The construction business is rising again as the economy improves and outlooks are brighter, which is great for construction business owners. It is an exciting prospect to stop surviving and start thriving and growing your business!
But do you have a plan in place to ensure that you actually can grow and grow sustainably? Without a plan, you could end up taking two steps forward to only have to take one step back every time.
To make sure your business is truly ready to grow in an organized and consistent, successful way, make sure you have clear plans in place for the following areas.
Anticipate Road Blocks and Beat Them Early
Another easy step you can take to help your business grow is to anticipate and prepare for common road blocks before you encounter them. You may be able to avoid them altogether if you plan it right.
Here are some common road blocks construction businesses encounter:
Blending in with the crowd:
Too often, one construction company looks like the next. So, it is important to find unique ways to make your brand stand out.
One important way of doing this is developing a niche for your company. What do you enjoy doing most and what is your team best at? Don’t be afraid to develop that niche and focus on it. It will make you stand out and will just mean more work that you and your crew enjoy.
Another is developing excellent customer service practices. Your business is more than just the construction you do – it is how you interact with and communicate to your customers. Establish excellent and memorable customer service practices.
While there are many excellent contractors and construction companies out there who practice without a license, the fact is that customers are looking for those proven qualifications. The government is, too.
For example, in the state of South Carolina, for any residential construction project costing $200 or more, or any commercial project costing over $5,000 requires a license.
While it may be possible to work under someone else with the license, that hinders your business’ ability to grow. It also automatically knocks you off of some people’s list, as many will only trust construction companies and workers who are licensed.
Don’t do your business a disservice. Get licensed for the areas that fall within your niche.
Like it or not, the world is digitizing. Technology is being brought into every field, including construction. If you don’t get with the times, you could a) be creating a negative reputation for yourself among the younger generation of customers and b) missing out on some advancement that would seriously improve your team’s efficiency and safety.
If you’re going to keep up with consistent growth, you need to have a plan for finding and implementing new technologies to help improve your services and your public perception.
This step may be obvious, but don’t skip it just yet!
You might have a marketing strategy in place, but how up-to-date is it? What digital marketing methods are you implementing, and how is your website, social media, and overall online presence?
The construction industry is well known for being all too comfortable with the “old way” of doing things. And while this is understandable, since your work doesn’t involve the internet, it is a fatal mistake.
While a great reputation and word of mouth does still produce results for the construction industry, that doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of the population looks to the internet when searching for service providers. Of those, 80% + trust online reviews as much and more than word of mouth.
Bottom line, you can’t just rely on word-of-mouth recommendations to grow your prospect pool and clientele.
A Quality Team
If you are going to grow your business, you have to have a solid team in place that can handle the work and perform with excellence.
Do you have enough superintendents? Do you have enough members with sufficient skill and work ethic to perform a task without needing micro-management? The construction industry is notorious for quick employee turnover and poor work ethic among employees.
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that you have and can continue building a solid team:
- Anticipate your needs: build the team and gather members with the necessary skills before you are in a desperate need for them. When you are on a deadline and desperate, you have less time to search properly and find the best fit. This means you end up with employees that may not last long and may not truly be qualified.
- Always recruit: keep on recruiting even when you don’t have an immediate need. This builds awareness of your company and increases your candidate pool. When you are ready to hire, you will have an excellent set of candidates to choose from.
- Establish clear communication and expectations: to prevent confusion which leads to inefficiency, error and disgruntled employees, establish clear, regular methods of communication between your employees, supervisors, and yourself.
A part of this is establishing a clear chain of command for each job and informing all team members of that command before getting stated. This keeps everyone on the same page and knowing who they are supposed to go to with questions or concerns.