Several years ago we had our house remodeled. Immediately after, we “flipped” another house. In both cases, numerous subcontractors, both experienced and inexperienced, did the work. 

Linda was the interior designer. I was the general contractor. 

In this world of framers, plumbers, electricians, roofers, and concrete specialists, there is an interesting commonality among inexperienced subcontractors: It is difficult to communicate with them. Phones go unanswered, messages are left but no return call is forthcoming, or voice mailboxes are full. 

Generally, the contractor has “gone missing.” 

How do these people stay in business? 

The dysfunctional communication system is a reflection of the new contractor’s chaotic personal methodology in which he or she is so wrapped up in fire-killing and “doing the work,” that insidious inefficiency remains invisible while it gobbles up the bottom line. It’s a subconscious miscalculation in which unhappy customers are relegated to the list of “those things that can’t be measured, and therefore have no value.” The owner of this business must make a perspective adjustment or the business will fail. (And, per the statistics, the huge majority of them do fail).

 

Sam Carpenter is author of the book, Work The System: The Simple Mechanics of Working Less and Making More.

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