Books that’ll help you avoid those common construction management pitfalls
Regardless of if you’re an industry newbie or veteran — construction management is hard.
And contractors looking to succeed in managing their own business need to understand not only the natural ups and downs of the industry but how to work around them. Just knowing the fundamentals of how a construction project progresses is usually not enough. You also need to understand how to bid and estimate for your target profit, choose the right projects, manage your crew and office, and follow local laws and building regulations.
It can be a lot to juggle all at once.
And while experience may still be the best teacher, learning key construction management strategies in the meantime can go a long way towards setting you on the road to success. Which is why we’ve compiled a list of some the top-rated construction management books to help get you on your way.
A great read for both general and specialty contractors, The Construction MBA Practical Approaches to Construction Contracting covers all of the processes contractors and PMs need to keep on top of to remain profitable. It also provides a wide variety of tips and strategies, as well as case studies, to help PM’s identify and react to critical trends, adopt better processes for their company and boost all-around efficiency.
And if that wasn’t enough, the book also takes lessons gleaned from eight legendary management books and applies them to the construction industry — saving you some time and extra reading.
Written by the “turnaround” expert, Dr. Thomas C. Schleifer, Managing the Profitable Construction Business: The Contractor’s Guide to Success and Survival Strategies calls on Dr. Schleifer’s 45 years of industry experience and construction-specific consulting, as well as his team of construction business veterans, to create the ideal book for construction managers and CFOs looking to take better control of their businesses. The book offers real-world examples, advice and proven strategies to help construction business owners minimize risk, avoid common construction business pitfalls and grow their business.
This book is probably the closest you can get to having a hands-on consultant without actually having to hire one.
Want a rundown on all of the factors that make a construction business successful? Markup & Profit: A Contractor’s Guide, Revisited offers readers a full overview of the business basics construction owners need to keep their companies afloat — and equally as important, profitable. The book provides proven formulas and step-by-step instructions on how to write good contracts, manage crews, collect on your work and more.
It also includes free downloads of blank forms and checklists you can use to help you follow the book’s instructions!
This book provides an easy-to-follow guide for contractors on how to get their business organized — from setting up the most efficient processes and outlining short- and long-term goals to building and training the best management teams. Written by one of the country’s leading construction business building experts, George Hedley, the book’s tried and true strategies are ideal for contractors looking to improve profit and grow their business.
The book also steps you through the process of drafting your very own BIZ-Builder Blueprint Action Plan, which can help you lay out the foundation for what you want your company to achieve.
This book is an excellent resource for experienced tradesman looking to make the move to construction management. As a former builder turned owner himself, David Gerstel provides hard-won insight on the day-to-day challenges most contractors face. He also helps breakdown the business side of construction like bidding, labor costs, tracking expenses and more.
Paul Netscher’s book, Building a Successful Construction Company: The Practical Guide, takes a deep dive into the question of why so many construction businesses fail and how it can be prevented. Through each chapter the book highlights key areas for contractor’s to be aware of, including choosing the right projects, avoiding unnecessary costs, maintaining a good reputation and more.
If you’ve recently found yourself in a leadership position or are just looking to improve your leadership skills, this book is for you. It touches on all the aspects contractors need to successfully complete construction projects and run their business, from safety and team leadership to production and time-management skills. It also offers advice on the inner workings of the contracting business and how to build and maintain trust and credibility with your peers as well as your clients.
Feel like we’ve missed something? Let us know if there are any books on construction management you think should be added to the list!