How Much is Your Time Worth?

Wow, a Lot More Than I Thought

Over the past several weeks either I or my assistant, on several occasions, have been late to our regularly scheduled daily meetings. Most of the time it’s just a few minutes. But there were a couple of times that it was closer to 30 minutes.

It’s not like either of us were just being lazy and chose to be late. In every case there were some miscalculations of the schedule prior or some unexpected situations that came up. We all know that life happens.

Being on time comes down to prioritizing and making decisions accordingly.

I’ve always struggled with giving my time the same level of importance as other peoples. I wouldn’t be late to meetings with customers, committees at church, or in the community. The lack of importance of my own time oozes over to the time of my assistant’s. This is unacceptable.

As I was thinking about this and considering ways to give my time a greater level of importance I came up with an idea. What if there was a monetary penalty for every minute that we were late. Let’s say $1.00 per minute. If I’m late I pay her a dollar and if she’s late she pays me. This caused me to consider…

What each minute of my time is really worth?

So, I did some calculations –

  • There are 60 minutes every hour
  • There is an average of 12 hours per my workday
  • There are 6 workdays per my work week
  • There are 52 work weeks per year
  • This means there are 224,640 minutes available to work each year
  • My gross revenue target for this year is $500,000.00
  • $500,000.00 divided by 224640 minutes means that each minute of the workday is worth $2.23

$2.23 for each minute doesn’t seem like that much, until I did some more calculations –

  • $2.23 x 5 minutes = $11.15
  • $2.23 x 15 minutes = #33.45
  • $2.23 x 30 minutes = $66.90
  • $2.23 x 60 minutes = $133.80

Who new that my time was that valuable?

It’s amazing how much the little things can change the big picture. This gave me a whole new sense of urgency. It has caused me to evaluate decisions differently. Which of these things on the list is worth spending that much time/money on?

It has caused me to focus more intensely on which actions I need to take to accomplish my mission.

I’ve never been one to give my time the value its worth. Working for myself it’s always hard to give it a monetary value. This new discovery changed that. This weekly solution has cost me $267.60 so far and by the time I find some pictures and get it uploaded it’s going to be closer to $350.00.

I sure hope you find that much value in it. 😊

Of course, everybody’s level of importance is going to be different based on individual preferences. But this new awareness of the value of my time has given me a new focused intensity to spend my time wisely.

So…it looks like the penalty for being late to the meeting is going to be $2.23 per minute.

How to Get All of Your Puzzle Pieces to Fit into One Puzzle

The Subject of Being too Busy is a Broken Record

The term “broken record” describes something that is frequently repeated — it refers to a damaged record that would get stuck and repeat part of a recording over and over again until you moved the record player needle.

This describes the current topic of “busy”.

Every conversation that I currently have with subcontractors, suppliers and customers, starts, ends or is all about this subject. Throughout my career in construction this has been a popular topic, but no more than now. It’s like a broken record.

Construction is where the majority of my conversations happen, but “busy” is everywhere. I’ve had the “busy” conversation with a lot of people in a lot of places, i.e., masterminds, workshops, church, etc.

The “busy” conversation is nothing new.

As a matter of fact, I’ve written about this topic since I’ve been posting blogs. In October of 2015 I wrote about easing the stress of being too busy.

Here is an excerpt of that post –

This morning as I was posting in my journal, I started thinking about all of the things that I didn’t get done yesterday. Then I began to think about how many times I have posted this same thing over and over. It sure seems that I spend way too much time feeling overwhelmed and behind. I really want to get more done!

Then I thought about all of the times that I’ve had this conversation with other people. “How is your day going? Man, I am so far behind I don’t think I will ever get caught up. I sure wish there were more hours in the day.” I have heard these or similar comments more times than I can count.

Our lives can feel like a 20,000-piece jigsaw puzzle was dumped out in front of us with no picture of what it is supposed to look like when it’s done.

So how can we get all of these pieces to fit…or can we? This is the big question. It would be nice to know what the finished puzzle is supposed to look like. This puzzle can be tough and frustrating. I think it is especially difficult for those of us who are ‘recovering perfectionists’. We want all the pieces to fit just right. To know ahead of time exactly where each piece is supposed to go. This particular puzzle, called life, doesn’t work like that.

