Scaling Up (Lessons From A Contractor Scaling Up)

Are you at the phase in your business where you’re ready to scale up, grow your business and take it to the next level? If you are, hiring help is your next thing.

Today I’m going to actually be sharing a client case study with you. I’m sharing what my client went through, the growing pains that they experienced before reaching out to me as they tried to scale their business.

I’m going to be sharing:

  • The case study
  • Tips, tricks, and strategies
  • Things that they should have done
  • Things that they did wrong

You don’t have to make the same mistakes.

Want to watch a video version of this post? I’ve got you covered!

I’m really excited to be talking about the topic today because I know it’s a struggle, if you don’t know how to scale, there can be definitely some growing pains. We don’t want that for you.


The company was at a growing phase in their business and the first person they hired was an admin person. That’s like the first thing you think to do is to hire an admin person. Somebody to do the paperwork, answer the phone, respond to emails. There is nothing wrong with that. That is exactly what an admin can do for you, general activities.

Scaling Up

As the business started to grow to that next level, beyond the admin just doing paperwork, the owner started giving her other tasks to do. He had her:

  • Sending out projects for bid
  • Breaking down projects by division, so that the plumber only gets the plumbing section, the electrician only gets the electrician section
  • Following up on bid request
  • Assisting the project manager as needed
  • Registering the company for pre-bid meetings

Here’s the problem, the owner automatically expected, the admin person to understand the bid process. They expected her to know what needs to be done throughout the bid process. She was expected to know the entire process from:

  • Finding opportunities to bid
  • The bid process, and even
  • Delivering the project
  • The process and the paper workflow  

The owner expected her to know all those things. We know that the bid process is a process that you’re going to be going through this process over and over again.

Knowing that bidding projects is a part of our business, some of us would create a system around our bid process so that something’s we’re not doing over and over.

For example, one of the things I teach my clients is how to create a proposal template because you’re going to be submitting proposals over and over.

I also help my clients create a bid checklist, with the process, so that they’re not missing anything. These are things that you’re going to do on repeat. Anything we can systematize or automate, we do that.

The goal is not having to manually do the same things over and over when you can automate them. Doing the from scratch every time is a waste of time and money.

The admin they hired did not know how to create systems around the task that she was performing.

Mistake Number One

The problem we have is the owner didn’t step into the true visionary leader he should be in his business. The owner didn’t handle their responsibility.

You have to hire the right people for the right position. You can’t hire someone for one thing and then because the business has grown you think you’re going to also dump additional task on them that really, they don’t have the capability to do.

Mistake Number Two

The owner didn’t provide the admin person with training on the way they do things in his business or provide them with the necessary systems.

Even if he had the systems in his head, that doesn’t help the admin person. Nobody else can duplicate what he has in his head. He also didn’t provide support or technology.

The owner dropped the ball. The mistakes that the owner made are:

  • Not being the leader of his business
  • Expecting the admin to do things they weren’t hired to do
  • Expecting her to do things she didn’t have the capacity or the capability to do.

Business owners do this all the time, expecting to pay a little but get a lot. That’s the problem.

What I teach my clients as they’re scaling their business before you hire systematize and automate FIRST. Put systems in place, automate what you can and then hire.


  1. Create systems before you hire
  2. Automate what you can
  3. Then hire based on their ability

When hiring consider the person’s abilities as to where they’re at right now, if they can learn, and are they willing to learn?

Train them on how you do things and how you run your business. Let me give you an example of accounting. Accounting is accounting. Just like math is math right?

But as you know in math, when we do regrouping, you can do it a couple of different ways. You can take short cuts or you can write it out the long way. Some people can do it in their heads.

It’s not that those you hire may not know how to do the work, but you may want it done a different way or in your company. You may do it a different way. You may go through every single step. You don’t skip a step. These are the reasons why it is important that you train your hires on your ways.


The owner hired an admin at $11.00 an hour, expecting the results of a project coordinator, which when you hire a good one, you’re looking at upwards of $20.00 an hour.

They hired an admin and then they tried to transition her into being a project coordinator without training her. That’s not to say that she couldn’t do the work with the proper training, but when he didn’t train her, he set her up for failure.

