The business of being a general contractor is, basically, bringing the needed resources to a project at the time they are needed.  Obviously there are thousands of details that go along with what happens both before and after the issues of what and when.  Who, how, and why being among them.

So where does a contractor committed to excellence turn for resources to enhance his skills and improve his knowledge and methods to benefit his clients?  Professional organizations are a great source of knowledge, and an opportunity to connect with colleagues to draw on their experiences as well.

At The Farlow Group, we belong to a local buying cooperative, Cape Fear Builders Guild , to enable us to obtain collective pricing from selected vendors.  The concept began as a way to allow a group of contractors to function as independent businesses, but achieve the attractive pricing options from suppliers that might otherwise be reserved only for large tract builders.  That concept has certainly been beneficial, but along the way, the group members have also become friends and developed an appreciation for one another as colleagues with common problems and interests. 

At the national level, Jim Farlow is a member of the National Association of Home Builders program known as Builder 20 Groups.  Membership in the Builder 20 program joins builders from around the country together in groups of up to 20, to share any information that will enable the members to improve their businesses.  Groups can also function like a board of directors to solve problems by one member posing a question to the group and opening a discussion.  Because members of each group are from non-competing markets (different states or geographic areas), information can flow freely without compromising any member’s competitive advantage in their own market.  Jim Farlow is a member of the Keystones group, who meet every 6 months at different locations around the country, with each member taking a turn hosting the meeting in their area.  Between meetings they stay in touch by email, phone, and yes, on Facebook!