It’s Wise Up Wednesday! Don’t Be A Stick In The Mud Subbie!
Don’t Be A Stick In The Mud Subbie!
Did you know that Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve” and that he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years.
Today on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. And according to IBM the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.
So as knowledge evolves at such a remarkable rate so must everything else, and that includes construction!
There is no way to stop change, so please don’t be a “Stick In The Mud Subbie” and think that it won’t affect you.
You will have to make changes to the way you work and adapt to forces that are outside of your control. You will need to have a long hard think about what you offer, who you offer it to, and how you can make the connection between the two better.
The main thing that is fast becoming clear is that Specialist Contractors can no longer rely upon traditional methods of estimating and bidding alone, as the ones who do will find themselves struggling up against those who have embraced the new age in which marketing, branding and relationships between company and client play a vital role alongside more traditional methods.
The construction industry has changed to adapt to client needs and expectations, and it’s the Specialist Contractors that are open to these changes and adapt accordingly that will get ahead of the game.
How Specialist Contractors Can Keep Up
As a Specialist Contractor you have a distinct advantage over standard businesses in that you have the ability to go out and find new clients. You don’t have to wait for the phone to ring or the new client to walk through the door and you don’t have to hope that someone will recommend you to their friends to gain new custom.
Specialist Contractors also have a unique advantage because when prospective clients want to check the available expertise, the first place they go to is on-line, meaning if you have a good on-line presence and some digital marketing you have a massive advantage in your market.
The best way to test your on-line presence is to use a search engine to search your specialist area and where you operate in the UK, e.g. “electrical contractors Derbyshire”.
What and who comes up on the first few results? You, your competitors, a larger national company?
When potential new clients search for your company on a popular review site, such as Yelp, what do they see?
Try looking at your website (if you have one) on a smartphone. Does the site appear at all and if yes, is it well converted or does it not work well on mobile?
Evenif you have a solid on-line presence, don’t think that is enough to get by, you are still in a service orientated “people business” where good relationships with your clients, old and new, are vital.
Being on-line is a good start and the best way to get your company name out there, but securing the client requires some time and effort put in to build the relationship and keep them satisfied and turn them into return customers.
At its core, contracting is about an agreement between two people to get something done a certain way. People. face to face, human hands shaking human hands. As convenient as email, websites, phones and faxes are, the construction industry is built on personal relationships. And in this age of digital and on-line we can often forget that.
Get out of your chair and go out and visit your clients. Show your face, shake their hand. Say hello and remind them of your connection. Call personally if you can’t go visit them. Make it a point to personally connect wherever and whenever possible.
Make it your priority to really get to know them and their needs and focus on letting them know you understand and can give them what they want. Listen closely to what they say and how they say it.
Clients want to be heard, understood and respected. They want you to be able to make their vision come true, and they are willing to give you money to make it happen. Show them you can.
So just take a moment to step back and really think about how you communicate with your clients.
- Who have you not kept in touch with?
- How do you interact with the people you are in touch with at the moment?
- How can you improve on those areas?
Customer retention, business development, and basic relationship building are the key components to the growth of your business. Don’t just make them a priority, make them the way you do business.
For more on marketing and all sorts of other free resources take a look at our web site.
In the meantime if you need any help with any of your business problems, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call.