The General Contractor Business Model

There must be a good business school term for this business model – personally I like analogies to everyday situations and the General Contractor concept really stuck with me. We spent the 2nd half of 2022 living out of our basement and did a lot of barbecuing in cold weather as we completely re-modelled our kitchen and eating area. We had worked with our general contractor before and knew whatever situations arose in a 100 year old house he would know how to “get it done”. We had to match 100 year old beams, move a cast iron sanitary pipe from the middle of the room and install heat pumps where there were none. He has a small trusted team working for him that do the general work and he brings in specialists to do framing, carpentry, tiling, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, shower doors and flooring. He knows everyone he has worked with and only calls in the best as their work will become a reflection of his work. The General Contractor has an intimate knowledge of the construction industry and understands drawings, building codes, materials and techniques – it also helps to be creative so you can help to solve the problems that will always arise. The General Contractor knows what has to be done and how to do it.

Our navigators work on the same principle. They spend time getting to understand what the client wants to achieve and provides ideas and input based on many years in the industry. We know what the goal looks like and how to build a plan and follow it. We know what skills and tools we can deploy and either do this ourselves or we connect with partners who can fill gaps where needed and probably do it better than us. Like a General Contractor our next job is most likely to come from our current customer in some form. Even if we do not do the work directly we are responsible for achieving the desired goal. Like a General Contractor our clients love engaging with just one person and knowing that person can “get it done”.

It feels like this approach of highly motivated small teams who are masters of their trades finding solutions to problems is the future of work. The General Contractors of this world are the ones who really make the model work by providing an interface between the customers goals and a diverse team of implementers. It is understandable that you may not want a General Contractor navigating your ship so let’s refer to the Navigator instead!

We are building the group of people we work with all the time and this will be reflected in our partner section – we will be proud to list the companies and people we work with because we have tested them in real life situations and we love the work they do. We have put together a panel of industry advisors who give us a sounding board into the operational details and issues faced in specific industries. We work with 2 freelance designers who really bring the “wow” factor when developing websites, communications and general graphics. Our favorite tool for dashboards is PowerBI and we are working on developing our partnership with Microsoft on this tool. We may suggest you work with specific partners for running your sales and marketing technology stack depending on the technology you use and the scope of the requirements. We believe in a holistic approach to good information which includes the culture of people to do he right thing – we work with the absolute best “people” person who makes sure the whole business is aligned behind the same goal.

If you need to build your ability to monitor and manage your business we would love to connect.


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