Is it time to grow your construction business? Are you looking to expand into new markets or territories? Growing your construction business, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for years, requires careful planning. In order to strategically scale up your operations, you must ensure you will have the resources (workers, equipment, etc.) to handle the additional work.
Here are 12 tips to help you successfully grow your construction business:
1. Build a great team. In construction, your people are your business. Hire dependable, knowledgeable and skilled employees. Retain your best employees by promoting and rewarding them for their hard work and reliability.
2. Manage your business, but lead your people. Your employees want to be led, not managed. Be a great leader and your employees will follow you anywhere. If you try and manage every aspect of your employees work they will think you have no confidence in their ability to make good decisions and properly do their jobs.
3. Invest in your business. If you want to earn more business you have to invest time and money into your company. This means buying new equipment and technology when needed, training your employees and actively marketing your business.
4. Be selective to be profitable. It’s not enough to just earn more business. When you take on more work it has to profitable. There’s no sense in doubling the number of jobs you work if you aren’t increasing your profits.
5. Get the word out. Word of mouth remains the number one method most construction companies use to market their business and earn more work. Encourage your best customers to tell others about the great work your company does.
6. Play to your strengths. Would you rather have your company be known as a decent all-around general contracting firm or the best general contractor doing LEED certified hotel renovations? Finding a niche market or specializing in a specific industry can set you apart from your competitors.
7. Network to earn more work. One of the best ways to network is to join and be active in the local chapter of a trade association. Networking can be a useful tool to build brand awareness for your company, generate leads and find vendors. Being active and giving back to your community is also a great networking opportunity for your business.
8. Quality is king. Tread carefully when considering any measure that could sacrifice the quality of your work. Cutting corners to reduce costs speed up completion of a project can be detrimental. Your company’s reputation for doing quality work is only as good as your last project so never compromise your high standards of performing quality work.
9. Change is good. Adaptability is one of the keys to success in the construction industry. As we’ve seen with the recent recession, construction can be quite a volatile industry. If you are unwilling to make adjustments in your business to keep up with the changing trends you are setting yourself up for failure.
10. Give great customer service. Pleasing your clients should be a top priority. This doesn’t mean you have to cave in to their every demand. You should be actively communicating with your client on all aspects of a project so you can be equal partners in the decision-making process. Satisfied customers will lead to repeat business and great referrals.
11. Be proactive, not reactive. You can’t just sit back and expect more work to just fall in your lap. You have to proactively seek out new opportunities to retain and grow your business. Constantly reach out to the owners, architects and general contractors you find out what projects they have on the horizon.
12. Make smart decisions. We make thousands of decisions every day, many of which are inconsequential. When it comes to earning more business, this often means making hard decisions that will impact your success for years to come. Take the time to consider all angles and options and perform your due diligence for future success. Never get pressured into making rash or impulsive decisions.