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Most Contractors Spend 99% of Their Time on This One Mistake

Time is the one thing that a contractor never has enough of. If you’re running a roofing, siding, fence, deck or other contracting business, it’s likely you never have enough time.

As the owner or leader, all responsibility falls on you. Sales and marketing, getting work installed, putting out fires... a contractor's day goes by in heartbeats. You, as the leader of your business, get tugged in many directions. Usually, you’re the only one who can deal with the urgent situations, big and small, that arise throughout the workweek.

And that creates problems for you and your business.

6 Common Problems Running a Contracting Business

There are six common problems contractors run into, that all come from this mismanagement of their time.

How many of these sound familiar:

  • Unable to make a profit.  It’s hard to prosper when cash flow is tight. When the owner misses a paycheck, you know something’s wrong (you might as well work for someone else!).
  • Slow or stagnating business growth, year after year.  A slowdown or failure in one stage of your business, from lead generation to managing the money, affects the whole. Everything must work efficiently for growth to happen.
  • Poor quality workmanship – and as a result, site revisits, and losses. Installers and craftsmen need the right skills, training and motivation.  
  • Too many one-star reviews from aggravated, unhappy customers.  Too many poor reviews online can doom your business, leading to fewer leads and referrals and a poor reputation.
  • Burn-out from over-working. As the owner, you need time and energy to solve ongoing problems.
  • Increased stress and health issues.  As problems continue, your health, sanity, and ability to sleep well can deteriorate.

If this sounds like your business, you don’t have time to stop and plot out a future for your company – one in which you can buy new equipment when you need it, reward yourself both in terms of time and money, and develop a valuable business you can sell when the time comes to retire.

3 Common Solutions that DON’T work

These problems all come from a single and common mistake. Get ready, because what you're about to hear is going to make you stand up and think. It’s not going to be what you expected.

Most contractors think of three possible ways to put their business on the right track:

  • Train employees better or more frequently. (Nope, it’s not this)
  • Hire a business coach. (Nope, it’s not this either.)
  • Spend money on equipment or software? (Don’t worry, it’s not this either.)

The One Mistake Contractors Make and its Solution

Ready for this?

The one mistake that most contractors make and, if fixed, will make 99% of your problems go away… is hiring. Most contractors get hiring all wrong.

According to Larry Janesky, founder of six networks of over 500 contracting businesses:

“Most contractors spend 1% of their time on hiring and 99% of the time managing their hiring mistakes.”

Other business gurus agree:

In "Why Employees Are More Important Than Clients," Gary Vaynerchuk says it's employees’ skills that keep a company running.

A former Xerox CEO says, "Employees are a company's greatest asset – they're your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best."

Successful contractors know this to be true: the right people make their company successful. Ask yourself this:

  • If you had a team of great people…
  • If you had competent managers, supervisors or foremen…
  • If your employees could do the work as expertly as you can...

Would your business problems improve or vanish?

Can you see how NOT prioritizing hiring is the one mistake most contractors make?  The one that leads to serious problems in their business?

Why Is Hiring So Important?

When the owner or leader is the only one who can do things right - the only one who can sell, the only one who can install the work correctly, keep the customer happy and get referrals – the business has a problem.

But if the owner has to do everything, then there’s stagnation, little to no profit, long working hours, and little time to focus on health and happiness.

Doom Loop of Bad Hiring

If you continue to hire poorly, your company will continue to be stuck. Even when you get lucky and make a great hire, the odds of that person staying decreases with each bad hire.

Hiring the right people is the only solution that can free up the owner’s time. As the leader of your business, you have to hire great people.

You’re not alone. Not only is this a common problem in the home improvement business, it’s a common entrepreneurial problem. The leader or founder of a business starts with a vision. Often they have a special skill, talent or insight that results in a product or service they want to offer. And as we’ve shared, the leader is the only one who does things exactly right. As the company grows, it’s hard to let go and delegate. And if you don’t’ hire well, it’s even harder to delegate. Hiring is the critical factor in the growth of any contracting or other entrepreneurial business.

