When you find yourself in a difficult legal situation as a construction company owner, time and money are essential. You wouldn’t believe how much of my legal career I’ve spent rummaging through bankers’ coffers and trying to piece together the pieces of a project gone wrong. Before the creation of site management software, that’s all there was, and more often than not, it was insufficient and incomplete. In the past, rummaging through boxes and boxes of documents was the best-case scenario, or having a client who completely misplaced their documents was the worst-case scenario. And besides, people’s memory usually changes over time, so they tell me I’m looking for something that’s not exactly as they remember or, maybe, doesn’t even exist. In these cases, I have spent hundreds of hours and my client has spent thousands of dollars for me to rummage through a jumble of paperwork with no guarantee that we will find what we need to win the case anyway. .
Fix the problem with construction management software
Nobody likes having a bunch of disorganized files. It is an obstacle for you as a business owner, your accountant, your administrative team and especially for your legal defense. That’s why the modern solution of construction management technology can be a great asset to construction business owners around the world. Cloud-based construction management software is a growing option for construction professionals around the world. Many apps allow for digital filing and storage of your documents, virtual signing capability for clients, and even project management capabilities such as milestone updates and daily reports. Not only can your documents be stored here, but you or your team members can search your files by keywords, names, or addresses to easily locate and review stored documentation.
This ease of access is invaluable for many reasons. Not only does this save a lot of time, but it ultimately saves money and, perhaps most valuable, provides a consistent paper trail for the entire project. This means that you not only have access to a project schedule, but also to supporting paper evidence of correspondence and completion. If the app has a client portal where you and your client can discuss work, sometimes it even contains records of your correspondence. These assets are invaluable to your entire team. Your accountant can send and track invoices and their payment status. Your admins can easily find contact information, addresses and other necessary project details. Your field team can use it to track their progress, check what’s left to do, and enter daily reports for your records. Your legal team can easily locate the files and details needed to help you in court.
There are many ways to add to the benefits you can get from using building technology. For example, in addition to always filing your daily reports, you can be sure to include any issues that result in project changes. Whether it’s external weather conditions, the discovery of a new problem, or anything else that may be contributing to delays, including this information in your reports as issues arise helps your team to defend you as best as possible in the event of a problem. Also, if you can keep all communications with your customer in the app, that’s ideal. This allows your team to use the software as a one-stop-shop to create your paper trail. Suppose you have an external communication with your customer that is not in your system via email or SMS. In this case, you can keep screenshots, but above all, make sure you don’t delete the original messages.
Finally, you need to make sure that the contract you send on the platform you choose is personalized for your business, and not just a template automatically generated by the app. Your contract is your best line of defense and can do a lot to keep you out of the courtroom. If you don’t use a contract tailored to your business, you lose a lot of your ability to protect your business and the work you do. I would recommend finding a construction lawyer to draft your contract first, or connecting to software like JobTread which partners with legal professionals to offer custom contracts directly within the software. JobTread is working with my company to make this option available, which is a testament to the accessibility and organizational capabilities of construction technology. Using a program like this turns that proactive action into a consolidated task, ultimately making it easier for you to prepare yourself and your business for success.
Being a business owner is hard and staying organized and running your business sometimes seems impossible. Set yourself up for success; Connect with the teams that will best elevate your business! Today, we have many tools at our disposal to make it easier for construction companies to manage jobs, communicate with clients, and organize their documents for more efficient maintenance. I highly recommend looking into construction management software, such as JobTread, and seeing if it might be a good fit for your business.
About the Author:
Published author, award-winning lawyer, devoted wife and mother of three daughters, and veteran owner and managing partner of The Cromeens law firm (TCLF), Karalynn Cromeens is a real jack-of-all-trades. Karalynn is co-founder of Morrell Masonry Supply and owner of The institute of the subcontractor, an easy-to-access online educational platform for entrepreneurs. In addition to TCLF and the Institute of Contractors, she is also the host of the fast-growing educational construction podcast, stop being fooled – the free provision of information on the industry to entrepreneurs throughout the country. In 2021, Karalynn published two Amazon Best-Selling books – Stop being tricked: understand and negotiate the subcontract and, in September, Stop Stiffening: A Texas Contractor’s Guide to Liens and Collections.
In seventeen years of practicing construction, real estate and business law, Karalynn has reviewed and explained thousands of subcontracts. For years, she tried to save companies that had signed problematic subcontracts and lost compensation for their work. Unfortunately, it was too late when they came to see her; she couldn’t do anything to help. She hated to see clients lose money—sometimes their entire business—because of language they didn’t understand and laws they didn’t know. Watching these situations unfold day in and day out has been the driving force behind his two books, The Subcontractor Institute, and the company’s accessibility efforts. Providing entrepreneur education on a national level has become Karalynn’s personal mission, and she always does what she can to help make it a reality.