The construction business is notoriously unpredictable. Big names in construction, like Skanska, plan years in advance for all the various risks they face. Just like the big guys, you need to be ready for whatever the construction industry throws at you. And that means that your business needs to be built on a firm foundation. To really succeed in 2016, contractors must take control of their businesses and address critical issues. Here is some advice on how to better manage your company.
Hire Good Salespeople
Contractors in the construction sector need great salespeople. That’s because they construction industry is one of the most complicated from the point of view of the person buying. There are rarely any set prices. And projects don't always remain the same from start to finish. The problem for many managers, however, is that their firm doesn’t always hire the best people. Sure, you might have a salesperson on your team who can deliver a slick sales presentation. But do they have the ability to take questions and answers? And can they actually listen to and assuage a prospector’s concerns?
Control Your Overhead
Construction businesses live and die on their cash flow. That’s why it’s so important that you do everything you can to control the amount your company spends. If you work onsite with cranes, look for timber mats for sale. If you run a fleet of trucks, investigate insurers who offer fleet discounts. If you pay for phone bills and travel expenses, look for ways to make savings using credit card rewards. The list of ways to save money is potentially endless. Just make sure that you regularly check each item on your bills to ensure you’re not needlessly overspending.
Be The King Of The Local Market
The bad news is that it’s hard to stand out on the global stage in any industry. The good news is that it’s super easy to do in your local area. If you’ve spend much time as a construction contractor, you’ll know that your rivals aren’t always the most tech-savvy people. If they’re not online, there’s a good chance you there’s nobody else competing with you online in your immediate local area. In other words, you’ve got a captive market, ready to do business with you. There is much you can do to rise to the of the pyramid in local search. You could redesign your website, put your business up on Google and start an Adwords campaign. You could also write guest posts on relevant blogs and get complementary businesses to backlink your site.
Increase Worker Productivity, But Don’t Destroy Morale
Morale in the construction industry tends to be quite good. But that doesn’t mean that we should rest on our laurels. Some companies have a habit of saying the wrong thing. Take the construction firm that recently told it’s employees they hadn’t been productive enough. It demanded that employees repay some of their wages and that they had been “overpaid.” The result, of course, was disastrous. The effect was to make staff less willing to work and even less productive. If you’re a manager, remember to praise in public, and criticize in private.