Why So Many New Hires Don’t Work Out for Contractors

Of course, every contractor would choose to hire great people. But we all know good people are difficult to find and harder to hire. 

This is a common scenario:

  1. The contractor is desperate to fill a position.
  2. The position needs to be filled “right now.”
  3. A help-wanted ad gets posted.
  4. An interview is done.
  5. The candidate is likable.
  6. The candidate gets hired.

This person is going to be everything you hope for. In desperate situations, you may even be hanging your hopes of saving the company on this person. That this person will solve the sales problem, the production problem, or the marketing problem. Often, these hires turn out to be mediocre or worse.

Why Many New Hires Turn Out to be Mediocre or Even Bad

  • Some people interview really well. They know how to seem excited. How to keep their energy level high. How to give back answers they think you want to hear.
  • Some people are really nice and easy to have a conversation with during the interview. They made us feel good during the awkward interview and we want to hire them.
  • Some people are currently doing the exact same job you are hiring for at a competitor’s company. This seems like the quick solution. However, there could be a reason this person is looking to change companies. Maybe the competitor demands too much, and this person is looking for an “easier” boss.
  • Some people are out of work and badly need a job. You like them and feel sorry for them. It’s human nature to want to give them a chance. There could be a reason they are not working and worth hiring. There could also be a good reason they are not working, and not worth hiring.
  • Some new hires actually make a business go backwards. Have you had one of these? A new employee who everyone feels is going to be the “fixer.” Someone with big ideas. Someone that doesn’t want to follow any of the “old ways” of doing things. Even the things that were working.
  • Some people want to escape their current workplace. They are well qualified for your job and may say they are super enthusiastic about working for you. Truth is, they just wanted out of their old job and you are a stepping stone for them while they continue to look.

Do any of these sound familiar?

They are lots of scenarios. Finding the best people for your company is like finding needles in haystacks. It can be done, it just requires focus.

How to Find the Best Employees for You

So if you’re looking to eliminate poor quality work, unhappy customers, slow business growth with little money, or burn out and stress, you need a hiring plan. 

You also need to change your mindset and understand that hiring is a top priority. Not just hiring once, but every time. Every position that a contractor needs to hire for is extremely important.

A bad hire can hurt the company culture, can cause unneeded aggravation between employees, and can hurt customer relationships.

To hire the best, you need a mapped-out plan. A plan that gets followed for every position that needs a new hire.  You need to know:

  • Where and how to find candidates.
  • What to look for on resumes.
  • How to pre-screen candidates that are just “tire kicking.”
  • A set of interview questions to discover the knowledge and skills of each candidate.
  • Homework to further weed out disinterested or unskilled candidates.
  • A 2nd set of interview questions to uncover the candidate’s disposition and their “fit” with your company.
  • How to include others in your company to make sure you aren’t “misreading” the situation.
  • How to make an offer to the candidate.

Don’t leave your business to lucky hiring. There are proven ways to hire better and put your business on the right track. Instead of developing or learning the hard way, why not learn fast how to start hiring better?

Introducing a Hiring Program for Contractors That Works

If you don’t have the time to create a plan, there is a hiring program built just for contractors.

While growing his own successful $35 million home repair company, Larry Janesky developed a hiring system that has been tried, tested and refined over decades.

While training and helping hundreds of contractors across the U.S. and Canada, Larry realized that poor hiring was the number one mistake contractors were suffering from. Larry saw over and over again that contractors were spending too little time on hiring – and then spent the vast majority of their time making up for this mistake.

So he put together decades of experience training contractors into a recruitment and hiring program. Any contracting business – roofing, fence, deck, pest control, remodeling, etc. – small or large can benefit from it.

The program is called “Hire Higher: Build Excellent Teams.” It’s your first step in a journey to business growth, making profits, happier customers and even less stress and better sleep.

