Business

Universal Tips on How to Grow a Construction Company

5 mın read

As if the construction industry wasn’t already competitive, rising labor and materials costs have made it even more expensive to operate. 

It can feel downright impossible to get ahead, never mind growing your business.

But it is possible, and you don’t have to be a business expert to make it happen. 

Follow along with Hammr as we share our top tips on how to grow a construction company in today’s economic climate.

Be sure to take time to listen to our Bred to Build podcast episode that discusses how to grow a construction company. In this episode, we have an insightful conversation with Marcus Gores, Vice President of Gores Construction, that you won’t want to miss. 

Listen to the full podcast episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Table of Contents

Why Is Growth Crucial for Your Construction Company?

Growth is essential to your long-term success even if you’re a small-scale construction company.

Growth allows construction companies to:

  • Attract newly trained and educated talent
  • Acquire assets needed to operate your business successfully
  • Bid on more — and bigger — contracts
  • Drive profitability and performance

Growing your construction company can also help you respond to market demand and boost your company’s credibility. 

But you can’t just wake up one day and decide it’s time to grow, then sit back and watch it happen. Growth requires strategy and it needs to happen for the right reasons.

The Most Essential Aspect of Growing a Construction Company: Building and Retaining a Team

Turnover is one of the biggest headaches — and expenses — a construction company will face.

Building a skilled team with the desire to grow with your company may be the greatest determiner of your company's success. 

Generate Credibility and Trust

Lead by example! Owners who take time to step onto a job site and strap on their bags show their employees that they’re capable and credible too. 

The last thing you want your crew to think is that they are just numbers. Or that they are replaceable. That mentality is toxic in the workplace and can cause irreparable damage.

As a leader, it’s important to take ownership and accountability for your work. When your employees see a sense of pride in a job well done, they’re more likely to follow.

Treating employees like an essential part of the team goes a long way toward building trust and, ultimately, forming lasting relationships.

To get respect, you must first show respect.

Lead Without Managing

Ever heard the expression “teamwork makes the dream work”? There’s never been a truer sentiment in the construction industry. 

Without you, your crew would likely still have a job elsewhere, but without your crew, you don’t have a construction company.

So, rather than treating your employees as though they’re working for you, why not help them feel as though they are working with you. Show them you have confidence in their abilities.

Being part of a team instills a sense of belonging and creates an environment of respect and loyalty. 

Express Your Appreciation Often

A little appreciation goes a long way. Sounds taboo, right? We promise it’s not.

As a company, you should be setting goals — company goals and individual employee goals — and you should be conducting regular reviews.

When these goals are met or exceeded, showing verbal or tangible appreciation can incentivize your crew to continue producing quality work.

Waiting for annual reviews to dole out the expected inflation raise won’t instill the desire for your crew to come to work and give it their all every day.

Giving gratitude is rewarding for everyone involved and promotes a more productive work environment.  

Create a Working Environment That Encourages Longevity

With a construction turnover rate of 21.4 to 64%, it may seem impossible to keep construction employees for more than a few years. However, an alarming 94% of employees said they would be more likely to stay with a company that invested in their growth. 

But what does that mean, exactly?

First of all, encouraging longevity isn’t as simple as offering a yearly wage and calling it a day. Construction companies that …

  • Offer great benefits
  • Encourage a healthy workplace culture
  • Show employee appreciation
  • Provide a clear path to promotion
  • Give paid time off; and
  • Treat their employees fairly

… are far more likely to have a team that will stick around for the long haul.

Investing in your employees is playing the long game. Companies that focus solely on profits and numbers tend to turnover staff at a much higher rate. 

Loyalty encourages longevity which ultimately increases profitability.

9 Additional Tips on How to Grow a Construction Company

#1: Clearly Define Your Organizational Structure

When your organizational structure is undefined, everyone involved is more susceptible to stress. Employee burnout is a serious factor — especially in the construction industry — and a lack of communication or clarity can exacerbate the issue. 

Clearly defined work responsibilities can help reduce overall stress and create a more productive workplace for employees, supervisors, and owners.

