acquiring the work, bidding the work, doing the work, supplying the tools and supplies needed for the work, billing the work, collecting the money, balancing the books, paying the taxes, paying business licenses, and the list goes on and on. The once great “plumber” that did superior plumbing for a company he once worked for is now having to put that skill to the side to learn a dozen new skills he’s never had to deal with before. Before long, this new business owner begins to burn out and tired of doing everything on his own.

This is why more than 90% of business owners fail in America. They are built as a single unit or individual running the entire show. The way to build a great construction business is by using the same formula that Ray Croc, founder of McDonald’s, used to build one of the most successful companies in the world.

What Ray Croc did was see a burger business that provided not just hamburgers and fries, but a system that provided burgers and fries. He saw how by systemizing every single part of the business into small individual smaller bits could simplify the whole process of making burgers. He was a big fan of Henry Ford’s assembly line and how Henry revolutionized the industry. By having one person work on one task and master that task and having another work another section and master that, he made building a car into a streamlined business.  One person puts the tranny together, another the radiator, another the frame, and yet another person works on the rims and tires. Each person mastering each position.

Ray Croc did the same thing with McDonald’s.  One person is trained in just a few days to run and operate the register and only the register. Another is trained to build a burger. Another is set on the fryers. Another set on drive-thru. Each person is taught within a week or so on how to do their sole specific job and only that specific job. Why? A McDonalds with all those people running it works smoothly and predictably. If a cashier fails to show up or does not work out, a replacement can be put in place in a week. A burger assembler quits, no problem. Another can be hired, trained, and put on the line within weeks. The business does not fall apart with the missing of a single person. It keeps moving on. No person has the power to sink the business with them not being there. It is the system that keeps it going and specific job assigned to numerous people.

A construction business built by a single individual completely fails with the owner not being there. “Bob’s Plumbing” is only “Bob’s Plumbing” with Bob there. Without Bob, it is done. He is the marketer, the bidder, the plumber, the tool supplier, the parts supplier, the secretary, the bookkeeper, the bill collector, the revenue collector, and everything else in between. The best way to build construction business is to build it as a system that supplies plumbing for example. You must build it with the vision to see far ahead that every part of the business is broken down into many smaller jobs.

The best way to build a construction business is to build it with the intent of having it all operate without you, the owner, ever being there. Just like Ray Croc did and still operates without being here himself.

All of this was brought to our attention by a small but very productive tree service company in San Luis Obispo. The owner Tony tells us that it is Ray Croc that inspired him to start a tree service company which he would then systemize and have it operating like a well-oiled machine. He is doing just that with his business and is prepared to go for the long haul in doing so. You can check out his business at

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