By: Kaiya Barrett on May 30th, 2023
Benefits of Networking & Building Relationships as a Trade Contractor
We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not always about what you know but who you know.” As a trade contractor, in an unpredictable economy, it may make more sense to say,” It’s always about what you know and who you know.”
Your ability to network with other construction industry professionals should be as detailed and precise as your skilled trade. There are several ways to network and discuss business, face-to-face or digitally. Attending conferences, professional events, and webinars are just a few ways to meet your peers and exchange information. Once you reach a certain level of success, your reputation will garner positive or negative word of mouth to pass around the industry. So, treat every meet-up as a future opportunity.
Think of networking as a key pillar of your business and its overall success. There are many ways to build and maintain relationships in the construction industry, and we will go over the how and why behind it.
The Networking Company to Keep
Former employers, coworkers, and subcontractors are all people you can come across again in future projects. In an industry where everyone knows everyone, maintaining healthy relationships with contacts from the past could become a benefit for the future.
Another tip to remember is to think of networking outside of work. You could make great contacts standing in line for coffee, waiting for an oil change, or at your child’s school function. It’s not a bad idea to have an elevator pitch ready to go for a brief interaction. The elevator pitch is a to-the-point, high-level view of what you do and how your services make a difference in construction projects.
Networking Has Its Benefits
Going through the process to attract and win new business involves a large amount of networking and building relationships. Outside of growing your project pipeline, there are several reasons to improve your networking skills.
Let People Get To Know You
Taking a construction project from start to finish is a team effort, where top-notch attention to communication and relationship building is required. People must learn about your brand and company history to establish a good working relationship from the start. Let the industry see who you are and what sets your business apart from the rest.
Gain Knowledge of Business Best Practices
Once these connections are made, you should take the opportunity to learn and gain new knowledge and adopt new business best practices. Some people operate differently, but a fresh perspective could lead to discussions around how to better manage your projects, which projects to go after, and how to maintain sustainability for long-term success.
Discover Ways To Embrace New Technology
If you’re considering adopting a new piece of software or technology for your business, it may be helpful to first ask questions to contractors already using it. Artificial Intelligence is the talk of the industry and has transformative effects on every stage of construction. Networking is a great way to dip your toe into uncharted tech waters.
Resources for Networking Growth
Consider joining a trade association related to your specialty in the industry. Associations are a great way to increase your networking opportunities and gain access to ITBs and industry news. Associations will frequently host webinars as opportunities to network and serve as a learning vessel for a current industry topic.
Even in this ever-changing technological landscape, always having a business card handy is still considered a must-have for networking. You also want to ask contacts for their card before leaving the conversation.
If you miss networking in person, attending an industry conference is ideal for connecting with your peers. Conferences are stacked with networking opportunities from group seminars, team-building exercises, and happy hours. It’s worth fitting a conference trip or two into your annual budget.
Chamber of Commerce
Joining the chamber of commerce helps you keep your ear to the ground of what is happening in the local business community in your area.
Love it or hate it, social media has become an essential business tool used in all facets, from brand recognition, reputation management, and ongoing networking and relationship building. Take your stack of business cards collected at conferences and association events and look those people up on LinkedIn. Stay connected through social platforms and you may lead yourself into a profitable project for your business. You should also try to post some original content and share information that can be utilized industrywide.
Whichever way you decide to beef up your network and build new relationships, taking a small amount of action is better than no action at all. The company you keep could hold the keys to having a steady pace in the construction pipeline marathon.
Suppose you’re looking for extra resources to grow your network and improve the number of quality project leads. In that case, ConstructConnect keeps the most up-to-date database of private and public construction projects bidding right now.