Construction business owners have a lot to gain from positive growth in the construction industry right now. The projects are out there, and there are profits to be made. Even the smallest, one-man operations can take their construction business to the next level with these five tips.
1. Treat your business like a business
Construction is your business, so be sure you are treating it like one. That means keeping up on necessary licenses, certifications, and bonds. If you aren’t licensed yet, the time is now.
Find out what the license requirements are in your state, and take the necessary steps to obtain one. If you are already licensed, be sure to pay attention to your license expiration date, and renew it on time.
Don’t stop with your license, either. Stay up to date on any trade-specific certification programs, and look into LEED certifications. Green building is a trend that is not going away anytime soon, and LEED certification will help you stand above the competition when you are bidding on the next project.
Contractor license bonds are required in most states, but you should also consider contractor bid, payment, and performance bonds. Being fully bonded will open up the door for bigger and better projects, and give potential clients the peace of mind that you are the best choice for their project.
2. Carry enough credit
A line of credit is an essential tool to help grow your construction business. You have checks to write and payments to make while you are working on your project. Materials need to be purchased; equipment needs to be rented; vendors, employees, and subcontractors need to be paid on time.
Missing or skipping payments to the people and suppliers who help you run your business is not only bad for your reputation, it can also damage your credit. A business line of credit is the solution to this all-too-common contractor problem. If you don’t have a business line of credit, you need to get one. If you have a small line, consider having it expanded. A credit line is good business, and can keep you up and running when you need it.
3. Cover your assets
The quickest way to lose your profits, and your business, is to ignore the risks that face contractors. Understand construction risk management and how it protects your business, and implement contractor insurance to fully protect yourself. The right insurance policies can protect your business assets such as tools, equipment, vehicles, employees, and even the project itself. And if you are a sole proprietor or independent contractor, the right contractor insurance policies can protect your personal assets, as well. Your general liability can even provide identity theft protection at no extra charge! The best part? Being covered doesn’t mean paying huge premiums for your contractor insurance. There are lots of ways to save on your insurance rates to get the coverage you need at a cost your business can afford.
4. Embrace construction technology
Construction technology is revolutionizing the industry, and if you are not taking advantage of mobile devices, project management software, and construction apps, then you are missing out.
Technology is making collaboration better, communication easier, and saving you time on the project site. It’s time to go paperless, get mobile, and discover what construction apps you need to get a leg up on the competition.
5. Stop advertising and start marketing
No one picks up the phone book and looks for a contractor anymore. If you want to grow your business, potential new clients need to be able to find you online. You don’t need an advertising budget for your construction business anymore, you need an online marketing strategy. You need a website that works to bring you leads, positive reviews on Google+ or Yelp, and an active social media presence if you want to attract new clients.
Running a business can be tough, but today’s favorable construction industry climate is opening up new opportunities for savvy contractors determined to make it work. A little bit of forward-thinking can sometimes be the secret ingredient that will help your construction business grow to new heights.