When you are running a construction company, there’s one thing you can be sure of: something will go wrong.
It’s inevitable. Construction is a changeable industry. Contracts collapse, suppliers go out of business, and even the weather can play havoc with your ability to meet the timeline you had planned. As a result the construction industry is not for the faint-hearted; you have to always be ready for whatever surprises may result from a day on site.
When you notice a project is beginning to lose time, you have to carefully consider your options. Below are the possible reactions you can have to this situation; run through each scenario in your mind and then decide which might be the best for you.
Option 1: Hire more help
If you are lagging behind because you don’t have the crew or vehicles to meet the demands of the job, then it may be in your best interests to meet the problem with short-term fixes. You can hire staff on a temporary basis, opt for tip truck hire if you’re in need of more machinery, or even contact another construction company to help you meet the deadline. If your profit margin allows you to do this, it’s probably the best way to keep your reputation with your client.
Option 2: Talk to the client
No construction boss wants to go to their client and say that they are running behind schedule and need more time. However, the only thing worse than having to do this is going to the client and saying you’re outright going to miss the deadline– and you can prevent this circumstance developing by giving advance notice. Talk with the client when you experience issues; there’s a chance they may be able to extend the deadline and give you the breathing room you need to get things back on track.
Option 3: Walk away from the project
Some projects might seem like a good idea, but when they actually begin, you quickly realize that they are going to be more hassle than they are worth. If you have a fussy client or a trickier-than-expected working environment, it’s sometimes worth just walking away and accepting the loss. If you hang around on a project that just isn’t viable, it could ultimately end up costing you more in the long run.
Option 4: Do nothing and hope for the best
This is undoubtedly the worst option, but it’s also the most popular. However, if you do choose to follow this route, be wary: you’re likely just kicking the problem further down the road. You’re not resolving the issue and if you do ultimately run out of time, the fact you didn’t communicate the threat of this to the client is not going to reflect well on your company.
Dealing with a delay in a project is an inevitable part of life in the construction industry, but dealing with the situation well is an imperative. Consider the options above and then choose which is the most beneficial for your company whenever you fear you are running out of time.