We all seek instant gratification. Fast food. Movies on Demand. Phones at our immediate disposal. We feel like we should be able to get anything we want just one click away. Growing a construction business doesn't work that way.
Some business are so simple, so product and distribution oriented that all it takes is a good marketing plan and cash to support the growth. Not so with construction. Almost everything about construction is tied directly to people performance. People create the product with their own hands, and each one is custom. People keep the projects organized and moving forwards. People attend the meetings and make the decisions. Every job is unique. Every job presents challenges that may or may not have been faced before. Knowledge of what works and what doesn't work is crucial. That takes experience. That takes the right experience.
When growing a business, you face two internal challenges: (1) figuring out how your business systems should work and (2) teaching employees how to follow the systems. Unraveling the mystery of how each system should work will require some trial and error. With persistence, you will eventually figure it out. Teaching employees how to follow the systems is a never ending task. Neither one of these challenges is going to be overcome quickly. Instant gratification doesn't apply to growing a construction business.
Even when shown which systems to deploy and how each should be deployed it takes many months, probably years, to get the systems honed so that they function well in your business's market with the staff, competition and clients involved. As your business's sales grow, you will need to add staff in the field and the office. Those people will have to be trained and re-trained on the way the systems run in your business. There is a fairly steep learning curve for most people. Few workers in our industry have been exposed to the way business systems should work. That means that when you hire someone with experience odds are the experience possessed does not match well with the way you need your people to perform. If you have been assuming you can hire people who will already know how to perform their job the way you want it performed you have been making a grave mistake. Rare will be the new employee who meets that expectation.
Clarification: I am referring to building a smooth running business that grows with minimal risk. You can grow a business rapidly, and you might get lucky and find a fool who is willing to take it off your hands, but the odds are extremely low. History is littered with businesses whose growth was too fast for their operations to keep up with. Errors and missed deadlines start to pile up, costs explode, profits are wiped out and creditors come knocking at the door.
Building a sellable business isn't a sprint. It is a marathon - or more accurately an Ironman Triathlon. It takes patience. It involves pain. It requires an unwavering focus on the final goal. It requires immense self-discipline. Expecting anything less is foolish. Expecting anything faster is setting yourself up for major disappointment.
Patience and persistence. That should be your mantra. Patience and persistence.
Have the patience to allow your team the time it needs to figure out the right way for your systems to work. Have the patience to allow your people the time they need to master the systems.
Persistently pursue improvement. Don't settle for the status quo. Don't settle for "good enough." Good enough is never good enough in the long run. Good enough will put you out of business eventually.
Be patient. Grow slowly. Keep building your bank account. Don't take on large projects that you don't have extensive experience performing. Sure, this approach takes a long time to reach your destination of running a sellable business, but it is the best way to get there because is the least likely way to put you in a financial hole.