With the new year brings time for professionals in the construction industry to review business processes and efficiencies. That being said, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of room for reflection as a result of unprecedented challenges faced in 2020 that have impacted the way we all work. In particular, for general contractors, it is a time to analyze what worked and what didn’t to ensure best practices are in place moving forward. Much like every transition from year to year, contractors should reflect to revamp their organization and lead generation techniques. Using these tips will help contractors start the new year off with not only peace of mind, but also with a plan to confidently move ahead in 2021.
Organize Your Office Space
With every project, making sure your business has a solid foundation from which to expand is the key to success. Perhaps your construction team has moved to a semi-remote or flexible arrangement, and ensuring everyone is on the same page and project management practices are being upheld is key. You and your assistants should set up your home offices appropriately so that you have a dedicated space away from distractions. If your home is not suited for an effective office space, you may want to consider a mini-renovation. When renovating a room in your home, it could be beneficial to invest in a home warranty to preserve the most essential home appliances amidst the renovation process. Investing in a home office is well worth the benefits. Your team might even feel more comfortable and more productive while working out of their home.
Once you have your home office set up to your liking, keep it organized and clutter-free. To stay even more organized, opt for an electronic cloud platform to keep everyone on the same page and save headaches. It is also essential that distributed teams are not working in silos and have access to vital job resources such as business purchases, invoices, and job site information at all times.
Use the Most Efficient Software
Having the most efficient construction software at your disposal will help your business stay more organized in comparison to your competitors. Having an organized office space is just half of what it takes to be as efficient as possible. Without the right software, itemized data can get lost in the mix, leading to hardships that are easily avoidable. Certain construction software systems provide a diverse range of organizational features from accounting all the way to time and compliance tracking.
The best construction software systems have all of their features in a cloud-based solution. Such software provides a wide range of different industry practices such as reporting, document management, time entry, forecasting and more, all in one solution. Some handy specific features include job costing and accounting. A job dashboard feature displays real-time KPIs for project managers to assess the status of projects, instead of developing a report. With built-in accounting features, accountants can create live financial reports for multiple groups while saving time and energy. Leveraging the advanced features of construction software gives you vital time back into your schedule to work on more customer-facing responsibilities.
Be Attentive to Customers
A crucial aspect of generating leads in the construction industry is being as attentive as possible. To simplify, this means always answering your phone. Answer with a purpose and show the caller that you truly care about them and what they have to offer. Doing this will make the customer feel like a priority and will be a step in the right direction in how your business is perceived.
Another way to show your customers that you care is by returning quotes in a timely manner. Understandably, contractors are very busy and ultimately, the client is waiting for you, and all they can think about is their job. Being honest with quote prices and being rapid in response can not only help the client with a quick turnaround, but can also lead to potential referrals down the road. Lastly, to show your appreciation for the customer, consider sending a thank you note showing your appreciation for the business opportunity. Hopefully, over time this will lead to impressive reviews and meaningful relationships.
Stay Busy and Keep Your Costs Down
An important part of being a contractor is to stay busy with the right jobs for the right money. Some contractors tend to overshoot when going about their business. This can often lead to an overwhelming feeling and missed opportunities. Although taking on large, lucrative projects is desirable, it can cause you to be burned out, and smaller guaranteed opportunities can slip away.
Keeping your schedule full for a reasonable rate will not only lead to consistent income but will also lead to an improvement in production. Fundamentally, smaller jobs can often lead to larger jobs. If you show consistent communication skills and honesty about the project, clients will remember that. There are a variety of ways for contractors to save money, but the most effective ways are using a cost-efficient fleet, buying quality equipment, and renting your most expensive gear.
Be Open to New Ideas
It seems that almost every year social media grows much faster and larger than in previous years. Social media can be a great way to strengthen the community and can also be a landscape of learning and can lead to new project opportunities. Be open to new ideas and find more innovative ways to do your job. Finding innovative ways to do your job can help separate yourself from some of the more traditional contractors.
Use social media to your advantage; it can be a great way to learn new ideas about the business, but can also help market your business. Creating a social media presence that is constantly up-to-date, attractive, and shows previous customer reviews can be the most influential. Having established social media pages that customers and clients can easily access will drive more revenue by creating a space that is organized, reliable, and known for quality work.
To conclude, 2020 was a challenging year full of twists and turns that forced contractors to do things they’ve never had to do. Having the ability to plan out ways to generate revenue and gain new clientele is one way to prepare for what 2021 throws your way. Use these tips to attack 2021 with a sense of purpose.