New year. New opportunities.
We know how busy life in building and construction can get, so when we step into the new year it can be all too easy to pick-up work where you left off. Even though we are already a month in, it’s not too late to make plans for 2018 and set yourself up for a positive, productive and profitable year.
Get on top of your books.
After a big day on the tools, the last thing you probably feel like doing is reconciling invoices or crunching numbers, so why not set-up some systems at the start of the year that will make this work easier through the year? Are you struggling with messy spreadsheets and incomplete data? Catch up now before it gets worse. Think about setting up your financial reporting monthly so that you can set aside time to work out your revenue, and to calculate what proportion of it is being eaten up by costs. Maybe you’re still working hard but not achieving your financial goals? Look at your numbers. And keep an eye out for unpaid invoices – they can fall by the wayside.
Job estimates and cost control
In simple terms, we all know revenue minus cost of goods sold equals profit. January is the perfect time of year to look back over 2017 and see how your business performed and which jobs were the best value. If you kept good records, this can be done. If you didn’t, now is the time to start tidying things up.
Did an inaccurate estimate end up costing you? Maybe costs blew-out on a job? It’s worth looking to see if these things happened and to think about why. After that you can put things in place to minimise this happening in the future and get the best value out of your hard work.
Go further with training
Building and construction is a competitive industry so it’s always good to make yourself stand out from the rest with a bigger skillset, wider experience or extra qualifications. Maybe you’re looking to take the next step from your trade to overseeing the entire process of planning, coordinating and completing a residential building project from start to finish.
Builders Academy Australia offers continuing professional development courses that cover aspects of National Construction Code (NCC), health and safety, commercial, legal, company administration and technical.
The CPC40120 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) with Builders Academy is a great step towards this. Or if you want to go even further? The CPC50220 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) is a great step. It is part of Builders Academy Australia’s new pathway program that can take you all the way to a university degree.
Make safety a priority
From time to time states and territories update their OHS legislation. For example, last year on June 18 in Victoria brought in changes, including some that affect the use of equipment construction. It doesn’t matter how minor the changes, it’s your responsibility to keep up to date.
The best places to check are the SafeWork Australia website, as well as the relevant government organisations in your state. No doubt you’ve seen these before, but it’s always good to check back in on a regular basis:
OHS organisations in each state:
- Victoria – WorkSafe Victoria
- New South Wales – SafeWork NSW
- Queensland – Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
- South Australia – SafeWork SA
- Western Australia – WorkSafe WA
- Tasmania – WorkSafeTasmania
- Northern Territory – NT WorkSafe
- Australian Capital Territory – WorkSafe ACT
Explore new technology for your business
Whether it’s tools, materials, apps or gadgets, new technology can lead to new opportunities to make your work easier and more efficient. It can seem hard to keep up with technology. It changes so fast. But take a few moments each week to read up on it online. As an example, Bridge is an Australian invention that enables you to track your business, save job details, send quotes and accept payments, all in your smartphone.
As for new materials and techniques, statistics suggest that sustainable building is one of the quickest growing areas in construction. As people turn become more environmentally aware, adding that kind of knowledge to your skill-set is definitely something for your future.