Here are some reasons we struggle with our puzzle and some ideas to help us get our pieces to fit.

  • We pick up too many pieces by over scheduling. There are so many pieces…Start with the corner pieces. Put in the most important pieces first.
  • The puzzle isn’t going together as fast as we want. Sometimes (most times) things just take longer…do as much planning and preparation as we can before we start, but don’t over plan. Spread the pieces out, find the edge pieces and get started.
  • With so many pieces in front of us we lose our focus. After we have put the edge pieces in place…remember that we can only put one piece in at a time. Concentrate on that one. If it doesn’t fit, then pick up a different piece and focus on it.

Life is a puzzle. What really makes this puzzle fun and exciting is that while we are putting our puzzle together other people are doing the same thing and their puzzle connects to ours.

Taking control of the “busy” requires that we are clear about our mission and only pick up puzzle pieces that belong in our puzzle.

Just like a “broken record” if we don’t want to keep listening to the stuck and repeating recording…we have to move the needle.

Previous “broken record” posts dealing with busy –

How to Get Your Puzzle Pieces to Fit

Riding on a Runaway Train

Flexibly Rigid

Who Should I Blame for Being Too Busy?

Spend Time Wisely, There’s a Limited Amount

Deciding What Should be First on the List

What Makes One Rock More Important Than Another?

What Makes One Thing More Important Than Another?

What Actions Do You Need to Take to Accomplish Your Mission?

So…What is it That Your Company Does?

The Importance of Telling Your Companies Story and Telling it Well

We’ve all been asked the question…you know the one. “So…What is it you do for a living?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions when people meet someone new.

A simple answer of I’m a contractor, a painter or an electrician doesn’t cover it anymore. The business world has become so diverse in the different types of things being done. As an entrepreneur or solopreneur giving a clear and precise answer this question can be tough.

A cookie cutter answer doesn’t cut it anymore.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve worked on getting clear on our mission and the characteristics and actions needed to accomplish it. We’ve been using the Business Made Simple process for this.

This week we’ll use the things we learned, making a story that will clearly explain what it is we do in an exciting and interesting way. It won’t be the typical boring history of when the company was founded by my grandfather in 1929….

This story will be focused on our dreams and the future, not the past.

When asked, “What is it that your company does?”, we tell this story:


Construction companies struggle with a lack of business knowledge and construction customers don’t know what to expect.

Lack of knowledge and understanding leads to out of control, unprofitable businesses requiring too much time for too little profit and customers paying more than estimated for less than expected. This results in overwhelm, burnout, unhappy dissatisfied customers, lawsuits and termination of businesses.

We help both achieve their dreams, by providing businesses with systems, processes and training while educating and guiding customers through the construction process.

This leads to happy satisfied customers who become raving fans and profitable less overwhelmed companies separating themselves from their competition.

With the right tools and knowledge, construction companies and customers can build the businesses, construction projects and lives of their dreams.


If we will live out our story everyday in everything we do, we’ll accomplish our mission and…

Bridge the gap between construction companies and customers.

We can choose to live in a boring mundane world, void of purpose and vision…or we can discover our passion and purpose and write the story of our dreams.

It’s up to us.

What Actions Do You Need to Take to Accomplish Your Mission?

If You Aren’t Clear on What You Should Do, Your Mission Will Fail

It’s week three of the BMSU’s Mission Statement course. The first week we worked on discovering and getting clear about the mission and the importance of having one if you are going to turn your dreams into reality.

From a young age we have dreams of what our life will be like when we grow up. You remember those big and exciting dreams that you had as a kid.

But, as we grow older those childhood dreams begin to get buried under the weight of daily adult living. Then we convince ourselves that those dreams weren’t real…they were just childish imagination.

Sometimes we get hit in the head with a board to remind us that they are real.

Dreams are the possibilities placed in us by God at the beginning of our lives.

The second week we researched what critical characteristics are needed in people to carry out a specific mission. Different people have different skills and abilities. These differences are what give us the exact strengths needed to carry out that mission.

I don’t have the skills and abilities to play professional sports. I’m much more suited to building.

As a child my dream was different than my life now, but the big picture dream is still the same. There’s a connection with that dream and today’s reality.

