Contracting Blues – Are Contractors Human?

When you get a good feel for the Contractor business..like 30 plus years of experience…. it’s easy to say “I told you so”. Most homeowners have a horror story about a remodel or home improvement project that just didn’t make life all that enjoyable. 90% of the time it doesn’t include a Certified Professional Contractor.

You see..if someone is going to go through the trouble of really learning their trade…would they focus on screwing people over. Let me explain. In order to get a Journey Level certification in any trade, you must go through a 4-5 year Apprenticeship. This means slugging it out in the real world for those 4-5 years and then attending a trade certified Tech Institute every year for 6-8 weeks. It’s been so long now, I forget how long classes were. I never did like school.

OK…now…a scammer has already put 4 years of hard work and gone to school every year just to make your life miserable. That doesn’t make sense. I’m going to out on the limb here and say that only guys that have been working their butts off for 20 plus years in one of the trades… wishes they’d have listened to their folks and been a Lawyer.

Communication has always been the culprit for misunderstandings. Now..why would I get started on that? Well…most problems occur in “ANY” situation because of faulty communication. Marriages and families get broken up because of this sort of thing.

So why are people surprised when things go wrong on a remodel done by a Contractor. Heck…we’re not English Majors…we’re not even certified Psychologists. I’ll let everyone in on a secret…Contractors are human and can make mistakes..or usually it’s a misunderstanding during the hundreds of conversations a home owner and Contractor will have. Yep..we may just forget one of the thousand things going on while we’re on the job.

No one complains about the Eye Doctor that misdiagnosed my Mothers eye condition and that caused her to lose sight in that one eye. Does anyone make a show about the guy that spent 10 years in prison because of faulty Police work or a justice system that sometimes doesn’t work?

This life is full of unfairness..heartbreak..loss..disasters and chocolate. I’ve tried to give it my all as a Carpenter/Contractor and only focused on doing the best I possibly could. Try to ask real questions when you hear things or watch certain things on TV. We all need to ask questions.

Using AdWords Can Really Expand Your Contractor Business

Nowadays it is important to stay on top of technology and how it relates to promoting your business, especially if you are a contractor. People in the contracting business are behind the eight ball a little more than people in other businesses because as a contractor you provide a tangible product. You are not sitting at a desk surfing the web and fishing for ways to do business, you are actually doing business in the real world. But, if you want to have a competitive advantage over other contractors then you need to get with the program and start using AdWords.

AdWords is Google’s flagship marketing product aimed at putting your business name at the top of any online search that includes keywords or keyword phrases that you specify and bid for. In other words it is a paid search. There are two types of searches paid and organic. An organic search is when your business ad appears basically on the luck of the draw based on the content of your website. A paid search is when you actually bid against competitors for space at the side of a Google search or on top of a Google search. For instance, let’s say you specify your AdWords phrases to be contractor and contractor business. Depending on where you end up in their bidding process, your ad will be one of the ads that shows up every time someone searches those ads.

AdWords is a pay per click, or ppc system and can be very useful in helping you build your contractor business. When your ad shows up on the Google page and someone clicks on it, you pay Google whatever price you negotiated in the bidding process. It is one of the most cost effective ways to advertise your business on the internet and it has proven to be very effective over the years. One tip to remember is to be creative on the key words you use. Spend some time looking up the popular words and phrases as they relate to your business.

It’s a tough economy out there and you want to make sure your contractor business prospers. Being ahead of the curve with your internet marketing will definitely help keep your contractor business rolling. You are a contractor because you love it and marketing on the internet can keep on top of your game for a long time.

Contractor Expenses: Reducing Operating Costs

The global business scenario always keeps fluctuating as the whole system is interconnected with all the countries around the globe through the Global financial system. The changes in the economy on one side of the planet affects all the people connected to the system. It is the ripple effect of the economy that creates a chain reaction in the whole business system. There are many fragile economies that come crumbling down when such a situation arises. In this situation, it is the small business organization that get affected the most when the economic crunch hits.

Many organizations tend to downsize their company to keep themselves alive in the business market. This leads to another huge problem which is the lack of professional employees that are needed to run certain aspects of the business. It is a common fact that none of us can perform all the tasks in a business on our own, and we have to depend on other people’s expertise to keep the wheels of the business running.

