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Career Story: Business Manager For A Residential Remodeling Company

Business Manager For A Residential Remodeling Company

Job Title: Business Manager For Residential Remodeling Company

Type of Company: My company is a design/build construction company, specializing in residential remodeling.

Education: High School degree, plus 2 years college

Previous Experience: I worked for a wood shutter & door company for about 10 years, followed by a few years at a commercial building company, then back to window coverings for 4 years, lead me to my current job at a residential remodeling company.

Job Tasks: My main responsibility is to supervise the finances of our company. This includes: accounts payable - supervising my assistant in the process of posting, approving, then paying subcontractor and vendor bills; accounts receivable - invoicing clients and following up with statements; and handling payroll for our employees - collecting hourly time cards and sending info into our payroll company twice a month, and maintaining all payroll records.

Because we are a small company, I manage HR - which includes employee benefits such as health insurance, our retirement plan, vacation schedules, and paperwork involved with hiring and termination of employees.

I also work with the project managers in estimating and pricing our projects. This includes compiling the bids from subcontractors and vendors into a proposal for our clients, and writing the project scope and contract. Once projects are started I work with the project managers doing change orders - this includes pricing and writing up an addendum to the contract for clients' signature as changes come up. At the end, at project close out, we send a final invoice, and conduct a post project interview with our clients.

I also work with the owner on marketing, such as print ads, our web site, site signs and letterhead, etc. Selecting which magazines we want to advertise in and designing new ads is fun, but time consuming. We also try to enter as many builder contests as possible.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The thing I like best about my job is the variety. Also, it is fun to be involved in the process of making someone's home nicer. Often I'm at the clients' home before we start the job to meet the subcontractors for the bidding. Then, when the job is done and I go for the post project interview, I love seeing the transformation. It is also fun to enter contests, because we often win. It is fun to see our work compared to others in the field.

Job Tips:
1. For the accounting and HR, it would help me if I had more education in finance and human resources. I keep up to date through seminars, reading and research, and with guidance from our accountant.

2. For project cost tracking, it helps to have really good software. We use Peachtree Accounting for Construction.

3. For the construction pricing end of things, it would probably help to have background in carpentry or any of the other residential building trades.

Additional Thoughts: I've been at my current job for over 11 years. I think what has helped me is that I've been willing to try new things. Almost everything I do has been learned on the job, but my previous experience helped. Also, at my present job, we focus on working as a team. This is a really nice approach that makes coming to work fun.

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