Our characteristics need to align with our mission.

This week’s focus is…critical actions. We can talk big, but it’s no good until we do. Thinking and planning are important, but until you do something…nothing is going to happen.

It’s easy and safe to plan and prepare. If we actually do something it might result in mistakes and disappointments.

Not doing…keeps us from our mission.

Accomplishing a mission requires action. Think about what “action” movies all have in common…ACTION. If there isn’t some action taken, the building is going to explode, or the girl is going to die, or the bad guys are going to win.

We can’t let that happen.

Critical actions need to be simple and understandable. They need to be specific, focused and habitual. They need to become second nature, done without thinking in reaction to varying situations.

As with my mission statement and key characteristics, my critical actions are always being tweaked and improved. Going through this week’s study, I made some changes to my critical actions.

If my mission is:

Bridge the gap between construction companies and customers. Construction companies struggle with a lack of business knowledge and customers don’t understand or know what to expect from the construction process. We help both achieve their dreams, by providing businesses with systems and training to make their companies more efficient and profitable while educating customers in what to expect throughout the entire construction process.

Then I need to take these critical actions to achieve that mission.

  • Make all we can, save all we can, give all we can: Vigilant focus on generating revenue, being frugal and sharing our blessings.

(With a Servant’s Heart, I tend to forget that we have to be profitable as a company to stay in business. This reminds me of that)

  • Communicate clearly: We design and implement business systems, giving construction companies and their customers the opportunity to understand each other, allowing both to build their dreams.

(Without clear and accurate communication no one knows what to expect. This is the number one problem that construction companies and customers deal with. We help them bridge that gap)

  • Spend time wisely: Using the limited amount of time we’ve been given each day to generate the best return for us and our customers.

(I tend to be a thinker and planner. This is to remind me of that and push me forward to prioritize, focus on the first next thing and take action)

A dream is where a mission starts. Action is what make it a reality.

DREAMS   →   VISIONS   →   GOALS   →   ACTIONS   →   RESULTS

ACTION…it’s the most important thing to accomplishing a mission!

What are the Critical Characteristics Needed to Accomplish Your Mission?

Knowing Them and Articulating Them Are Two Completely Different Things

Last week I wrote about the importance of having a mission and why it matters. I shared that I’m going through the Business Made Simple University’s Mission Statement Made Simple with a friend. This week’s focus is determining the Key Characteristics needed to accomplish the mission.

These characteristics are things that you and anyone on your team need to have. They are distinguishing traits and qualities that are an integral part of accomplishing your mission. They are qualities that direct and motivate you and those around you to push forward toward a common goal.

If a team isn’t clear on the objective, the chances of winning aren’t very good.

A good example of this type of connection is Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. For several years we’ve led this class at our church. There are some words, actions or items that when shared or displayed in public will invoke a connected response from people you don’t even know. There is an immediate association with anyone who has gone through the class or is familiar with the program.

If we can’t explain our mission and communicate it clearly, we can’t expect to accomplish it. We will flounder in a fog with no direction.

Sharing characteristics with others ignites a connection that is immediately felt and hard to explain.

Like the mission, the characteristics need to be concise and memorable.

I have a list of core values that is the foundation of my life and businesses. I review them daily; the problem is that it needs to be narrowed down to a sharable list that will provide laser focus for achieving the mission.

Core values:

Values are the foundation; characteristics are the cornerstone.

Like the mission, the critical characteristics should be reviewed periodically, updated and improved as needed.

Current key characteristics:

  • Servant’s Heart – Focus on our purpose to help others find solutions for building their dreams.
  • Flexibly Rigid – Clarity of purpose with the ability to change directions as needed to serve that purpose.
  • Problem Solver – Driven to find solutions, whatever, whenever and wherever issues are encountered.

These characteristics need to encompass the core values and align with and support the mission

John Clark http://galleries.vietnamsoldier.com/photo-gallery/avlb/

Bridge the gap between construction companies and customers. Construction companies struggle with a lack of business knowledge and customers don’t understand or know what to expect from the construction process. We help both achieve their dreams, by providing businesses with systems and training to make their companies more efficient and profitable while educating customers in what to expect throughout the entire construction process.

