Top 10 Non-Negotiables for Professional Builders

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Running a successful construction business requires more than just technical know-how and craftsmanship. It also requires strong business knowledge and a commitment to exceptional customer service. To help you thrive in the industry, we have compiled a list of the top ten non-negotiables that every construction business owner should live by. These rules will not only enhance your professionalism but also foster strong relationships with your clients and ensure the long-term success of your business.


1. Respond Quickly

Return all phone calls the same day or by 9:00 AM the next morning at the latest. Prompt and reliable communication shows your clients that you value their time and concerns. It also helps build trust and maintain a positive reputation for your business.

Contractor Prompt Communication

2. Be on Time

Time is of the essence in the construction industry. Make sure that you attend all scheduled appointments and arrive on time, even early if at all possible. By respecting your clients' schedules, you demonstrate your commitment to professionalism and reliability. It's one of the first interactions your customers will have with you, and showing them you are on time for meetings will give them further assurance you'll be on time for the project.


3. Maintain Professionalism

Present yourself in a professional manner at all times. Dress appropriately, communicate effectively, and conduct yourself with integrity and respect. Your professionalism will instill confidence in your clients and set you apart from the competition.


4. Focus on Customer Needs

Keep your ego in check and focus on understanding the customer's needs. Listen attentively, ask good questions, and tailor your services to meet their specific requirements. By putting the customer first, you position yourself as the right partner for the job.

Contractor with homeowner

5. Qualify Your Customers

Interview the customer to see if they qualify to buy from you. Not every project or client is the right fit for your business. By assessing the customer's expectations, budget, and timeline, you can ensure a mutually beneficial partnership. Getting this right is the difference between a successful project and a potential headache.


6. Document Quotes

Get written quotes for items exceeding a few hundred dollars on your estimate. Clear and detailed documentation protects both you and your clients, minimizing misunderstandings and disputes in the future. Without doing this, pricing fluctuations and misunderstandings can eat directly into the bottom line and threaten the profitability of the job.


7. Determine Your Margin

Determine your correct margin and use it consistently. Proper pricing is essential for profitability. By understanding your costs and applying a consistent margin, you can ensure sustainable growth and avoid underpricing or overpricing your services. Also, remember that margin is not the same as markup, so make sure you know the difference.


8. Manage Overhead

Honor your overhead budget and spend accordingly. Keeping your expenses in check is crucial for maintaining financial stability. Regularly review and control your overhead costs to maximize profitability. Be thoughtful about what expenses are necessary for your business and prioritize them accordingly.

contractor finances


9. Invest in Education

Continuously educate yourself in the construction business. Stay updated on the latest industry trends, techniques, and regulations. By investing in your knowledge and skills, you position yourself as an expert in your field and deliver top-quality results. Not only that, but by expanding your knowledge, you also give yourself the best chances for future opportunities.


10. Pay Yourself a Salary

Take a fixed salary from your business each month. As a business owner, it's important to pay yourself consistently. This practice ensures your personal financial stability and allows you to separate your personal and business finances effectively.


Following these ten non-negotiables will set you on the path to success as a construction business owner. They will help you build a reputation for excellence, foster strong client relationships, and ensure the long-term growth and profitability of your business.


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