Five tips: Secrets to small business success in construction

To help your building firm succeed, there are a lot of different things you need to be good at. Other than the obvious – producing high quality work! – you also need to have good planning and organisational skills. Also, if you want to achieve small business success, you must keep good records, use successful strategies, and provide excellent customer service. You should expect to devote more time to your own business than you might give to an employer – certainly when your business is getting off the ground. If you’re prepared to make sacrifices then you reap the rewards eventually!

By taking your time and planning out all the necessary steps to succeed, you’ll put yourself and your building firm in the best possible place. The following five tips can help you achieve small business success:


Maximise the quality of work

Everyone in construction wants to do a good job and be proud of their work. But making sure the quality of work being produced is at the highest possible level every time, is not easy. It requires not only dedication and commitment to the job at hand, but perhaps most importantly it requires resisting the temptation to settle for second best. Of course you need a talented team around you, but it also includes not cutting corners and not using sub-standard tools and materials.

It’s essentially that the tools you use, and all materials as well, are of a high enough quality to get the job done properly. Just like any employees you have working for you, the tools and materials also represent your business.


Prioritise customer service

Whether you operate a very small operation of only one or two people, or have a bigger group of employees, it’s important to offer good customer service. Whilst the customer might not always be right, the customer is always the customer! They are the people who have chosen to your company for the job, and they have the ability to provide word-of-mouth feedback to their friends and family. That feedback can be good or bad, and through the various review websites that are out there now, can be very visible.

More often than not, your clients will remember your team’s work and how your employees treated them during the construction process. Don’t forget: any employees who work for you are representing your business at all times! So assemble a team who will respect your clients, display patience and show understanding if there are any concerns or issues. By doing this, it will help you avoid potential customer service pitfalls in the future. Also, it will go a long way towards generating repeat customers and gaining valuable referrals.


Market your business correctly

Marketing your building firm properly is crucial. You need to create and implement a marketing strategy which has been carefully designed. Who is your ideal target customer? How can you appeal directly to them? How can they hear about your building firm? These are all questions you must know the answers to.

Going back to always producing high quality work and producing customer service: these are key aspects which will shine through and provide you with positive word of mouth. Online reviews and verbal word of mouth are the number one method used by most building firms to market their business and earn more work. Why not encourage your best customers to spread the word and tell others about the great work your company does.


Be proactive, not reactive

Be prepared for anything. When required, be spontaneous, be proactive, be adaptable. Your mindset should be to embrace change if it becomes necessary. You can’t afford to sit back and expect work to just fall onto your lap. You should proactively seek new opportunities to retain and grow your building firm. Be constantly reaching out to the owners, architects and contractors – find out what projects they have on the horizon.

Being adaptable is one of the keys to small business success in the construction industry. As the lockdowns and recessions of the past few years have shown, construction can be a volatile industry. If you are unwilling to make adjustments in your business to keep up with changing trends, you could be setting your building firm up for failure.


Create a great team

Manage your business, but lead your people. Your employees want to be led, not managed. Be a great person to work for and lead by example. Don’t micro manage… If you try to manage every aspect of your employees’ work they will think you have no confidence in them to do their jobs properly!

Hire reliable, knowledgeable and skilled people. And support entry level recruits – they have to start somewhere! Do everything you can to retain your best employees by promoting and rewarding them for their hard work and reliability.


And finally…

One more crucial secret to small business success: prioritising your time effectively. One of the most difficult and time-consuming jobs in construction is estimating. You probably end up doing them in the evenings, or late at night, or on the weekend. You’re likely to be tired and that’s when things get missed out, mistakes are made, and calculations are wrong. Because you’re on site pretty much all day, it’s simply not possible to be producing estimates during working hours.

Knowing when to outsource is one of the most useful skills a business owner can possess. Outsourcing your estimating can make perfect sense if you’re looking for small business success. HBXL’s Estimating Service will do the legwork for you, saving you both time and money. The HBXL Estimating Service produces accurate building estimates for all manner of projects – including extensions, conversions, new builds and small housing developments. You’ll receive an estimate calculated with up-to-date prices by professional estimators, giving you a high level of accuracy.

HBXL’s Estimating Service can help you win more jobs, with fast and accurate estimates. We can also stop you spending hours of your own precious time going through the process.

So, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our team today on 0117 916 7894 – there’s absolutely no commitments to be made when you send your plans over for fee assessment. You can upload your plans to us through our website. We look forward to helping you with achieving small business success!