Perspective Design Build
George and Peter left independent contracting in 2016 to start their own construction business. With Reach’s help, they increased their profits by over 800% in just four years
George and Peter know the construction industry inside and out. Their passion for carpentry started young, with George building barns on his family’s farm as a boy and Peter starting work building architectural homes shortly after university. Eventually, they both started working steadily as independent contractors, each with over a decade of experience under their belts.
But George and Peter had an itch for something bigger. Something new and exciting that they could call all their own. In 2016, they joined together to start Perspective Design Build, a construction company located in Comox Valley.
George and Peter had always been employees in the construction industry, but starting their own business was a whole new challenge
Building a business from the ground up is a scary process. While there was no doubt that George and Peter had all the construction skills they would need, neither of them had experience in running a company.
From the start, they felt overwhelmed by some big questions: How much should they charge per project? How were they meant to stay compliant with the CRA? And most importantly, how could they bring in enough profit to support both their families?
The two decided they needed some support. They wanted the burden of finances lifted completely off their shoulders by someone who felt more like a partner than a separate, outsourced service. A once a year tax check-in, or an email every few months, wouldn’t cut it. They needed more.
Luckily enough, they already knew an accountant.
Fabien, our Business, Tech & Tax Advisor, had kids in the same class as George and Peter. They loved that Reach specialized in working with contractors and construction companies and could help with both compliance and regular bookkeeping. They decided to reach out for an initial conversation and knew from there we would be a fit. Not only could Reach provide all the logistical support they needed, but they also connected to our mission of providing long-term and continuous support to help with all their big decision-making.
George and Peter had found the partner they were looking for.
At first, George and Peter didn’t have the time to invest in learning their new accounting systems
With two families to support, George and Peter’s biggest focus was profitability. They hit the ground running, taking on any job they could find and trying to build a name for themselves as reliable contractors in The Valley.
We got to work right away too, building a solid accounting foundation for Perspective Design Build using Xero and HubDoc. Xero is a cloud-based accounting software with tools to make regular bookkeeping easier, quicker and more accurate. Hubdoc helps you track all your business’ receipts by simply snapping a picture and uploading it to the platform.
With profitability being such a high priority for George and Peter, we also wanted to get them set up on a project management software. An overall gross profit margin once a year won’t give you enough information. By seeing the expenses associated with each individual project, the goal was to help George and Peter understand what was profitable, what wasn’t, and where they needed to adjust their prices.
One of our favorite project management platforms is WorkflowMax. It’s perfect for handling multiple, complex projects occurring at once with a high level of transactions like George and Peter were dealing with.
However, with any system or tool, you can’t take advantage of its full potential without first learning how to use it. At the time we started working with George and Peter, we didn’t yet have our 5-week Pre-Accounting Course designed to train small business owners in the basics of bookkeeping and finance. And with all the demands of getting a business off the ground, George and Peter felt they didn’t have the time to invest in learning new systems.
For the first two years, George and Peter hit breakeven with Perspective Design Build. While they were staying compliant and not losing any money, they also weren’t bringing in as much as they wanted or deserved for all their hard work. They knew something needed to change.
By leaning into their new systems and regular reporting, George and Peter increased their profits by over 800%
Once George and Peter made the commitment to better utilize the systems we set in place for them, things started improving rapidly. Our online course made it easier to fit training in around their busy schedules.
“The online format is amazing. We love the videos [Fabian] sends to walk us through things. It makes everything easier.”
Finally, they were able to see job-by-job profitability and better forecast the amount of work they could take on in the future.
We also started generating reports for them and spending an afternoon together once a quarter to go over their finances. We analyzed their year to date as well as looking ahead to the next six months to understand what overheads, working capital and profits we’d be working with.
Instead of taking on any job that came their way, George and Peter started focusing on the most profitable and fulfilling ones. Their business started scaling rapidly, and as bigger and bigger decisions came up, Reach was there with data and support to see them through every step.
By year four, George and Peter reached $2.8 million in profit, a nearly 800% increase from their first year. Finally, they were making the money they deserved for the work they loved to do.
George and Peter recommend other business owners invest time and money into their finances from day one
Despite the hurdles at the beginning of their journey, George and Peter are grateful they got help from the jump.
“We advise any business owner to invest financially in bookkeeping, software management and invoicing right from the start. It’s important, and not a waste of money.”
They also advise fellow contractors to make time for training and learning their new systems after seeing the difference it made in their business.
“It’s hard, especially in the beginning, but schedule time for your finances.”
Just like with the systems we can put in place for you, we want you to get the full value possible out of your partnership with Reach. We’ll always do our part to support your business, and it’s equally important you do your part too, like sending us the info we need when we need it or taking the time to learn new tools. We promise, you’ll go further when we work together.
Now, George and Peter are pros at their systems. With the burden of accounting lifted off their shoulders, they have the freedom and confidence to continue growing their business without cutting into the valuable time they spend with their families and loved ones. We’re incredibly proud to say we’ve been with Perspective Design Build from the beginning and will continue growing with them into the future.
“We’re still working with the same people we started with. Reach knows our business and our problems. We definitely recommend them to anyone across Canada.”
Want to learn more about our partnership and how we help you go from overwhelmed and lost to bringing in the profit you deserve? See how we can work together.