A big part of being a successful construction business owner is growing your construction firm as quickly and effectively as possible. But knowing how to do that can feel like one big question mark.
Where do you start? What’s going to make the most impact? And how can you grow in a way that’s sustainable—and keeps your business moving forward for years to come?
The good news? There are answers to those questions.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about growing a construction company (and taking your business in the construction industry to the next level in the process):
Step 1. Determine What Sets You Apart
As you probably know, the construction market is extremely competitive. General contractors and other construction-related business owners are often vying for the same construction projects and the same potential clients and potential customers.
And if you want your construction firm to be the one to land those projects, customers, and clients—and experience the business growth that goes along with it? You need to figure out what makes you stand out.
Your point of difference (or your POD) is what sets you apart from your competitors. It’s the unique value that you bring to the market and your customers—and it plays a huge role in helping clients to decide that you’re the business they want to hire.
For example, your POD might be that you specialize in a type of project that not many contractors have experience with. Or maybe it’s that you offer the lowest prices in your market—or the highest level of customer service. Whatever it is that sets you apart, you’ll want to identify it—and then make it a foundational element of your business growth and marketing plan.
If you’re not clear on your POD, it’s time to ask yourself some important questions, including:
- What can I offer customers that no one else can?
- What do we do better than anyone else?
- How is my business different from other small businesses offering similar services?
The answers to those questions will give you deeper insight into the unique value you bring your customers—and why those customers should work with you over other small businesses offering similar construction services.
Step 2. Get Your Operations Running Smoothly
In order for a small business to grow, it needs its operations to run smoothly. Why’s that? So leaders, managers and employees can focus on helping customers and growing the business, instead of spending all their time trying to fix problems.
One of the first things you'll want to do is set up policies, systems, and processes that make your company run like a well-oiled machine.
- Accounting (payroll, accounts receivable, invoicing, collections, etc.)
- Employee management (time and attendance tracking, benefits, etc.)
- Client/customer management
- Vendor and supply chain management
- Sales and marketing
Step 3. Hire the Right People
A business is only as good as its people—and that includes businesses in the construction industry.
If you want to effectively grow your construction company, you need a great team on board.
What that team looks like will depend on the kind of construction business you’re building, but some key hires you may want to consider include:
- Project manager
- Jobsite manager
- Administrative assistant
- Designers (for example, interior designers to support renovation projects or design managers to manage all the design details associated with a project)
When you have the right team in place, you’re able to offer a higher level of service to your customers. Your construction projects (and your business!) will run more efficiently. The end product of your projects will be better, and you’ll gain a reputation as a construction firm that does high-quality work—all of which can help you grow your business.
Step 4. Build the Right Network
Hiring the right employees is a critical part of fostering growth for your business in construction. But you’ll need more than your employees to take your company to the next level.
Or in other words, you’ll also need to build the right network.
Again, that network will vary based on the type of business you’re building and the types of services you offer, but some relationships you may want to consider building include:
- Vendors/suppliers (equipment, lumber, concrete, etc.)
- Subcontractors (in case clients want a service or project type your business doesn’t provide)
- Community contacts (fostering relationships in the community can help drive referrals)
How do you build that network? Put yourself out there. Introduce yourself and your business to other construction professionals in the area. Take the extra step and get to know the salespeople at the businesses where you buy your supplies and equipment. Get involved in community events.
The more you put yourself out there, the bigger (and stronger!) your network will be—and that network can play a pivotal role in helping to grow your construction company.
Step 5. Invest in the Right Tools
It takes a lot to run—not to mention grow!—a company in the construction space. And if you want to run and grow your business effectively, you need the right tools.
There are so many construction apps, new technology, and construction software out there that can help you manage your business. When you have the right software in place, your business runs more smoothly and efficiently—so you can focus on growth instead of troubleshooting.
Again, the “right software” will vary from business to business, but some tools you may want to consider investing in to help run and grow your construction business include:
- Accounting software
- Time tracking and payroll software
- A client management platform
- Project management software
- Bid software
- Marketing tools (for example, tools that allow you to schedule your marketing messaging to social media platforms in advance)
- Insurance management—including workers’ compensation
Workers’ comp is important for all industries—but it’s especially important in construction, when injuries aren’t uncommon. Hourly combines time tracking, payroll, and workers’ comp, using real-time wage data to calculate workers’ comp premiums with to-the-penny accuracy.
Step 6. Get the Word Out About your Business
You can’t grow your business if people don’t know about it. That’s why a key element of growing a construction-based company? Marketing.
There are a variety of ways to market your business, including:
- Social media marketing: Building a presence on social media platforms helps get the word out about your business—and can also help you foster relationships with potential customers.
- Advertising: Both traditional (for example, a local newspaper) and digital advertising (for example, Google AdWords) can be a great way to get your business in front of your target audience.
- Word-of-mouth marketing and social proof: One of the most effective marketing tools at your disposal? Your existing customers. When you finish a project, ask your customers to write a testimonial or film a testimonial video for your website; when potential customers see that you were able to help their peers, they’ll be more willing to hire you (a concept known as social proof). You can also encourage word-of-mouth marketing by incentivizing your clients to refer their family and friends (for example, by offering them a discount on future services.)
Bottom line? Your business grows when you connect with more customers. And in order to connect with more customers, you need to get the word out and market your business in the construction space.
Step 7. Build a Reputation for Customer Satisfaction
You can do everything in your power to grow your construction business. But if you’re not doing good work or providing great customer service to your clients, those efforts are going to fall flat.
The most effective way to grow a construction company (or any company, really) is to build a reputation for being a great company to work with. And how do you do that? By prioritizing customer satisfaction.
When you’re working with clients, make the process as easy, seamless, and supportive for them as possible. Do high-quality work. Make yourself available if they have questions. Be kind, courteous, and helpful when dealing with customers—and make sure anyone else that represents your company (including employees and subcontractors) does the same.
When you build a reputation for customer service and satisfaction, your clients will continue to work with you on future construction projects. They’ll tell their friends and family. Word will spread that your construction firm not only does good work but is easy to work with (again, word-of-mouth marketing and social proof are powerful!)—and your business will continue to grow as a result.
FAQs on Growing a Company in the Construction Industry
Have additional questions about starting and/or growing a construction company? Let’s take a look at a few FAQs:
What is the most profitable construction business?
Construction companies with less competition tend to be more profitable—so if profitability is your top concern, you may want to consider starting a niche specialty construction business that doesn’t have much competition in your area.
For example, if there aren’t a ton of concrete installers or commercial builders in your area, that might be an area you want to specialize in. That way, if and when a project comes up that fits your specialty? Chances are, you’ll get the business—and the profit that goes along with it.
That being said, there’s no single type of construction business that’s always more profitable than others—profitability depends on a variety of factors, including the area of operation, the volume of projects available in that area, and the quality of work performed by the business.
Is construction a fast-growing industry?
Yes! The construction industry is poised to grow by 35% over the next decade.
Is it profitable to own a construction company?
While construction companies certainly have the opportunity to be profitable, the profitability of any individual business will depend on a variety of factors, including how many projects the business takes on, how much they spend on materials and labor, and how much they’re able to increase revenue as their business grows.
Use These Tips to Grow Your Construction Company
Growing your business in the construction space can feel like a challenge. But with the right strategy—and the steps outlined above—you can create a clear road map for how to take your business from where it is now to where you want it to go. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and grow your business!