Everything You Need to Know About Hire Higher

Hire Higher is a step-by-step program. You learn the essential method to hiring the best people in the home improvement industry. It combines the wisdom from the field of human resources and recruitment as well as decades of trial and error in the real world of contracting.

What You Get with the Hire Higher Program:

  • 27 videos covering common problems, solutions and strategies.
  • A 142-page downloadable Action Guide with tips and tactics to start using immediately.
  • The Candidate Folder tool to gather all the information about each candidate.
  • The Recruitment Card, which gives you an at-a-glance update on each position.

Once purchased, Hire Higher is yours forever. With no monthly fees and no licensing agreements.

Before learning the price and how to qualify for the special offer, watch Larry’s video on “How a Contractor Scales Their Business.” In the video, Larry investigates the importance of hiring.


Here’s a sneak preview of some of the methods and tactics you get in Hire Higher:

  • Where to Find the Best Candidates. It’s not by posting ads on ZipRecruiter or
  • Why Firing an Employee is a Mistake.
  • How to Avoid Being Fooled. Learn how to uncover the truth in resumes.
  • How to Screen Out Candidates Fast. Discover how to make candidates self-select themselves in or out before taking the time to interview.
  • How to Use Small Talk to Your Advantage. This and other “tricks” will get your candidates to open up and reveal their true selves.
  • Which Character Trait You Need to Uncover. Use questions about the future to uncover the trait every employer wants!
  • When to Use Silence to Get the Truth. Learn how to conduct yourself during interviews.
  • How to Predict a Candidate’s Future Behavior. Learn what information you need to know to predict who will make the best employee.
  • When Not to Hire. Sometimes not hiring solves more mistakes than hiring.
  • How to Present the Right Type of Offer. There are a lot of different ways to offer the job – know which is best.
  • How to Replace People You Shouldn’t Have Hired in the First Place. Once you’ve raised your standards, you’ll want to learn this.

These are tried-and-true tactics used by the largest contractors – but you don’t have to be big to take advantage! You don’t need a Human Resources department or a recruiter. You can expect great things for your business, such as employees who care about quality workmanship and who genuinely care about the customers.

With Hire Higher: Build Excellent Teams you get a program that takes you through:

  • Where to find the best candidates.
  • What to look for in resumes.
  • Questions to ask during phone screenings.
  • Homework to assign to weed out tire kickers.
  • 1st Interview questions for every position in a contracting business.
  • Homework to get candidates more deeply involved and to help you understand their commitment and interest.
  • A set of different, 2nd Interview questions.
  • A set of 3rd interview questions that will have you screaming "No Way" or “Hell Yes!” 
  • Conducting Background Checks… a must.
  • How and what type of offer to make.
  • Best practices for onboarding new employees.
  • Tracking systems to track each candidate and multiple hires over the years.

It’s step-by-step. It’s easy.

Why You Should Take Advantage of Hire Higher Today

Hire Higher is the proven hiring program used at Larry Janesky’s local company and throughout Contractor Nation and in its six national dealer networks.

It’s only $795! Compared to any in-class or certificate program, this is an amazing price.

  • It’s self-paced and you can return to it again and again.
  • Hire as many people as you want with no extra fees.
  • No licensing fees.
  • No recurring monthly or annual fees.
  • No additional software to buy or learn.

This investment in the future of your business will change the path you’re on. Where do you want your business to go: Five years from now – ten years from now?

It’s time to start dreaming about what your contracting business could look like with great people in every position.

But wait!

Claim your Special Offer.

For a limited time, you can get Hire Higher for $695 – $100 off the regular price. Use this link to receive your $100 discount. Hurry, this $100 discount will go away.

What You Get in HireHigher

You get: A 27 video walk-through of the program. A 142-page eBook broken into 13 chapters.  Plus the Candidate Folder and Recruitment Card that tracks all candidates and the status of each position.

About the author

Richard Fencil

Richard Fencil lives in Guilford, Connecticut with his wife and three sons. He works for Basement Systems in Seymour, CT that specializes in basement waterproofing, crawl space moisture control, foundation repair, and basement finishing.

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