Construction is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with the UK sector growing at a rapid annual pace of 3.7%. If you are a construction business owner, now is the perfect time to set some goals, develop a plan to take your company to the next level, and outshine your competitors. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
- Focus on Customer Satisfaction
Exceptional customer service is one of the most effective ways to grow your business. Whilst happy customers are more likely to refer your company, bad customer service can cause clients to leave negative reviews, and with Reputation X estimating that 86% of customers hesitate to buy from companies badly reviewed, this could be detrimental to your business. The following points are examples of common gripes customers have with construction companies:
- Poor communication: Customer feedback suggests construction companies do not always communicate effectively with clients, leading to misunderstandings or confusion about the project timeline, scope or budget. To avoid this, update your clients regularly on the progress of the construction project.
- Delays and disruption: Delays beyond the agreed-upon timeline are frustrating for clients, especially when the project causes heavy noise pollution or leaves their surroundings in a state of disarray. Additionally, clients may rely on the expected timeframe of the project for the success of their own business or personal needs.
- Cost overruns: Clients can be frustrated by unexpected cost overruns, which may occur if the construction company did not accurately estimate the scope of the project or if unforeseen issues arise during construction.
There are a number of measures you can take to improve your customer satisfaction rates. One method is by using ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software. ERP helps companies manage and automate business processes by improving response times, order accuracy and access to customer information. The smoother your internal processes are, the better you can communicate with your clients and focus on delivering great construction work.
2. Be Selective about Sourcing Materials
Cutting corners is not recommended when finding suitable building materials. Customers should rely on the safety and durability of the project they’ve paid for. However, high quality and cost-effectiveness are not mutually exclusive, many builders merchants, such as Builder Depot, offer bulk buy discounts or loyalty schemes which can help you save on construction supplies.
3. Develop a Strong Online Presence
In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for any business. To do this you can:
- Ensure you have a professional website that showcases your work and services.
- Stay active on your social media accounts and engage with followers to increase awareness and trust in your brand.
- Consider investing in search engine optimisation (SEO) to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results.
The Head of Digital at Builder Depot commented that: “The importance of having a digital footprint and immersive experience of one’s store from anywhere in the world should not be underestimated – especially in the world of tomorrow.”
4. Network with Other Professionals
Networking with other professionals in the construction industry can help you build valuable relationships and generate new business opportunities. To do this, you can attend industry events and join local business organisations. In 2023 there are over 94,500 construction contractor businesses in the UK, so building positive industry relationships is more accessible than ever.
5. Hire the Right Team
Creating a positive environment where your workforce feels valued, respected, and heard is critical for the growth of any business. According to Construction Skills Network (CSN), an extra 225,000 construction workers may be needed by 2027 so the importance of finding and retaining a passionate team of skilled professionals should not be understated.
You can find construction-based employee surveys online that focus on developing inclusive, engaging cultures while avoiding a high staff turnover. Companies can also implement continuous performance management, which involves one-on-one check-ins between managers and employees. Continuous performance management has been shown to increase employee engagement while encouraging honest, open communication, thereby reducing employee turnover.
6. Stay Up to Date with Industry Trends
Keeping up with the latest trends and developments in the construction industry is vital for maintaining steady growth. Not only can following trends help you stay one step ahead of your competitors, but the industry too; by following trends carefully, you can more accurately predict what will happen within the construction trade and act accordingly. There are several ways you can stay informed about new technologies, best practices and emerging trends:
- Attend industry conferences: Many companies offer free seminars, such as Futurebuild, and others offer professional-led conferences for paying members, such as CIOB.
- Read trade publications: There are hundreds of trade publications available to read online, with dozens of publications daily, making it easy to stay up to date on a regular basis. Many are free to read but others require a subscription fee to access the articles.
- Participate in online forums: Full of fellow industry professionals, forums offer safe environments where contractors and construction workers alike can go to learn more about their craft at any time
- Utilise analytic tools: Online tools such as Google Analytics and Google Trends can both provide you with an indispensable insight into what your customers – and potential customers – are searching for online, as well as help you keep track of trends happening within your own company.
Growing a construction business requires a combination of hard work, dedication and strategic planning. It’s a tall order, but these tips can position your business for success in 2023 and beyond.
Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals