Learning opportunities and tools for LBPs
Often, we hear that LBPs are unsure where to start learning about business practices. Here’s some advice for Small to Medium sized Enterprise (SME) builders to pick up some tools and tricks from a Quantity Surveying perspective.
Business practices are relevant to your Skills Maintenance. Contractors have a range of regulatory obligations alongside LBP obligations, so knowledge in this area is relevant to being able to contract with consumers and participate in our building industry.
Get along to as many trade events as you can. Hearing from a range of informative speakers and the general camaraderie these events encourage,
is something you can’t put a dollar value on. Trade Events are often held by different institutions as well as by merchants or other trade suppliers.
Another great place to meet and share your knowledge and listen to a range of speakers is your local Chamber of Commerce. They will generally cover more than just trade information and also give out free information for those interested in HR, business acumen, accounting, and all those other things SME builders need to understand to run their businesses profitably and efficiently.
NZTE – Regional Partnership Networks
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise offer learning opportunities and funding to SME’s across New Zealand, and in many cases this includes our local trades. They can offer business mentoring, financial acumen, Human Resources support and training and marketing. Support is offered by way of courses around the country and one-on-one consulting and training with regional partners.
You can apply for funding for this assistance if you go to the website and become part of the network, it is definitely worth checking out. Suppliers to the NZTE have to be thoroughly vetted to ensure they are going to give value and help businesses so it is a great place to find real value, and help with funding.
There are lots of online tools, some free and others by subscription, providing data-based industry averages across the regions for labour constants, built up rates, and cost planning information. Quantity surveyors use this global information for estimating purposes, but for builders who are looking for estimating guidance, it is a fantastic wealth of information.
You can also find old fashioned paperback books that hold a wealth of information about quantity surveying. These are a common tool quantity surveyors use, alongside online services, to obtain information about labour constants. You’ll often find one within reach of a quantity surveyors desk.
Using resources to make the process quicker and easier is an added bonus. The information in these resources has been gathered through years of data analysis, and is a good basis to use when completing your own pricing work. A very handy tool to have in the office!
by Victoria Harison
Director/Quantity Surveyor at RedQS