How a Small Construction Company Can Compete In their Industry
Small businesses in all industries lose potential customers to large, behemoth brands. This isn’t unique for any small construction company. Are you looking to stand out amongst even the larger competitors in construction? Below are some useful tips to harness and build your construction business to an elevated level of success.
Perform a SWOT Analysis for your Construction Company
You cannot really measure where you want to be if you don’t know where you stand. A SWOT analysis is an intuitive business tool that you and your employees can partake in. Getting more perspectives and voices will only further strengthen the analysis. It’s broken up into four categories: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You can easily draw this as a four-quadrant “T-chart” on a computer program or whiteboard as you discuss it with your colleagues.
This is an aspect that your business already has that’s working positively. Some great examples of strengths for a construction company could include high staff expertise or skills, rapid operational efficiency, internal connections with subcontractors, and fostering a safe working environment.
The polar opposite - weaknesses - are within the company’s control and are hampering growth. This could include worker inexperience, poorly maintained equipment, a lack of communication, or resistance to using high-tech equipment.
This category includes external trends that your business could reap rewards from. Opportunities for your construction company could include some new client leads, knowledge of innovative design methods, an increase in construction in a particular area or a temporary reduction in lumber costs.
Threats are beyond your control and hamper growth. For a small construction company, this could include nearby competitors in your area, an upward increase in supply costs, or strict regulations on residential construction.
Don’t ignore doing a SWOT analysis with your construction company. It may bring up unique viewpoints and opportunities you didn’t consider before.
Provide Next Level Customer Service & Communication
Customer service is a key area for a smaller construction company. Customers will gravitate to people who can communicate with them. Fostering active listening skills, understanding the prospect’s problem and creating a catered solution is the pinnacle of customer service. Ensure entry-level employees don’t come across as off putting to customers. Make sure to make a point of contact within your construction company. It should be someone who responds to customer inquiries well and isn’t overwhelmed with current projects. Note this doesn’t have to be the employee’s sole job, but onboarding a coordinator may not be out of the question if it’s within budget. On-site communication is important for employee safety as well, as it will reduce the chance of injury. Projects will be done within budget and on time when communication is prioritized, and it’ll positively reflect your brand.
Focus on Networking and Referrals
Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool, and it’s exceptionally true in the construction industry. Social media is growing more prominent, but networking is still king for developing qualified leads. Especially when starting out small, don’t hesitate to ask for referrals for your construction company. At worst, they decline to provide one. At best, it’ll develop a domino effect of leads for your business, acquiring job after job.
Use Social Media Channels
Asking for reviews is also important, which leads to social media channels. Referrals and reviews are often viewed as “old school”, but really work hand in hand with social media. Adding Google or Facebook reviews to your construction company’s website will only strengthen your portfolio, showing new clients you’re competency levels. For these platforms, you can take photos or short videos to share updates on your current projects. Don’t forget the free tools available on the web such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. This can illustrate a clear picture of your target customer, who they are, and what they’re looking for in regards to a construction company. The more insights you acquire, the more competent you can be at attracting new customers and becoming more reputable with them.
Invest in your Construction Company: Tools, Tech and Equipment
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and large construction companies weren’t either. It takes not just time, but monetary investment in the latest tools, practices and equipment to be able to compete against larger brands. If you’re noticing laborsome tasks which are becoming automated, ensure you’re looking into it. Some technological improvements may be financially out of reach, like advanced CU Brick robots or automated painters, but simply investing in power tools will reduce worker injury from repetitive strain and will allow a more efficient operation. Oftentimes, you can save money on buying these tools second-hand on marketplaces.
Assemble a Top-tier Team
Finally, don’t forget to invest in the people who make your construction company successful. Large developers and even government agencies want to hire stable companies with lower turnover and competent employees. Retaining and recruiting the best construction talent is critical for smooth operations, especially with current labour shortages. Keeping and training skilled workers will increase current employee morale and it’ll build a construction company to be proud of.