2020 has come and gone, but many in the construction industry are still feeling the effects of project delays and a lingering economic slowdown that began almost a year ago. In this article, we’ll look at five different ways contractors can jumpstart their success in 2021 and beyond—practical strategies that can help your company get ahead as our industry gears up for new activity and growth.
#1: Define Your Company Culture
Simply put, your company culture consists of the values, ideals, attitudes, beliefs, goals and behaviors that make your company what it is—all of which can have a major impact on your employees, clients, partners, and the reputation of your business overall. Everything you think and do as an organization contributes to your culture, and it has become vitally important to articulate messages--- both internally and externally-- that reflect it. Here’s why:
You’ll attract the best talent. Now more than ever, employees want to feel like what they do matters and to take pride in the company they work for—and culture is an important factor when candidates choose where to allocate their time and talents.
You’ll retain top performers. Losing employees—and replacing them with new ones—is an expensive proposition. The cost of employee turnover is as much as 2.5 times an employee's salary depending on their role, so making sure that valued staff members stay right where they are is smart business.
#2: Reinvest in Your Workforce
Contractors of all sizes are starting to see the business benefits of adopting new digital tools and processes. By far the best way to “reinvest” in your employees is to proactively expose them to digital concepts and technologies as they emerge— workforce upskilling that offers your company a competitive edge now and necessary for success down the road. Reinvesting in the employees you have now is the best way to keep them engaged and excited about their future with your company.
#3: Be Present on Social Media
Maintaining a consistent presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social sites can help you reach current and prospective clients, demonstrate thought leadership and increase visibility for your company. The numbers are impressive: when you consider that 51% of adults in the U.S. use Facebook multiple times a day, the reasons to become an active participant in the social media environment become clear. Not only can you raise awareness of your company to a broad online community, you’ll have a new ability to keep track of your competitors, build a community of word-of-mouth advocates and display the “human side” of your organization.
#4: Build a Professional Network
As any successful contractor knows, professional relationships are the foundation for long-term success. Clients, colleagues, employees, industry partners and peers all combine to form a powerful network that fuels collaboration, problem-solving, referrals, resource management and more. You can build an extensive—and potentially profitable—network of peers by participating in live or virtual industry events, joining professional associations, being present on LinkedIn and other social platforms, and performing community outreach in the form of sponsorships and charitable activities.
#5: Choose the Right Technology
Recent technological developments have fundamentally changed how teams work and contractors compete for construction projects—and early adopters of advanced tech platforms have a decided competitive advantage as a result. Construction estimating and project management are perfect examples: reported numbers show that a company that uses a cloud-based platform like ProEst can increase their process efficiency by 50% or more over manual methods, all with a corresponding increase in accuracy. That can translate into more project bids, higher profit margins and a better bottom line overall.
The construction industry continues to evolve in many ways, and it’s clear that contractors who can adapt to new business norms can expect to achieve higher levels of success in 2021 and beyond. Technology, while important, is only one of many success factors for contractors; others are focused on the needs and goals of people both inside and outside the organization. Applied together, these five strategies will help your company be flexible, responsive, collaborative and human-centric--- a jumpstart that will yield benefits now and far into the future.