I’m concerned that the above characteristics are too vague and don’t provide a clear understanding of what is needed to carry out this mission. I feel them in my heart, but I need to communicate them clearly.

I will be working on this over the next several days and will let you know what I come up with.

Any thoughts or input you would like to share are appreciated.

What is Your Mission and Why Does it Matter?

It’s the Most Important Thing to Turning Your Dreams into Reality

I’m currently going through Business Made Simple University’s online course Mission Statement Made Simple. I’ve gone through this course before but,

I don’t think you can ever be too clear about your mission.

This time I’m going through it with a mastermind friend. This gives us both the opportunity to get outside perspectives. Alternate viewpoints are a huge help to getting the mission honed to laser clarity.

A clear mission is what gives you clarity of direction and purpose. It is the filter that all your business decisions should be ran through.

A mission is a clear direction for overcoming a conflict that is causing havoc in the world.

Over the past several weeks I’ve had numerous conversations with people struggling with clarity. I know how difficult and overwhelming this uncertainty can be.

As entrepreneurs, the responsibility of having a clear mission rests on our shoulders…should we do this or should we do that? When we’re employed by someone else, we just show up and do what we’re told.

This is why in most cases there’s so much discontent of employees working in large companies…there’s no clear mission.

Without a clear mission we just wander through life with no purpose.

How do you determine what your mission is?

This seems to be the most difficult question and one in which the answer continues to be refined every day. We are all given natural abilities and things we are drawn to. For example, I have no skills or desires to be a brain surgeon, a dentist or a teacher and trust me you’re better off because I’m not.

One thing that is a determining factor if you’re fulfilling your mission is if you love what you do.

Do you look forward everyday to getting to work and have to force yourself to stop at the end of the day. Granted there are varying degrees of this based on different personalities, but if you don’t love what you do…it’s not in alignment with your purpose.

I think there is a specific core purpose that goes beyond our vocation. I think this core purpose can be put to use in different businesses or ministries.

My purpose is to help people find solutions for building their dream business, construction project and life. With this foundational purpose my mission can change over time.

I love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Whether it’s my current mission to help construction companies struggling with a lack of business knowledge and customers who don’t understand or know what to expect from the construction process. Helping both accomplish their dreams, by providing businesses with systems and training to make their companies more efficient and profitable while educating customers in what to expect throughout the entire construction process.

Or my future mission with a NASCAR team. 😊 This is me turning my dreams into reality.

The important thing is to know yourself, search your heart and be connected to your Maker. The more you do this, the clearer the picture becomes. Having a clear mission moves your dreams towards reality.

Over the next few weeks, as we go through the rest of Mission Statement Made Simple, I’ll share other aspects of having a clear mission, i.e., key characteristics needed, critical actions taken by people in alignment with the mission and how to clearly share your mission with others.

Benefits to a Construction Proposal That We Haven’t Even Talked About Yet

An Overview of the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal System

This past week John used the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal system to do a couple of proposals. Just like when he’d learned to build a house, he had some questions.

As John smelled the pizza setting in the passenger seat, it reminded him of his first meeting with Gene. It’s hard to believe that today’s meeting was going to be the 8th time they’d met to learn this proposal system.

As they are eating some pizza, Gene asks John if he had used the proposal system this past week. John said he had. Gene asked what questions he had.

In between bites John said, “The project I was doing the proposal for was a small repair project to a deck that was settling and pulling away from the house. As I put in the numbers for digging a couple of holes, filling them with concrete and setting some posts…the price didn’t seem to be enough for the work that would be needed.”

Cartoon man looking up at large question mark

“Great question.” said Gene. “Sometimes a specific task is small or more difficult than normal. This will be determined once the quantity is entered and the price is deemed too low.

To adjust this, insert an additional row in the spreadsheet, below the row with the low price. Fill down the content from the row with the low price to the new row. Then in the description cell of the new row write small and in the quantity cell put in an amount that will adjust the price as needed for the time to do the small task. Usually the material price can be removed from the second row, due to the small task not requiring additional material. This will depend on what the specific task is. (See the highlighted cells in the example below)

If the low price is due to the task being more difficult, instead of, or in addition to being small, you will use the same procedure listed above. An example of this would be a small concrete project in the back yard where a concrete truck couldn’t get to the construction area and the concrete was going to be moved with a skid loader.

