If you’re like most general contractors, you look at your annual requirement for continuing education courses with a fair amount of skepticism and anguish. It’s one of those things that you can’t avoid, like death and taxes, and subsequently, you put it off to the very last minute. Believe me, I’ve been there, and I know how you feel.
But what if I told you your business can actually profit by taking continuing education courses? What if CE wasn’t just a mandatory obligation from the state to renew your contractor’s license, but a way to get insight to your business, your customers, and the advancements in your industry? That’d certainly make it a little more interesting, don’t you think?
Here are three ways your contracting business can profit from continuing education courses.
Reduce your liability
Of course, the rules and laws surrounding continuing education requirements vary from state to state, but where I work in North Carolina, our CE requirements are two-fold. First, we have to take a mandatory, 2-hour class on updated laws and regulations surrounding the contracting business. After that, we get to choose 6 hours of elective coursework. The mandatory class is usually regarded as a couple of hours of sheer boredom. But it shouldn’t be. This is the course that can save your business.
We all know that contracting is a high-liability industry. It’s why we carry a bond and so much insurance. Workplace accidents are only one source of claims on insurance. Another major source is getting sued for legal liability. It’s hard to keep track of all the laws on the books, but ignorance of the law does not excuse you from breaking it. If you have a mandatory CE class that reviews new and current laws, take it and listen carefully. It can save you money from a legal claim, which can lead to a rise in your insurance rates.
Learn more about a new service
I’m a roofer that specializes in storm damage restoration. As you might imagine, I see a lot of houses that have suffered damage from hurricanes and strong winds. And as you also might imagine, that means I’ve seen my fair share of houses with the siding torn off in addition to the roof damage. It’s certainly tragic, but it’s also a business opportunity.
What if I could offer my potential customer both roofing and siding services at the same time? One crew, one company, one budget, one invoice, one check. That would be convenient for everybody. But I’m a roofer, so what do I know about siding?
Maybe I don’t know much now, but I could certainly kill two birds with one stone by taking a course on siding for my continuing education requirements. Granted, I’m not going to walk out of that class as a siding journeyman, but I will have a better understanding of the skills required of a good siding contractor. I can also look at this education through the lens of a businessman and have a deeper insight into the changes I need to make at my company to bring siding into our scope of services.
Achieve greater efficiency in the back office
Perhaps the biggest issue getting in the way of higher profit is the amount you spend on overhead. Employees, office space, and all the liabilities that come with both are a drain on financial resources. The problem is, you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s hard to make changes in your office processes or workflow if you don’t know the options available to create those efficiencies.
If you’re looking for a way your contracting company can increase profit through continuing education courses, find a CE course on running your back office. Another good one to find would be new technologies available to contractors, or the systems general contractors can use to increase efficiency. The more you can learn about how to create an efficient back office, the more money you’re going to save.
For example, do you have a project management platform in your office? Something like Trello or JobNimbus or CoSchedule? If not, you may be spending more hours in the office than out in the field. It takes time to learn and implement systems like this. Why not use the hours that are required for your continuing education courses to learn how this technology can save you money?
At Average Joe’s, we take a practical approach to continuing education courses. We design courses with subjects that are designed to help your business grow and be profitable. The way we see it, you’re on the hook for eight hours or more of CE courses: why not make the most of that time? If you’re going to learn something new, it should help your business be profitable. Check out our course guide and see what I mean.