Winter & the Construction Industry: Making the Most of the Off-Season

Temperatures are dropping, the holidays are approaching and there might even be a little bit of snow in the forecast. It’s officially the offseason in the construction industry. The construction industry is often one of the hardest-hit when inclement weather hits but this doesn’t mean there isn’t work to do.

While there might not be as much to do out in the field, this doesn’t mean you need to be bored, or that your business has to suffer. Here are some ways you can fill your time, and protect your bottom-line, during the offseason.

Focus on Business

Running a business means a lot of time behind a desk. Running a construction business means a lot of time out onsite. During the busy season, there’s not a lot of time to focus on spreadsheets, business projections or budgets. So, when the weather gets cooler, get behind that desk and take care of things that will help keep moving your business forward.

  • Analyze last year’s data
  • Create next year’s budget
  • Set new revenue goals
  • Order materials for the coming year
  • Analyze your marketing efforts

Attend Trade Shows and Conferences

Trade shows can be great places to make new contacts, gather leads and collect referrals. Whether you are attending as an exhibitor or an attendee, they can inspire new ideas for your business that can help you cut costs or make you more efficient and introduce you to new technologies. This is a great time to learn about upcoming trends in your industry and attend sessions that discuss changing technology, equipment, policies, etc.

This is also a good time to learn more about what your customers want and need from you to enhance your marketing message and materials to encompass those needs.

Network

Use this time to connect with future customers, possible business partners and industry leaders. Attend community events, luncheons and even cocktail hours that connect you with people who will eventually need your services. Networking events are also great opportunities to establish yourself as an industry expert. Plan your own events and share valuable lessons based on your experience or hold classes that help educate the next generation of construction professionals.

You can also network on your own by reaching out to former clients, potential customers and industry colleagues.

Not sure where to find the right kinds of events? Start with your local Chamber of Commerce.

Take Care of Yourself

Your equipment might need some TLC, but so do you. After a hard season, take some time to reenergize yourself either by taking a vacation or just cutting back on the hours you put in for a few months. Spend more time with your family, friends and do the things that give your energy!


Jim Foucher is the vice president of RBV Contracting, an 8(a)-certified minority and HUBZone construction contractor, which provides construction management, site development, underground utilities, landscaping and rehabilitation services for commercial, retail, governmental and industrial projects. Foucher received a B.S. in civil engineering from Lawrence Technological University and an M.S. in engineering management from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He also sits on the board of the Detroit post of the Society of American Military Engineers.

3 thoughts on “Winter & the Construction Industry: Making the Most of the Off-Season

  1. The cold season is coming. Hopefully, the internal spare parts wouldn’t affect during operation. Also hopefully, wouldn’t frigid.

  2. While I wholeheartedly agree that your bodies need the rest after a long working season in construction, it is hard to just take a several months’long leave of absence so to speak, when your family is depending on your income. Any tips?

    1. Adrienne, construction doesn’t really stop during the winter. Some companies just use the winter, when things are slower, to take care of housekeeping and other tasks that they might not have time for when things are busy.

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