This is the reason why there are skilled professionals who are ready to work on Contractor expenses. This option allow businesses to keep themselves alive in turbulent times by hiring such people to fill the void left by the people who had been taken out of the business system. These are the kind of people who prefer to work as freelancers because they can perform certain tasks with great speed, and they are able to make much more money than a regular job. They have trained themselves to handle certain tasks in a fast and efficient manner that allows them to finish a contract in a short amount of time with high precision.

Contractor expenses are much less compared to a full time employee, who has to be given other benefits along with a regular salary. Freelancers are only paid a fixed amount for a limited task, and they do not have to be paid any special benefits. This core reason has made the allure towards this option much more popular, and many small businesses have been able to sustain themselves through turbulent times. The financial burdens that accrue due to any debts that the company is facing is a hard problem to beat when the profit margins are shrinking.

The freelancers also find this option good for their personal lives, as they can make good amount of money to pay for the own medical insurance and handle their family life at the same time.

Obtaining a D&B D-U-N-S Number As a Business Startup

It is important to update your company information in various data sources. Perhaps the most important of these is Dun & Bradstreet. A D&B D-U-N-S Number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal standard for identifying and keeping track of over seventy million businesses worldwide. If you have not done so, you should register for your D-U-N-S Number, and if you are registered, update your information. Other data sources include federal, state, and local Web resource sites where your business may monitor contracting opportunities, vendor Web sites, and other e-commerce-related sites. It is important to change authorized users on these accounts, as well as all signature authorities, both with e-commerce and traditional brick-and-mortar businesses and entities, such as your bank.

Registration in the Central Contractor Registration system, or CCR, is equally as important as registering for a D-U-N-S Number. For any small business owner interested in doing business with the federal government, you must be registered in the CCR. The CCR is the primary database of the Department of Defense (DoD), NASA, Department of Transportation (DoT), and Department of Treasury. Both current and potential government vendors are required to register in CCR to be awarded contracts with DoD, NASA, DoT, and Department of Treasury. Vendors are required to complete a one-time registration to provide basic information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. Vendors must update or renew their registrations annually to maintain an active status.

CCR validates the vendor’s information and electronically shares the secure and encrypted data with the federal agencies’ finance offices to facilitate paperless payments through electronic funds transfer. Additionally, CCR shares the data with several government offices. Registration does not guarantee business with the government.

The PRO-Net database maintained by the SBA has been integrated into the CCR, so small business owners interested in becoming part of PRO-Net must now register in CCR. Like the CCR, PRO-Net becomes the tool that federal agencies and prime contractors use to identify small businesses to engage as subcontractors, in addition to being a tool for marketing your small concern.

Prequalification of Your Contractors Ensures Compliancy and Reduces Risk

When one of Australia’s largest property developers implemented a contractor prequalification solution as part of their safety management process, they discovered that over 90% of contractors entering their sites were non-compliant. This was an unexpected, and unwelcome, result.

Unfortunately it’s not an uncommon one. Determining whether or not your contracting partners are up to date with all their insurance and workcover registration, if they have a compliant HSE system in place, can be a difficult and time-consuming task. But non-compliancy creates unacceptable risk.

A non-compliant contractor is an increased safety risk

What measures are you currently taking to determine whether or not your contractors have the correct insurance cover to carry out the work they do on your worksite – or if it’s up to date? If you’re like most companies, very little, if anything.But if a contracted worker is injured on your worksite, who would be responsible and who would cover the costs? Without the right cover, things can get sticky.

What should a contractor prequalification system do?

When you’re looking for a system to prequalify your contractors, there are a number of check boxes you be looking to tick.

Does the prequalification system:

Check company details?
Determine ABN?
Confirm correct and current insurance?
Check for Work cover registration?
Determine company HSE compliancy?

Ultimately, a good contractor prequalification system needs to act a gatekeeper to ensure that your company is top of its contractor obligations.

The best contractor prequalification systems?

As a concept, contractor prequalification systems are fairly new, but they’re out there. The best solutions are online, therefore eliminating IT difficulties, and will tap straight into ASIC allowing your contractor’s registered name to be returned when their ABN is entered.

A good contractor prequalification system will also be simple to use, but clever enough to track all contractor information that’s entered into the system and provide alerts to safety managers when information becomes out-dated.Because not a lot of organisations have a formal contractor prequalification system in place, it can be difficult to get recommendations. The best place to start is with a simple Google search for “Contractor Prequalification”. Check out the paid links, they can be the best way to go when looking for business-related solutions. Good luck.