3 Ways to Know Which Jobs Are Making (Or Losing) You Money

Don’t Know if You’re Making or Losing Money? There’s a Way to Fix That

The construction industry – it’s not for snowflakes. 

You can make millions and you can lose millions, sometimes in the same year. And if you’re starting your own construction company, it’s a good idea you face facts now. You, your friends, your competitors who all own construction businesses; most are going to fail.

In fact, 70% of contractors fail in the first seven years they’re in business. And perhaps you’re thinking, “Well I’m different!” All right. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. But tell me, where is your company losing the most money? 

I’m waiting.

See, the thing is, this industry has a lot of waste. It’s all too easy for a contractor to lose money, even when they were pretty sure a job was going to turn a profit. And most of the time, contractors are too busy chasing the next job to look back and think about where they went wrong (or, sometimes, right) on their last project.

So, tell me this. How do you know for sure which jobs are costing (or making) you money? 

Now, I’m not promising I’ve got all the answers. Anybody who does claim that is full of hot air. But I’ve been around and I know a few things and maybe, just maybe, what I know might help you make it into the 30% of contractors who succeed in this business.

Most Project Management Stinks

Project management. Business processes. Oh yeah. Talk dirty to me, baby.

All right, all right. I get it. Thinking about your processes probably doesn’t get you too excited. But even so, you should still give a damn.

Why? Because most companies’ current project management sucks. Nobody ever got better by lying to themselves, so let’s just get to the point and be honest for a second. 

Paper timesheets? Sure, they work, and they’re easy to use, but people screw up (at best). And yes, that includes most of the people you know. Record-keeping? Yeah, they’re screwing that up too. (This isn’t a personal thing, by the way. It’s just the kind of stuff that happens on a construction job.) And if you’re drawing up reports of labor hours from memory at the end of the day (or week)? Do I even have to tell you why that’s a bad idea?

I mean, even if your workers are all honest, hard-working little soldiers they’re going to misreport the time they’ve spent working. It’s a common mistake. This, of course, affects the entire project’s profit. So what are you supposed to do?

Well, the obvious answer is to go digital, right? Not so fast. Contractors and workers alike are slow to adopt new processes. Sometimes it’s because that new tech can seem complicated or difficult to understand. Sometimes it’s just because you’re dealing with an old-timer who’s set in his ways.

But take a look at the world around you. There’s a good reason Netflix killed Blockbuster, and why you chose Uber over Yellow Cab the last time you needed a ride, and why you can’t even remember the last time you used a printed check instead of Direct Deposit.

So, let’s talk about busybusy. Is it the miracle you’ve been looking for? No. Sorry, miracles don’t exist in this business. But it can make things a heck of a lot easier for you.  busybusy has a clean, simple and pretty damn stylish interface. It’s easy enough to use that even guys who usually wet their pants at the idea of new tech can jump on board.

Most importantly, it can help you create processes that don’t suck, so you can start figuring out where time (and money) is being wasted.

Where the F@#% Are My Machines?

It’s hard to keep track of workers while they run around doing who-knows-what. But your equipment – it’s big and heavy and of course, you know how it’s being used, right?

Sure. If you want to think that, just skip over this section and move on to the next point.

But if you want to face facts, you need to admit that half the time, the guy in charge of any job site – yours, your buddy’s, your competition’s – don’t know what’s going on. Workers sit around idling, wasting fuel. They underreport how much time they actually spend using the equipment. Hell, I’ve seen guys take vehicles for joy rides and use work equipment on side jobs. 

Tracking equipment is just as much a guessing game as keeping track of employees – except it doesn’t have to be. busybusy lets you know where your equipment is and who’s using it. There’s no need to be left in the dark, even if you have an entire fleet of machines across multiple job sites.

And you know what? When you have a clue what’s happening with your equipment, you know where your money is being wasted. We shouldn’t have to tell you how key that is in finding out which jobs are making or losing you money (but we’ll tell you anyway).

Don’t Bid in the Dark

Why else do you need to know what’s happening in your job sites? Well, if you’re gonna be bidding for jobs, it’ll sure make it easier to know what you should be asking for. Once you’ve been keeping better track of worker hours and equipment usage, you’ll have a better idea of what it actually costs to complete a job. 

You shouldn’t have to guesstimate how much a job will cost. You aren’t Miss Cleo and no crystal ball will tell you how much money you need. What you really want is better record-keeping (didn’t we talk about that already?) so you know how much time and money a job usually takes.

busybusy helps contractors track everything they need to know so on future jobs, they can have some real balls instead of relying on crystal balls. If they use it right, they’ll know before they even start a job whether it has the potential to be profitable.

So don’t spend hours staring at spreadsheets. Ditch the complicated software. busybusy puts you back in control of your projects so you can worry less about whether you’re making or losing money and actually get some stuff done.


Want to learn more? Contact us to find out how our project management software can help you keep track of your jobs and, more importantly, make sure they’re profitable every time.