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Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA

QuickBooks And Xero Outsourced Contractors Bookkeeping Services
Lynnwood, Washington

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Four Types Of Construction Businesses

Over the years I have encountered many wonderful contractors and about 20 years ago it occurred to me there are four types: Dog and Pickup Truck, Salt of the Earth, Professionals and Enterprise level.
Written Dec 27, 2011, read 3945 times since then.


I have been blessed to meet and work with a lot of good people who own and operate construction businesses.

General Contractor Doing Bookkeeping

Construction was the first thing that occurred. The universe was formed by the Builder who wrote the all-time number one best seller, Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. He had a Son who was a carpenter. Many good people have chosen the wide wonderful world of construction as their career path.

Contractors and their crews have made countless contributions to the development, maintenance, and growth of civilization and I am proud to be counted among them.

After having been raised in a construction enviornment I left it and went to college and majored in accounting. A short while later I came back to construction, served a plumbing apprenticeship and now I am back full circle again back to contractors accounting and bookkeeping.

Over the years I have met many wonderful people who own construction businesses and about 20 years ago it hit me like a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious) there are Four Types of Contractors:

  • Dog And Pick-Up Truck

Contractor Dog And Pickup Truck

This wonderful soul is someone with a heart as big as the entire outdoors and likes working alone. They are easy to get to know and work with because they are genuine.

They have a pick-up truck or a van with a dog sitting in the passenger seat hanging his head out window watching and occasionally barking hello to folks and other dogs while feeling the breeze as the contractor zooms down the road.

They rarely think about retirement. When asked about it the reply I got most often was something like “Retire, nope, I don’t need new tires yet”. 

These contractors enjoy being their own boss, doing what they want when they want, how they want and works hard. They typically do not feel the need or desire to grow the business or hire employees since they would only get in the way.

Most of them run their business as a sole proprietor

They generally earn $20K to $40K a year after all expenses

  • Salt of The Earth

Salt of The Earth resized 600

This wonderful soul also has a big heart; almost as big as all outdoors. They like having employees because they want help getting things done.  As their business grows they like to take time off and enjoy travel and vacations.

These contractors will have 1-3 three employees because when the employees get out of line the contractor can hold two of them by the throat; one in each hand and eyeball the third one!  This is called “Construction Management”

This group will often invest some money to build a retirement nest egg with cash, bonds and some rental houses.

Most of them run their business as a corporation, LLC or Sub-S

They generally earn $40K to $60K a year after all expenses

  • The Professional

Professional Construction Company Owners resized 600

These wonderful souls also have big hearts; they just tend to keep it under cover. This group tends to have more employees and have a structured approach to contracting.

These contractors tend to have 1-20 employees with formal organizational charts, processes and systems in there contracting businesses including a formal documented business plan which is updated and reviewed regularly with a board of advisors as outlined in my article on the subject.

They invest heavily in marketing their businesses. They understand their target market, they understand the demographics and psychographics of their prime customer and they seek to acquire more of them and will do whatever is economically feasible to turn those customers into lifetime repeat business.

This group usually engages the services of a competent financial planner, banker and accountant to work together in helping plan and develop a financial estate that can take care of them in their senior years and provide be passed on to future generations.

Most of them run their business as a corporation, LLC or Sub-S or Partnership.

They generally earn $100,000+ a year after all expenses

  • The Enterprise Level

Enterprise Construction Business resized 600

There are a number of construction firms that have 20+ employees and generate enormous revenues. Most of the owners and managers earn about the same as a well-run professional contractor.

The final observation I would like to share with you is that if you are a contractor it is not about the type of contractor you are, how many employees you have or how much money you earn. It is all about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Be the type of contractor that suits you, do the work, you will have results and enjoy yourself.

We are always interested in positive, good uplifting stories about contractors and invite you to share yours. It could be a friend, relative, contractor who built something for you. 

If you would please post a comment I would greatly appreciate you for it!


Warm Regards,

randal dehart sig2


QuickBooks And Xero Outsourced Contractors Bookkeeping Services 
Lynnwood, Washington 
Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA

Randal is co-founder of Business Consulting and Accounting and a QuickBooks ProAdvisor offering Outsourced Construction Bookkeeping Services And Outsourced Accounting services to construction companies and service professionals all across the USA. 206-361

Learn more about the author, Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA.

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Article tags

  • construction
  • contracting
  • general contractors
  • specialty contractors
  • contractors bookkeeping and accounting service
  • quickbooks bookkeeping
  • quickbooks for contractors

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