Profitable Growth Is the Goal

Mike Taylor / May 2017

Have you ever heard someone say they have got that huge project in the books and now they hope, somehow, to make money on it? Better yet, how many times have you heard a contractor say it? Maybe you have been in that position—a place where risk is high and the chance of profit is low.
    
Too often we see small to large contractors go under because they make these same mistakes time and time again. And their rationale? Oftentimes, I have heard them say they take on these jobs to keep their people working, or they do them to keep another contractor from landing work with their favorite GC.
    
Most of us are doing a better job of minimizing our risks, but most of us have had projects go bad, and that will, unfortunately, continue to happen.
    
Still, with our economy growing and construction on a positive track, we all should be enjoying an improved bottom line. That is not the case, however, and I continue to hear the same sad stories across the country.
    
The problem is, we can do $10 billion this year and still not make a dime. Why? Controlling overhead, risk management, productivity, quality personnel, training and technology are key components to business success—growing our companies in a profitable manner.
    
It is food for thought for all of us about how we operate.
    
Hope to see you soon.

In addition to being 2016–2017 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Taylor is executive vice president of Liddle Bros. Contractors, Inc. in Nashville, Tenn.