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Pike's pin-up work included succeeding Art Frahm on the panties-falling-down series for the A. Fox calendar company

Construction Definitions

Contractor - A gambler who never gets to shuffle, cut or deal.
Apprentice Communication - Point at something and make deep noises from the chest sound like important messages from the brain to hide the fact they know nothing, nothing, nothing
Auction - End result of working in the business, focusing on the wrong stuff and bad financial reports
Auditor - Person who goes in after the war is lost and bayonets the wounded
Bid - A wild guess carried out to two decimal places
Bid Collector - Customer looking for cheap contractor
Bid Opening - A poker game in which the losing hand wins
Black Box - Computer with construction accounting software operated by a trainee
Business Failure - No meaningful financial and project management records in the calendar quarter preceding the failure
Business Life Cycle - Start small / grow big / lose shirt / shrink back to small business
Business Roundtable - Little round table in tavern with pitcher of beer and four contractors strategizing
Cash - Cash is a fact and profit is an opinion. One will put a roof over your head, clothes on your body and groceries on the table. The other one will impress your banker. Keep your priorities straight.
Competition - Drags all participants to the bottom
Cooperation - Raises all participants to the top
Change - The only people who want change are wet babies! Everyone else hates change!
Cheap - Not enough time or money to do it right first time; but plenty of time and money to do it over
Chaos - Always on the dollars coming in; never on the money going out
Completion Date - The point at which liquidated damages begin
Contractors - The people who makes civilization possible by building and maintaining structures
Contractor Gambling - One project away from making it big or going broke
Contractor Income - The average income of the six people they spend the most time with
Contractor Volume - Loses money on every sale and tries to make it up with a volume of new work
Critical Path Method - A management technique for losing your shirt under perfect control
Emerging Contractor - Someone who is moving to a little less hands-on role in their contracting company you could be an Emerging Contractor.
Engineer's Estimate - The cost of construction in heaven
Expensive - Goods or services that no matter how cheap they are; do not work
Experience - What you get, when you get, what you don't want
Failure - A few errors in judgment repeated everyday
Fear - What initiates change or stops progress
Fifteen Minutes Too Late - If you think you should fire somebody, you're already 15 minutes too late
Green Growing Contractor Vs. Ripe Rotting Contractor - Green growing contractors continue learning, questioning and discerning. Ripe contractors have a hardening of the attitudes, know everything and are rotting. Age is not a factor.
Hard Work - Expressway to Retired
Hustle - The expectation of getting 40 hour of work done in 20 hours
Inexpensive - Goods or services that do work beyond the warranty period
It's Not What You Know, It's Not Who You Know That Counts, It's Who Knows You - The value you bring to your network is directly related to who will take your phone call or return your email
Lawyer - Person who goes in after the auditors to strip the bodies
Liquidated Damages - A penalty for failing to achieve the impossible
Low Bidder - A contractor who is wondering what he left out
Nepotism Is Relative - Construction company owner hires and promotes his relatives who proceed to chase off qualified field technicians and office staff in an effort to level the contractor down and out of business.
OSHA - A protective coating made by half-baking a mixture of fine print, red tape, split hairs and baloney
Peter Principle In Construction - Promoting a journeyman to Project Manager or working foreman without formal training. Leads to Construction Train Wrecks.
Profit - Cash is a fact and profit is an opinion. One will put a roof over your head, clothes on your body and groceries on the table. The other one will impress your banker. Keep your priorities straight.
Project Manager - The conductor of an orchestra in which every musician is in a different union
Retired - Means you got tired of them, or they got tired of you
Rich - Income exceeds outgo
Signer - Someone other than the business owners with access to your bank account to pay bills or make tax payments....NEVER EVER A GOOD IDEA because everyone runs short of cash and the temptation to "Borrow" with the "Intention" of putting it back is having a high calorie snack with the intention of exercising later to get rid of it!
Simple Plans - Drawings showing what the finished product would look like if it were built in Heaven.
Strike - An effort to increase egg production by strangling the chicken
Warranty Work - The project that never ends
Working On Wrong Stuff - You can't get rich with your head in the ditch
World Of What Is - We live in a world of what is, not what should be

The main pages are shown at the left with the exception of: JCS Group and Always Do Right; This Will Gratify Some People And Astonish The Rest [Home]. (Pages may be in other headings and not shown.) Back in the old days, almost every website had a sitemap where they listed out all the pages. Our parting shots page will give you a little more information about JCS Group. If you've become lost or frustrated, you can access all pages directly from this page.

