Common Construction Software Complaints That Lead to Change

When construction companies begin to feel like their current construction management system is not keeping up with changing needs, they often start to shop around for something newer, more up to date, more robust, and more user-friendly. Some of the more common complaints construction companies are likely to experience when current systems are showing their inadequacies are:o    Lack of function – This might mean the software never had certain functionality, or it might mean the construction company’s business practices and procedures have changed, but current systems could not be adapted to incorporate and integrate such changes.o    Cost of maintenance – If current systems are becoming clogged with inappropriate or inadequate data, all sorts of negative fallout can be expected, including sketchy reports, unclear statistics, user frustrations, and much more.  As such, system maintenance becomes nearly continuous; creating a need for work-arounds and manual manipulation of faulty data.o    Staff or executive impatience – Sometimes, upper management in a sizeable construction company is so removed from everyday hustle-bustle of the worker-bees who keep the wheels turning (and who are responsible for all the construction management software data input) that they get frustrated when they have to wait for accurate information.  Fortunately, this can work in favor of those in the chain who might be promoting system upgrades.  When upper management learns that such delays and information-accuracy flaws are associated with aging software, they often provide support to move forward with the upgrades. o    Lack of vendor support – Reputable Construction Management System vendors often do their best to provide contracted services and support; although there are always those that miss the mark, and they can sometimes be a part of construction software’s ultimate failure if they become grossly negligent.  Of course, contract deviations and issues would be best handled through legal proceedings, if damages are evident and show clear violation of contract agreements in place.On a slightly different note, there are also times when construction companies might think their current system needs upgrading, when the real issue is more that of  inappropriate use of the current system.  If end-users are not thoroughly trained and continually reminded about the importance of accurate, honest, and true input data, systems can quickly become a confusing mish-mash that provides little value to anyone. If the Accounting Department in a Construction company decides that it wants to restrict access to Project Finances, then the Project Planning Department will be less able to accurately generate important reports, metrics and proposals. If the Human Resources Department fails to input pay changes in Construction Management System functionality, the Project Management Department might work with flawed assumptions re: project actual costs, since the initial data feeds have become flawed.Usually, such dilemmas are noticed fairly early on, so not a lot of damage typically occurs.  However, such dilemmas are often costly, and they are preventable; if only all Construction Management Software end-users were perfect in their information and data input.  Ah, but that will never be; so we must accept the next best thing; that is usually in the form of a new and exciting, fully turbo-charged, all-powerful, all-functional Construction Management Software System!

How to Protect Your Small Business Ideas With Business Structures

If you have the ingenuity to come up with a stellar idea, develop it into a business, and generate profits with it, you will likely have the foresight to protect that valuable entity. Here, we talk about how you can protect your small business ideas by keeping them behind the business castle wall: your business structure.Business structures, or entities, are generally classified into one of these categories:
sole proprietorship
partnership
limited liability company
corporation
Each type has pros and cons. Here, we will consider some of those.The sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business run by one person, and is by far the simplest form of business to operate. The reasons are straightforward:
It doesn’t require much, if any, registering or paperwork
It is very easy to start, change, or close down
The value of the business (viewed by both buyers and the IRS) is based upon the skills and assets of the owner, not stock
The sole proprietorship may be a simple form, and is often best when there is limited capital and personnel, but there are distinct disadvantages:
The capital is limited to the owner’s capital or what he/she can generate
The owner cannot be an employee of the business for tax purposes
There is unlimited liability for the actions and debts of the business
Liability is an issue in running any business, and increasingly so with the litigious society in which we operate. Liability is the ever-present dinosaur in the cave, ready to break out at anytime. You can’t know when or why or how it may burst upon the scene of your business, but history has proven (as recent as yesterday, or any day) that IT DOES HAPPEN.Simple can be good, but it can also be dangerous. When a sole proprietor operates, his capital, assets, and skills are what make up the business, and these assets become his payment in the event of a lawsuit. A court can freeze assets, force the sale of a residence, attach bank accounts and many other financial nightmares that you can imagine.Fortunately, there are other business entity structures more geared to protecting your small business ideas and your thriving business.Another of business is the partnership. It is a relationship between 2 or more persons who join together to carry on a trade or business. There are some advantages:
It involves more than one member, so it has greater potential for capital than a sole proprietorship
It combines the management skills of multiple people
It has pass through taxation
The partnership also has some disadvantages:
The authority for decision making is divided
Partners cannot be employees for tax purposes
Unlimited, joint and several liability among members
Like the sole proprietor, the partnership members can be held liable for all actions and debts of the business. In addition, there is joint and several liability, which means each partner is responsible for the actions and debts of each other partner.It doesn’t take much thought to see how this can (and frequently does) create issues. Different people have different ideals, different risk tolerances, and different methods. If one partner decides to act in a way in which another partner believes is risky, the other partners often times have no recourse but to dissolve the partnership. Because of this, many partnerships do not stay intact for long.The limited liability company is a more flexible, and in many ways, more desirable business structure. An LLC may be treated as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or a corporation. A single member defaults to sole-proprietorship, 2 or more members defaults to partnership, and either can elect to be taxed as a corporation or a subchapter S-corporation.Advantages are:
Flexibility: members can be individuals, other partnerships, other corporations or even other LLC’s.
Management flexibility and pass through taxation
Members have limited liability for the actions and debts of the LLC
Disadvantages:
It is governed by the laws of the state
It is subject to a base annual tax (in some states) which is increased after profits rise to a specified ceiling
All members must also pay individual earning taxes
Over all, the LLC is a very clever and flexible way to set up a business, but the main advantage is the limited liability to the partners. This is an increasingly valuable quality as revenues and profits increase, because more money means higher chances of being sued. Following the old “risk and reward” equation, as the reward goes up, so does the risk.Corporations are an advantageous way of establishing a business, but especially so when the profits and scope of operations increase. The law treats a corporation as a legal entity, similar to a person. It has perpetual life, meaning it does not pass away when the originator passes – the corporation remains a legal entity until such time it is formally dissolved.Advantages:
The transfer of ownership is relatively simple
It is easy to raise capital and expand the business
All shareholders can be employees of the corporation, and have limited liability
Disadvantages:
Double taxation (C Corp), meaning the corporations profits are taxed and shareholders’ earnings are taxed
It can be difficult and expensive to organize
The corporate officers must follow procedures, such as board meetings, corporate minutes, and others
Again, corporations are ideal for any business that has expanding operations, substantial earnings, or defined liability. Some businesses, by their very nature, encompass more risk, and some businesses are quite complex and require a more centralized structure. For these reasons and more, the corporation can be the best form of business to operate in.Corporations were designed to encourage business. The corporate veil is a strong one and protects people from losing their personal assets in a business catastrophe such as a lawsuit, and empowers them to grow and expand without fear. However, the veil can be pierced, but essentially only one way: fraud. Fraudulent activity among officers of a corporation can pull back the protection and expose them.

