7 Must Haves to Survive and Thrive as a Small-Volume Builder

What is a small-volume builder?

Survive and Thrive in Building: Fundamentals of Business Management     

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a small-volume builder constructs 25 or fewer homes a year. These builders comprise most (about 70%) of NAHB’s builder members, and two-thirds of them build fewer than 10 homes a year. Like other entrepreneurs—perhaps you—these builders decided to open up shop to have more independence, be their own bosses, and make more money. Perhaps they worked for another builder and decided they could do it better. Or they may have simply scanned the housing market and determined that conditions were favorable for a start-up home-building business.

Many small-volume builders say they are competitive, energetic, and driven—all desirable qualities for an individual who must have stamina to build a company from the ground up. Unfortunately, the so-called “A” personality traits that may accompany the desirable characteristics can lead to impatience and stubbornness, and impede planning, organization, and progress. Learning whether you have the right temperament will be essential for determining whether you can make it in the business world.

What makes a small-volume builder successful? In addition to having the temperament to withstand the cyclical nature of home building, small-volume builders who have found long-term success in the industry understand the following fundamentals of running a profitable business.

The 7 Must Haves include:

  • You must have a strategic plan                  
  • You must have a business plan
  • You must have a marketing plan
  • You must be systems oriented
  • You must sell relationships and service, not just price
  • You must practice good financial management
  • You must delegate

The preceding is an excerpt from Survive and Thrive in Building: Fundamentals of Business Management by the National Association of Home Builders. 


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