Understanding the Critical Path Method

What is the Critical Path Method?

Whether you have heard of the critical path method (CPM) or not, it is a valuable project planning method that can save you time and help you complete more projects during the busy season.

According to Techopedia, CPM is a step-by-step methodology or technique for planning projects with numerous activities that involve complex, interdependent interactions (such as building a home). One of the main benefits to using this method is being able to complete projects in the shortest time possible by identifying critical/non-critical tasks to prevent conflicts and bottlenecks.

Take a look at the diagram above to get a better idea of the process. Let us know if you plan on using CPM for any projects in the future!

What do the letters mean?

The letters a b c d e f g and h are all tasks that need to be completed to finish the project.

What does DUR= mean?

The DUR= means the duration of the task or how many days this task will take to complete. So, DUR=10 means that this is a 10-day task.What does DRAG= mean?

DRAG= the amount of time that the task is adding to the total project. So, DRAG=10 means this task is adding 10-days to the project.

What does TF= mean?

This is the total float. Total float is the leeway that you have to schedule and complete this task. If the DUR=15 and the TF=5 that you have 5 days of leeway to start the task or the task will extend out the completion date of the project.

What do the dark green numbers mean in this diagram?

These are the earliest start and finish days for the task. So, lets look at task F. Task F at its earliest can start on the 11th day of the project and is that task is started on the 11th day than it will be completed on the 25th day.

What do the blue numbers mean in this diagram?

The blue numbers are the latest start and finish days. The latest that task F can be started is the 26th day of the project. If the task is started on the 26th day of the project than it will not be completed until the 40thday of the project.

What do the red arrows mean?

The red arrows specify tasks that must be completed in succession. This means that task a must be complete before task be can be started. In this diagram let’s say that task a is staking the property and task B is excavation. You can not start the excavation until the lot is properly staked.

What do the black arrows mean?

The black arrows are tasks that can be completed as other tasks are being performed. In this example lets look at task F. Task F is waterproofing the foundation walls. Task F can be completed while the other work is being performed such as framing. So task F is not adding extra days to the project.

How to Get Leads as a Young Construction Business

If you wish to develop a construction company in today’s market, you need to tackle more than simply offering solid service. Of course, being able to efficiently deal with construction is an important trait to have. But, if you are to make your business profitable in modern times, you need to know how to find customers. This is why we are going to take a closer look at how to get leads as a young construction business.

Get Leads as a Young Construction Business

Most people today look for construction companies online. When they need to renovate their home or build something new, they use search engines like Google or Bing to find companies that can help them out. Or, they ask around whether their neighbors have someone to recommend. It is important to keep both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online reviews in mind, as these will be the key ways in which you will get leads as a young construction business.

SEO with different aspects of it.
You need to manage your SEO in order to get leads for your business.

Understand Your Company

Since you are running a new construction business, we are going to assume that you are not yet sure about what kind of service you want to offer. It is important to note here that most successful construction businesses have one pillar service and a couple of services connected to it. Some of the possible pillar services can be:

  • Kitchen renovation
  • Roof construction
  • Home construction
  • Garage construction

By focusing on a single service, you’ll be able to better market your business and find the right audience. Companies that opt for the “best at everything” approach, usually fail since they spread themselves too thin. Ideally, you will find a construction service that is most needed in your area. By doing so, you will get leads naturally, as your neighbors will have a need for your services.

Set Up a Good Website

Once you have figured out what your pillar services are, you need to set up a good website. To do this properly, we advise you to first hire a web developer to help you out from the beginning. While you might find some seemingly cheap ways to set up a website, we strongly suggest that you stick with hiring an experienced professional. As you will soon learn, you will need to develop and modify your website as your business and your brand grows. The only way to tackle that properly is to have the freedom and the control that an experienced web developer provides.

A laptop with website notes on it.
You cannot have a safe, well-functioning website without relying on an experienced web developer.

Social Media

We cannot talk about your company having a decent online presence without mentioning social media. After setting up your website, you will need to create profiles on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can choose to let a social media management company handle your accounts, but this may not be the smartest way to handle them right off the bat. Our advice is to study social media marketing a bit and develop a voice of your own. There are a lot of construction companies that have their social media presence handled by a small number of social media managers. This often leads to them having the same online presence, which is something that you definitely want to avoid. Instead, try to use your first months to experiment and see what feels best. The sooner you find a way to communicate with your customers, the better.

Another thing we would also recommend is filming live videos while you work. A quick video where you explain what you do in a positive tone will do wonders for your marketing. Especially after you’ve done a couple of videos and figured out what to post.

Having Good Communication with Your Customers

As any digital marketing manager will tell you, having online traffic is not enough to have leads. Sure, some of that traffic is going to convert to actual business. But, if you want to get leads as a new construction business in a reliable manner, you need to develop good communication with your customers. After all, that is what your website, social media, and your live videos should be all about. The more you can address your customers’ concerns and needs, the better reviews you are going to get. And the better reviews you have, the more leads you are going to find.

A woman working on her laptop and her phone
Having good communication skills is quite important for developing a construction company.

Working with Other Companies

Having a good online presence is necessary to get leads as a new construction business. However, there are other ways in which you can ensure that your future customers find you. One of them is working with other companies in order to cross-promote. To do so, you need to find reliable companies that are willing to recommend your business to their customers. These, of course, cannot be competing companies, but companies that are closely related to construction. So, for instance, you can contact moving companies like golansmoving.com and have them recommend you for home renovation after moving a family. Just ensure that the company you associate with is a reliable one. Gaining back customer trust after working with unreliable people can be quite hard.

Keeping a Good Impression

The final tip we have for you is to keep a good impression. Most construction companies find work through recommendations. After all, people are always going to trust their friends and family more than they are going to trust you. So, if you work hard, use the latest technology and present yourself in a polite manner, you are bound to find new leads in the most natural way possible.

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It was highly educational on safety on which will help me and my company save lives and keep safe on the job site in everyday life. – April 17, 2018
Charlie Tregale - Massachusetts
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