These two four letter words are top of mind for most construction businesses, most days. Success requires getting a grip on the payment problems that can be crippling to contractors. According to pros, the good news is that a primary but often neglected cause of payment problems is within our immediate control. Guess what skill may require some muscle building?
Yes, Let’s Talk!
While change order disputes, billing cycles, holdbacks, nonpayments and liens certainly cause many a cash flow challenge, some construction experts point to communication errors as the number one reason behind payment problems. For Construction Pros observes:
Probably the No. 1 cause of payment issues in construction — across all sectors of the industry and in every part of the world — is poor communication. Whether it’s poorly written terms and conditions on your quotes that are ambiguous and hard to enforce or price increases that are not properly communicated, they all mean you will have delays getting paid for your work. To avoid communication errors, have your contracts and terms of quotation professionally drafted to ensure they are clear and enforceable. Make sure that all communication with your customers is done in writing — even if it’s just an email. That way, if there’s a miscommunication or dispute, you have something in writing to refer back to.
Though of course written documentation is essential, successful contractors also know how to pick up the phone and talk through projects, progress and challenges. Contractor’s School reminds us:
Whether in terms of clients, subcontractors or any other parties, there…come times where conflicts…arise. It’s important to have the ability to not only identify and understand these conflicts but also to be able to resolve them in a way that’s satisfactory to all involved parties.This may require some diplomacy and tact, as well as the ability to see all sides of a given issue. If done correctly, conflict resolution can actually help to strengthen relationships…On the flip side, contracting business owners who don’t deal with conflict well can often find themselves in a lot of trouble. They will be less likely to see repeat business from unhappy clients, and they may also have a harder time finding good subcontractors to work with.
No Time To Pick Up The Phone?
Scouting the next job, managing the bid, getting the supplies…It’s a lot. That’s why busy owners trust Colonial Surety. Save time and gain control with our surety line of credit and value added services—known as The Partnership Account for Contractors®. With us, you’ll have your own private digital dashboard, providing you with a day to day snapshot of your single and aggregate limits, as well as your current and available bond capacity. As your work in progress decreases, you can even update your work on hand—increasing your aggregate so you can go ahead and move that next bid ahead. Afterall, you’re in control. Get started today: Pre-Qualify and Get Free Scores Here.
Good To Know
Communication? That’s important to us too. With The Partnership Account® you’ll have direct access to Colonial’s lead underwriter. Got a special need coming along, let’s talk about it. In fact, The Partnership Account® is full of tools to help you move your business forward. For example, on your own private and secure owner’s dashboard, you’ll find your underwriting review, along with financial trends, bid spreads, credit scores and more. With all this useful data at your fingertips—and Colonial as your partner, you can better plan your bidding strategy, win more projects and increase your profits. Let’s get you growing today!
Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a leading direct seller and writer of surety bonds and insurance products across the USA. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company and U.S. Treasury listed.