Professional Builder continues to chart the rise of Camberford Construction.
The jobs are starting to pile up. Based on what I’m hearing from other business owners, I’m not alone in being up to my eyes in work at the moment, but seeing as Camberford is not even two years old it’s extra satisfying to have a full book for the next few months.
It wasn’t long ago that I was wondering what I’d let myself in for when I took the plunge and set up my own business, so I (and I expect my partner) are grateful that things are working out so well.
I’m finishing up with the extension and loft conversion I’ve been working on for the last few months, but I’ve also won some jobs fitting out gyms. Maybe my contribution to Shaun T’s classes has helped establish myself a name in the fitness world, but fitting studios for EasyGym and Sainsbury’s is not bad for the CV, and alongside the domestic stuff, means I’m getting some solid all round experience.
It also means that for the first time, I’ve been working on multiple sites at once. It takes a bit to adjust to not being there overseeing everything yourself.
I’ve always felt personally invested in the jobs Camberford has done, which has led to some ‘letting-go’ issues when it comes to leaving a site to take care of something else. Needs must though, and I’m starting to learn to delegate!
Professional Builder readers will know better than anyone how difficult it is at the moment to find the right people for a job.
A good quality brickie or plasterer pretty much has his choice of jobs these days. It’s especially difficult to find them at short notice, which has been a challenge for some of the jobs I’ve done recently, as they’ve come about pretty last minute.
Ideally, I’d like to get a few more people in full time so that I’m a little less reliant on subbies, but finding the right people to help grow my business was always going to be a big challenge.
I’m lucky to have a cracking team around me at the moment, but there’s only 8 of us and – though it’s not for lack of trying – we can’t be everywhere all of the time. So I’m at the stage where I need to find a site manager to help oversee some of the work Camberford is doing.
Normally I rely upon word of mouth, but that can only get you so far and now that we’re expanding, I have to branch out a little further.
I’ve been trying some recruitment firms and, eventually, would like to take on a couple of apprentices. The fact I can offer regular and ongoing work is definitely a plus as well. It’s still a challenge though, and any reader’s suggestions on how to find quality new people for your team would be much appreciated.
For now though, it means I’m trying to find ways to save time however I can. I’ve been working with an accountancy firm who’ve helped me with VAT returns, self-assessment tax returns, financial advice and the like.
Not being a numbers man means that it’s good to have the help, and, thanks to the FMB, I’ve managed to get a cracking discount on their services.
The FMB have an industry partner scheme that gives its members access to discounts on all kinds of things that help with running an construction business, from reduced price tools to access to bargains with builders merchants.
There was even a van discount that I thought about taking up, but I think it’s best to hold off until I find those elusive extra team members…
For further information on the Federation of Master Builders click here.