5 Tips for Balancing Multiple Projectsby Caitlin Snow January 22nd, 2019
It should be pretty obvious that if you work more, you make more money. Running multiple projects in parallel is a great way to up your profits, but splitting your time and your attention between sites could lead to a compromise on quality. In order to maintain an increased profit, you need to be able to not just take on multiple gigs but satisfy your clients and keep a strong reputation.
Here are our tips to do just that.
Use subs you trust
For any contractor, having reliable subs is important, but if you manage multiple sites, it’s absolutely crucial. When selecting subs, you need to be willing to pay for quality. Not just quality in terms of their work, but also their work ethic. You need to be able to trust that your subs are getting the job done and getting it right even if you aren’t on site or checking in with them.
Having trustworthy subs leaves you free to move between sites without feeling tied down to babysit on a specific site. This is vital, if you want to be able to successfully manage multiple sites. If you invest in high quality, trustworthy subs, it may cost you more, but in the end you’ll save by not having to overmanage them.
To run multiple projects in parallel, you have to be able to keep organized. If anything gets misplaced or falls through the cracks on one site, it could disrupt the workflow on several sites and you scramble to catch up.
To avoid this, keep a file on each of your projects, labelled, organized and separate. Whether you organize everything digitally, so you have access from your phone or computer, or you prefer old school physical files, just keep it organized.
You should also have a set schedule for your crew(s) and for yourself. Delegate tasks and use your people’s strengths so you can be free to float between sites and contribute where needed.
When you’re pricing overlapping jobs, consider that the costs may increase as your attention is divided. Plus, you will have less time on site in general, since you’ll have travel time between sites. Take this into account as you price and plan jobs.
Keep in mind that projects may also take more time to complete with your crew and your trusted subs dividing their time as well. Budgeting isn’t just a money issue, but also a time issue. Your ability to complete jobs in the quoted time frame is critical to the satisfaction of your clients and the reputation of your business. Failing to take the impact of multiple jobs on your schedule into account can have a serious impact on your business.
Communication and scheduling
If you’re not on a site, all of your guys should be checking in at the beginning and end of the day. Naturally, getting 20 separate calls or texts isn’t practical, so you should make arrangements in advance to know what’s going on with your crew. There are lots of apps you can use to organize your guys. You can use a timesheet app that attaches a GPS location to the punches so you know where and when each member of your crew starts working.
Naturally, subs don’t need to clock in and out and don’t owe you a breakdown of how they are spending their days. But subs with whom you have a relationship should be open to keeping you abreast of their progress as time goes by. That should be enough for you to keep projects on track.
You should also be available all day, every day for calls and texts from subs and crew members, not matter what site you’re on. If there is a decision to be made and you are unavailable, work could grind to a halt and cause serious delays.
Keep clients informed
Just as you expect to be kept informed by your employees and subcontractors, you should keep your clients informed of the project’s progress. Of course, this is something that you should always do, but it’s even more important if you aren’t on site every day.
If you aren’t on site, it could be perceived as a lack of interest, so make excuses to be in touch and show that you are invested and informed. Show your clients that you are not just aware of what is going on with their project, but that you care. Showing clients that your attention and focus remains with their project, regardless of your other concerns, will give them confidence and faith in your abilities and skills.
If you want to build a large business that can bring in significant revenue, running parallel projects could help you reach that goal. But as you take on simultaneous projects, you have to be aware of the extra burden that puts on you and how it will affect your budget, your time and your focus. If you don’t, you may just damaging your reputation and your business in the end.
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