ABC Keystone Leadership Development Series


Construction companies typically operate at a frantic pace this time of year. Contracted work deadlines are looming, field crews and project managers are being pushed for production, estimators are working on change orders and backlog for next year. It can be a very chaotic time.Typically, leaders are so far in the trenches right now, that they miss an opportunity. Now is the best time to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your business. When put under pressure and examined, the cracks in the foundation of a business will show themselves.

The best place to start is with your profitability. Take time to track the Gross Profit (GP) of your business over the long term (at least three years). What is the trend of your GP? A few percentage points of improvement in your GP can provide huge results to your bottom line.

Stop what you are doing, and ask your team: What areas do you see where we can improve our job profitability? Improve our efficiency? Reduce waste?

It’s likely that your team is so busy that they aren’t even thinking about the opportunities that are right in front of them. Prompt them to consider “big picture” areas such as: job communication, internal processes, paperwork, and team organization.

Another effective strategy is to have each team member develop a “stop doing list.” The Pareto Principle holds that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of effort. Strive to eliminate unnecessary things in your business that add little or no value to the end product. Having your team evaluate what activities can be stopped will yield productivity improvements.

It definitely takes effort to step back from the daily challenges and look at the business from 30,000 feet. Now is the time to put together a list of things that need to be improved so that you can research and implement solutions at a slower time.

Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning “change for the better” or “continuous improvement.” Now is a great time to look for opportunities to change for the better. Kaizen!

Jeff Witmer, Owner/Partner, Pathway Business Advisors, started and developed a nationwide, industry leading business generating over $16M. He’s an expert in various aspects of business management and systems, including: team development, sales and marketing, finance and accounting, and information technology.

Jeff also teaches the ABC Keystone Leadership Development Series, a comprehensive series of 10 sessions designed to help develop you into an inspiring leader who leads with confidence. Visit to learn more and register.