Setting goals will help clarify your focus, measure your progress, and track your achievements. Goals encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and take evaluated risks.
Measurable goals allow you to create a road map of where you want to go, how you’ll get there, and in what time frame. And they allow you to determine whether you’ve reached the goals. Include both short and long-term goals.
Build a Great Team
Creating and maintaining a team loaded with high-output experts who love what they do, from the receptionist to the managers and sales reps, is the foundation of a successful construction business. Define the skills that matter most in the specific position and hire those with the best fit. Set clear expectations and give your employees what they need to succeed.
Establish a work environment that allows your team to offer suggestions for improvement – and that takes realizing that at times they, who have their hands on the project, have the best insight into how to complete it successfully. Provide your employees with feedback and encouragement and reward them for meeting goals.
Once you have a team of enthusiastic achievers in place, learn to delegate. Many business owners are used to doing a variety of things themselves. Identify tasks that you don’t need to do yourself and assign them to others, even if it means outsourcing them. For instance, hire a marketing firm instead of doing it yourself. Effectively delegating will free you to focus on the growth of your business.
Make Customer Service a Priority
Providing excellent customer service is essential to the success and growth of a construction business. Satisfied customers will not only use your company again, but they will also refer others to you. Remember, word-of-mouth is the most powerful and efficient form of advertising there is.
Besides providing your customers with exceptional service and work, you and your team should be responsive, accessible, and accountable. Always address issues or complaints immediately, and thoroughly and ask for feedback when the work is complete.
Keep Your Technology Up to Date
Technology plays a huge role in business today, and the construction industry is no exception. Technology helps a business grow, save time, and increase profitability. Software applications are available for bookkeeping, time management, tracking bids and work orders, managing customer relations, and managing your sales pipeline.
Current technology will keep your business organized, on track and free-up time to pursue growth.
Create a Sales Pipeline
Even a small business that wants to grow should set up and manage a sales pipeline. A sales pipeline tracks new leads through the sales process with your company until they become customers. A properly managed sales pipeline provides a business with all kinds of helpful information and metrics including the average length of time a lead takes to move through your sales process, your lead conversion rate, the performance of your sales reps, and how to identify who your best leads are, so you can focus appropriate attention on them.
A well-managed sales pipeline will provide you with your estimated revenues based on the leads currently in the pipeline.
This information allows you to focus on growing and improving your business by pointing out issues with your lead generation, your sales processes, and where your sales reps need help or additional training.
Keep Your Products and Services Current
Construction companies grow by keeping their products and services diverse and on track with what’s happening in the market. Look at new products and trends in your field that are in demand, like smart home technology, energy-efficient building and current home design features. Let you potential customers know that you are both aware of these products and can supply them.
Increase your visibility and make connections by attending networking events. Look for local professional organizations that you can join where you’ll meet other business owners and can even speak to the group as an industry expert. Attend builder’s shows and expos.
Get to know business owners in other fields that might use your services or refer you to their clients such as general contractors, architects, and even interior decorators.
Market Your Business
Marketing your business starts with a customer-friendly website. A website lets potential customers find you, what it is you do, and how to contact you. Include information on all of your services and how you solve customers’ problems. Include customer testimonials and a “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) section. Frequently update and add new information to your website.
After you have a great website, consider other forms of marketing including social media sites, online customer search like Google Ad Words, and posting online blogs.
As your company grows, you might even consider broadcast media, which includes radio, cable, or television advertising. If you decide to use broadcast media, interview several advertising or marketing firms and hire one that aligns with your business objectives. Don’t go directly to the media source, as their objective is just to sell you their station.
Increase Customer Retention and Referrals
It cost 5 times more to generate a new customer than it does to keep a current one, so focus on retaining customers through excellent customer service. Treating your customer right will make them much more likely to use you again as well as refer others.
Your company should institute customer loyalty and referral programs that reward customers for supporting your business. Repeat customers can be offered discounts or upgrades, and customers that refer others should receive something like a gift certificate.
Tip: Choose a quality customer relationship management software, aka CRM software, to organize your leads, cultivate a trusting relationship with them, move them toward a sale, and retain them once they're among your satisfied customers.
Give Back to Your Community
You and your employees might consider volunteering in the communities you live in and work in. You will meet people who may become customers, but your activities will also show that your business cares about the area and people. Being involved in community service is not only a good thing to do, but it may also provide some valuable and free public relations media coverage.
Review Your Strategies
While there are various strategies to use to keep your construction business growing, it’s necessary to measure what’s working. Periodically review things like spikes or dips in leads generated, quality of the leads, speed with which the lead moves through the sales process, and higher or lower closing rates. Increase your efforts against strategies that are working and stop or correct those that are not creating growth.
It’s a Proven Strategy
The approach outlined here has worked repeatedly – it is the road to success the largest construction companies and other contractors have taken to get ahead of the pack. Be intentional about the steps, and growth will follow.