10 Common Contractor Mistakes to look out for

Published On 17/5/2021
Author : Naman Shah

Any project you undertake will involve some degree of risk be it estimation challenges or safety issues, preparing for such risks will help smooth even the more difficult projects. 

Nevertheless, we see many contractors making common mistakes when implementing their everyday workflows. Some contractors neglect crucial safety measures, while others are dependent on manual processes to prepare budget and layouts. Recognizing these blunders is an important first step in preventing them in the future.

Here are some of the most common blunders:

1. Unreliable Budgeting

Building a budget is often as important as building a building in construction work. Your business must be able to accurately estimate project costs by taking into account material, labor, supplier, and customer variables. You'll be able to give customers more accurate quotes and avoid underestimating your costs this way. Estimating software can help you consider specific details such as the cost per square foot of material or the cost per hour of labor.

2. Disregarding safety 

In any workplace, safety is critical. Accidents and injuries affect the construction industry disproportionately, and contractors who disregard safety risk incurring high costs and project delays. An employee could be seriously injured or killed in a single slip/fall accident. This is why contractors should always put safety first on the job.

Getting the right equipment (wearables, interconnected systems, heart rate monitors, etc.) in place and educating staff on how to use them is the first step toward ensuring employee safety.

3. Bidding without a plan and blueprint

A lot of times, major building contracts are won through competitive bids. As a result, you’ll need a blueprint and a strategy to present competitive prices to clients. However, this should not tell you to provide them the lowest price available. Unreasonably low bids would result in additional costs down the road, eventually making you realize you can’t sustain the price you presented. 

Alternatively, concentrate on areas where you can save money without giving up on quality. You may have a greater understanding of a construction process than others, or you may have access to reduced rates for a particular material. To attract clients and ventures, use your competitive advantage.

4. Substandard accounting practices

The best way to avoid high expenses and improve the bottom line is to keep track of your finances in real time. Many contractors, on the other hand, are behind in their accounting procedures. If you're still using spreadsheets or taking too long to record expenses, such errors could prevent you from reaching your financial objectives.

To simplify manual procedures and minimise human error, consider using accounting software. Hiring an accountant or accounting firm to keep the accounts in order is also a smart idea.

5. Recruiting unqualified workers

India’s construction sector is one of the nation’s top employers. Yet, a large chunk of talented employees are migrating to other industries, like technology and finance. You'll need qualified workers to help you implement innovative tools (such as AI, automation, and data analytics) as they become more common in construction. Hiring the incorrect people would result in higher costs and lower efficiency. Unskilled and untrained workers have a direct impact on site safety.

6. Mediocre subcontractor management

Your subcontractors reflect and represent your firm’s overall quality of job. Many contractors try to save money by employing the cheapest subcontractors they can find, but the quality of their work suffers as a result. Your subcontractors represent the overall quality of your company's work. Many contractors try to save money by employing the cheapest subcontractors they can find, but the quality of their work suffers as a result. This is why you should thoroughly vet subcontractors by looking at their ratings, past projects, and customer service levels.

7. Improper care of equipment

Predictive maintenance of construction machines, whether you own or whether you rent them, will help cut costs in the long run. Contractors sometimes make the mistake of neglecting their equipment while still expecting it to work.

Establish maintenance plans for your bulldozers, cranes, excavators, and other equipment to avoid needless downtime. Using sensors that relay signals in real time are an even better option. This will allow you to determine when particular machines need to be serviced.

8. Poor quality management

Many contractors lack the necessary checks and balances to ensure that their workflows are of high quality. You won't be able to achieve continuity and customer satisfaction for any completed project unless you have proper controls in place. Make sure you create a quality control system from the top down.

9. Not using construction software

You're making a major mistake if you're still using manual methods for budgeting, forecasting, and planning construction plans. Legacy programmes reduce efficiency, raise costs, and reduce job quality. By switching to construction management software, contractors will accept the digital transformation. You can use a variety of software to access 3D models, automatic budgeting, and real-time communication, among other things. This all-in-one approach lets you gain more work and, as a result, increase your profits.

10. Neglecting customer concerns

Finally, contractors have a reputation for refusing specific requests from their clients. You can end up with unsatisfactory tasks or, even worse, disgruntled clients if you don't pay attention to client concerns. Take the time to listen to what your clients have to say, even though you're satisfied in your construction experience.

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