Episode 309: Growing a $250M Business by Focusing on Preconstruction with Wes Palmisano

Scaling up a construction business can be an exciting and rewarding journey. However, as any seasoned entrepreneur will tell you, it’s not without any challenges. And one of the most critical aspects of successfully growing a construction company is the often-overlooked–preconstruction phase.

This phase is a strategic and essential part of any construction project. But if you’re doing it half-baked, then it’d come back at you tenfold in the form of chaos. Take this week’s podcast guest and construction business owner Wes Palmisano. 

Wes and his team believe that 90% of a project’s success happens before you break ground. And by focusing on preconstruction, he grew his business to $250M this year.

So, how crucial is preconstruction, especially when growing a construction business? 

Construction’s Biggest Roadblocks

Wes didn’t start easily when he built his startup business and eventually took over their family-owned business, WJ Palmisano. But, he was determined from the beginning that he would improve how projects are delivered. Along that goal, he found some of the biggest roadblocks that hamper innovation in construction and impact project deliveries.

1. Risk Management

We all know how the construction industry runs on tight deadlines and margins. As a building contractor, Wes declared that there’s little room for error and little margin to experiment with new ways of doing things. 

Because GCs have to stick to this razor-thin margin coupled with tons of risks, it becomes a lot more of risk management rather than innovation.

2. Collaboration

The more that people collaborate, the better. Wes believes that design and planning shouldn’t be limited to the estimators, designers, or the GCs. He encourages everyone to be at the table at the beginning. Once you gather all these people around the table, you can leverage everyone’s capabilities to drive real value into a project. But sad to say, this type of collaborative method doesn’t usually happen in the industry.

3. The Master Builders

The labor shortage is real! And I’m not just talking about numbers here. But it’s rare now to find someone with the skill set for design, from an aesthetic perspective, with a flare in engineering and the ability to do the work together.


How Important is Preconstruction

Preconstruction involves planning, design, and feasibility assessments, which are crucial to the project’s overall success. If you revisit the above list of some of the biggest roadblocks in construction, you’ll realize that those can all be addressed in preconstruction. That’s how Wes and his team grew to $250M–by focusing on preconstruction.

Wes even stated that he spends 90% of his time on preconstruction as a leader and project executive. Apparently, other project executives only spend 10% on preconstruction and 90% on job sites. It’s obvious how these leaders are always in reactive mode–constantly putting out fires. 

Focusing more on preconstruction enables you to identify and mitigate the risks before they become costly issues during construction. It allows you to develop contingency plans, evaluate the project’s feasibility, and address potential challenges head-on.

To know more about the importance of preconstruction and the systems and processes that scaled Wes’ business to $250M, tune in HERE.

Additional Resources:

– Join Chaos to Control: Streamline Your Construction Business 28-Day Challenge HERE

– Hear our clients’ success stories HERE 

– Schedule Your Business Evaluation Call HERE

Connect with Wes:

– Follow Wes on LinkedIn HERE

– Check out their company website HERE

– Explore their other brands HERE

The Construction Leading Edge Podcast helps construction business owners maximize their revenue, eliminate chaos, systematize their work, and win back their time.

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