Why we joined the Independent Builders Network
Updated: Aug 2, 2019
When starting out as a newly registered building practitioner getting your first major job can be a long and frustrating process but, once you get that job signed the feeling of elation and your visions of the future are all roses. Most builders like myself come from a trade background we have the skills to get the job done however we have little to no experience in customer interaction or business management. These missing skills are the downfall of nearly all small construction business, knowing how to understand and interact with your client is just as important as knowing how to read a construction plan.
When I won my first job I was over the moon but I soon came back to earth when the realities of running a construction job hit me. There is more to running a construction project or even getting one started then you may think. My first hurdle of course was hidden costs, this term is bandied around the building industry a lot and is a serious fear for any client. However I didn't know the builder can be hit with them as well, for example councils like to have a bond paid for asset protection, this makes the builder have a care about the front verge and council assets if he wants most of it returned. It isn't a large amount but for a young builder just starting out it's a serious hit to the cash flow.
The next hidden cost I was hit with was contractors and suppliers, the issue here was cash flow not having any training in business management I soon found myself in financial hell. Being a new builder most suppliers and contractors would not give accounts so paying up front was necessary. But as per most standard building contracts you may only invoice as certain stages are completed, so a catch 22 I couldn't pay the contractors to complete the next stage and I couldn't invoice to get paid till the work was completed. If a friend hadn't been able to loan me some funds I would have been belly up on my first job.
Not long after completing this job I was approached by Mr Kevin Renwick, he founded The Independent Builders Network and was currently undertaking a recruitment drive in my area.
I'll admit to being skeptical at first but Kevin being the tenacious and drivin man he is soon convinced me, and boy am I glad he did. Yes IBN gave me a plethora of plans, facades, industry contacts and so on but the best thing about it is the 'networking' with the other members. Whenever we have an issue any member is happy to answer the phone and help out, giving us access to years of experience you just can't buy. Having regular meetings and training days with other nearby members gives us great ideas we can improve our business with and what to things to avoid most of these things we would never have thought of on our own.
This is the gold that IBN brings to its members and is the reason I continue to be a member.