With the cold weather, short days, and snowy weather in the forecast, it’s officially slow season for the construction industry. Though we’re only a month or so from seeing business ramp up, you’re probably getting a bit stir crazy waiting for this to happen. We get it. However, you shouldn’t be letting this time go to waste—there are a variety of things you can be doing to pass the time and set yourself up for your best year yet.
Build Your Talent Pipeline and Subcontractor Relationships
Though it may be easy to find jobs in this unprecedented period of economic growth, finding talent isn’t as simple. Now is the perfect time to get people on board so you can hit the ground running come March. This could mean running a hiring event, getting in contact with local trade schools and colleges to see who’s going to be entering the pipeline, or even building up an apprenticeship program—training people the way you want and sidestepping the talent shortage.
Take a second to review your subcontractor relationships as well. Subcontractors, especially ones who specialize in new technology, are increasingly in demand, and if relationships are strained, these specialists might be ‘too busy’ to take on your calls when you need them. Plus, you might realize that it may be time to cut ties with a couple.
Professional Growth and Networking
Never stop learning and your business will never stop improving. Whether it’s necessary continuing education courses, a leadership or practice management refresher, or learning about new materials and technologies in the industry, this is the right time to hit the books.
Already have your continuing education courses out of the way? Why not take advantage of your chamber membership, find a few associations to join, or get out and network? Not only will you get a leg up on your competition by getting your name out there, you could learn about what’s next.
Why not check out a tradeshow like CONEXPO-CON/AGG? Our friends at Acumatica will be attending and you can learn more about theirs and other exciting new products.
Call Up Your Old Customers
During the busy season, you may be booked for months in advance and selective about jobs you take. However, in the slow season, you have the opposite—too much time and not enough jobs. Go through and contact the older leads in your database with fresh content and promotional deals.
Maybe you find a few jobs now, maybe you find a few when the weather warms. Either way, it pays to build and reinforce customer relationships, because remember, it’s cheaper to keep a customer than it is to find a new one.
Take time to go through your customer relationship management software to clean up and update data. Don’t have a CRM? Maybe you need to upgrade? Many companies are choosing to tie their CRM to their ERP. Why? Because information is always up to date. You can get from quote to project to cash with ease.
Review Your Technology
Possibly one of the most important things—especially when you’re busy—is to reduce the strain on your back office or non-construction processes and people. When busy season hits, you want to ensure the right people are on the job site, have the right materials for the job, and that cash flow is under control.
The slow season is the best time to evaluate your technology stack to ensure that you can hit the ground running come busy season. The right ERP can make your job easier, helping you to get organized, take control of projects, make smarter investments, and ultimately grow your business.
Acumatica’s Construction Edition is full-featured construction accounting software that helps you improve margins and project control at all stages of home, multi-family, commercial, mixed-use, land development, and government projects.