7 Ways to Gain a Competitive Edge in Construction

It was not long ago that most construction companies were experiencing growth year after year. Companies expanded; competition increased and margins shrunk. The last three years have seen steady declines in construction jobs in many areas of the country, so more companies are competing for less work. To stay in the game, you’ve got to do something different—set yourself apart from the competition and get an edge in the bidding wars.

Here Are 7 Ways You Can Compete More Effectively

  1. Take Your Strengths to New Segments
    Scrutinize the projects in which your company excels. Look for other types of jobs that would benefit from those same strengths. Home remodeling is soaring in most areas. In some regions, healthcare construction is up over 200 percent. Get on at least three new bid lists that are not in your comfort zone.
  2. Find New Customers
    Beat the bushes for incremental business. Home improvement stores partner with lots of independent contractors—get on their lists. Look at your crew—if they have special skills, leverage them by bidding for something new.
  3. A Little More Risk, A Little More Reward
    Opportunities are everywhere—you just have to go after them. Why not find a great deal on some real estate and fix it up? You can rent it. You can flip it. It all adds to your bottom line and company growth.
  4. Engage Employees in Revenue Generation and Cost Reduction
    Set achievable revenue and cost-reduction targets. Be honest with your team about where you are and where you need to be. Ask for their help. Incent them by allowing them to share in the returns. Your people have good ideas. Make it a regular habit to bring everyone together to share them.
  5. Explore New Technologies
    Telematics is taking the industry by storm. Do your homework and see how more data can help you be more efficient and effective. Multiple software applications are on the market to help track costs, manage projects and model buildings. Find out how automation and organization can bring new intelligence to your proposals and bids. 
  6. Expand Your Network
    If you want to secure new and different projects, you need to reach out to a new set of contacts. Ask for leads from all your contacts—existing customers, suppliers, engineers, landscapers, architects. If you are not on a professional networking site, join one. If you are a member, update your information, post and communicate there often.
  7. Take an Objective Look at Your Brand
    Step back and think about the impression your company makes at all levels—from billing and paperwork to trucks and conditions on the jobsite. Do you need new marketing? Should you invest in some sponsorships? Can you support the community in some way? Is there a charity or foundation you admire that you could assist? Any of these have the potential to increase your exposure and increase positive visibility.