Across numerous fields and disciplines, “best practices” are used as standards within a given industry or area. Generally tweaked and adjusted over time as new information is available, best practices for any process, industry or job will always be important, especially if various different tasks are performed within your role – and the general contractor world is a great example.
At Contractor’s School, our services range from helping new contractors start a business through help with DOPL applications and various areas of business setup to assisting those who already own an existing contracting business – and best practices are regularly discussed in our materials. This two-part blog series will go over some basics on what best practices are, plus why it’s important to constantly be updating your contracting best practices and some general tips we offer to contractors on keeping everything straight in this area.
As we noted above, best practices are used across numerous industries and processes. They refer to either commercial or professional procedures that have become accepted in a given industry or setting, procedures that promote both safety and job quality.
So, for instance, a builder of car engines will have a set of best practices for how this process is carried out, one that speaks to everything from safety to proper part alignment and more. And within the general contractor industry, best practices are very important for similar reasons – both your safety and that of clients, but also ensuring you perform only the very best work.
As a contractor, your best practices are never truly “finished.” You may receive training in a new area, for instance, or perform a new job you don’t have experience with. In these and other cases, regularly updating and standardizing your best practices is important – and that’s where we’ll spend the rest of this series.
One vital part of this process is keeping best practices records. No matter how good your memory is, you will not be able to keep track of best practices for every single job or job type you perform – but having written sets of instructions is a huge resource. Take the time to document and record your best practices, something that takes on added importance as soon as you hire any employees and want them conforming to the same set of standards.
One of the best times to perform this documentation is directly following any major project. Maybe a given project type allowed you to discover improved best practices for a given area – but if you don’t immediately note them you might forget later. Documentation might take some time for larger projects, but it’s absolutely worth it down the line.