We hope you’ll find these seven tips for how to grow your construction business and enjoy smooth sailing at the jobsite helpful. While this is a quick summary of suggestions, in the coming weeks we’ll run a whole series that goes into each tip in greater depth.
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1. Be a leader, not a micromanager.
It can be hard (and sometimes scary) to let go and trust your employees to do their job, but if you’ve hired the right people to start with, and if you’ve set clear goals and expectations, you should be able to turn them loose and let them do the work you hired them to do. By doing this, you not only show them you have confidence in their abilities, but it also frees you up to do your own job with less stress. Your employees seeing you tackling your own responsibilities with energy and diligence while knowing you’re counting on them to do their part will motivate them to do their best.
2. Build your team by hiring thoroughly screened, dependable and skilled employees. A reputable staffing company can assist you.
It can be hard to find the right employees — especially in an industry like construction — but it’s worth it to not skimp on the screening process. Hiring the wrong people can, at the very least, create some major headaches, but in even more troubling (but all-too-common) scenarios, they can cost your business big money or even cause jobsite injury, or in extreme cases, death. This is one of many situations where turning to a reputable staffing company can be a life-saver. Blue Arbor, for example, is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and has decades of experience in screening job seekers and matching them to the right employers. Part of that process is not only verifying their education and employment history, but also license and credential verification, criminal background checks, credit history checks, motor vehicle reports, and job-related skills testing.
3. Think outside the box. Subcontracting isn’t just for construction tasks.
No matter what industry you’re in, if you’re managing a business, you’re going to be busy. While you might be tempted to do everything yourself or to have it all done by members of your crew, sometimes it makes sense to bring in a third party to lend a hand. A general contractor’s job is to line up the right subcontractors to tackle a construction task, but subcontracting isn’t just for building, repairs, and remodeling. Did you know you can subcontract tasks like screening, hiring, and even payroll? It can also be helpful to bring in an experienced third-party to help ensure your organization’s compliance with labor and safety laws and regulations. When you’re not bogged down with items that can easily be subbed out, you can grow your construction business.
4. Promote and train your employees.
It’s a scientific fact that happy employees are more effective than unhappy employees. While you shouldn’t be hasty about promoting employees, if you have a proven, trusted employee who consistently does a good job, a promotion is a great way to say, “Thank you,” and that can make for a happy employee.
As for training, offering employees the chance to learn new skills is beneficial to your company because it adds talent to your team, but it also benefits the employee personally by giving them more “tools” to have in their skills “toolkit.” When you offer opportunities like that, and then give those employees a chance to show off their new abilities, you’ll help build their confidence, which will lead to happy, productive employees.
5. Make safety top priority.
To some degree, this ties in with the second item on this list about screening employees, but in the construction industry, there are inherent dangers that can spell disaster if safety is not a top priority for your company.
Whether an employee is talking on a cell phone while working or not wearing his/her personal protective equipment, many workers have placed themselves and others at needless risk to save time or be more comfortable. The bottom line is that the majority of construction accidents are not due to a lack of training, skill or knowledge — nearly all accidents are simply related to poor decision-making.” – Jim Stanley for OHS Online
An article in Occupational Health & Safety Online blames the “it could never happen to me attitude” for countless job injuries, some life-threatening, that fill up emergency rooms every single day. The author recommend building a “culture of safety” that will make it easy to be compliant with regulations and keep everyone safe.
6. Invest in your business by updating and maintaining equipment properly.
This tip can save you money in the long run. Ensuring all equipment is maintained regularly will help it last longer. You already know this, of course, but make sure to provide clear guidelines to your employees if there are certain maintenance procedures that you’d like for them to perform, and give them some means of recording maintenance tasks for accountability. Something as simple as a checklist with tasks performed along with the date might be sufficient.
Even when you’ve maintained equipment carefully and it’s still in good working condition, it can still be a good idea to update it if newer equipment will mean greater speed and efficiency, or even more safety, in getting a job done.
7. Make top quality and excellent customer service a must and you will enjoy smooth sailing!
Have you ever looked up your company on a search engine? What comes up? Hopefully, you’ll see a link to your website and maybe even some links to other sites with good reviews about your company.
What nobody wants to see are bad reviews for their business. In this Internet-dominated age, however, customers will often choose to be vocal about the companies with which they do business — most often in extreme circumstances, either when they’re really happy with a company, or when they’re really frustrated.
Word-of-mouth advertising is still happening, only on a much broader scale now that folks often rely on social media and the Internet to get recommendations for anything and everything. Make sure that the end product you’re delivering to your customers — whether it’s new construction, or a repair or remodel, is something they’re happy with. If they’re not, find out what you can do to make things right. When you make a genuine effort to understand exactly what your customers want, and then you make it your priority to make that happen, they’ll appreciate it and they’ll recommend you to others.
Take care of your customers and you will enjoy smooth sailing.