With the year coming to an end, its time to start thinking about how you want to improve your business for 2019. The construction industry is as competitive as ever and things that worked in the past may not be enough moving forward. Here are 6 tips to consider for the new year to help grow your company.
1. Keep Your Pipeline Full
The most important thing in growing your business is increasing the number of jobs coming in. This requires 3 main things: generating leads, qualifying leads and converting leads. There are several ways to get leads for new jobs through sales, marketing and lead services. The key here is to continuously work on bringing in new leads even when your busy. One common mistake small companies make is only looking for new jobs when the current job is almost complete. A business owner’s primary task should be bringing in constant new jobs even when fully booked. When your pipeline remains full you’ll be able to choose better quality jobs. Spending too much time doing the work and not enough time on sales is a sure way to keep your company at the same level for years.
2. Don’t Lower Your Price
Have you ever found yourself in a position where you are desperate for a job so you lower your price? If so, its likely your business is in a dangerous cycle of low quality jobs that may be hard to get out of. Competing on price is never a good business decision because this strategy is a race to the bottom. Even if you think you need to win the contract, lowering your price is NOT an option. Cheap trades will always attract cheap builders and you’ll end up wasting a lot of time just scraping by. Focus on competing on quality and customer service instead. Tip #1 is the first step in ensuring you never have to lower your price in desperation.
3. Get Online
2019 is the year to increase your online presence. So many companies in the construction industry undervalue the power of an online strategy. If you don’t have your business on social media, don’t have a website and aren’t listed on any online directories, your setting yourself up to fail. If you do have a website and use social media but don’t get any leads from it, you aren’t using it properly. Instead of thinking “it doesn’t work”, start thinking “I’m doing it wrong”. In today’s world getting leads online requires much more than a simple ad. Consider focusing on building an audience through useful content marketing and then funneling this audience into future customers. There are many available resources for this type of strategy but it requires a commitment to learning. Get out of the old mentality and invest in learning how to use the internet to improve your business.
4. Track All KPIs
A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a type of performance measurement that shows how effectively your company is reaching your goals. This can include tracking numbers for financials (profits, costs, etc), advertising (customer acquisition costs, results, etc), or employees (turnover, productivity, etc). There are so many different metrics to track, however focus on the ones which apply to your business goals. Regularly measure and compare all important numbers to ensure you are on the right track. This could effect the type of jobs you take, the success rate of your advertising or the productivity of your team. If you don’t carefully analyze your numbers you may find it much harder to reach your company goals.
5. Empower Your Employees
In order for you to grow your company, you need a team who can handle the work. The problem a lot of small company owners have is their reluctance to fully rely on their employees. This typically results in the owner spending all their time on the job site working and micro-managing. This is a very common trap that owners fall into and it is never the fault of the employees. In order for you to focus on improving the business, it is vital to empower your employees. The first step is offering a proper training protocol for each employee. The next thing to do is ensure that you pay your employees well. Good employees are hard to find so it is important to keep them. The third step is to give up some control. This is often where owners go wrong. Instead of taking a chance and trusting employees to take on more responsibility, owners get stuck doing the same job for years. Your business will never grow until you find the right team to replace you while you focus on expanding.
6. Stay Connected to Your Network
Working with a builder or owner is never a one-time interaction. Even if they have no upcoming projects, it is very important to regularly communicate with your network and build an ongoing relationship. People you have previously worked with are often the best source for new job leads. Keeping your company fresh in their mind may prove to be the simplest yet most effective way to get referral job leads. This can be done with a follow up phone call or simply just a friendly email.
These are just some the things to focus on if you want to grow as a subcontractor. If you are currently doing most of these things then focus on how you can improve them. If you are used to doing things the same way for years, it may be time to start thinking differently. Start 2019 with a new mindset to reach your business goals.