To truly thrive, businesses need upkeep, maintenance and even the occasional renovation. If you own a construction company, there are several simple actions you can take to ensure success, growth and customer satisfaction.
Here are seven fundamental steps to help you get started.
1. Prioritize customer service.
When hiring employees, it's obviously important to determine whether or not they have the necessary contracting skills. However, almost as critical is ensuring that they can provide quality customer service.
Your clients will remember the work that was done for them, and they will remember how they were treated during the process. Assembling a team of people who will give your clients respect, patience and understanding will go a long way in getting your business repeat customers as well as valuable referrals.
2. Find your niche.
There are so many different areas of contracting – if there's something in which you specialize, make that known. Promoting your company as superior in one specific niche, whether it be window installation or roof repair, is a great way to ensure that you're the one a client calls when the window cracks or the roof starts to leak. Even if you're a general contractor, you can still offer a more broad spectrum of services while branding your company as "the best" in A, B or C.
3. Market, market, market
Speaking of branding, you'll want to be sure you are always marketing your company. Though it's always great when you can acquire clients through word of mouth (which will happen if you offer top-notch service), developing a clever marketing strategy is a promising way to grow your business even further. Applying some simple branding tools can really help to get your company's name out there so that people think of you when they need a contractor.
4. Cover your bases.
A company needs insurance, especially when working with heavy machinery and electric tools is on the daily agenda. Make sure you're covered when it comes to potential injuries, property damage and lawsuits. These days, finding an insurance policy that's right for you is an easy process, especially when you can find affordable, specialized insurance policies just for your industry.
5. Stay involved.
This step comprises two parts. First, no matter what, you must remain available to your customers. Construction can be a confusing process for those not familiar with it, so your clients may have questions or simply want to be clued in on how things are going. The more time you set aside to hear them out and alleviate their concerns, the more comfortable they'll feel hiring you in the future or recommending you to a friend.
Second, staying involved also means personally showing up to supervise on site. Obviously, you can't be everywhere at once, but it's important that both your clients and employees know you will be popping by regularly. This will show your customers that they are a priority and will remind your employees that they need to do their best work.
6. Don't cut corners.
It might be tempting to go with less expensive materials, but it's important to keep in mind that often, saving now means spending later. Make sure that all the equipment you work with is up to the task and can withstand the test of time. For example, investing in stainless steel screws might be a smart move when working on a location vulnerable to wet weather conditions. Customers may not be well versed enough in construction to know the difference, but they'll certainly notice if things start to rust or break down.
7. Be organized.
Finally, keeping everything in order is crucial to running a smooth business. You want to maintain thorough bookkeeping in order to ensure you're sticking to your budget and, of course, getting paid for your work.
This also means tracking how much time and energy you need to dedicate to every kind of service you offer. This will prevent you from spreading yourself too thin and taking on too many clients or tasks at any given time. It might seem like more customers are always better, but that's only true if it doesn't require you to sacrifice the dedication you can give to each one.