The Streetwise Guide To Being Well Prepared In Business
The past few years have not been plain sailing for a lot of us in the construction industry, and we have already lost 5,500 companies to insolvency in the space of just 2 years. The year ahead isn’t set to be easy either, with no-one truly knowing what is round the corner. That’s why we have put together our Streetwise guide to being well prepared for any eventuality in business:
Ask Questions and You Will Get Answers
If you have some questions that can’t be answered by a quick Google search or you are unsure about a new business move, don’t be afraid to ask others for help and advice. There are plenty of people you can ask, from the seasoned pros at StreetwisesSubbie.com to forums full of retired construction industry veterans and others who are still active in the industry and have the experience and knowledge to help you out. For example, our LinkedIn group, The Nationwide Alliance of Specialist Contractors, is brimming with over 1,100 members discussing business issues, industry topics, advice and personal experiences.
Good Estimation = Healthy Profit
If you are not making a healthy profit from your jobs, it is time to question why this is so. In many cases, it could be due to the accuracy of estimations being made, leading to you expecting more from the job than you are actually getting profit wise because you are basing it on assumptions that aren’t well thought out. Be sure you’re estimator is experienced and knows the job well, or your company will be the one that suffers for it.
Emergencies Will Occur
It is inevitable that at some point during your business’s lifespan an emergency of some scale will occur, and so you need to be prepared for this eventuality. For example, if you were taken ill do you have a team who you know you could trust and rely on to keep everything running smoothly without you? If not, it’s time to start building one.
Be Flexible and Ready For Change
The construction industry may have been stuck in its ways for many years, but it could change at any moment, especially with the turbulence its suffered over the last few years. It may become necessary to change the focus of your services to keep your head and shoulders well and truly above the rest if changes occur, and being ready to do so instantly gives you a major advantage. Start to look at other areas and niches in which your company could operate, and even start taking on some small jobs in those areas now. After all, more work equals more money and security.
What Do You Know?
Do you have plenty of construction industry knowledge but feel like you struggle with the general business aspects of running the company? You aren’t alone there, many people are feeling exactly the same, and its hard times like these when it really begins to show. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn. Purchase some worthwhile reading, seek out useful business resources online, and you may even consider taking a course if you are more of a hands on kind of person. Check out our recommended business books for specialist contractors.
What Can You Offer?
Holding a class or seminar in your local area is a rewarding activity in more ways than one. It not only allows you to offer people advice and knowledge from your own experience but also has great potential for word of mouth advertising for your company and meeting new potential clients.
Its Not Just What You Know, But Who You Know
Network with people from other industries such as mortgage lenders, estate agents, etc who are looking to add value to their services. If you create mutually beneficial relationships you could become one of the companies they turn to when in need of added value.
A Little Help From Your Friends
Not everyone in the construction industry is in direct competition with each other. In fact when we work together we can earn more money and get complex jobs done a whole lot faster when we are in contact with a variety of skilled construction professionals in all areas who are willing to team up.
Don’t Cut Marketing, Improve It
When money gets a little tight, many people first begin reducing their sales and marketing spend to save money in the short term, but this could seriously damage your long term revenue. What you need to do is rather than just cut things willy nilly, sit down and chat with your marketing manager or talk to a professional in the marketing and advertising sector about what exactly needs to be done to keep the business growing and what needs to be spent. Without a constant steady flow of marketing and sales strategies you will find it harder to gain new prospects and stand tall in the industry.
Stay On Top With Your Accounting
Whether you choose to do it yourself with the help of computer software and help guides or decide to call in a professional to help you keep things running smoothly, your accounting needs to be kept healthy and in order if you want everything else to follow.
This guide is there to help you keep on top of all aspects of your business and prepare for every eventuality be it having trusted people there for emergencies, back up plans for cash flow issues or helping hands for new opportunities. For more advice on keeping your business well prepared, and information on how StreetwiseSubbie can help you do that, visit our website www.streetwisesubbie.com.