10 Simple Tips For Growing Your Small Construction Business

Small engineering and construction business owners looking for ways to grow your business quickly? If so, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will share 10 simple tips that will help you grow your small construction business quickly.

1. Develop a Plan and Use It

One of the biggest mistakes I see engineering and construction business owners make is not having a plan to grow their business. The other mistake I see frequently is companies that have a strategy and don’t use it.

Typically, this is due to a lack of time, resources, and/or know how. It seems counter-intuitive since every engineering and construction project has a plan, that includes scope, budget, and schedule.

These same fundamentals are necessary for business growth and success. A business plan will guide you to make the best decisions for yourself and your company. It will keep you on track and show you where you need to make investments and adjustments to meet your goals.

Develop a growth plan and use it!

2. Make Your Website Effective

Your website is the first port of call for potential customers and the public face of your business. Make sure it reflects the professionalism and quality of your services. Your website should be up-to-date, responsive, and visually appealing.

Optimize your website with relevant keywords, include plenty of testimonials and case studies, and ensure it is mobile-friendly. It should be easy to navigate and allow visitors to easily find the information they’re looking for. Include a call to action so that customers know how to connect with you.

Regularly monitoring and updating your website is also important. Make sure outdated information is removed and that new content is updated. Showcase any new projects you’ve completed and post blog articles to keep visitors engaged. Try to create content that is useful, educational, and informative to encourage visitors to come back.

2. Invest in Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most powerful digital marketing tactics that small construction businesses can use to generate traffic and grow quickly. SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine result pages and get more visible to potential customers.

Investing in SEO is an essential part of marketing and helps ensure that other digital marketing efforts are successful. With the right SEO tactics, you can position your website higher in search engine results and increase visits from potential customers.

Developing and implementing an effective SEO strategy requires the right knowledge, so it’s best to hire an experienced SEO specialist. Investing in SEO can be a daunting task, but the payoff can be huge. SEO can help you increase visibility and drive more targeted traffic to your website, which can lead to more customers and opportunities to grow.

3. Keep Your Project Portfolio Updated

One of the best ways to attract new clients is to have an updated project portfolio. It’s one thing to provide endless bullets of services and capabilities, but clients are interested in results. Your project portfolio should showcase the breadth and depth of your expertise and experience that the client will find relevant or relatable to the types of problems they are looking for you to solve.

4. Expand Your Services

Another growth strategy is to expand your services. Start by looking at similar or adjacent services. For example, if you are a welding contractor, you might consider adding machining services. If you are a highway design firm, you might consider construction inspection services. Whatever you choose will require some analysis of the demand, risk, and profitability of the new services. To be credible, clients will be looking for proof that you can do this work.

5. Demonstrate Quality

Maintaining quality throughout a project allows the business to grow its reputation and profits. Seems obvious, but studies show more than 50 percent of construction defects are caused by human factors such as unskilled labor and lack of supervision.

How you control the quality of your work is important to clients. Although most contractors have a QA/QC program, few are skilled at promoting it as a differentiator. Provide specific examples of how an owner will benefit from your high quality standards.

6. Get Involved in Your Industry’s Trade Associations

Getting involved in your industry’s trade association is a great way for small construction businesses to promote name recognition and network with other contractors. Trade associations provide many benefits including educational and networking opportunities, mentorship programs, access to publications and best practices, advocacy at the local and federal level, and much more.

As an active participant, you can make important connections and potential leads that may not have otherwise been available. You can also learn valuable skills and best practices from more experienced contractors, potentially saving time and money in the long run.

7. Participate In or Sponsor an Event or Charity

It takes a little effort to realize the return on investment with sponsorships and events, but it can be rewarding. Choose an event that aligns with your values and goals. Look for one that is supported by the audience you are trying to reach. For example, if you are looking for key decision makers in a particular company or vertical market review the current or past attendee lists to see who attends. Ask questions of the key organizers. Describe your goals. Choose wisely.

Once you decide on the right event, make a plan that includes who will participate and what you want to accomplish. If your goal is name recognition, then a sponsorship that gets your name front and center may be a good choice. If you are looking to expand your network, then an event with more opportunities for connection and conversation would be best.

8. Leverage Social Media

Social media can be used for many things, from marketing and networking to researching future projects and staying informed of industry news. It enables you to reach a large, targeted audience with a small investment. It can be effective in engaging with customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

The key to effective social media is regular posting and using visuals to capture people’s attention. Posting regularly will help you build a larger following, allowing you to expand your reach. Creating a LinkedIn small group or participating in an existing one can be an effective way to expand your reach and connect with new customers.

9. Ask for Referrals & Testimonials

When you do a great job for a customer or have a strong relationship with a partner or supplier, seize the opportunity to ask for a referral or testimonial. Referrals are what used to be called a “warm lead” or “soft introduction”. If you are working with a large client organization, a happy client can introduce you to other key decision-makers or help you navigate a complex organization. Although some folks refuse to share contacts, most people like helping others if asked in the right way. Be willing to do the same. If you do get a referral, be sure to follow up and let the referrer know how it went.

Client testimonials enhance your reputation and help foster confidence in a new client who is entrusting you with their money. Time is usually the barrier to getting this done. You can help this along by providing a client survey form that makes it easy to capture performance feedback. Another alternative is to provide a draft testimonial for the person’s review and approval. Be sure to respect the person’s wishes whether or not the testimonial can include their name, title, and company. If that is not possible, use a generic such as project leader, petrochemical plant.

10. Review Your Progress

Make the time to review your progress monthly, quarterly, and annually. How does it compare from month to month and from the same time period last year?  What kind of progress have you made against your goals?

Even the most successful companies encounter unexpected changes, delays, or other events that impede progress against the plan. The sooner you recognize it and deal with it the easier it will be to recover. You will increase your success if you act in May than if you wait until October.

For example, let’s say you have a significant project delay or cancellation that will reduce revenue. Offset this with spending reduction. This seems obvious, right? It is shocking how many businesses are reluctant to do this. If you are struggling to make the best decision, try to simplify the process by eliminating non-essentials so you can accommodate the must haves. Prioritize revenue-generating expenses over those that don’t generate revenue.  

We call these 10 simple tips for growing your business, but the truth is, they are not easy to implement. Growing your business can be challenging and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you need help growing your business, let’s talk. Click here to schedule a complimentary meeting.

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