The construction industry can be extremely lucrative, but accordingly it’s also extremely competitive. Everything from a good communication to embracing tech can put you ahead of your closest competitors. Here are 5 tips for running your best construction business.
Good Business Starts with a Good Team
Constantly replacing project managers or other important staff? The issue may be in your recruiting, company culture, or both. Skilled laborers are growing scarce, so effective recruiting and retention is key to forming an effective team.
One rule to remember when you’re recruiting is to never halt recruiting activities. Always try to sell your business to potential candidates. This will give you a larger pool to choose from when the time comes to hire. Further, look passed skill-based questions during the interview. Include personality-based questions, as well as questions about their work ethic and career goals. This will help you gauge the type of person the interviewee is and what they’re looking for from their career and their role within your company. This will help you determine which prospective employees best match your company goals.
When hiring for a superintendent, for example, some traits to look for include:
- Good writing and communication skills
- A leader by example – supervisors preaching certain safety rules or personal conduct should lead through example
- Thorough and prepared – before starting work on a project, he or she should familiarize his or herself with the job site and identify any hazards to prevent accident
To retain employees, ensure a positive work culture. Avoid micromanaging; rather, empower your employees. It not only frees up your time, but it makes them feel more effective in making company decisions. Offer adequate compensation and benefits, and foster good relationships among coworkers. Coworkers should be able to trust one another and properly communicate with one another (more on that later). Also, ensure employee feedback is always heard and appropriately addressed.
Decide on a Niche
What are your project preferences? Use this to develop a niche that your construction business can come to be known for. Some examples:
- Interested in being green? Focus on sustainable building.
- Enjoy business overall? Form a construction franchise.
Having a niche will help you differentiate your business from your competitors. Additionally, you’ll take on jobs from clients with similar clients and do projects you’ll truly enjoy. It’s a win all-around.
The construction industry is notorious for adopting plenty of outdated practices. Technology costs may initially be higher, but greater efficiency should eventually offset these costs and save you in the long-run. Even more important than efficiency, in some instances, technology can even make construction jobs safer to work – through both better equipment and clearer, more up-to-date, and collaborative information.
Some innovative equipment to consider, for example, is reflective tape that is charged by a built-in battery. The light can be worn on clothing to make workers more visible. Smart Helmets also offer safer and more efficient work spaces. The helmets provide traditional head protection, but they additionally provide workers instructions and measurements, making the job easier to do and with reduced supervision.
Technology can also make reporting tasks easier. A variety of software and apps allow employees to update projects information remotely and in real-time.
Remember Customer Service
Always remember first and foremost that a construction business is a people business. Put your best foot forward when interacting with current, prospective, and former clients. Word-of-mouth is a great way to earn new business, so always work to make sure clients are saying positive things. And, of course, avoid giving them a reason to say something negative. This is sure to spread around and will cost you.
As we stated earlier, effective communication is essential to good business. It’ll make the company a safer and more pleasant place to work. Additionally, when everyone is on the same page, projects are more likely to be completed on-time. Despite communication being vital to construction businesses, many within the industry have identified this as one of biggest issues they face.
To better communicate, make sure that the chain of command is clear and in writing before every project. That way, everyone on the team knows whom to report to. Also, be sure that any communication, written or verbal, is in plain terms and understandable to anyone within the organization.
Improve Your Construction Organization
Through communication, technology, and staff, your business can run more effectively and efficiently than ever. Niches and exceptional customer service also improves consumer memorability and provides a more positive impression on the general public. With the right approach, your competitors will be no match.