The year 2020 is estimated to be the year when the construction industry will explode globally. And with the booming freelance market, the timing is right to take advantage of the favourable circumstances.
If you have that entrepreneurial urge, running your own business is a logical step. A small contracting business can be enjoyable and lucrative but for your company to thrive, you need to work hard and invest time and energy. Positioning your business for success and profitability requires more than construction expertise. Here’s what you need to know to keep your construction company going strong.
Offer top-notch service
Prioritising customer service is vital. The clients will remember how you treated them as well as the work that was done for them. So always operate with best business practices in mind. When you walk the extra mile to delight your clients they are sure to be grateful and keep coming back. Offer the same level of service every time and treat your clients with respect and they’ll become your salespeople.
Hire the finest professionals on the market
Hire the most skilled and knowledgeable of the candidates and make sure to keep them by recognising their hard work. Giving promotions and rewards when your employees earn them is the best way to maintain a motivated workforce. Building a committed and reliable team of people also means less pressure on a business owner since you can trust them to manage assignments without supervision.
Let’s get things straight immediately-this doesn’t mean you have to be operating 24 hours a day. But there are some things you can do to show your clients they are a priority. Remain available during normal working hours whenever possible. Set aside time to hear your customers out and clue them in on how things are going.
Providing quick responses keeps you connected to your client. During off-hours, it is best to set up automated email and social media messages. A short and concise auto-reply stating the message is received and when to expect their answer will keep your clients satisfied.
Find a mentor or a counsellor
Having a mentor means having a guide with valuable knowledge that will help you solve the problems you face. A business mentor will share their wisdom on managing money and clients, introduce you to investors and construction vendors, and more. You get to learn from their mistakes and successes. Some organizations like SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) offer mentorship free of charge.
Get the best vehicles & equipment for your money
When it comes to equipment and materials make sure not to cut any corners. All of the work equipment has to be safe and up to the task. Since the used construction equipment market is massive, you can purchase quality gear at an affordable price and save thousands of dollars. Bear in mind that new trucks and heavy equipment depreciate 20-40 per cent in the first year only! With plenty of affordable used trucks for sale on the market, you can spend your capital wisely. Previously owned machinery still holds its value when maintained well, and you can get it at a lower price.
Get your name out there
Give your business a boost by stepping up your marketing practices. A clever marketing strategy can help make your business reputable. Online presence is a must since more and more potential customers are searching for construction solutions online. Market your business locally and make use of social media networks. Investing in a polished website and engaging content increases the chances the people will think of your company when they need a contractor.
Stand out from the competition
If your business specialises in a certain type of construction, make sure to make that known. Find what makes your company different from the others, like catering to a niche market, and capitalise on it. Promoting your business as superior in one or two niches can help you stand out on the market, but bear in mind that offering a broader spectrum of services reaches a wider audience (and can land you more work).
Pay close attention to your finances
If you want your company to turn a profit you must watch overhead expenses and be mindful of any additional costs before accepting a job. Determining overhead costs is crucial before sending out any bids. This means you need to take all the costs involved with the project into account and then give your customer a rough estimate. Factoring in all of your overhead expenses into your pricing will help your business make enough revenue to stay on the market.
Consider joining an industry association
Joining a trade association can help you network, build brand image and find vendors. And more so, industry associations can support business skills development. You can get quick access to useful information like how much to charge a client or which products you should use for a specific project.
Don’t try to do everything by yourself. Being “Jack of all trades” is the expressway to frustration and burnout. Single out tasks that have to be done by you. And instead of wearing yourself out, outsource the rest. If you run a small contracting business you know how valuable time is. Delegating assignments that are not valuable of your time or aren’t in your area of expertise is the best way to focus on important activities and parts of your business.
Although running a successful company requires dedication, make sure not to put all your time and energy into your business. Try to maintain a good work-life balance to avoid burnout. Set boundaries and make time for your personal life and you are sure to become a happier and more successful business owner.
Mike Johnston is an avid creative writer and blogger. He is a regular contributor to numerous blogs and online magazines, where he writes about home improvement (his specialty!), interior design, family life, green living and many other topics. Mike’s goal is to create interesting and compelling content and then share it throughout the online community.