The past year impacted construction businesses more than anyone expected—and many contractors are feeling the effects now more than ever. As the world slowly gains control of the recent pandemic, it’s time to evaluate your business and focus on the future. This growth plan helps construction companies mitigate losses from 2020 and create sustainable growth for 2021 and beyond.
When you first started your business, things were different. Life was different. The construction industry was most obviously different. It’s time to address the situation and adapt so you not only survive, but thrive in the current climate.
First, look at your current situation. What is your primary goal this year? Are you hoping to create a strong customer base? Do you need a better workforce? Do you need greater stability? Is there a financial goal you must meet to avoid job losses?
While the pandemic created a number of problems, it also highlighted opportunities. Your goal is to find the weak areas within your business, define your goals, and create a plan that gets you from Point A to Point B.
Nearly every industry faces labor shortages this year, but not every industry needs its workers as much as construction. Your crew members can easily make or break your business, and it’s important to recognize that now.
This is potentially your largest obstacle, but it’s also one you can address immediately. To combat the problem, you need to focus on several things.
If you have great employees, aim to keep them. Offer raises, ask for feedback, address ongoing concerns, and make people want to work for you. If you’ve been considering promotions or other incentives that might encourage your workers to stay, now is the time to act. Things may quickly shift again in the future, but right now, companies are hiring. Your employees know that, and turnover is your enemy. Keep your good employees and focus on rounding out your team later.
After you address employee retention, you can move forward with hiring. Because the market is saturated with job offers, think outside the box. Contact your local trade schools for apprenticeships, or ask prior employees if they would consider returning to work. Ask your current employees for referrals and offer incentives if a referral completes the initial training period.
While the standard job posting sometimes generates amazing talent, you’re more likely to find good workers via these other avenues.
If you constantly feel torn between the office and the jobsite, you’re not alone. Most contractors struggle to keep up with administrative tasks when there are projects constantly underway. You might even turn down bids because the paperwork is overwhelming.
If this sounds familiar, it’s time to streamline your processes. Here’s how.
Your office workers are your first line of defense. Brainstorm your current processes together and find ways to increase efficiency. You may need to reassign tasks, hire support staff, or outsource certain procedures.
There are so many new technological solutions for the construction industry. The latest software helps streamline tasks from payroll to PTO. You can use software for bids and estimates, project management, and nearly everything HR-related. Use technology to make work more efficient and keep overhead low.
Safety is always a concern for contractors. A single fine can easily cost thousands of dollars and create an overall loss for the company. One accident can take a worker out of commission and create ongoing expenses for the company.
Look over your safety standards and address concerns before they become disasters. Ask for employee feedback, create training programs, stay up-to-date on the latest compliance procedures, and maintain certifications.
You also need to learn to adapt. This past year shows us that the companies who thrive are those who stay flexible and shift their policies and procedures to match the changing environment. Learn to stay ahead of the curve, make adjustments where necessary, and refuse to stick with outdated notions because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
Your future success depends on your ability to address the issues and move past them. This growth plan works for most organizations, but you’ll need to do the work. By implementing this strategy, you’re creating a strong foundation that can lead to years of success—this year and beyond.