He was frustrated and upset because the ball was being dropped.


The company had a project that they were going to bid. There was a mandatory pre-bid meeting. You couldn’t just show up. You had to register to attend the pre-bid meeting. The admin person didn’t register them for the pre-bid meeting.

Now, as a project coordinator, you would probably look at the bid and you would either just register the company or you would ask who’s going? Maybe you’d ask, are you guys going to do this? Or you would say something like, “You know, there’s a pre-bid meeting that’s mandatory, do you want me to register you?”

I’m thinking she took it as, okay you’re the PM, you should’ve seen this and if you want me to register you for this then you should tell me or either you did it yourself.

Communication is very, very important along with the training.


There was a pre-bid meeting where one of the PM’s told the admin to sign him up for a pre-bid meeting, so she did and they said, “Make a calendar invite,” and she did.

She sent the pre-bid meeting information to them in their calendar invite, the problem is, you know, unless you go in and change the settings in your Google calendar it is usually set for like 10 minutes before.

She did what they asked her to do. She didn’t change the settings. So the day of this pre-bid meeting they get a notification 10 minutes prior to the start of the pre-bid meeting. Their drive time was going to take them at least 30-45 minutes to get to the pre-bid meeting location.

Needless to say, the owner and the project manager (PM) was pissed!

Those are the type of things you want to avoid. This company put in a lot of time and effort to bid on that project. Unfortunately, they’re not going to the pre-bid meeting. They missed it because of the calendar invite and now they’ve wasted a lot of time and money on something they can’t even bid and have an opportunity at winning.

I don’t want you to be in that situation. It is very, very important that you do it like I laid out for you:

  1. Create the systems
  2. Automate where you can
  3. Then hire

Now when you hire people, make sure you:

  • Have the systems in place
  • Give them the systems
  • Walk them through the systems
  • Provide them with the technology you have to support their efforts
  • Train them

It’s not a one-off training, you have to train them, whether you hire an admin, whether you hire a project coordinator, whether you hire a bookkeeper to do your books.

If you’re hiring an independent company that already knows how to do these things, then training is not be needed. But if you’re bringing them in house, you’re going to have to train them. Plan on it and make it happen.

Are you looking at scaling up this year in your business?

If so, the next step for you is creating systems. Create the necessary systems that you need to have in place. One of the systems that are very important is the bid process.

You want to have a process for when you’re bidding and then you want to have a process for when you have to submit a proposal. I know that’s a lot.

If you need help creating your system, going through the bid process because you don’t know how to do it or yours isn’t producing the results you desire then I do want to invite you to come hang out with me.

I have my, Master The Bid Playbook VIP Intensive. Where we’ll work together during a three hour intensive. We’ll focus on creating the systems for your bid process as well as for submitting responsive proposals.

You’ll also learn how to break down the solicitation because that’s part of being able to submit a responsive proposal.

You’ll be able to take what we create during your intensive and use it yourself on repeat.

Here’s the beauty, when you get ready to scale up and hire, you’ll be able to hand the systems that you’ve created off to your support staff. How cool is that? Versus scrambling every time you’re looking to submit a bid.


Did you know that 80% of proposals that are submitted, currently are considered what they say, not responsive which means, they don’t even get looked at?

You don’t want to put a lot of time and effort into something that you’re not going to have a shot at winning because you’re not responsive.

Let’s get that taken care of.

Ready to have my help, one on one, me and you mapping out your bid process, creating a system, and knowing how to use it, then definitely, you want to check out the..

Master The Bid Playbook VIP Intensive over at → https://feliciastreeter.com/vip.

If you need that help, come check me out, let me help you, let’s get that done. Especially if you’re bidding and you’re not winning, then there’s something wrong in the process and it could be your pricing.

That’s another thing we’re going to look at making sure that your pricing to profit. You don’t want to get a lot of contracts and you’re, either breaking even or you’re losing money. We don’t want that.

You can secure your spot over at https://feliciastreeter.com/vip. There you will find, the Master The Bid Playbook VIP Intensive. Let’s get you on the fast track to bidding and submitting proposals responsively and pricing to profit.