Build Your Business by Going the Extra Mile

Three bricklayers are working on a job site. The first describes his job as "laying brick," while the second says he's "building a wall." But the third explains he's "constructing a children's cancer research facility."

It's a telling tale of how employees perceive their jobs and, consequently, how much they bring to them. When you take on a project, there's a choice about how to approach it: View the job as a structure and do the minimum work to get the job done or, like the third bricklayer, elevate the job beyond the ordinary.

A common error among contractors is to assume that employees only need to know the minimum about the projects they are working on. In reality, the building is being built for a myriad of purposes unrelated to the bricks and mortar of construction. Knowing the end product and its purpose can mean the difference between a successful project and mediocrity.

Letting employees in on details makes them feel like part of a construction team, not just a number on a construction site. Employees tend to think only of their duties. They develop a micro-view of the company, rarely seeing their role in the bigger picture.

When the employees are encouraged to think in larger terms - they also start to consider ways to make the bottom line of your company healthier.

Adding your own expertise to projects is a great marketing strategy. Knowing the building's purpose lets you gauge when specific materials or sizes aren't the best for the project. For example, medium grade flooring may not be the best choice for a heavily used area, so you might suggest a better grade. If you can demonstrate your knowledge to an owner, you are putting yourself in a better position to get the job. And your reputation for quality work and money-saving tactics also puts you in good standing with future customers.

Competition can be fierce today. Contractors are judged by both the quality of their work and their ability to add value to a project in any way possible. The best place to start is to ensure that what you're building suits the owner's needs. You can accomplish that by asking the right questions and by sharing the information with your employees.

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