Posted: 29 January 2019
We are lucky in New Zealand as there are lots of opportunities and tools to learn and grow your business, as long as you know where to look! This article is the third and final article tying quantity surveying to being an LBP.
Often we hear that LBPs are unsure where to start learning about business practices. Here's some advice for Small to Medium sized Enterprise (SME) builders to pick up some tools and tricks from a Quantity Surveying perspective.
Business practices are relevant to your Skills Maintenance. Contractors have a range of regulatory obligations alongside LBP obligations, so knowledge in this area is relevant to being able to contract with consumers and participate in our building industry.
Get along to as many trade events as you can. Hearing from a range of informative speakers, and the general camaraderie these events encourage, is something you can’t put a dollar value on. Trade Events are often held by different institutions as well as by merchants or other trade suppliers.
Another great place to meet and share your knowledge and listen to a range of speakers is your local Chamber of Commerce. They will generally cover more than just trade information and also give out free information for those interested in human resources, business acumen, accounting, and all those other things SME builders need to understand to run their businesses profitably and efficiently.
NZTE – Regional Partnership Networks
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise offer learning opportunities and funding to SME's across New Zealand, and in many cases this includes our local trades. They can offer business mentoring, financial acumen, Human Resources support and training and marketing. Support is offered by way of courses around the country and one-on-one consulting and training with regional partners.
You can apply for funding for this assistance if you go to the website and become part of the network, it is definitely worth checking out. Suppliers to the NZTE have to be thoroughly vetted to ensure they are going to give value and help businesses so it is a great place to find real value, and help with funding.
There are lots of online tools, some free and others by subscription, providing data-based industry averages across the regions for labour constants, built up rates, and cost planning information. Quantity surveyors use this global information for estimating purposes, but for builders who are looking for estimating guidance, it is a fantastic wealth of information.
You can also find paperback books about quantity surveying. These are a common tool quantity surveyors use, alongside online services, to obtain information about labour constants. You’ll often find one within reach of a quantity surveyors desk.
Using resources to make the process quicker and easier is an added bonus. The information in these resources has been gathered through years of data analysis, and is a good basis to use when completing your own pricing work. A very handy tool to have in the office!
1. Learning about contracting with consumers and complying with your obligations can be relevant for:
a. LBP Skills Maintenance
b. Running a competitive and resilient business
c. Winning contracts and staying profitable
d. All of the above
2. True or false: If you’re operating a small business, you won’t need to know anything about recruiting staff, human resources or accounting – just turn up and do the work!
3. Where is one good place to get started on learning business skills and getting support to grow your company?
a. A quantity surveyor
b. NZTE Regional Partnership Networks
c. You’ll just have to learn it yourself