Sep 18, 2020
Are you sick and tired of
customers continually changing stuff on you and creating delays or
Is your customer leaving you "love notes" regarding minor changes they would like to make on the counter or someplace you can easily find them when you first arrive in the morning? Or the never-ending chain of emails. Or greeting you with "I/we thought we would like to have...."
Do these notes, emails, or greetings send you into a mental or alone verbal rant about why they can't leave you alone to get your work done?
Are you concerned they expect you to do the additional work for FREE, NO CHARGE, NA-DA, ZIP, ZERO?
You needed to be compensated for your time and your crew's time, and you need to do it right away.
Listen to your clients and watch out for these four critical words at the beginning of their sentence:
Contractors hear these all the time. Part of the root cause can be traced to a mild case of "Stockholm Syndrome," where contractors feel their cash flow may be held captive by their customers or clients. They do not want to upset their "Captor-Customers," and so they tend to do more than they should.
I have a Randalism to share with you: "Hammer, Hammer, Who Has The Hammer?" In this case, the "Hammer" is a change order. This is a bit harsh; however, if you are a contractor, you live in a harsh reality, and the sooner you realize that and take steps to protect yourself, your company, and your family's financial future, the better.
There Is A Hall Of Justice, But There Is No Hall Of Fairness
No law says there have to be change orders. A lawyer may enforce a verbal contract; however, for contractors, unless you have something in writing, it is my opinion that construction contracts are fixed in stone. If a deal states, "I will pay you $X to do Y scope of work", your customer cannot force you to do more, and you cannot do less than agreed.
Change orders can protect you and your client. Change orders give contractors leverage because you can refuse to make the change unless you are paid.
Six Tips To Help Contractors With Change Orders
1. When The Four Important Words Are Spoken STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN!
2. Ask For Payment In Advance
3. Consult Your Employees
4. Consult Your Subcontractors
5. Pay Your Subcontractors In Advance
6. Download Our FREE Change Order Form
For homeowners and prospective customers - most contractors have big hearts and want to do what is best for their customers and clients. Most of them have equally big hearts and would never want to cheat you or take food off your table.
For contractors - business is all about building relationships. If someone has invited you into their home, they already know, like, and trust you. Please do the right thing for them, you, and your crew. Give them what they want and get paid for it.
About The Author:
Sharie DeHart, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on how to manage the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or firstname.lastname@example.org