Four years ago Rob & Amy Burton, co-owners of Ramton Homes, were facing three major challenges in their residential building company.
They were time poor due to spending too much time on tasks that had not been systemised…
They didn't have a clear understanding of their costs going in and out which was leading to problems with cash flow…
And they were struggling to differentiate themselves in the marketplace as competition for projects increased.
They knew they needed guidance, so a quick search online resulted in them working with a local business coach which they learned ‘a ton’ from.
However, this business coach didn’t know how to build a house and more importantly, had no experience in the building industry so the information, although useful, was still generic and not specific to Rob & Amy’s needs.
A solution catered to their needs
A subsequent search on the internet uncovered a business coaching company that specialized in working with residential building companies.
As a result of that bit of research in January 2018, Rob & Amy took the first steps towards systemising their building company and embarking on a journey that would not only free up their time, but would also transform their cash flow and position Ramton Homes as the premium builder in their area.
Amy reflects “At the time we felt like we were in a place with our company where we felt good about our numbers, but we didn't trust that the numbers our accountant was giving us at year end were correct.
Every year they would ask us “What’s your work in progress?”
At that point, even with my accounting background, I wasn't sure how our accountant was getting the number he ended up with. I couldn't figure it out, I couldn't figure it out for the life of me.”
The course that changed everything
Which is why ‘How To Calculate Work In Progress For A Building Company’ was the first course Amy dived into. She recalled how she sat at her desk for three days, headphones on, determined to figure it out!
And once she did figure it out, she promptly switched accountants because “We realised our numbers were being inflated and we were paying way too much in taxes.”
After recalculating the last three years’ accounts they were able to reclaim just under $50,000 in tax that had been overpaid!
Since then Amy has gone on to recommend the WIPAA calculation to numerous other builders telling them “If you’re going to do nothing else, just do WIPAA. It will change your life.”
However, financial clarity and accuracy were only the start. After implementing systems such as CoConstruct and Hubspot and then putting people in place to do the work, Rob and Amy began reclaiming their time. This has allowed them to spend more time working on their business, planning and streamlining their operations rather than spending all of their time working in the business.
That work has resulted in Ramton Homes continuing to evolve while growing in size and becoming more profitable. Things that are only possible to achieve when a building company has a clear point of difference in the marketplace.
Rob recalls “We would have said, years ago, even three years ago, ‘You can't build a $2 million custom home and not do it cost-plus. It has to be cost-plus; you can't figure it out.’
And now, that's a no-brainer. We’ve got it figured out to the dime. We know exactly what our costs are going in and what they're going to be coming out.
Granted, we had a crazy couple of years during COVID, but we've got that all figured out now too. So that would be by far one of our biggest learning curves.”
The future looks bright for Ramton Homes
And while Ramton Homes started out by relying on referrals, as the business grows they are now placing more emphasis on paid advertising in order to keep the funnel full of opportunities.
“We’ve got a great website set up, and slowly and surely, we're adding more content to that all the time. I think from there, we'll just keep following the systems and integrating more content and ads, and showing those ads to the right people so we can attract the best clients.” Explained Rob.
The future looks bright for Ramton Homes, and Rob & Amy are a great example of how time and money challenges can be quickly overcome simply by applying the right systems and processes to your building company.
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