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A Dog And Pick-Up Truck Contractor Has a heart as big as the outdoors and likes working alone. They are easy to get to know. They usually have either a pick-up truck or a van with a dog sitting in the passenger seat hanging his head out the window watching and occasionally barking hello to folks and other dogs while feeling the breeze as the contractor zooms down the road.

They Do Not Think About Retirement and when asked about it the reply is something like “Retire, nope, I don't need new tires yet”. These Contractors Enjoy being their own boss, doing what they want when they want, how they want and works hard. They typically do not feel the need or desire to grow the business or hire employees since they would only get in the way. Most Of Them Run their business as a sole proprietor. They Generally Earn $20K to $40K a year after all expenses.

A Salt of The Earth Contractor Also has a big heart; just not quite as big as all outdoors. They like having employees because they do not want to work alone. As their business grows they like to take time off and enjoy travel and vacations. These Contractors Have one, two or three employees because when the employees get out of line the contractor can hold two of them by the throat; one in each hand and eyeball the third one! This is called “Construction Management”. This Group Will Usually Invest Some money to build a retirement nest egg. Most Of Them Operate their business as a C-Corporation, LLC or Sub-S. They Generally Earn $40K to $60K a year after all expenses.

The Professional Also has a big heart; they just tend to keep it under cover. This group tends to have more employees and have a structured approach to their construction company treating it more like a firm. These Contractors Tend to have 1-20 employees with formal organizational charts, processes and systems in there contracting businesses including a formal documented business plan which is updated and reviewed regularly with a board of advisors.

They Invest Heavily In Marketing - Their businesses. They understand their target market, they use The 80/20 Rule to understand the demographics and psychographics of their prime customer, the ones who generate 80% of the cash and income. And they seek to acquire more of them and will do whatever is economically feasible to turn those customers into lifetime repeat business.

This Group Usually Engages the services of a competent financial planner, banker and accountant to work together in helping plan and develop a financial estate that can take care of them in their senior years and be passed on to future generations. Most Of Them Operate as a C-Corporation, LLC or Sub-S or Partnership. They Generally Earn $100,000+ a year after all expenses.

The Enterprise Level Construction Firms Have 100+ employees and generate enormous revenues. Most of the owners and managers earn about the same as a well-run professional contractor. In a lot of cases their life span is shorter than any of the other contractors due to the enormous stress they suffer trying to navigate their construction companies through the ups and downs of the Business Cycle. The Managers Deal With Issues That are beyond anything the previous groups even think about, including labor unions, government oversight, massive risk and are constantly under pressure to increase shareholder value at any cost.

All too often a board member or powerful outside influence without a clear understanding of all of the moving parts involved in running this type of company feels the compelling need to fly in, crap on everything and everyone with their crazy ideas and fly out leaving a disaster to unfold. Then when things go bad the managers are the ones most likely to pay the price.

The Odd Thing Is It always looks like a fun job until someone gets into it. They need to stop making a long term decisions like suicide or worse, based on short term problems. The other three types of contractors are well grounded spiritually. There are special challenges of running an enterprise construction company.

It is not about the type of contractor you are, how many employees you have or how much money you earn. It is all about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Be the type of contractor that suits you, do the work, you will have results and enjoy yourself.

Contracting Is A Trade Of Choice And For Many It Is A Calling. It is a professional who may wear work boots, tool belt and a hard hat every day. They make our homes and businesses a better place to live, work and play. The formal definition of an Emerging Contractor is "Anyone who is ready to make changes, grow and improve their construction company" Simple, straightforward and to the point.

Someone who currently works as an employee and is ready to strike out on his / her own, Someone who brand new or whose contractor's license expired during the last recession, Someone who has an active business license, contractor's license and looking for projects, Someone who may have dramatically downsized during the recession and is ready to go again, and Someone who is moving to a little less hands-on role in their contracting company could be an Emerging Contractor.

Being an Emerging Contractor is not about having the “Most Employees” or only bidding the “Big Jobs” It is about doing the best that any contractor can do in their specific field by themselves as a one person owner/operator or as with employees, adding additional tools, trucks, equipment and employees when the timing makes sense.

For some, it starts with learning the difference between customers and clients. (Client - Someone who buys construction services and is more concerned about quality than price; Customer - Someone who buys construction services and is more concerned about price than quality.) It's getting that first project and how to deal with the paperwork. As they gain clients and find out who your best client is, where they live, and how your construction company can provide the products and services they desire and do it in a way that increases your construction company sales and profits.

For others, they now have experience from before that they want to build on and grow a larger company with 3, 4 or 5 steady employees working full time. Keeping the pipeline full with work, doing a little less hands-on in the field and a little more in the office, estimating and meeting new clients.

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