Do You Want Your Construction Business To Reach Its Full Potential?
To get some insight on what it takes to grow a construction business, we asked Jimmy Umaña (Managing Partner) and Carlos Mejia (Operations Manager) to lend the expertise they have learned through building our dumpster rental company, Selective Hauling. To scale your business correctly, it is important to understand all useful information available, but after you take it all in, be sure to hone in on the strategies that you believe will fit your company the best.
1. Make Customer Service A Priority
Your customers are the reason your company is still running – they’re the ones who will give you the opportunity to grow your business even further. The most important strategy in our eyes is understanding our customers’ needs. If you take the time to understand what they want, you can formulate a plan to help them out when they need you – or better yet solve a problem for them before it even arises. These days it’s not enough to just get the job done, but it is also important to show you care about the customer. One way to do that is to educate them; a customer who feels like they’re making an educated decision will feel more confident in themselves and have more trust in your company.
“Organizations often fail, and waste valuable resources, creating products and services that they thought the customer wanted, only to find out it was not what the customer wanted at all. The trick is to find out what it is the customer wants and put together plans to meet those needs. Organizations can’t meet the needs of their customers without understanding what they want.” –thethrivingsmallbusiness
For example, after listening to our customers we found out they had concerns about their roll off dumpster drop off locations being damaged. We were one of the first dumpster rental companies in the DC Metro area to build custom baskets on the roll off trucks that could carry pieces of plywood. We now place our dumpsters on that plywood at our customers drop off locations. By doing this we give our customers the peace of mind that the ground under the container’s wheels will not be damaged.
2. Hire The Right People
Each employee you hire is not only someone who works at your company, but they are an extension of the company itself. You must find people who are reliable and trustworthy. Each of these employees may have the chance to interact with your customers at some point in time. In our scenario, it could be someone in our accounting department answering a customer’s question about an invoice, or a dispatcher scheduling a roll off service. Regardless of the role, you want someone who can represent your company in a friendly and professional manner.
3. Establish Sustainable Company Culture
Company culture, otherwise known as organizational culture, is defined by BusinessDictionary as “The values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization.” In our company, it starts from management and then trickles down to drivers, helpers, mechanics, etc. Company culture in the construction industry is made up of many factors including work environment (with safety procedures), values, norms, beliefs, company mission, and habits.
4. Attend Networking Events
At these types of events, you have the opportunity to showcase your company, create new relationships with potential customers, and strengthen relationships with current customers. Along with all the connections you can make there is a lot of valuable information you can gather from experts in the construction industry. At times they may notify you of upcoming regulations or tips on construction-related topics. You should walk into that event with the mindset of not just selling yourself and your company, but to connect with everyone you talk to.
“When you reach out to each new contact, they’ll be able to put your face to your name, and you’re much more likely to get a response.In fact, 85% of professionals say they develop a more meaning relationship after meeting someone in-person. Remember to act quickly, and send an email or LinkedIn request within the first 24-48 hours while your interaction is fresh in someone’s mind.” –Forbes
5. Create A Website (Or Optimize It If You Already Have One)
The biggest reason you should create a website for your business is that you want to give others the chance to learn about your business without necessarily knowing any of your current customers. In today’s world, this helps you appear as a more credible business. A business will also have a greater online presence if it has more positive reviews from its customers.
“Research shows that 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And they make that decision quickly: 68 percent form an opinion after reading between one and six online reviews.” –Inc.
6. Invest In Marketing
While word of mouth was an excellent form of marketing and still is, there are many other opportunities for new customers to find your business. In the new age of digital marketing, potential customers can find you on their computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Some of the techniques that make up digital marketing are compromised of search engine optimization, PPC (pay-per-click), social media marketing, e-mail marketing, and content marketing. All of these techniques can drive eyes over to your website and if your website provides them with the content that they’re looking for, then you might just have yourself a new customer!
7. Choose The Right Companies To Work With
If you’re thinking that you’re the type of business that wants to do the job correctly on the first try, then that’s exactly the type of company with whom you should be working. While everyone wants to keep their project expenses low, finding partners that can do the job right the first time can be very beneficial financially in the end, even if it costs a bit more. Valuable experience is worth the premium cost. This applies to all types of construction businesses such as general contractors, small renovation contractors, real estate developers, demolition companies, or dumpster rental companies. Here’s an example real-life example that happens to us from time to time:
- Our driver finds an issue with their truck during their post-trip inspection
- Driver tells mechanic the issue
- Mechanic contacts our office to tell us what he needs
- We order the parts from our trusted and reliable vendor
- The vendor gets us what we need in a timely manner
- Mechanic uses parts to fix the truck
- The driver has a safe truck to use now
8. Adapt To New Technology
While the phrase “don’t fix what’s not broken” may be true, you can apply a new perspective, which is “improve on what is working.” Adapting to new technology may be worrisome, but with patience and dedication, the results can be great. Take for example improvements to the software in the construction industry.
“Today there are software and mobile solutions to help manage every aspect of a construction project. From preconstruction to scheduling, from project management and field reporting to managing your back office, there’s a software solution out there to help streamline your processes and improve productivity. Most software solutions are cloud-based, allowing changes and updates to documents, schedules, and other management tools to be made in real time, facilitating better communication and collaboration.
Mobile technology allows for real-time data collection and transmission between the jobsite and project managers in the back office. Cloud-based solutions enable on-site employees to submit timecards, expense reports, requests for information (RFIs), work records, and other verified documentation. This can save hundreds of hours per year in data entry and automatically organizes critical files—no more shuffling through files looking for old reports.” –ConstructionConnect
Saving all that time using the right software is a key reason that adapting to new technology is necessary. Everyone knows “time is money!”
9. Outwork Your Competition
This is the last, but the most important tip. Passion and work ethic will always find a way to thrive. Now go out there and grow your business!
Jones, K. (2018, December 5). How Technology Is Reshaping the Construction Industry. Retrieved February 6, 2020, from https://www.constructconnect.com/blog/technology-reshaping-construction-industry
Bloem, C. (2017, July 31). 84 Percent of People Trust Online Reviews As Much As Friends. Here’s How to Manage What They See. Retrieved February 7, 2020, from https://www.inc.com/craig-bloem/84-percent-of-people-trust-online-reviews-as-much-.html
Lotich, P. (2018, November 5). 7 Steps to Creating a Customer Service Strategy. Retrieved February 7, 2020, from https://thethrivingsmallbusiness.com/customer-service-strategy/
Stahl, A. (2018, November 29). 3 Reasons Why You Should Attend More Networking Events. Retrieved February 7, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2018/11/29/3-reasons-why-you-should-attend-more-networking-events/#bd3ca866e01a