Managing a construction business requires responsibility for a lot of moving pieces. In a highly competitive and deadline-driven field, you need to give yourself every possible advantage. Here are some strategic ways to improve your construction business in the year ahead.
1. Make Accident Prevention Your Chief Priority
An accident on a jobsite is one of the most stressful things that a construction business owner can experience. Whatever you can do to reduce the risk of accidents is well worth your time. Make use of OSHA’s training resources, and make some safety courses mandatory for your full-time staff. Pay them for their training time, and keep certificates of course completion on file for everyone. Even experienced workers will benefit from a refresher about safety basics.
2. Tighten Your Bids
Submitting the winning bid for any given project requires extremely careful analysis. You have to beat out your competitors, but you have to take care to leave enough contingency that taking on the project will still be profitable for you if things don’t go your way. Moreover, a close calculation significantly lessens the probability that you’ll have to submit change orders and have issues with your clients. Use a construction calculator app so you can make your bids as accurate and detailed as possible.
3. Bid on More Projects
Rather than waiting for clients to come to you, get out there and find them. Search for RFPs in your area to find projects that are the size and scope you’re looking for. Look for larger projects from city and municipal clients. For smaller projects, check out sites that connect consumers with contractors.
4. Become Certified as a Minority Owned Business
If you or any of your business’ principals are a minority, you may be eligible for a credential as a minority owned business. This can help you network with other minority owned businesses in your area who may be in need of help with a construction project. Also, it can make you a more desirable partner for projects that are funded with state or federal resources; some cities only accept bids from minority owned businesses for certain types of projects.
5. Fix Your BBB Rating
One bad mark on your Better Business Bureau report can deter prospective clients from wanting to work with you. If you have an unaddressed complaint, do your best to resolve it. Even if you can’t make a client happy or the client’s position is really unreasonable, simply attempting to resolve it speaks volumes to people who are checking out your business. A lot of people who are experienced with project management understand that you can’t please everyone, but they’ll appreciate that you tried.
6. Take Steps to Go Green
In the years ahead, customers across every industry will put a greater emphasis on the importance of working with companies that demonstrate environmental accountability. Construction is certainly no exception. Changing some of your operating procedures to be more eco-friendly will make a really positive impression on customers in your area. During the bidding process, explain in detail what you can do to make your project as green as possible. Consider using sustainably sourced materials, and identify what you can do to minimize waste reduction and be energy efficient.
7. Break Up With Bad Subcontractors
It can be really frustrating when you’re held accountable for another company’s work and they fail to meet expectations. In the case of unreliable subcontractors, you may feel as though the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. However, if a company has repeatedly been problematic to work with over the course of the past year, don’t let it continue in the years ahead. Also, don’t let the fact that you have a friendly or personal relationship with a subcontracting company’s owner or workers deter you from making the change. When people know that they’ve come up short and let you down, they’ll understand why you need to move on.