Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Great Start for a New Year
Our firm completed our office consolidation in 12/06 so the business is under one roof and located 5 minutes from my home. We had to do a complete built out from floors, electrical, heating, carpeting and all. It looks great.
Client wise we were awarded a five year maintenance contract with NJ Transit. We completed and was finally compensated for all of our work in 2006. Now we are activitely marketing ourselves again to our very targeted market.
In January were finally certified by the NY/NJ Port Authority as a Woman/Minority/Small Busines for Mechanical services to perform services up to 1/2 million dollars per contract. This process took almost 2 years. Also we were selected by the NY/NJ Purchasing Council to be mentored by Novartis Corporation. As a result we have been meeting with their Mechanical Maintenance team and hopefully this will translate into work. They assure us it will.
During Feb we submitted over 1.5 Million in bids. Needlessly to say it worn me out. But, it looks like we may be awarded a $480,000 contract with PSEG Fossil for piping work. Our meeting went well with their team. If it does happen this contract will position us to be significantly closer to being in the league with the BIG BOYS.
Not much Contact with my mentors during the second half of the program. On a personal level I completed an 12 week estimating course and a 6 week construction course. Now I need to focus on developing my staff and processes more so we can continue to get bids. I am sending a team of 4 to HVAC training to prepare for the summer season. Our finances are in need of professional help, especially since our bookkeeper dropped the ball, but we are still in working shape, thankfully. This year we have to built right repeatable relationships.
I was featured on the cover of Enterprising woman November 4, 2006. It was a real shock and quite and honor. I found out at the 2006 3M program. This program has taught me the power of media. In fact, I know I will have to keep working to drive media interest. I recently was put on the founding board of Professional Women in Construction, started a scholarship in the name of BI Group and completed two trade courses. I will have to see how I can create some real interest stories. Francise Glick did a fantastic job in linking Hands to Go to a human interest so she is a great role model. And, Maureen hit the Million. I am so proud of both of them.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
- Warren Bennis
Our team is excited about nearing the completion some of the projects were took on this summer. By the end of the month we should be moving on to new initiatives. We learned alot about different types of clients and have made a decision as to those we will avoid in the future, such as Construction Management firms. Why? Poor integration with the trades, extremely slow pay, and extremely demanding in terms of paperwork. It has been a good experience and we plan not to aggressively seek a repeat. With this lesson's learned in mind, we are back in the bidding stages and actively seeking new work as well as closing out our Accounts Receivables. Sales and payments will dominate our office activities over the next few weeks.
We were successful, after 6 months of waiting, to complete our Environmental/OSHA interview with Con Edision's Industrial Hygenist. This was deemed critical for a few reasons, failure would perclude us from working with Con Edison. Also I understand that approximately 2 firms per week fail the interview and hence are not able to be considered for work. Our team consisting of our Safety Professional, myself and our operation's director was able to get BI Group LLC approved to do work in 9 construction areas consisting of welding, substation work, electrical, insulation, etc. We are still celebration this milestone.
Our senior members are still attended the estimating course. It is intense and has consumed all of the summer. I hope to evetually get a real break. We have tackled all aspects of the construction trade and the plans are to used this as a protype for future courses for contractors. It will end in the Oct timeframe.
Met with my mentors, Stephanie and Lisa Marie of Goldenseeds, via a conference call and provided them with a list of questions as well as an update on our financial status. Our revenues for 2006 are head of last years numbers and we still have a full quarter left the year. We are staying with our plan and it seems to be working. We hope to bring in a few number contracts with the right Fortune 50 firms this year. Since our desire is to maximize Time and Material ( T& M ) contracts it can be more challenging to get but so far we landed two solid ones and are bidding on another one for a major university. Our operating expenses had increase due to payroll but that is fine as long as it is driven by the jobs at hand. We are striving to keep our overhead low so we can remain competitive.
BI Group LLC and Waterjourny ( Francine Glick) was featured in the New Jersey Star Ledger's Business Section. The goal of the article was to highlight the up coming 3M event and link the contest to the local participants/winners. As a result of this media exposure I was asked to speak to a group of business persons about the 3M Program in September at Essex County College in advance of the deadline. Hopefully this will encourage a new population of woman to apply for the program. Also I had the pleasure of attended the 3M open house in August and share my personal story, along with Nel, Francine, etc. Most, if not all, of the participants were excited and inspired by the time they left the Central Park West office. I really hope all that can will take the time to enter, write their business plan, and go for the gold.