I recently was invited to speak before two Project Management Sections at Clemson University. As they had adopted my book for the course, this was a very easy decision to make. I made time and arrived to that beautiful campus in Clemson, SC. in the month of October.
As you may have wondered about the next generation, I found them to be a smart and interesting group. Especially those who sit in the middle rows of the class. Of course, I am assuming that all college seniors in construction management are like this. I hope I am right, but then again, Clemson’s curriculm has some rigor and practicality and they are demanding of their students.
I discussed with them two case studies from my workbook I recently published. One was based on a general contractor and one on a specialty contractor. Both concerned financial management.
I worked fairly hard to make this an interesting topic. All I can say is that I tried. Later, the professor told me that I did. Let’s face it, finance is a staid subject. If you don’t tell a couple of jokes and state some interesting facts about construction firms, you will bore anyone to tears.
One of the interesting topics we discussed was revenue growth. As most older contractors know, growth has to be carefully controlled. If not, it will cost you. You will end up paying to finish projects. So, I did my level best to tell this curious group that half the business is about people. If we hire the wrong person to take on a 1 million dollars of cost, that cost obligation can grow very fast to 1.5 or 2 million dollars. Again, you will end up paying to complete the project at the end.
A lesson that was not lost on this group.
Purchase a copy of my McGraw-Hill book, Managing a Construction Firm on Just 24 Hours a Day. We offer a bundle with Excel templates that are featured in the book and 5 on-line courses to help teach construction business concepts. Go to www.stevensci.com and click on the book link
Our workbook companion with 10 case studies is titled, The Business Management Workbook for Construction with Case Studies is now available.This text is focused as an assist for Colleges, Associations and Contractor Training Programs that teach the business of construction.
My next book, The New Business Model of Construction Contracting is planned for December 2007. Its focus concerns the changing construction environment and what processes address those changes.
Matt Stevens is President of Stevens Construction Institute, Inc. A management consulting firm which works only with construction contractors. Learn more at www.stevensci.com. Take a free course at www.constructioncbt.com and sign in as a new student.