Remember, one wrong move can impact your bottom line in a negative way! If you want to keep the boss or the client happy, you should do your due diligence and keep the following in mind:
• Find a contractor with good organizational skills. Sounds like common sense but organization is an important skill that is acquired through experience (project management) and becomes a part of your contractor’s daily routine. Inquire about the type of projects the contractor has completed to determine if they are a good fit in terms of management, size and scope of project.
• Not all contractors are project managers and you should confirm that yours is! A contractor without project management experience can directly affect your budget and credibility. These professionals are responsible for successfully planning, scheduling, coordinating and controlling every step of the project to bring it in on time and budget. Project managers avoid the traps that turn a well run job into a money pit. Why? Because of their knowledge of the trades. What each trade is doing, and the amount of time necessary to perform the work guarantees against budget overruns. Avoiding costly interruptions and downtime is also an important part of their job.
• It is not uncommon for a company to utilize subcontractors to perform the necessary work. This is an accepted practice in the industry and will reinforce both the timeline and budget. As your contractor is working with your best interest in mind he will choose first based on reliability and, second based on cost. His/her goal is to bring together the best tradesmen to satisfy the customer in terms of budget and quality.
• While knowledge is power, communication is essential. Your contractor can be on top of his/her game, but without effective communication…game over. Lack of communication is one of the biggest black holes that add cost.
So, how can you locate the right contractor? Do your homework, scour the internet, ask peers for recommendations, stop at a job site and ask. Now do some research on your top pick by starting with their website. Take note of the scope of work they have done. Many companies name drop, do you recognize the names of their clients? Consider placing a call for a recommendation. How long have they been in business, are they licensed, insured? Do they offer a portfolio of completed work? Do they have client testimonials available? All this adds up to credibility and once they have passed that test; it’s time to make the call to see if your vision is shared by the company you choose. After meeting, you should feel confident in your contractors abilities: construction, reporting and communication. They should understand your vision for the project and your company since they then become your eyes and ears.