If you’ve made a profit of £1 then you made more money than Balfour Beatty, Vinci Plc and a number of other main contractors did last year! That was one of the messages delivered to over 100 Specialist Contractors at their exclusive “Win Work-Get Paid-Make Money” Conference in Nottingham this week.

Several industry experts provided advice about how to overcome the payment problems that are still widespread in the industry. Specialist Contractors are funding the construction industry (a fact that was confirmed by the Government’s own report published by BIS), and how to “Get Paid” was one of the key topics for discussion.

The Main Contractors are the conduit for cash flow to the supply chain, but they starve their Specialist Contractors of money through late payments and often raise spurious disputes to delay payment once the work is completed. The conference heard about measures that can be taken by all Specialist Contractors to protect their interests and get paid the right amount and on time.

 

Key note speaker and business expert Gordon Bromley (the man who launched Tropicana fruit juice from nothing to £150million), gave a powerful presentation – showing delegates how to produce simple and practical business plan that will make a difference to their turnover and profits irrespective of their size or specialisation. A fact which was eagerly taken on board by Specialist Contractors from every field of construction and engineering and of a wide range in turnover from half a £million to £80million.

Photo3. 110 delegates

This third annual conference has grown in popularity each year and is now the biggest exclusively Specialist Contractor Conference in the UK which is open to all Specialist Contractors. The Conference is not limited to one single trade, and it attracted delegates from all parts of the UK.

10 expert speakers demonstrated how Specialist Contractors can improve their contractual process to ensure that they avoid trouble and use marketing and public relations skills to create a more solid business. The message was that competing only on the basis of price was a sure route to failure. And low and no margin tendering has led to the loss of thousands of Specialist Contractors over the last few years and the dire profitless state that many of the country’s main contractors find themselves in.

Delegates were encouraged to grow their business by avoiding being drawn into the negative spiral of low tendering and cost-cutting, and learnt the secrets they need to avoid the bullying tactics and onerous contract conditions that often hold them back, and starve them of cash. Delegates heard that being the cheapest is nothing to be proud of, particularly if they end up working for a Contractor that is going to use every contractual ‘trick in the book’ to make money at their expense. Low or no margin tendering can only end one way – joining the ranks of the hundreds of others who’ve gone bust in the last five years.

Photo 2. Gordon Bromley

Instead, the conference provided a platform for a new way of thinking and a new way of working, enabling the delegates to access a whole range of expertise, and to use no cost and low cost techniques to find more profitable work, whilst protecting their interests on the projects that they had already secured. The theme of this year’s conference was captured in its title “Win Work – Get Paid – Make Money” and the day delivered in abundance by providing ways to help all Specialist Contractors achieve their objectives without putting their business at risk.

This year’s event has attracted high level partners in the form of Platinum Sponsors; Russell Scanlon Insurance Broking/Risk Managing in Nottingham, and Silver Sponsors; Fraser Brown Solicitors Nottingham and Essential Print Services Printers and Graphic Designers Derby.