Construction work is happening at all times – it only takes a quick drive through any town to notice it.
Running a successful construction company, however, goes beyond an owner’s ability to perform quality construction work. The constant demand for work does not mean someone can simply start a construction company and expect the business to reach and continue its success.
According to ConstructConnect, the construction industry has grown for 7 consecutive years, with 2018 spend nearing $1,313.3B. To keep up with industry demand and rising competition, construction companies must plan and put strategies in place to guarantee a steady workload. Whether you are just starting out or have been in the construction business for years, use these guidelines to keep the work coming long-term (and ensure you have the resources to keep up!).
Invest in Technology
Providing estimates, invoices, and storing customer information may seem easy to complete manually at first. If your goal is to grow the business, though, embracing technology to help do this work for you is crucial.
The construction industry requires managing a lot of information – bookkeeping, resources, workflows, deadlines, and invoices are just the start. Mobile business tools and construction management software will allow your company to provide timely and accurate information, so more of your time can be spent on the business versus in the business.
Although very few construction companies are comfortable using technology, you will notice the largest and most successful construction companies rely on technology to manage suppliers, projects, resources, employees, and even the payment process. Technology is not only helpful to you but also to your customers (for example, imagine getting paid on the spot instead of waiting for the paper invoice to process!).
Payment solution software, such as what ClearGate offers (and their new app, PayUp, coming soon), works with companies to implement digital solutions from initial pricing proposals and business support to data security and online reporting. Given the time, cost, and chance of error included while doing these processes manually, digital solutions are worth the investment.
Invest in Your People
Finding and hiring qualified, dependable employees is only half the battle. Construction is a fierce business, and it is just as important – if not more important – to know how to keep your employees.
Your people and their skills are the bread and butter of your company, so first put the right strategies in place to ensure you are hiring the right candidates from the start. Do not forego scheduling a traditional job interview, as this provides the best chance to understand how the potential employee’s previous work, skills, and personality and culture fit your business.
Once a good hire is made, providing competitive pay is only a small piece of securing an employee long-term. You want to build a company and culture that your employees want to be a part of, so ask their opinion, listen to their ideas, and help them understand how their skills and career could grow. Set goals, and work with your team to help them understand how to reach them. Show employees you appreciate their hard work. A ‘thank you’ goes a long way, as do flexible Paid-Time-Off and family policies.
The construction business typically pays well, and it is easy for employees and company owners alike to focus most of their energy there. However, according to Forbes Top 10 Factors for On-The-Job Employee Happiness, an attractive salary ranks at a lowly 7 out of 10. Appreciation for work, good relationships, and work-life balance rank in as the top 3 factors driving employee engagement.
In today’s world of technology, a construction company’s success depends a lot on two things: its systems and its people. With a whopping 52% of field service companies still doing things manually, taking advantage of digital solutions (to support both your people and your customers) is a surefire way to get ahead of the competition and ensure a steady and successful workload for years to come.