Copyright (c) 2014 en-us Fine Homebuilding - "Building Business" blog entries Fine Homebuilding - "Building Business" blog entries Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:37:54 -0500 Fine Homebuilding - "Building Business" blog entries Fine Homebuilding - "Building Business" blog entries <![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Know the Battlefield]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:49:17 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Know the Battlefield Posted by FPR
Strategic thinking is essential to success in any highly competitive activity, and the building business qualifies as one. This, the second in our three-part series on strategy, focuses on learning the contours of the real-estate marketplace, the builder's battlefield. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Profiles in Good Business]]> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:43:06 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Profiles in Good Business Posted by FPR
Profiles of building enterprises that provide valuable insights. Unique business strategies that work for them, and may work for you. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Strategic Thinking]]> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 11:44:04 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Strategic Thinking Posted by FPR
What makes the move from tradesman to entrepreneur so difficult? To start, the tradesman focuses almost entirely on tactics—the means and methods of good craft and honest work—while the entrepreneur focuses on a strategy, an ambitious vision to fulfill in the future. Which one are you? ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Builder-Office Automation]]> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 12:20:00 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Builder-Office Automation Posted by FPR
Nowadays, builder software offers far more than estimating and accounting. We take a close look at what’s available and discuss how you can determine what office automation products provide the best fit for you. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Project Management Made Easier]]> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 08:00:00 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Project Management Made Easier Posted by FPR
Project management is the skill set at the heart of any contracting business, and technology brings powerful tools to help you to do it better. As we continue looking into computing power tools for job-site management, we'll focus this time on InLoox for Outlook. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Homebuilder Resolutions--What Will Builders Do Differently in 2014?]]> Fri, 20 Dec 2013 07:50:47 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Homebuilder Resolutions--What Will Builders Do Differently in 2014? Posted by FPR
We asked homebuilders about their New Year’s resolutions. Here's a sampling of what we got. Please add yours in the comments! ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Accurate Estimates Don't Come Cheap]]> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 13:25:00 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Accurate Estimates Don't Come Cheap Posted by FPR
Xactimate and XactRemodel are perhaps the most accurate and speedy estimating systems available—but they come at a price. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Free Estimates]]> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 11:58:41 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Free Estimates Posted by FPR
We all give them, but you can get them, too. This series is a response to one reader’s search for more-affordable estimating systems. I'll start with as affordable as it gets: free ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Dealing With Workforce Diversity]]> Fri, 01 Nov 2013 12:26:48 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Dealing With Workforce Diversity Posted by FPR
To lead a diverse team, learn the silent language of culture. And then mine the riches discovered in the differences for a more productive and personally enriching day at work. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: You're Fired!]]> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 14:07:42 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: You're Fired! Posted by FPR
It’s the hardest thing you'll ever do as an employer--so hard, in fact, that some firms hire it out. But you can't, and shouldn't, so from time to time you'll have to say those two devastating words: “You're fired.” Still, you can break off with kindness and with a touch of class. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Writing Job Descriptions]]> Tue, 01 Oct 2013 14:55:08 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Writing Job Descriptions Posted by FPR
Every position in your company, including yours, should come with a written job description. What basic elements should a job description contain? Here, you'll find a quick guide to help you create clear, concise descriptions for your employees. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self Taught MBA: New Recruits: The Art of Hiring Right ]]> Mon, 23 Sep 2013 08:30:52 -0500 Self Taught MBA:   New Recruits: The Art of Hiring Right Posted by FPR
Faced with a shortage of qualified workers, contractors suddenly have to confront hiring decisions. In case you've forgot how, here’s a primer on handling the good hire. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Motivating Employees Through Lean Times]]> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 15:27:53 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Motivating Employees Through Lean Times Posted by FPR
Anyone making weekly payroll knows the meaning of stress. Avoiding white-knuckle Fridays while still motivating your employees requires creative, nonmonetary incentives. Here are a few tricks for keeping the troops happy without a raise. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Strategies for Communicating With Couples]]> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 14:37:39 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Strategies for Communicating With Couples Posted by FPR
Building or remodeling a home can stress couples to the breaking point. On a scale of 1 to 10, with the highest number equating to the death of a child, psychologists place remodeling at about 6 in terms of relationship stress. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Good Communication with Homeowners is Crucial]]> Tue, 30 Jul 2013 10:13:18 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Good Communication with Homeowners is Crucial Posted by FPR
The most basic element in good customer service involves frequent and fluent communication. But this simple chore eludes many in the construction industry and represents the number-one customer complaint. How do you handle communication? ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Building Abundance in a Tough Market]]> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 08:36:53 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Building Abundance in a Tough Market Posted by FPR
You're a good customer, using the same subs job after job, yet your costs keep skyrocketing and you can barely keep up. Just hiring the same guys time and again isn’t enough. Building mutually beneficial alliances requires the most difficult but ultimately most rewarding type of negotiation: the collaborative approach. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Collaboration and Competition]]> Thu, 27 Jun 2013 09:25:00 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Collaboration and Competition Posted by FPR
In real estate and construction, you will engage in every sort of negotiation, from win-win to the most disheartening losses. By learning the techniques and tactics of professional negotiators, you will see through the fog of war, understand the gambits being played to focus on achieving desirable results. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: Let's Make a Deal ]]> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 10:37:46 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: Let's Make a Deal Posted by FPR
The negotiator's playbook includes a handful of tactics and a few dirty tricks. ]]>
<![CDATA[When's the Right Time to Go Out on Your Own?]]> Tue, 28 May 2013 09:56:06 -0500 When's the Right Time to Go Out on Your Own? Posted by ScottG
A carpenter who works for a custom-home builder is entertaining thoughts of starting his own remodeling business, but he doesn't know if this is the right time or how to get started. ]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Taught MBA: The Real Value of Experience]]> Thu, 16 May 2013 15:41:09 -0500 Self-Taught MBA: The Real Value of Experience Posted by FPR
In the end, the hard-won soft skills are more solid assets than the technical skills that got you started in business ]]>