Tim Sprague has been running his concrete foundation and home framing business for three years. He's 29 years old and light years ahead of where host Mike Knoche was at this point in his career. Tim talks about breaking away from his former boss, general contractor Randy of Ringmaster Construction /, and the incredible support he received from him as he made that transition. Tim took that support seriously and lays it all out for anyone who is trying to start their own contracting business in his trade. He built on his predecessors experience but realized he needed to constantly be improving his systems. Then, Tim talks about the power of social media in solving problems. He talks to other people he follows online real-time if he's looking for another set of eyes on something. He doesn't let pride get in the way. He struggles with office work and Mike gives Tim some unsolicited advice! No one asked, Mike! They talk about the importance of workman's compensation, boring but necessary! They go on about streamlining the office and generational differences in use of tech. Tim has some excellent insight on fixed price bidding vs time and materials because he not a big fan of square foot pricing for the work he does. Then, does a builder want a few big jobs or a bunch of small jobs? Big jobs have engineering challenges and make you think harder. Tim loves working with engineers and talking through those challenges despite the fact he isn't formally educated in that area. Mike and Tim agree that what they've learned at The School of Hard Knocks is as powerful or or valuable than an academic pursuit. They both grew up where tradesmen were looked down upon (and then found out after recording that they grew up across a border and only two hours apart. Tim then emphasizes the importance of a good website, which he has (see below) farmed out and done well. Mike makes Tim put getting a Google My Business page (you should too). They cover business size and expansion. The lightning round covers some construction
The Contracting Handbook podcast is all about the builders and skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen in the construction industry from all over the world. Here you’ll meet the tradespeople who took a leap of faith from working their craft to running the own construction company. You’ll meet people who left lucrative careers to enter the trades. For newcomers to running a construction business, there is a ton of advice on “how to” run your contracting company. For established contractors, you get to meet other industry leaders and get behind the scenes of their business and stay up to date with industry change. Mike Knoche, your host, keeps the conversation interesting. He’s been operating his contracting business for over 15 years in the oddly wonderful, Fairbanks, Alaska. Mike’s philosophy is “we are all experts in how we build where we live, but the business basics and business management are universal”. Join us for this global conversation on operating a construction company, mental health, cool projects, and construction industry progress.
Host: Mike Knoche
Website: The Contracting Handbook
Guest: Tim Sprague
Website: Pound 4 Pound Construction