If you remember early in the process, we talked about the common mistakes that contractors make when bidding projects and one of those that this system solves is…

A construction proposal system that is customizable.

This leads to some of the other benefits this proposal system offers that we’ve only discussed in passing. These include, but aren’t limited to, a Scope of Work, a Production Budget and accurate progress payments.

A Scope of Work is important so that production crews and subcontractors know what’s included in the project and what’s not. This prevents the subcontractor/employee from doing more or less than was expected – if too much work is done there will be cost overruns, if everything the customer expects is not done then the customer is unhappy.

A Scope of Work is easy to do. It is simply saving a copy of the proposal and removing the customer’s prices for each item and the totals at the bottom of the page. Making a couple of simple changes to the document title and removing the signature lines.

That easily you have a Scope of Work

Preparing a Production Budget that can be shared takes a little more work. It involves the transferring of numbers from the Worksheet to a separate Production Budget template. The numbers that get transferred are generated automatically when the Worksheet is prepared.

We’ll wait to get into the payment application until later. For now, you just need to use the system for a while and get familiar with it.

This whole system comes down a clear description of what work the project includes or doesn’t and a consistent and accurate process for pricing.

This proposal system is the foundation for building a profitable business.”

Previous posts in this series –

What is “business clarity” and how do you find it?

Learning How to Get a Construction Project Started Out Right

It’s Time for the First Meeting

Being Aware of the Common Bid Mistakes is the Best Way to Avoid Them

Constructing a Building is Better with a Plan, a Proposal is No Different

A Good Construction Proposal Starts by Asking the Right Questions

What is a Construction Scope of Work and Why Do You Need One?

Dollars and Cents Are What Make a Construction Project Profitable…or NOT

The Final Step to Completing a Professional Construction Proposal

The Final Step to Completing a Professional Construction Proposal

It’s as Rewarding as Seeing a Construction Project Completed

As John is driving to his weekly Saturday training with Gene, he remembers how hard it was in the beginning to convince himself to take the time to learn this system and how glad he was that he did. He thinks back over what he’s learned over the past several weeks:

John’s getting excited as he pulls up to the XYZ Construction Company office. Today they are going to put all the pieces together, creating a finished proposal.

After Gene and John have some lunch and get caught up on the past week’s events, Gene asks John, “You know how exciting it is when you build a new home from blueprint? That is what we’re going to do today…we’re going to be seeing…

A proposal taken from blueprint to reality.

Let’s get started.

The final step in preparing the Proposal is to transfer the information you have gathered from the customer and prepared on the Scope of Work and the Worksheet to the Proposal template.

Start out by opening a Proposal template in the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal system.

If you use a project number insert it behind the number sign at the top of the page, below the proposal title. Next insert the customer and project information in the open areas as it pertains to the project.

Insert your company name at the beginning of the introductory sentence.

Copy and paste the description of the work to be performed and material to be supplied from the Scope of Work in the body of the Proposal template.

Next, take the prices from the Worksheet for each individual task described on the Proposal and place it on the right side of the page. At the end of each section put the total price for that section. This allows the customer to see a price for each section, i.e. foundation, framing, roofing, etc.

Now that the description of the work to be performed, the materials to be used, the prices for each task, and the subtotals of each section have been placed on the Proposal, it’s time for the project subtotal to be inserted at the bottom. Insert a separate price for the sales tax below the subtotal. Sales tax rates will be determined by the location where the work is to be performed.

Now insert the project total after, “For the Sum Of:” on the Proposal both in written and numerical forms, this duplication (just like on a check) helps with clarity.

Now that you have a project total you need to determine how payments will be made. There are several different factors which can determine how this will be done, i.e. the size of the project, when material will be ordered and/or paid for, the financing of the project, your personal preferences, etc. This could be done at the completion of set production tasks, scheduled times (weekly, monthly, etc.) or when the project is finished.

Determining the date in which the Proposal will expire will be up to you. If the Proposal includes some materials that fluctuate in price often then you may want the expiration date to be sooner. A standard time frame is 30 days.

