Choosing a niche can be good. Adam McKinnon says he likes being specialized. He really likes sticking with installing stairs.

It would be much better for the general contractor to decide what stair finishes will be before framing.

Adam stressed the importance of establishing and maintaining relationships for future economy crashes. But be sure to choose the right kind of builders.

It’s not the quality of your work that will get you somewhere, but the quality of your relationships.

You want people to be happy that you are there.

Here are some of Adam’s tips on building relationships:

  • Get the job
  • Watch how you relate with others while on the job
  • Handle misunderstandings without animosity

On pricing the job, here’s a tip Adam gave. Figure out what it’s really worth. What the value of the project really is.

Here are some tips Adam gave for the general contractor when relating to their sub contractors:

  • Call the subs sooner rather than later
  • Talk to the homeowner about finishes before framing
  • Be accommodating to the sub’s needs
  • Be prepared ahead of time
  • Try not to schedule too many subs at once
  • Supervise the job
  • Adam recommends the books written by Malcom Gladwell:
  • Blink
  • Outliners
  • Tipping Point

To the new contractor just starting out, Adam has this advice:

Build quality relationships. You still have to be a good sales person. Even though you do high quality work, you will still need to sell yourself and your work. Learn to sell yourself. This is very important.

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