Do you feel overwhelmed with the day-to-day tasks of running your construction company? Wish you had more clarity about your long-term goals and how to reach them? You’re not alone.
Many construction leaders struggle to manage their time effectively. It’s all too easy to get caught up with working in your business, and completely overlook the importance of working on your business.
So how do you know you’re working on your business instead of in it?
It all starts with shifting to a construction owner’s mindset. The way you think about your job has a huge impact on how you allocate your time. Therefore, shifting your mindset is an important step on the journey to better, more strategic time management.
Let’s dive into the five key steps to growing your construction business by strategically managing your time:
1. Shift your mindset
Construction owners often fall into the trap of staying in their comfort zone by continuing to work on projects they’ve learned to excel at during their career. But this can be detrimental to the growth of a construction company. If a leader is spending most of their time on day-to-day tasks, it takes them away from the big picture things like planning, training, and finances.
Embracing a construction owner mindset looks like stepping back from the more practical work and stepping into the role of leader, visionary, mentor, and planner.
Making this mental shift is easier said than done. As a construction executive, you may find this challenging simply because the more practical work is what you’re familiar with. In fact, you may really enjoy being a part of projects as opposed to overseeing them.
It may be uncomfortable at first, but embodying your role as a leader will become more natural over time. And as you grow into a more strategic leader, your construction business will grow right alongside.
2. Let go of control
A lot of leaders struggle with micromanaging. Why? Because they have a hard time letting go of control. This happens in scenarios where the leader cares deeply about the success of the company, but they’re not 100% confident their team can handle things on their own.
The reality is, your team is not perfect. They’re going to make mistakes. But there’s things you can do on your end to equip your workers and account for human error. A great example of this is budgeting for mistakes.
When you put someone in a new position of responsibility, there’s going to be a learning curve. If you budget for mistakes during that period of learning, what you’re actually doing is investing in their development. It’s going to cost something upfront, but that investment will pay off in the long run.
Now, you should still do everything in your power to prevent and catch the mistakes. Give that new person the training they need to be successful. Have processes in place that serve as quality control. But after that, let go.
3. Understand the value of your time
Once you reframe your role and responsibilities as a leader, you’ve set the foundation for building long-term success. The next step is understanding the value of your time and allocating it accordingly.
Below are a few practical exercises that can help with this abstract concept. Take an honest look at where your time is currently going, and identify areas where you may need to course correct.
In this exercise, lay out a chart for your company, and designate a box for each department. Write your name in each respective department you play a role in. How many departments are you heavily involved in? If your name is in more than a few boxes, then you’re probably too immersed in day-to-day business.
List of Roles
Use the roles you’ve listed out in the previous exercise. Put them in order of roles you’d be most comfortable giving up to roles you’re least comfortable with delegating. Ask yourself, if I could only have one role left in my company, what would it be?
List of Responsibilities
This exercise is a bit more in-depth. Make a list of ALL your responsibilities. Put them in order of value. Which responsibilities are worth $100+ per hour and which tasks are closer to minimum wage value? Then, decide where you want to draw the line with the value of your time. If certain tasks are below the line, how can you delegate them? Can you train someone else to do those things?
Remember, time is your most valuable asset. Strategically managing your time as a construction owner is a key ingredient to long-term success.
4. Create a clear roadmap
In the 1960s, President Kennedy set in motion a plan for U.S. astronauts to land on the moon. In order to tackle such a huge undertaking, the United States ran three space programs: Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.
Now, you might be wondering, what does this have to do with my construction company? Well, the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs all served different purposes. The Mercury program addressed the question, “Is it possible to be in space?” The Gemini program identified the things necessary to get to the moon. Lastly, the Apollo program was focused on actually getting to the moon.
When you’re growing your business, it’s great to set those big, audacious goals. Shoot for the moon! But it’s really important to break that process down into different phases.
Start by determining whether or not it’s possible to be in space. In other words, make sure your long-term goal is actually reachable before moving on to the next stage.
Now that you know your goal is reachable, it’s time to flesh out the logistics. What do you need to figure out in order to successfully land on the moon? What are the foreseeable challenges on the way to your goal and how can you address them? What will you need to learn? What will your team need to create in order to make this happen? This in-between Gemini stage is crucial for success because you’re creating a detailed roadmap to get to where you want to be.
Probably the most exciting phase is when you actually start putting your plan into action. The key here is staying focused on the roadmap you made in the Gemini stage. In order to reach your long-term goal, you’ll need to block out distractions, manage your time efficiently, and persevere through the inevitable hiccups along the way.
5. Establish accountability
If you’ve been following the steps above, you should have a lot more clarity about your role in the company, how to manage your time strategically, and what it’s going to take to grow your construction business. But how do you keep yourself accountable to these new, shiny goals?
As a leader at the top of your company, you’re in a unique position when it comes to accountability. Typically, you don’t answer to anyone other than yourself.
If you’re serious about staying accountable to your goals, it’s important to seek out an individual or group of peers who can help you stay on track.
You can establish accountability by hiring a coach or consultant. Or maybe there’s someone you already know who you consider a mentor. Another option is to connect with fellow business owners who are facing similar challenges as you. They don’t even need to be in the same industry. The most important thing is finding someone who has your best interest in mind and will be honest with you.
Once you identify who will be keeping you accountable, provide them with the measurable goals you’ve set for yourself and your construction company. Perhaps one of your goals is to spend 25% of your time on staff development. Make sure those types of details are written out so you’re able to track your progress.
Next, decide how often you’ll be meeting with your mentor, coach, or peer group. Is it monthly? Quarterly? It could even be more frequently in the beginning, when you’re making those big mindset shifts.
Submitting yourself to accountability definitely pushes you out of your comfort zone. Many times it provides that extra push you need to reach the next level in your business.
If you’re committed to growing your construction business, it all starts with cultivating a construction owner’s mindset. Be honest with yourself about how you’re allocating your time. Achieve more through others by letting go of control and delegating those responsibilities below the line. Take the time to map out a clear path to your long-term goals. Find a way to stay accountable to those goals and benchmarks along the way.
So, are you ready to level up your construction business by partnering with a coach and establishing accountability? Construction Genius specializes in helping construction executives make the shift from building projects to leading people.
Book a 10 minute call to find out what Construction Genius can do for you!