The duration of time to complete the project can be determined from the Worksheet. At the bottom of the Worksheet there are four cells, with corresponding amounts for each.

The Labor Price is the total amount of labor costfor the project. The Hours, is the total man hours needed for the project, dividing the hours by $60/hr. This hourly rate can be adjusted to whatever dollar amount you determine. The Days are the total hours divided by 7 hours of production per day. The Weeks are total working days divided by 5 days of production per week. You then have the number of working days needed to complete the project. This will then be entered into the corresponding blank space on the Proposal.

You now have completed the proposal

At this point I recommend going back through and proofreading the scope of work for each task, checking the math to make sure that the prices on the Proposal add up correctly. Don’t be surprised if a few of the numbers on the Worksheet totals are off a cent or two from the total on the Proposal. This happens sometimes due the combinations of formulas on the spreadsheet. The most important thing is that the prices on the Proposal add up correctly.

Now sign the proposal and deliver it to the customer.”

Gene looks over at John and asks, “Well what do you think?”

John smiles and says, “You’re right. It does feel like seeing a house where there wasn’t one before. It’s very satisfying.”

“Know this John, it’s also going to be similar to building the first house. You’re going to have questions, when you start using the proposal system. Start using it and let me know when you have questions. It will be tempting to go back to doing bids like you used to, but don’t.”

“Next week we’ll review and spend our time answering questions.

“Now go use this system and build better proposals.”

Previous posts in this series

What is “business clarity” and how do you find it?

Learning How to Get a Construction Project Started Out Right

It’s Time for the First Meeting

Being Aware of the Common Bid Mistakes is the Best Way to Avoid Them

Constructing a Building is Better with a Plan, a Proposal is No Different

A Good Construction Proposal Starts by Asking the Right Questions

What is a Construction Scope of Work and Why Do You Need One?

Dollars and Cents Are What Make a Construction Project Profitable…or NOT

Dollars and Cents Are What Make a Construction Project Profitable…or NOT

Having a System for Proposals, Is Better Than Just Guessing

It’s week six of learning the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal system. As time consuming as learning new things is…John is beginning to see the benefits this proposal system will provide.

Just like building a house using a system that repeats routine actions prevents time being spent rethinking and guessing at how to do things. This system will do the same thing when preparing proposals.

As they settle in and begin the meeting, Gene tells John, “Let’s take a quick look back at what we’ve covered so far. We started by asking ourselves some foundational questions. Next, we discussed the common mistakes contractors make when bidding. Then we went over the system and it’s parts. The last couple of weeks we’ve worked on gathering information and turning that info into a Scope of Work. Today we’re going to start working on…

Pricing the Project

In this step we will determine the price for the project. Communicating a clear description of the project took place in the Scope of Work which is important in avoiding misunderstandings. Accurate pricing is equally as important.

Poor communication will cause heartache, poor pricing will cost you money.

Open the Worksheet template. This blank Worksheet is where you will paste the information from the Data Base as it relates to each of the specific tasks of the project.

The Worksheet template has six different options for overhead and profit ranging from 20% overhead and 10% profit to 40% overhead and 20% profit. You can use whichever of the six options works best for you on the specific project you’re working on.

Typically, larger projects, i.e. new construction, large renovations, remodels or large additions will use smaller percentages, while small projects will use bigger ones. You can use whichever works best for you. These percentages can be adjusted after you have finished the pricing if you want them to be increased or decreased. These documents can be modified with custom percentages as well.

Open the Data Base and prepare to copy the appropriate content into the correlating cells of the Worksheet of the project you are working on. Use the previously written Scope of Work, to determine which of the categories, specific to the project need to be used from the Data Base and copied to the Worksheet.

If more than one item for a specific task is needed, for example shingles, synthetic underlayment and metal edging, flashings. These individual items will be entered separately then added together to create one price for roofing.

You can add as many additional rows as you need, just be careful to keep the formulas intact by filling the content of the existing row to the new ones.

How to determine which tasks should be inserted into the Worksheet

Most of the tasks on the Data Base have options; determining which to use, will depend on the specifics of the project. For example, how is the excavation, trenching and landscaping going to be done…with a skid loader, mini excavator or by hand?

Once it’s determined which methods, actions or materials are to be used for a specific project, copy the pertinent cells from the Data Base and paste them to the Worksheet.

