The past years have been fruitful for the construction industry. With the new technologies leveraged by the industry like automation, robotics, construction ERP (Enterprise resource planning) solutions, artificial intelligence, and so on, construction companies have been growing even further. The coming years won’t be different. They will be strong years for the industry, with more opportunities awaiting small entrepreneurs and start-ups. In order to strategically scale up your operation and grow your business, we give you some tips to get you started.
Strategies to Grow Your Construction Business
Running a construction business is no cakewalk. It’s a competitive industry, and there are many moving parts to manage and coordinate. One of which is growing your company.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for a while, you always need to be planning for growth and expansion, so you don’t fall behind your competitors.
Here are 10 strategies you can carry out to help you expand your construction business:
Evaluate Your Business Status
You need to thoroughly assess your company. Ask yourself if your business is financially stable. If you have referrals and repeat sales find out how people rate you and your customer service. Also, find out how high or low your employee turnover rate is.
If you have the answers to these questions, review what people are saying about you online and improve on the areas that raise eyebrows in the wrong way. For example, if you lack good customer service then you can consider training yourself and staff on the best practices for providing better customer service.
Find Your Niche
People trust and are willing to pay more for specialists. Identifying a niche market or specializing in a field is a great way to set your business apart from your competitors. If you think you do great as a general contractor, then be one. If you think your people are experts at masonry then be a subcontractor for mason work. And so on.
This will help you position your business, attract high-paying clients, and generate more demand for your services. When you have identified your niche, make sure to update your website SEO and online profiles, so you can increase the chances of being found in online searches.
Be Proactive With Your Marketing
You can’t just sit back and hope that projects will fall from the sky. No matter how good you are, you need to let the world know that you’re in business.
Networking is a great way for construction businesses to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and connect with vendors. Look for networking events in the local chapter of a trade association, create a system to reach out to owners, architects, and general contractors, and become active in your community to increase visibility.
Don’t forget to establish an online presence. Most customers use the Internet to research vendors and contractors before they pick up the phone.
Establish Your Business’ Best Practices
Even though there are set practices and standards in the construction and remodeling industry when it comes to building and structural quality, there isn’t a definitive set of rules when it comes to the quality of service you provide. This can provide a difficult path to follow when growing your business. The best thing you can do is to research and develop the best system that can assist you with running the affairs of your company smoothly from invoicing, bookkeeping, scheduling, training, and general management.
When the system you implement as a business is effective and provides an excellent service for your customers, you’ll be able to consistently build upon your momentum and success as a business.
Join an Association
Contractors associations are not just meant for networking, they can help you grow your skills. Some other benefits of joining an association, including helping you determine how to charge clients, how to write proper contracts, and how current local trends in sales and design are moving in your area.
Associations can introduce you to new ways of doing business and work together with companies that can link you up with potential clients.
Build a Competitive Team
The success of any business depends greatly on its people. In order to create a strong and robust organization, you have to make sure you are hiring dependable, knowledgeable and skilled team members. It may take a while since there is a shortage in the construction labor force but a thorough selection process has long-term benefits and we’ve discussed that in one of our previous blogs.
Invest in finding the best ‘fit’ for the job. And once you have them on board, reward them for their hard work and reliability. Value each role. Your people should feel that what they do matters. It’s no secret that having a sense of purpose helps so much with the employees’ performance. Celebrate success and milestones together. This allows everyone to see that when they work together, great things can happen.
Have Others Speak About Your Business
About 92% of consumers believe that recommendations from friends and family are the most credible form of advertising. You can pay thousands of dollars for ads and promotions but nothing beats the traditional ‘word of mouth.’
It’s powerful. Effective. And most of all – it’s free. Strive to provide excellent service to every client you work with so in return, they will tell their friends and family about your business. If they’ve been very satisfied with your work, encourage them to post reviews and feedback on your social media pages or on your website. News spread easily. Happy customers will certainly be glad to do you a small favor.
Invest in Your Business
If you aim to provide top-quality services, you should invest time, energy, and money in your business. Check what makes large construction businesses thrive and adopt their best practices. Invest in technology, tools, and equipment. In any project, quality and speed matters. Whether it’s a small home renovation project or a large-scale commercial construction, you should be able to deliver clean-cut output in the shortest possible time. Construction loans and cash advances are widely available these days to support your equipment upgrade needs just in case you lack funds.
Consider Using Technologies
Making things manually in the construction site takes a lot of time and a slight error can lead to big losses. This is why technologies especially designed for the construction industry were made. Some of them are automated heavy equipment and pieces of machinery, robotics, and construction ERP solutions like Pro Crew Schedule management software. With software designed for this process, you simply put the numbers and data needed and you will get efficient, accurate and most of all – consistent quotes for all your projects. With construction ERP solutions, you can improve your collaboration between the site and the office. With construction ERP solutions, you won’t have to miss schedules and plans and most of all, you can track the performance of your members and gauge your team’s productivity rate.
Apart from investing in technology and equipment, invest in training your people and keeping them up-to-date with the latest techniques and skills. At the same time, invest in marketing your business. Let your target clients know that you have the best people to do the job.
Build Your Network
As we mentioned earlier, another way to earn more customers is by joining associations and organizations within your industry. Many construction companies network to get leads for new business, improve their practices, learn about the newest trends, develop partnerships, and so much more. Developing long-term relationships won’t necessarily translate into immediate profits but it can help you establish a strong business in the long-term.
In the construction industry, being able to effectively network is a vital skill. Take advantage of your trade associations and trade shows. Most trade associations host a series of meetings, events, conferences and seminars which give you an opportunity to collaborate like-minded individuals. Consider joining your local chamber of commerce to get to know some of the business leaders in your community. Keep in touch and maintain good relationships with your former associates and employers as you never know who you will be working with in the future. Join social networking sites like LinkedIn to reconnect with old acquaintances and connect with other people within your industry.
Actively Seek Opportunities
Be proactive, not reactive. Don’t wait for customers to come. Go out and find them. Constantly reach out to potential clients, architects, investors, general contractors, and other people who can lead you to bigger, better opportunities for your business. Step outside your comfort zone.
Part of proactive management is planning for potential problems. Learn how to handle your fear. Being proactive means stepping up to the challenge without fear of failure. You may encounter a lot of rejections but with constant effort and determination, you will definitely achieve your goals.
The years 2017-2019 have been robust for the construction industry and the next years are surely going to be a tremendous year for booming construction businesses. To ensure your success, our tips can help you see your business grow bigger each year.
You can also check our free ebook on crew management to learn more.