Small Construction Company Challenges and Pain Points
Being a contractor sometimes makes you feel like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You are continually managing expectations, and you have to make it all OK. Oh, and on top of that, stay in business and make a little profit.
One way to manage these issues to create a plan to make sure problems stop happening as soon as possible. Here are a few of the most common pain points and how you tackle them.
Your Bidding Processes are Not Organized
Contractors are selling services. Like many businesses, marketing and selling are activities you must do, but feel that you have little time for. Establish a process for your sales and marketing people to follow. This should include knowing you need leads before you have no work and helping manage your business's reputation.
Not having a process in place means leads can easily fall through the cracks because no one is following up adequately. If leads aren’t generated consistently, and no one is measuring results, you won't know what’s working and what isn’t.
Dealing with Low Balling Bids
Heavy competition will always bring out those businesses that think they can do the job for less. This is why you should always outline how you can bring more value to a job. Clients are getting smarter, and eventually, they will learn that price is not the only thing they should be looking at.
People will always try to pay as late as they can. Cash Flow is always a concern. This is why you need to have a clear expectation for payment. If there is a change, then it needs to be documented. Make sure you include hard limits on payment deadlines and outline all expectations for what happens when invoices are not paid.
A Fear of Tech
Construction work is still viewed as low-tech. This includes the areas of sales and management. The software may seem too complicated, and automation sounds like something that shouldn't have a place in an industry that has always been hands on. You can embrace tech!
If you aren’t prepared for a high level of administration, then understanding the number of permits, signatures, and regulations can be a big shock to your system. Have plans in place to manage the flow of approvals that must be obtained to perform all the tasks to complete a job. If you know, it takes 5 days to get an inspector you cannot expect to have an inspection completed by Friday if it's Wednesday. Plan ahead!
One last piece of advice
Many problems we face seem difficult because we are afraid to stop and solve them. Write them out and list ways to solve them before giving up. Although it's normal to feel frustrated, it's not someplace you have to stay! There are tools and people to help you become more productive as both a business and a business owner.