Coaching Case Study: Construction Business Academy for Small Business Owners

Coaching the shift from working in their business to working on their business produces individual and collective results

person wearing green pants

The Difference Between Working On Your Business and In Your Business Could be the Defining Factor of Success

Over the last year, the Carolinas Associated General Contractors Construction Business Academy has graduated 53 companies across three cohorts that cover Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh-Durham.  Most of the participants were attracted to the program because it provides a unique combination of classroom learning, subject matter experts, business assessments, individual business coaching, technical support, and a full year of mentoring and association membership.  The program was designed to engage the participants where they are in the growth of their businesses and to help them think about a mindset shift.  As small business owners, nearly all find themselves struggling with the pull to work “in” the business.  To be involved in the actual labor associated with their projects.  They nearly all acknowledge that their current approaches leave them little time or energy to work “on” their businesses.  As in, tending to relationships, networking with other industry owners, thinking strategically and setting goals, or understanding who their ideal client is and how to connect more effectively.

The goals of the program are varied.  They include:

  • Create awareness and clarity around their goals

  • Become more analytical and efficient in managing their businesses

  • Recognize the opportunities that are available

  • Begin shifting from the “doer” role to the “leader” role

  • Understand more deeply about business fundamentals

  • Identify the blind spots – not knowing what they don’t know

The Metrics Speak

The tracking of the businesses is a fundamental element of the program to ensure that the goals of the program are met.  The metrics selected focus on revenue, profit, staffing, and new project starts or backlog.  For the first cohort that completed the program, year-over-year revenue increased by 40% and staffing increased by nearly 50%.  Individually, they were awarded new projects (above and beyond their existing backlog) and collectively averaged three new projects each. 

What Participants Say

The participants report that greater awareness of industry needs, trends, and access to larger construction businesses have led to greater success, higher profits, and provided the opportunity to grow.  Many have become “preferred” subcontractors to area general contractors which provide avenues for company growth, the ability to grow into the business owner role, and leverage those relationships for support, mentoring, and future success.

Michael Riegel is a coach, speaker, trainer, author, and a technical professional who has built and led project teams to deliver large-scale projects and programs. He advocates for enhancing leadership and management skills with technical professionals.

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