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A lot of contractors are talking about how bad things are, with the degree varying depending on what part of the country a business is located. But far too often, people label things “bad” when actually they are just “different.”

During the recent “good old days,” everyone was making money, but they also were wasting a lot of money. And most companies were missing an additional 10 percent to 20 percent in profits because of bad habits.

At this time next year, things will still be different. For companies that want to live in a world where the building industry never changes, things will always be bad.

Even though they may not like it, successful companies adapt to and embrace change. Examine how changes will directly affect the business directly, and then determine how to meet those challenges. Inevitably, this means doing something different. Don’t just be an “observer;” take positive action to get the job finished on time and budget.

Change involves every employee, starting at the top. Everyone must pay attention to the details and truly understand how what they do or do not do every day affects the bottom line. Employees cannot do their job properly and embrace change unless leadership clearly defines each team members' roles and responsibilities. Employees also must adhere to defined policies, procedures and systems.

Every company understands how the seriousness of today's business environment. Think and operate like top military units: They take risks, but not before understanding their actions and the consequences. Define define how the company operates, and then demand that every employee do his or her job at every level. This takes planning and training, but the payoff is worth it.

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