In the aftermath of a disaster, there is a need and a desire to rebuild.
This can present enormous opportunities for contractors. It can also present unique challenges that they must take into account as they work with their clients to help them rebuild and recover.
Here are five things to consider as you step in to help rebuild after a disaster.
1. Finding Workers
In recent years, it has become harder than ever for contractors to find skilled labor for their teams. After a disaster, the demand dramatically increases as individuals and businesses compete for the skilled laborers that they need to get the job done.
Maintaining good relations with your team members and developing a deep bench of additional workers will be necessary when loyalty is the only thing keeping workers on your projects instead of your competitors.
To stay competitive, it may be necessary to pay more competitively for labor and to factor this into your budget estimates. It may also require recruiting workers or subcontractors from outside the area and providing room, board, and other benefits.
2. Purchasing Materials
Another area where demand will outstrip supply is with the ability of vendors to provide construction materials. Available supplies of building materials are already stretched thin, and after a disaster, demand will explode as availability drops.
Building and maintaining good relations with your vendors will be critical to getting the materials. Adjusting timetables for ordering and delivery will also need to be factored into your budget estimates and work schedules.
3. Worker Safety
Rebuilding after a disaster adds another level of complexity to your normal safety operations. Concerns about toxic mold, structural damage, and debris should all factor into your planning. That’s why making sure your teams are equipped and trained to handle these concerns will be critical to maintaining worksite safety.
Again, this is where maintaining good relationships with your team members will be critical to keeping them working with you instead of the competition.
This is also a case where you may want to review your workers’ compensation insurance to make sure that you have sufficient coverage.
4. Managing Cash Flow
When demand is high, there is also the risk of getting financially over-extended, especially if a client’s ability to receive project funding is delayed due to insurance adjustments. Make sure you stay in contact with your bank and financial team to ensure that you have the necessary liquidity to take on more projects. This is also when good bookkeeping and project management will be necessary to help maintain good cash flow.
5. Getting Bonded for Government Projects
If your business is interested in working on government related recovery and rebuilding projects, it’s likely that you’ll need to get a bond through a U.S. Treasury approved (“T-Listed”) surety. To be considered for these projects, it’s also a good idea to get registered with the appropriate government agencies.
This is a topic we’ll discuss in our next article.
Work with the Right Partners
Working with Ox Bonding can also help you in case of an emergency. Our project accounting service can help you to organize your back office, and because we’re managing the books, you have the extra time you need to focus on rebuilding in your community.
If you are facing cash flow shortfalls, you can take advantage of a Requisition Cash Advance to help cover the cost of labor and material. Also, if you use our Discounted Payroll Service, all your payroll and tax information is stored safely in the cloud. This allows you to maintain accurate records for your employees, and track hours so that they can get paid on time and in full.
Ready to put Ox Bonding’s experience to work for you? Download an enrollment application or call us today at (877) 55-THE-OX.