How Safe is Safe? Over the next several months here at On Your Business, we are going to spend some time and ink examining just what we need to do for a business safety checkup — sort of a Remodeloscopy. Your response to the articles is requested both to its pertinence and timeliness. We are in the midst of a homebuilding slowdown that does affect remodeling. But how and how much. Just how good is our business health?
Our Remodeloscopy will look into our business innards and give us a diagnosis. Some of the areas we’ll check for health and safety are:
- Market share, backlog, lead source(s), sales and marketing; procedures and practices
- Employee skill levels, production management efficacy and response
- Compliance — DOL, IRS, codes, reporting
- Company culture embodiment, employee and trade contractor buy-in
- Legal and accounting advisor competence
- Design, estimating, scheduling and production expertise
- Job cost variance analysis and implementation
- Owner attitude and persona, employment benefits, incentives and policy
If your company is in tip-top shape in all these areas, go play golf. For everyone else, maybe we can make a difference in your planning, conclusions and attitude about remodeling. You know, “Your Get Rich Slow Scheme!”
Why look for things we should be doing and aren’t or things we are doing and shouldn’t be? Isn’t business challenging enough? Can you get in trouble doing the right thing? Unfortunately you can — a good friend in a Midwestern city apparently left out two pieces of step-flashing in a new house roof and 13 years later after answering every service call, was sued. Through a judicial quirk, he suffered a devastating loss via a quarter million dollar judgment — for an error that might have been worth $5,000. I know that company and they were top notch and thorough — yet it can still happen. It may seem like overkill, but once you find yourself embroiled in a dispute it is likely too late to recreate information you need to save your bacon — we’ll try to help suggest what you should be saving. We can’t make you bulletproof like Superman or six martinis, but we can help you protect yourself and possibly mitigate the potential for damage.
The best source of preventative medicine is found in your trade association. An active business owner/operator is far too busy tending to issues that he or she can’t effectively keep up with the full universe of important issues affecting residential construction. NAHB, the trade association representing all residential construction, has over 350 full-time staff members dealing with everything from governmental affairs, lead-safe work practices, safety regulations, air quality and legislative activities so that members have access to the most current and pertinent points. Builderbooks.com maintains a for-sale library of over 300 texts dealing with the industry.
The safety of industry operators is of paramount importance both from a physical and a business sense. It is this operating safety platform with which we will be dealing.
I will be looking for your comments about differences of opinion, additional information and questioning content — please don’t disappoint me.
Oh yeah, BOSHA — Business Operations Safe-House Analysis, get ready,
While you’re here . . .