Qualified Remodeler Magazine

AUG 2015

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

Issue link: https://qualifiedremodeler.epubxp.com/i/563357

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 79

down to the little details like what they can and cannot discuss with our clients, how they need to prepare for their work and clean up on a daily basis, and make sure they're not doing any additional work without pre-writ- ten approval. We've outlined very specifc specifcations on the quality level of the work we do and the type of fxtures and fnishes we and each of our trades use. It has to be difcult for them as well because they work for multiple companies, and every company probably has their own set of specifcations for how they operate. It takes many years of training to bring a trade contractor up to the point where they require less supervision over time." ECONOMIC CONDITIONS play no small part in infuencing how to structure a com- pany. "A lot may depend on when people entered into business," Goldstein observes, noting that business models changed after the challenges of 2008 to 2010. Prior to the downturn, Goldstein had design staf in his company, but chose to outsource it for awhile. Ten when the economy shifted into more positive territory, he rehired. "Tere will be outside infuences that afect who's on staf and who's independent. "I don't believe there's any one right answer — it's a combination of right answers and what is the best ft for the size of the company, the amount of work and so fort h ." | Your scheduling is trickier; something could come up on their end that's a higher priority and you might have to wait for them. Te good part of that, though, is if they're truly trade partners, they'll make you a priority. Tat all goes back to relationship building." IF A COMPANY chooses to hire in-house, Goldstein sees maintaining adequate work- fow as the biggest hurdle. "You always have to have enough work for the amount of work and skill sets people have each and every sin- gle day," Goldstein says. He says this is of particular note in the remodeling industry. Electrical work might be necessary for two days on a week-long project, for example, but that would leave three days of the week to fnd work for that employee. "If you hire someone full time, maintaining their proftability is very difcult. When we use independents, we're not obligated to keep them busy every single day." Know the legal defnition of a trade con- tractor vs. an employee — and understand- ing where to draw the line with trade con- tractors. For more information about that topic, see the NARI Recertifcation article titled "Gray Area" in the December 2014 issue of Qualifed Remodeler on page 39. "People who hire individuals and call them independents but treat them like employees get themselves into potential grave danger," Goldstein cautions. WHETHER OPTING for employees or trade partners, training is critical. "Everyone needs to be trained and understand how to work in people's homes," Goldstein says. "Our project managers spend a lot of time training our trade contractors and partners. We've developed our way of doing things ne of the many decisions a re- modeling business owner is forced to make, and reevaluate throughout the years, is that of using trade partners vs. hiring in-house. Rick Goldstein, principal and registered ar- chitect with MOSAIC Group [Architects and Remodelers], Atlanta, explains there is no right or wrong answer to that question, but several factors may infuence the choice a company makes. Goldstein, who is one of two owners of MOSAIC Group, oversees the design and production departments and ensures the de- signs and drawings are thorough and creative before handing it of to the production team for the build. MOSAIC GROUP models its business around using trade partners. "We use that term, rather than subcontractors or trade contractors, because they're really partners of ours in every sense of the word," Goldstein says. Tey use the same trades, but ensure they have multiple people or companies for each trade. "We've found in order for our company to grow it's important to have not just one trade for each need. "I think it's more advantageous to have trade partners," he continues. "When you have independent trades, you can create fxed bids whereas if it's in-house you're working of of budgets, and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. With independents, you get a fxed bid as long as the scope doesn't change. You can fx pricing more consistently with independents." Relying on trades has its downsides, though. "With employees, you have much more control over where they are, what they're doing and what their priorities are. Building Your Workforce Many factors, such as the current economy and workload a company maintains, infuence the decision between hiring in-house or using trade partners By Laurie Banyay O 14 August 2015 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com PROFITS: NARI Recertification QR has teamed up with NARI to create a convenient way to earn credits toward your recertification. After reading this issue's article, take the test for CEUs at ForResidentialPros.com/narirecertification.

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