Back in 2009, the construction industry hit a low point globally. But since then, things have turned around a lot. There is growing demand from China and India. And we’re finally seeing emerging economies ramp up production. Even in Europe and America, the construction industry is doing far better than it was seven years ago.
The turnaround is partly due to a buoyant economy and partly due to favourable demographics. It all means that many construction companies are looking to expand their business. If you’re a construction company looking to grow, what should you do?
Know Your Limits
As a construction firm, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do everything yourself. If you operate heavy machinery, for example, you’ll find yourself looking for a heavy duty auto electrician.
Getting the right people to your site swiftly and efficiently is essential if you’re looking to grow. The specialists will, of course, cost you money, but they’ll save you money in the long run. Plus, they’ll be able to advise you on the best equipment and building strategies. They’ll be a source of knowledge for the latest developments in the industry and how you can apply them to your projects.
One of the problems that have faced construction companies in the past is volatile input prices. Materials and labour prices tend to vary a lot.
When you’re quoting for a project, take into account a worst case scenario. This is one in which both the price of labour and materials rises dramatically during the project. If you are contracting with another firm, make them aware of price conditions before you quote. Perhaps you could negotiate terms into the contract that allow the price to escalate as wholesale prices rise. This way you protect your margin while delivering a project.
Keep Overheads To A Minimum
Many construction firms went out of business during the recession because of their overheads. Things like the rent on warehouses and machinery were many companies’ undoing.
It’s important to be as mobile and as lean as possible so that you can react to changes in market conditions. There’s no point hiring out lots of heavy machinery, for example, if it’s lying idle on building sites or at your HQ.
Manage Your Employees Effectively
Finding great people in construction can be difficult. That’s why it’s important that once you get hold of somebody that does do an excellent job that you train them up.
Employees that are undergoing training are more likely to feel positive about your firm and their work. Plus, before too long you’ll reap the rewards of training with higher productivity. With experienced, well-trained workers you’ll be completing projects under budget and ahead of schedule.
Hire Great Motivators
This last point isn’t unique to the construction industry, but it applies all the same. As is the case for any business, the owner shouldn’t try to do everything themselves. You should delegate responsibility to people that are both competent and great at motivating every person in your firm.