When the going gets tough...

Let's play a game. I'll say a phrase, and you say the first thing that comes to mind.

Ready?

OK

... sub prime mortage

... credit crunch

... unsold inventory

... forclosures

... the dreaded "R" word (uh, that would be "recession", not "revenue", sorry)

The news isn't good.  And there will be casualties. You probably could name a few yourself.

And you don't have to be one of them.

You see, this isn't new. There are boom times, when anyone with a truck and a hammer can get in the way and make money without really understanding how they're doing it. Then there are the times we're facing now, when you have to be more aware of your margins and cash flow, and have to ensure profitability on much less revenue.

In times like these, the ill prepared will vanish. There will still be business ... for those that developed systems, procedures, best practices, a modus operandi ... call it what you will ... during the busy times. If you have that magical combination of great craftsmanship or technical expertise in your trade, and a system that underwrites your business, you'll continue to win.

For about $2 per day, BuildIT could be that system for such a contractor. But even that is too much for those that are in "tighten up the purse strings, let's just ride this thing out" mode.

The excuse in slow times: we just can't justify the expenditure. Many see BuildIT and other systems as "out go" rather than a tool to preserve and grow "income".

The excuse in busy times: we're too busy in crisis management mode, putting out fires, and dealing with the attention deficit disorder of everyone we're relying on to help us get the job done.

And I'm always amazed at how many folks come through the turnstyles at BuildIT, launch a free test drive, poke around for a few seconds, then tell me either by phone or email that they're too busy to check us out. What are they saying really?

"Hey look, I'm too busy being busy running my business the way I've always run it to spend a few minutes to see what you have that could possibly get me more organized, make me look more professional to my customers, allow me to tighten up on my project schedules, and reduce the amount of costly screwups that plague the construction industry in which I am involved."

OK, they may use different words, but you get the point.  And my all time favorite ...

"I'll call you when I'm not so busy, and we'll take another look."

Can you guess how many of those folks actually came back when they weren't busy? Nada, zippo! I smile and take the next call hoping it's someone like you that actually is clued in to what needs to happen.

Are you one of the tough guys? In the words of Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great", do you "confront the brutal facts" of your business? Do you get that if nothing changes, it will actually get worse?

So ... when the going gets tough, the tough get going ... on their systems, on improved communications, on being way more organized, on giving exceptional customer service that eliminates many of their competitors. The tough get tough on their business, and stay in business ... and their customers come out way ahead.

BuildIT isn't the silver bullet ... no software by itself is. BUT, in these days ahead, the winners understand that "systems are the secret".

BuildIT Systems ... I like that word "systems", has a nice ring to it, don't you think?!

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1

Exercise Bikes, White Elephants and 747’s

We've all bought something with good intentions, a product or service with the promise of solving our problems, increasing our income, making us look better, etc. We all have, or at least know someone who has, the exercise bike or walking machine in the corner of their bedroom, being used as a rack to hang their clothes on – arguably a coat hanger in the closet would work just as fine, but heh, for a few thousand bucks, you can save a walk to the closet. 

Let’s face it. Software is no different. In my years servicing the construction industry, I’ve seen a lot of contractors buy software with high hopes, only to find these white elephants end up collecting dust in the back room, still in the box.

Go to any software website (ours included) or pick up any “productivity” software box on the shelf, and you’ll see all the claims:

~ Get more done in less time
~ Do it faster, better, easier
~ New and improved (meaning all you that bought the first versions were suckers)
~ Get started quickly, painless easy setup (yeah right)

The fact is, no let me rephrase that, the “evidence” out there is most software installations fail, not because the software doesn’t work, but because users don’t “work the software” OR they bought the wrong stuff. If you're looking for construction scheduling software, and believe that a more organized business is a more profitable one, and agree that miscommunication is the primary profit killer in construction ... and you purchase a BuildIT subscription, then we can safely assume you've bought the right product.

Most software installations fail (60% seems to be the number that comes up in the research) due to a misunderstanding of a simple word … “implementation”.

Implementation – getting liftoff – getting up and running – working your way up the learning curve.

Here’s the key phrase: software implementation is a process, not an event.

So when you’re ready to pull the trigger on BuildIT, and we take your Visa/MasterCard, throw a party Laughing , and welcome you on board … that is only an event.

You’ve bought the 747.

When we (or you, or both of us together) configure BuildIT to suit your specific company requirements (otherwise known as “setup”) that is an event too… as it really only takes a few minutes to get 99% of BuildIT customers set up.

We’ve fueled up the 747, painted it your color, and stocked the cupboard with peanuts and cookies. Please put your table trays in the upright locked position, and fasten your seatbelts.

Now for the biggie: to get the BuildIT solution working for you, that is a process, or implementation. It means a change of habits. It means showing up regularly/daily, logging in, and getting familiar with the system. It means using the system to communicate from day one. Run all your email through BuildIT, and logging in daily will be an easy habit to get into.

You’re waiting for my 747 analogy, aren’t you.

Well, you’ve now pulled away from the airport jetway, you’re taxi-ing to the runway, you’ve even been cleared for take off.

Most of you will make it that far. But everyone wants to start flying, and reach cruising altitude.

Here’s how you do that with BuildIT:

1. Log on daily, yes, even on the weekends – get into a winning habit.
2. Use the system to communicate from day one … run all your email through the system.
3. Update job information and schedules daily.
4. Do everything else you thought you should do first, besides 1, 2 and 3 above. Everything else is secondary, trust me.

This is the captain speaking. We hope you’ve enjoyed your flight today. And for those of you that have sad little exercise bikes in the corners of your bedrooms, they still could be worth something on eBay.

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1

Get the help you need from BuildIT

Standard Training (free to all users)

  • Online videos
  • Online Help system
  • E-mail and phone support (got a question, call 1 866 585 5050 ext 1)

Setup and Configuration

While the system is easy to use and there are videos to help get started, some people prefer a hand getting started.

We'll spend the time it takes to acquaint you with features, answer your questions, load your account information, and get you rolling... this usually takes minutes, not hours.

Including:

  • Questions to understand your specific needs
  • A custom tour of the system built around your needs
  • Create:
    • a job
    • a construction document using a template
    • a contact
    • a note
  • Schedule:
    • an appointment
    • a to do
    • a task
    • a job or business process using a template
  • Send:
    • an e-mail using a template
    • a fax using a template
    • a text message
  • Upload and share a file
  • Add your logo, e-mail signature, and configure your e-mail settings
  • Customize your preferences

Plus we'll save you a ton of time and load your electronic contact lists (address book) into the system for you.

Plus introduce you to the online video tutorials so you and your team can take full advantage of the system... at your own pace.

Activation, Setup and Training are free.  

To get rolling contact: support@builditsystems.com

Coaching / Consulting

  • Specialized one-to-one or group training
  • Online and over the phone
  • Solve tough business problems / discover new ways to do things (may involve custom programming)

To get started contact: support@builditsystems.com

On Site Training

Possible, and may be exactly what your team needs. To arrange On Site Training contact: support@builditsystems.com


 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1