#2: Modernize Your Procedures

The world around us is rapidly advancing. Whether it’s the latest in computer technology or gadgets that make our jobs easier, there always seems to be a learning curve.

However, as the owner, it’s not only important to modernize your procedures but to also know your standard operating procedures (SOP).

First off, you likely have some employees that are closer to retirement, and while these people may feel less excited about updating technology, you must keep up with what’s current. Your new hires will be trained in the latest construction technologies and software — use this knowledge and willingness to learn to your advantage.

As an owner, you must get to know every advancement your company makes. It’s the old “if someone were to be hit by a bus, could you do their job” expression… the answer should always be yes.

#3: Build a Strong Professional Network

Construction companies depend on a strong network. Whether it’s through word of mouth, networking events, or industry conferences, you should always be building a network.

Networks can be strengthened through:

  • Sponsoring a local little league team
  • Participating in community fundraisers
  • Attending city council meetings
  • Golf tournaments
  • Industry association membership
  • Luncheons
  • And more

Socializing was probably not your main focus when you decided to get into construction, but the reality is, that you need to stay in front of your community if you want to generate leads and grow your business.

#4: Market and Advertise in a Way That Works for Your Company

Marketing doesn’t always mean Facebook ads or flier campaigns — although these can be highly effective. But, many construction owners market through making personal connections (networking) with decision-makers, such as:

  • HOA managers
  • Community managers
  • Apartment portfolio managers
  • Lawyers representing HOAs
  • Engineers
  • Consultants
  • Architects
  • Etc.

You want to stay top of mind with people who have communities in distress or are curating the scope, standard, and details of upcoming projects.

#5: Focus on Quality

We can’t stress this one enough. Never, ever cut corners. If you’re taking any action that would result in a lower quality product, just don’t.

You may see an opportunity to reduce project costs, but that short-term gain will result in long-term losses.

Reputation is everything in the construction industry, so you should never compromise your high standards to save a buck.

You’re only as good as your last project, so make every project count.

#6: Make Customer Service a Priority

It should go without saying that your customer’s happiness should be your top priority. We’re not suggesting that you sell yourself short or give in to their every demand, but you should always strive for customer satisfaction.

Communication is a key factor in ensuring that your client feels like an equal partner in the process. You should never make big decisions without consulting them first.

Happy customers talk just as much as unhappy customers. Great referrals lead to more business.

#7: Keep Your Website Up-to-Date

Your website is often the first impression a potential client has of your business. A well-organized, beautifully designed, and updated website should be a top priority.

Hiring a web designer and a search engine optimization (SEO) company to build or redesign your website. Your content should be:

  • User-friendly
  • Informative
  • Visually appealing
  • Highly responsive
  • Optimized to help you rank on Google

Without an optimized website, your potential customers are going to have a difficult time finding you.

Local businesses should also have an active Google Business Profile. This can be developed and kept current by the same SEO company in charge of optimizing your website.

#8: Ensure You Have a Strong ‘Back Office’

Surround yourself with the right support systems. As you scale, having in-house departments for every aspect of your business might not make sense. 

For example, you might want to outsource your:

  • Accounting; or
  • Legal teams

Keeping your back office on the up-and-up will ensure that your company can grow without the worry of accounting practices or legal issues holding you back. 

#9: Invest in the Next Generation

Looking ahead is essential to the success of your business. The team you have today could be an entirely different crew 15 years from now.

Investing in …

  • Internships
  • Mentorships; and
  • Apprenticeships

… can prepare your company for the future. Not only will you have a younger generation trained to take over when your older generation retires or moves on, but your younger generation will bring a whole new set of valuable and current skills.

Hammr: Connect With Fellow Trade Workers for Inspiration in Growing Your Construction Company

Whether you’re… 

  • Actively hiring new folks
  • Looking to gain accurate time tracking
  • Seeking payroll solution built to save you time on hours of admin work

Hammr is an all-in-one platform that is purpose-built to help construction businesses save time and money on their back-office operations.

Schedule a demo with our team today to unlock your back-office superpowers.

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