Checklist On Starting a Small Business

There are many good reasons to start your own business from the independence it can bring to your lifestyle to the noble role you can play in creating jobs to other, helping to grow economy and many others. In fact, the hardest part about becoming an entrepreneur is figuring out where to start. Especially in today’s economic climate most probably having a small business maybe the best source of income. Whether you have some knowledge already or are going on a vague notion that this option may be for you, we hope that this checklist will be useful to start with.Build a business planHaving no business plan is too risky when putting a startup business or even for existing business establishment. For any start-ups, a business plan allows you to gain a better understanding of your industry structure, competitive landscape, and the capital requirements of starting a small business.. Every business plan should include something about each of this area, Mission/vision, business name, marketing plan, competitive analysis, financial plan and products and services. It can attract potential investors and secure a loan. For investors this will show whether or not your business can make a profit.Name your businessIt is as simple as it can be but naming your business is the hardest part of building a business. Business name should sounds good and at the same time should be unique so that you have an impact against your competitor but not so unique that potential customers won’t know what you’re selling. You may want to consider Mr. Webster as your best friend for this part and play around with name ideas. Once you have a few you’re happy with, test them out with family and friends. Before ordering letterhead, though, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to ensure that you legally can use the name you selected.Choose a business structureFour types of business structure that you can decide on; Sole proprietorship, Partnership which has 2 types, Limited and General partnership, Limited Liable Company or LLC and Corporation which has C and S corporation.Sole Proprietorship, only one owner controls the business. This is the most common business structure available. Common proprietorship includes part-time businesses, direct sellers, new start-ups, contractors, and consultants.Limited partnershipis limited partnership consists of at least one general partner (controls the business) and at least one limited partner (investor). And General partnership is a business owned by two or more people. Partnerships offer more freedom for business owners with shared business tasks and the potential to earn greater profits.LLC, this is becoming more popular these days. Limited Liability Company or LLC is a type of business ownership combining several features of corporation and partnership structures Owners of a LLC have the liability protection of a corporation.Corporationis usually the most complex and most expensive way to organize a business. Records must be kept to document decisions made by the board of directors. There are two types of corporations; C Corporations (incorporate) and S Corporations (small business). Small business is the most common corporation; C Corporation is more complicated than forming a limited liability company or a Sole proprietorship.Set up and determine your locationGetting a location is also hard as it can be, this where your marketing strategy will fall. A good location can attract a large number of walk-by traffic while a bad location can hide you away from potential customers. It really depends to really what kind of business you will have. There are many steps in office set up including where to locate your office (home or office space), buying the necessary office equipment, designing your work space and getting supplies. Whatever location you choose, make sure you know all of the legal restrictions on your place of business.Get business insuranceA smart business is the one will take the necessary acts to ease the risk and one valuable risk manager is insurance. Like home insurance, business insurance protects the contents of your business against fire, theft and other losses.. In many cases, there is no requirement your business needs insurance unless you have a company automobile, employees or it’s a loan condition. Liability insurance, Property insurance, Business Interruption, Key Man, Automobile, Office and Director are some of the type of insurance that are commonly used today and are merely a starting point for evaluating the needs of your business. No business is immune to natural or man-made disasters and potential liabilities.Create an accounting systemAccounting is by far, one of most important aspects of starting and operating a business. It’s so easy to get caught up in the start-up glamorous tasks of designing a business card or choosing a business name, yet without a solid understanding of the numbers you will not survive. The objectives of creating an account system is to organize survival in terms of sharp competition, prevent bankruptcy and other financial risks avoidance, increase in production volume, profit and wealth maximization and expenditure minimization. Without a firm grasp of your margins and cash flow, you can price yourself right out of the market.Remember, lack of planning is one of the leading causes of business failures. When you start a business, your only goal is to make it succeed. And to succeed, you must be able to control all the variables along the way. Research and planning will help minimize the unknowns and make you better prepared.