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How to Start a Construction Business

If you are starting a construction business with years and years of construction experience, then all the better. However, if you haven’t been the top project manager for a construction project, or if you have done so only a few times, you may still have a lot to learn about managing projects, a key activity for a construction company.

Learn the Best Practices in Project Management

The best practices in project management are similar across many industries. All focus on the project manager’s goal of delivering a project of specific scope and quality, on a specific budget, within a specific schedule. These three elements of scope, budget, and time must be constantly balanced for the client to be happy and for your firm to earn the right profit on the project.

Books on project management or classes at a local business school can take you through the major tasks of a project manager. The best training will teach both the technical skills, forms, and documents that contribute to project planning and controlling, as well as the “soft” skills of managing a team as well as client expectations on a project.

It is important not to rely on your project management software to actually teach you the basics of project management. As valuable as this software can be (Microsoft Project and Primavera are two widely used examples) it is only useful in the hands of a knowledgeable manager.

Major Steps of Project Management

The project management process generally includes stages of initiation, planning, execution, and evaluation, although in reality they may blend together somewhat. Initiation involves the rough specifications for the scope, budget, and schedule, and ends with agreement between the project manager and the client that the project is a go. Planning involves the creation of a detailed project plan, including such documents as a work breakdown structure, an organizational breakdown structure, a work flow diagram, the schedule and the budget. Execution involves the controlling of the project through monitoring of the ongoing cost and time to complete tasks and comparing this against the plan. Evaluation will include a post-project look back at what went well, what didn’t go well, and how improvements in the process and work can be made in the future so that the company’s learning moves forward.

Want more tips? Here's a related article: Construction Business Plan

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