After the pertinent information from the Data Base has been placed on the Worksheet it’s time to…

Enter the quantities of the work to be done.

Fill in the quantity needed to do the work for each item on the Worksheet. This may be lineal feet, square feet, square yards, cubic feet, cubic yards or numbers of pieces. Once this is completed for all the categories, you’ll have prices for each task of the Proposal.

This system offers a constant repeatable process for preparing accurate proposals and is the difference between making money or losing money on construction projects.”

Gene looks at John and asks, “Well, what do you think?”

“Well, I thought my head was spinning before today. Now I’m getting dizzy.”, replied John with a grin.

“I know it seems like a lot, but it really isn’t, once you get started using it.” Says Gene reassuringly. “Experiment with it this week. Call if you have any questions. Next week we’ll bring everything you’ve learned together into a proposal ready to be presented to the customer.”

Guessing is not a good way to build a profitable business.

Previous posts in this series –

What is “business clarity” and how do you find it?

Learning How to Get a Construction Project Started Out Right

It’s Time for the First Meeting

Being Aware of the Common Bid Mistakes is the Best Way to Avoid Them

Constructing a Building is Better with a Plan, a Proposal is No Different

A Good Construction Proposal Starts by Asking the Right Questions

What is a Construction Scope of Work and Why Do You Need One?

What is a Construction Scope of Work and Why Do You Need One?

Because It’s Critical to Clear Communication, Whether You’re the Contractor or the Customer.

Last week Gene explained to John what project information needed to be gathered…

  • Project info (customer name, mailing address, project address if different than mailing, phone number, email address, project overview, budget, project deadline, any other relevant information that you need)
  • Measurements and dimensions, existing and new
  • Building materials, existing and new
  • Pictures of pertinent areas and existing construction
  • Customer’s design ideas and finishes

Overlooking or forgetting something is a sure way to lose money when doing a construction project.

This week they’re going to take the information gathered and turn it in to a scope of work. This will be the foundational form of communication between everyone involved in the process, i.e., customer, contractor, sub-contractors, employees, etc.

As they get started this week’s meeting Gene asks John if he had an opportunity to use the Bid Sheet this past week and if so, how it worked.

“Yes.” said John. “It was a little awkward in the beginning. By the time I was finished gathering the project information I was glad I had it, because there were a couple of things that it reminded me to do.”

Gene replied, “That’s great. Do you have any questions?” Not yet.” said John. Gene smiled, “You will before we’re done.”

Okay. Did you bring it with you? Asked Gene. “I did.” said John, “I’ve got it on my laptop.” Gene told him to open it up and follow along. “Today we’re going to work on the most important part of communication between contractor and customer.

The Scope of Work

What is a Scope of Work?

A Scope of Work clearly defines and explains the work to be done. It should describe what is included in each specific task in terminology that both the customer and the contractor understand. A scope of work describes the work to be done on a project, who is responsible for completing the work, how the work must be performed (techniques used), and what materials will be used. It helps in the smooth operation of a project, minimizing situations leading to disputes. It is the first step to building a mutually beneficial relationship between a contractor and customer.

Communication with the customer needs be simple and direct while explaining clearly and thoroughly.

After having gathered the information needed for the project using the Bid Sheet, write out in a few sentences, or less, of what each specific task is going to consist of. Explaining what you’re going to do in a way that a person with little or no construction knowledge can understand. Include as much detail and specifics as is needed to be clear on what is or is not included as a part of the project.

Once this process has been finished for each task included in the project, you have a Scope of Work ready to be transferred to a blank Proposal template.

Here’s an example of a Scope of Work using the information from the Bid Sheet we worked on last week.”

As they’re wrapping up this week’s training Gene tells John. “Next week we’ll get into the pricing of a project.”

The real value of this Proposal System is in the pricing.

Previous posts in this series –

What is “business clarity” and how do you find it?

Learning How to Get a Construction Project Started Out Right

It’s Time for the First Meeting

Being Aware of the Common Bid Mistakes is the Best Way to Avoid Them

Constructing a Building is Better with a Plan, a Proposal is No Different

A Good Construction Proposal Starts by Asking the Right Questions