If you’ve ever tried to grow your business (or keep it afloat), you know it’s harder than it looks.
Your teams are juggling work on limited bandwidth, struggling to stay organized and on task, and communicate efficiently enough to avoid rework. All of these setbacks are cutting into your ability to deliver projects on time, and under budget.
Maybe you’re looking for ways to streamline workflows, cut overhead,take on more work, and boost your profit margins. Or you’re already running a successful firm that is ready to grow but you’re not sure how to get started. Either way, this eBook can show you how to spark growth and equip your teams with the tools necessary to handle it.
What you learn will help you grow your company, make it easier to run,and help you squeeze in a few extra hours of free time each day. In the end, you and your company will gain a competitive advantage due to your enhanced capabilities without adding expensive overhead.
I. Building Relationships (and Keeping the OnesYou’ve Got)
Doing great work goes without saying. But when you’re trying to win more business, here’s where to start.
Getting the Word Out
BUILD YOUR WEB PRESENCE
If you don’t have a website, make one. If you do, make it better .Squarespace, Jimdo, or Wix are just a few examples of popular website builders for businesses of any size. Use a platform like this to create a clean, legible, and user-friendly web presence that reflects your company culture. Do this by putting yourself in your owner’s shoes. They’ll want to know your company history, see who your team is, and how you operate.Use your website as a portfolio to showcase your specialties, pictures of past jobs, and testimonials from past clients.
GET IN FRONT OF THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Take your best people and send them to join your local Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Association, or state’s Associated GeneralContractors chapter. They’ll help you stay informed with newsletters and can report back with a calendar of networking events to attend. Take a step further and travel with your team to tradeshows that best fit your niche and region. Set up a booth, bring marketing materials, or find out how to be a speaker. Showcasing your expertise at these functions will help you find good talent and catch wind of brewing opportunities.
Maintaining a Good Reputation
STAY AHEAD OF THE GAME
With over 25,000 small to medium sized businesses in construction, you’ll need to set yourself apart from your competitors. Potential owners should associate your company with innovation, vision, and continuous improvement. You can do this by embracing new technologies that improve their user experience. Utilize your software solutions to give owners visibility into your project–the more open you are about where the project stands, what you are doing to drive it forwards,and how you are proactively approaching any risks can give them confidence in you and your business. Share any insight you can provide to show that you are an asset to their long-term strategies.
Owners and partners will remember and appreciate a good working relationship. The sooner owners get answers, the happier they are. That means being available and responsive all day, everyday. Or better yet, give them full access to the information they need so that you have more time to focus on the project.
Capitalize on relationships with existing and past owners by asking them to provide a testimonial or case study. Clients want to feel confident in your expertise before they accept your bid–case studies are an effective (and free) way to demonstrate your abilities and allow them to picture themselves working with you. Make sure to display them on your website and include them in any marketing materials.
Likewise, if you have good relationships with subcontractors, ask them to refer your company in future projects and offer to do the same. Bonus points for sending gift baskets, holiday cards, and dinner invites throughout the year. Nurture your relationships and keep your company on their radar all year long.
II. Nailing Your Numbers
Knowing how your business is currently performing can help you identify areas with growth potential. Here are some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you should be managing:
- Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. You need it to meet payroll,pay for materials and supplies, and reimburse subcontractors. You should have the ability to evaluate organizational liquidity and then be able to drill down and see which projects are providing cash flow and which are draining liquidity.
- Schedule variance indicator: Construction project owners are demanding faster construction, cutting the typical project duration dramatically. The goal of scheduling is to create a tool that can be used to drive the project and build credibility with all the participants, particularly your owner.
- Work-in-progress (WIP) reporting: Project execution is the heart of every construction business. Measuring and monitoring WIP ensures timely corrective actions and confirms project execution according to plans. Together, the status of gross margin, cash flow, change orders, and project buyout execution indicators gives you and your owner a global project performance perspective.
- Backlog indictor: If you can manage your backlog well, you’ll have an easier time selecting those business opportunities that will ultimately provide the most margin.
- Scorecard indicators help to evaluate the soft skills lacking in your organization. Problems can be identified earlier, preventing the escalation of a “paper war” with owners, subcontractors, and other project stakeholders.
With an eye on these metrics, you’ll have the information you need to reduce overhead costs and operating expenses. Meaning greater profit for the same amount of time and resources, as well as actionable metrics for your next build.
If you’re trying to grow your company without growing your overhead, the secret is to make your resources go as far as possible. And those two biggest resources are your time and money. Using your time and money as effectively as possible means choosing the right tools to help you build efficiently.
Download the rest of this free eBook to find tips and tricks for growing your business and staying AHEAD of the competition. Find more ways to:
- Streamline workflows
- Cut overhead
- Take on more work
- Boost your profit margins
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