By Larry Silver
Whether you are a small contractor performing under $500,000 in work or a $50 million giant, there are certain universal principles that apply. It takes many years to lay a strong foundation in any given market. How can you discern the saturation point for your services in that market so that new approaches can be implemented for growth?
The answer is very subjective. One could say that only so much market share is realistic with limited resources. But the truth is that leaders decide to go into new ventures because of the excitement and challenge of the chase.
We have developed five views of construction that can help bring out your goals and strategic thinking.
What geography does your firm cover? Does it make sense to target certain places within that geography or to expand a few miles to a growth area?
What services do you currently offer your clients? Do your clients know about all of your services or do they only use a small portion of your capability? Are there any new service additions that make sense for your organization to branch into? Many contractors are selling service work to remain in front of their clients on a more regular basis. Pre-construction has also risen in popularity because it gets you into the consulting mindset on the front end.
Are you a general contractor? Maybe you should lose the generality and become a specific contractor. Specifically focus on being the expert at a certain type of building or industry. Clients seem to want a comfort level that you have experience in their type of project. Funny, the 2x4 down at the lumberyard does not have "church," "prison" or "commercial office building" written on it.
How do you communicate the delivery of your construction service? What differentiates you from the other guys when it comes to communication, handling the design, problem-solving, billing, punch list, safety, etc.? If you have built trust on the front end, then you have the ability to negotiate, or at least be the driver in the competitive process.
What is the vision of your company? Does everyone buy into it or are they just going along for the ride? Does your key staff work well as a team or is there infighting, posturing and politics? Good companies know how to handle their employees and their clients. Provide training and incentives for creativity and superior performance. Stimulate their careers by submersing them in the strategic planning process and encouraging them to champion the areas in which they work best.
About the Author
Larry Silver is Editor of Contractor Marketing, the first marketing magazine just for contractors. He can be reached at 937-864-5854 ext. 11, or you can visit their website at www.contractormarketing.com.