Mistake 1: Working ‘IN’ your business and not ‘ON’ your business
Earthmoving owner operators often try to be everything for everybody in their business. This results in owners working very long hours to complete important projects on time, and attending to mundane tasks instead of focusing on the big picture of managing and growing your earthmoving business.
The answer: By appointing the right people to look after project management, plant maintenance, office admin and all the rest, you’ll find you have much more time to source new work and plan for the future growth of your earthmoving business.
Mistake 2: Inadequate management systems
Simply having all the necessary technical skills isn’t enough to successfully operate and manage a construction or plant hire company. A lack of general business management knowledge and the absence of related systems are often the reasons why some owner/operator earthmoving businesses struggle.
The answer: Delegate important tasks to properly trained and qualified employees, to ensure everyone can focus on what they do best.
Mistake 3: Limited financial knowledge
A poor understanding of finance, as well as not knowing the true cost of your operations, will often result in the failure of your earthmoving and excavation business. It’s a sure recipe for disaster.
The answer: It’s important to have monthly financial statements to compare your actual costs with your budget. Without this information, it is very difficult to manage any earthmoving project or business successfully.
Mistake 4: Inadequate plant maintenance program
Whether you are running a backhoe, an excavator or any other earthmoving equipment, Plant down time is very costly, resulting in loss of income and missed deadlines. But in the fast moving construction industry, earthmoving owner operators often fall behind on scheduled plant maintenance because meeting deadlines seems more important. It’s a false economy.
The answer: Plant down time should be kept to a minimum with regular maintenance of your earthmoving equipment fleet. Having the right machines on hand, well maintained and ready to go, means your business can get the job done on time and within budget.
Mistake 5: Not having a marketing plan
Many construction or plant hire business owners rely on customers contacting them, instead of going to the marketplace proactively to promote their company and services. But this often means not having enough work for your excavation business, which results in cash flow problems.
The answer: Having a structured marketing plan can assist with growing your earthmoving or excavation business, securing new work on an ongoing basis, and maintaining your cash flow.
Mistake 6: Poor customer service
Retaining good customers is always a challenge – but good customer relations are a big part of any successful business. Without a structured customer service plan, your earthmoving business will eventually lose its customers.
The answer: Putting a customer service system in place will mean that problems are attended to as soon as possible, and your customers are followed up on a regular basis.
Mistake 7: Bad work culture
It’s no surprise that earthmoving businesses with good work cultures are generally more successful than those with bad work cultures.
The answer: Take a genuine interest in your staff. Fair employment terms, good working conditions, and ongoing communication, will result in a positive and motivated workforce.