Running a business isn’t something you can truly learn in a classroom. You can sit through classes about running a business; you can fill out workbooks about business processes; but there’s no better teacher than real-life experience. When you put the time in and understand all aspects of a business, from manager to janitor, that’s what gives you the confidence and foresight to run that business.

Two things that can make your business stand out from your competition are service and quality.

When you offer a superior solution that solves your customer’s problem, you are building a partnership with them. The best way to determine what problem(s) your customer needs to solve is by listening and learning.

The business managers of the new generation are eager to educate themselves about technology. To them, innovation is there to make systems and processes better, faster and more cost efficient.

When you add value to your customer’s business, you are forming a relationship to base future business on. The digital transformation taking place in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry today is enabling ways to do that. The technology is there, but you’ve got to be adaptable.

The trend lines for adoption rate of technology in the construction industry are becoming more interesting. Adoption has picked up during 2020, and it will be fascinating to see what that looks like post-pandemic as things start opening back up and going toward whatever “normal” ends up being.

It’s likely we’ll see some people revert back to their comfort zone of less technology utilization, while others will continue to push forward. What will the tech landscape look like next year or in 2022? In a decade or so, will everything in construction eventually be digital? And, after a couple hundred years of using paper drawings, can a project really be managed without any paper?

There are building owners who still want the operations and maintenance (O&M) manuals in actual three-ring binders, just like the old days. They don’t want them on a stick drive or uploaded to the cloud. They want their facilities team to be able to flip to the right section in the O&M binder and figure out the answer to their question about the air handling system, for instance.

Time will tell about technology. But the two things that will remain constant, no matter how digital your processes have become, your customers are looking for superior service and outstanding quality.

Join me on episode 59 of the Bridging the Gap Podcast with guest Brian Burke, founder of Plans4Less.com. Burke has experience as a business manager since the age of 17 and has leveraged technology and partnerships in growing his business.

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