As some of you may know, I have been running a fast growing Property Preservation repair business since 2007 that does approx $2 million dollars worth of Property Preservation repair work per year. Our office/ management work is efficiently taken care of by 1 full time and 2 part time employees and then we outsource 100% of all the actual repair work to our network of subcontractors.
This is not the management system I initially started out with. Like most small construction businesses, I was wearing several hats – hell, when I first started I wore ALL the hats: owner-operator/ accountant/ inspector/ estimator/ contractor/ subcontractor liaison/ babysitter/ etc.
Out of necessity and desperation, my business has evolved into something that I never would have expected. To this day, I have not figured out any easier or better way to manage this operation with as much efficiency. And just a quick FYI. My subcontractors get paid more than 90% of their peers within each of their respective businesses.
My philosophy is that business owners ABSOLUTELY MUST pay a person enough so that they can support a family, rent or mortgage, insurance, and recreation. Just to give you an idea, a couple years ago when I was running my own crew, I paid my unskilled helper $22.00 per hour and he was simply an unskilled laborer with an automobile and no tools (well actually he had a cordless drill that I gave him). But he was great at what he did and he ALWAYS showed up.
In fact, ALL of my subcontractors are GREAT at what they do. Here’s a little secret. Most people are only moving at 20-30% of their full speed and if you can find a way to motivate them and also pay them quickly, their output will be the same as if you hired 3 regular guys. I’m not kidding, either.
To be continued…