Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. One sector of business is construction and it comes with it’s own set of caveats and nuances. The following contributed post is entitled, Top Advice on How to be Successful Running a Construction Business.
* * *
Are you looking to run a construction business? Maybe even start a new one from scratch? Does the thought of actually doing seem quite scary? Of course, it would! Starting anything new let alone a construction business can be a quite daunting task. So, with all this in mind, how can one run a construction business, and do so successfully? This article hopefully will shed some light on the tips and the advice needed to do just that!
Find and Manage the Suppliers of your Business
This is a given with any business that requires physical products or manufacturing. When it comes to construction, there are many different lanes to choose from. Residential buildings, office buildings, small shelters and big. Or, if you are big enough large scale building developments like Airports, stadiums and huge skyscrapers. All of these different lanes and projects require a different level of relationship with your supplier. For example, if there are pieces of equipment needed such as Floor Cranes for a project, bulk orders may sit better with one supplier than another, who may prefer small bespoke orders. All of these things need to be taken into account if you are planning to, or are running a construction company.
Politics and the Economy have a Massive Impact
These events can alter to a huge degree to health and the growth of both the construction industry and the housing industry, which has a huge impact on construction on its own. If there are huge changes coming from the political realm, parties pledging huge construction projects, or huge improvements or additions to housing projects, then your business could be able to capitalise on this. However, if the opposite occurs, such as economic downturn, or a reversal of previously promised housing or construction projects then your company take the brunt of the impact from this scenario. For example, the third runway at Heathrow has been tossed and turned by many consecutive Governments. However, when Theresa May gave it the green light and it passed the house, work had begun on how and who would carry out this work. Then a year later, the court deems it unethical due to the environmental impact, so once again the project is shunted. These events can really make an impact on a construction company, so make sure you
spread out and keep up a line of clients to steady your books.
Have your Legal Obligations Met
This is a given with any business, but as a construction company, there are many different legal entities that are at play. One of the main ones is with the very nature of construction and using huge equipment like cranes and machinery, to the tools and the handheld tools that can also cause some catastrophic damage to anyone who may get injured by one. Companies such as Hasbrook & Hasbrook are there to help anyone who may be injured whilst at work, but as a business, you have an obligation to keep everyone who works at your business safe, so keeping up your legal obligations Is of utmost importance.
Find your Niche
Again, as like any other business finding your lane and discovering your niche is something you need to do right from the get-go. It helps you in many future decisions you and your business will need to take, from things like what clients to take on, and what paths you want to go down in the future to expand and grow. This is the aim at the end of the day, to find the pathway for your business to go, and to keep going down that path and expanding and growing and learning lots of new things to take forward.
It also helps you with your marketing activity. How are you going to market your business? What are your strengths? What are you selling? All of these things collectively make up your marketing mix, so not knowing what your niches are and what you are good at is not a great mix for success, and may achieve quite the opposite. So, get that niche down and find out who you exactly marketing too.
Are you a small, medium, or large scale business?
Some construction companies that are huge national corporations obviously have some benefits and power that a smaller business wouldn’t have, just down to their size and their influence. Some smaller businesses have benefits that a larger business wouldn’t have, for example being more flexible and agile. Decisions are faster than in a huge business, as there are far fewer layers of management to communicate through. When it comes to future planning and decisions you need to make for your business, make sure you know the size of the business and the real power it has. Evaluate the strengths of your business, and outline the weaknesses. When fighting with the competition in a very saturated market, see what weaknesses the big player has over you, and the strengths that you hold over them. Play to those, as these will be the major factor in your success in the construction industry. Like many of these tips, this method and thought process will also make success in many other fields much more likely, so take heed!
Master the Art of Gaining new Clients
Speaking to People and Networking
Networking is one of the best ways to gain leads for your business, and there are several reasons for this. Firstly, it’s personal. You can go directly and talk to people, often from the same area of expertise or people who are going to network primarily to find someone to help them. Then, when you find someone who is looking for something that you can do, then you can really talk and build a relationship with them right there and then. Then, if all goes well, and you have exchanged contact details, you can start talking about what each other wants and then start the business negotiation and hopefully gain a long term client.
Networking events are also good to get your name out there in the world of construction or whatever industry you work within, and then this leads to word of mouth, which this article will delve into more deeply later.
The Internet and Social Media
Another way to get customers and project leads as a business is to simply browse the web. Today, most companies have an online presence. Platforms for finding projects and leads that you can bid on such as online tenders can also be a good alternative. Using social media is also something that you can do, for free, to get your message out there. Or, if you are in the place to be able to invest in social media marketing, boosting posts and getting some targeted adverts may also be a good idea! You can share what you have done, the building projects that your company have completed in the past, the plans for projects in the future and behind the scenes looks at your construction processes. All of this content gets people online interested and look into your business more closely. Also not many construction businesses today utilise their power on social media, so if you do so, this gives your business some competitive leverage over older and more backwards companies when it comes to their marketing practices.
Master Word of Mouth
Word of mouth, as it said was going to mentioned once more in more detail, and here goes! Word of mouth is great because once again its a free piece of marketing, that if done right, can garner you, new clients, forever! If more happy clients leave your business, then they will tell others who then come and then leave happy and tell more and so on and so on. It is a proven method and its a method that you should apply to your business!
The benefit of being a construction business is that you are creating something physical, and most likely long-lasting. The more and more work you complete the more and more people are going to be exposed to the work that you have completed. Therefore, the more word of mouth and admiration you will get for the work you have completed. So, keep that word of mouth marketing strong!
Hire the Right People!
This is another given when it comes to the world of business in general, hire the right people! No business will ever succeed or has succeeded when the wrong people have taken the helm.
You need people who are committed and have a great skill set that suits the projects and the suit the needs to the clients that you work for. This mixed with great leadership and teamwork will be the perfect foundations for a successful construction company!
So, that concludes this small article on how to run a successful construction business, and be successful in the construction industry. It is harder than it looks in many ways, but then in some ways, the answers are easy and in plain sight. You just need to work hard, and find them!