With over 680,000 construction companies in the United States, there’s a lot of competition for anyone running a successful construction company.
Contracts and potential opportunities are the difference between your company having a profitable year or possible closing. Your operations must be smooth and effective with clear leadership.
Use these tips to continue your strong business and aim towards the future.
1. Get the Right Staff
As the owner, you’ve probably occupied several hats to build and operate your construction company. If you’re receiving several contracts, operations may get hectic.
Make sure you get the right staff in place.
Do you have a scheduler who is keeping track of the calendar and work shifts? Who is constantly contacting the clients to get paid?
Forming the right departments can make your life and the lives of your employees easier. Consider staffing in the following positions:
- Office manager
- Director of operations
- Business development manager
- Marketing director
Some of these positions might not seem necessary, but all the duties will fall on your shoulders if no one is there to share the burden.
Ideally, you want the construction employees to have experience in their field but also in construction. If they have an understanding of the construction world, they can be cross-trained for other positions to pick up any slack.
You don’t want to spend your evenings and weekends formulating marketing strategies or scheduling work crews. Eventually, all those tasks wear a person down. As a burned-out owner, your business will suffer.
2. Strong Time Management
With the right staff in place, how you spend your workday trickles down to the team. Your delegation means all your time can focus on big picture ideas or potential hurdles.
For example, you’ll have time to develop business relationships with a client from a previous project. Take the owner out for lunch or a round of golf. This might generate future business for your company.
Have you created a good company culture? Set deadlines to produce the outline of company initiatives.
Look at the numbers and determine if you can increase benefits. Maybe you can stock the break room once a week for employees to make breakfast and lunch. Or you can allocate extra funds to purchase a used Caterpillar generator for a remote job.
A huge part of your day will be spent in meetings with your various departments and teams. Your managers need the owner’s approval to lead their teams and advice to ensure they are following the best course of action.
Remember to make sure your time is spent moving the company forward. If you find yourself spending several hours a week putting out fires, then you may need to make changes.
3. Open-Door Policy
As your company hits its stride, your input and guidance set the path forward. Start an open-door policy and be an approachable figure in your company.
The purpose of an open-door policy is so that you get the truth. When you make yourself seem approachable, your team will feel okay coming to you with problems instead of hiding issues.
In the age of remote offices and virtual meetings, the open-door policy should extend to clients and vendors. Anyone who affiliates with your construction business wants access to you.
You can put your company ahead of the competition by being available and accessible. There’s something comforting when the owner of a company shakes your hand and tells you to call at any time.
4. Stress Safety
When there are about 150,000 construction site accidents per year, safety should be one of your top keys to a successful company.
Are you and your foreman current on all safety certifications and procedures? Don’t leave anything to chance to save a few dollars.
You might have to higher a more expensive project manager who understands and teaches safety. Workers’ compensation and lawsuits can financially drain your company. Multiple accidents also leave a less than desired reputation.
Safety meetings and proper processes and protective gear show your employees how much you care about them.
It might be an initial upfront cost to purchase safety material and send staff to the right classes, but it’s an investment with rewards off the balance sheet. The reputation of being safety conscious inspires clients to do repeat business.
Networking serves multiple functions for your business. You can advertise, cultivate relationships, and form business partnerships.
Join your local chamber of commerce, and participate in meetings and functions. Just by attending, you’ll get visibility within the community. Many businesses join the chamber of commerce to know exactly what’s happening in the area.
Don’t be unsettled by meeting competitors at events. It’s good getting to know others in the same space. Keep tabs on who your competition knows and what plans they have.
Use networking activities to nurture pre-existing relationships beneficial to the business.
Sit with business associates and fellow owners at conferences and luncheons. Use those mornings and afternoons to talk business and pleasure. Spend time getting to know business contacts on a personal level.
Many times, people don’t do business with someone they don’t like, even if they have a better price. Networking events are the perfect chance to win someone over.
No matter your level of involvement, give your business exposure by networking.
Keys to Running a Successful Construction Company
Put yourself in the driver’s seat by using these keys to running a successful construction company. Whether you want to grow, sustain, or improve your construction business, these tips will help get you there.
Running a business requires more than reading just this article. Keep reading more articles to sharpen your business acumen.