Any successful business owner knows the challenges of keeping a project within budget. Sometimes there are things beyond your control that can affect the project’s budget, however it’s important to know how to embrace said challenges and understand what the best way to mitigate them along the way. Here are five aspects to keep in mind when planning your budget alongside your client:
Remember to Listen!
When it comes to budgeting a construction project, communication is key. Always listen to your team members when you’re on site, but most importantly listen to your clients during initial meetings. This initial meeting will help gauge client expectations and goals. If you listen closely, you might just catch something hidden between the lines of what they are asking for. Once you’ve understood their needs, then you can move on to putting together an accurate budget and proposal for the project.
Don’t Assume You Know Everything
He who knows nothing, knows everything. “Before you assume, try this crazy method called asking.” Don’t attempt to take on the world with your current knowledge, instead ask questions and take time to research and thoroughly understand your project.
Instead of assuming you know everything, instead remember to ask questions, whether that’s with your fellow team members, or with the client. Strategic questions are key to successful budgeting and planning. Sometimes there may be costs that you did not even realize would be a part of the project. Your client will want to know if there have been any changes to the budget. Make sure you keep them informed on any drastic changes.
Order of Jobs
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of any construction project. There have been many jobs that have gone on for longer than they needed to, or perhaps the cost outweighed the profit, because certain jobs were not completed in the right order. To have a successful project within budget, you must have a way of doing things, and sticking to this regular operating procedure. A Smooth sailing ship is ultimately what will keep your budget focused.
You Can’t Control the Weather
There is a saying, “man plans, God laughs.” You can try to plan as much as you can but in the end you can never control everything. Weather unfortunately can be one of those things that goes awry. Weather can make jobs take longer, mess up job progress, and much more. You may find that if you do not take weather into consideration when planning your budget that you will end up having spent way more than you planned. Make sure that you account for possible delays due to weather and if you are lucky and the weather does not treat the project too bad, you may find you come out under budget.
Do Not Rush
Rushing can lead to silly errors and rookie mistakes. Take the time to make sure each step is done efficiently and correctly. It will likely cost more to fix errors caused by rushing than to do the job a bit slower but correctly the first time around. When you rush to get something done, there will often be mistakes. This will also help stick to the budget. While no one is telling you to take forever to complete projects, you definitely should take the time to analyze steps and how they relate to your client’s budget. They will ultimately appreciate your services more if you stay within their projected budget.
Although staying within budget can sometimes be out of your control, focus on changing the things that are within your grasp, and slowly that which you can’t control will not matter as much.