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How to take advantage of “change” in the construction industry

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The construction industry is fast-changing, post-COVID-19. Let me tell you how you can take advantage of it, to win new work, and reign in the opportunities from the changes that are currently steamrolling our sector.

Be forward-looking
To take advantage of the opportunities that are heading our way because of the changes, you should hire talent that will uplift or elevate your business. Invest in technology that will optimize your day to day operations. Anticipate the possible changes that will occur and plan accordingly.

Also, equip your team with what they need, to work with their clients, and get involved in the process earlier. Clients are now looking for contractors who are forward-thinking and are looking for companies that will provide them with added -value deals.

Nowadays, clients don’t like it when the process of communication is like driving down a winding road at 10km per hour. What they want is a contractor who will immediately pick-up their call and answer their questions.

It’s common for some contractors to not be readily available to answer a client’s immediate concern. This is especially the case if the contractor is working at a site that is difficult to reach.
But responsiveness is a key component to success because it could be a deciding factor on whether a client will proceed to work with your business, in the present and the future.

Solution Focused
Clients don’t want to work with businesses that are unable to provide a solution to their concerns because it’s not within their initial agreed scope.
They would prefer a contractor who goes above and beyond their responsibilities to help the project manager. They would prefer a contractor who is helpful to their project by offering solutions and recommendations.

This is beneficial not only for your clients but for your internal operations as well. It will build your internal capability, that your business can use in the long run. That added expertise you picked up cannot be measured immediately but it can open doors for new projects and collaborations.
When your business becomes solution-focused, clients will see that, and it can provide you with opportunities you wouldn’t have expected. Plus, maintaining this type of relationship with your clients will allow you to ask for their assistance when you need it and you can expect them to give it to you.

Your business’s reputation is a prerequisite to trust and it has multiple facets. It can be a challenge for new businesses to build their reputation and establish it.
One of the solutions that your company can take action on to cement a good reputation is to create a culture of delivering your projects on time. This moves positive experiences for your clients and internal operations. It can be a heavy investment, but it can bring in more work in the long run.
Your business also needs to cultivate trust to cement a good reputation. Always remember that it is easy to lose and needs constant maintenance.

I have seen contractors who are late, fail drug tests, cause commotions, and other issues that may be small, but over time it can cause your clients to hesitate to work with you.
It is usually not the sub-contractor that gets classified by clients. It is the primary contractor, so take note of the work and monitor your sub-contractors. To make sure they are providing excellent services for your clients.

Next, establish a positive culture and safe working practices. Deliver on time and have systems in place to streamline the movement of experiences.
Reputation with diversity and inclusivity is an extension of this. Contribute to the well-being of the community to establish a good reputation.

In today’s world, information is being shared on social media daily. People will usually buy from the most familiar brands. A business that is visible to its audience or customers will get that extra edge amongst a sea of its competitors.
It is easier to increase your brand awareness if your brand is already well known in your market but otherwise your company will need to make that extra effort for your customers to get to know you. Don’t launch or publish things that are not relevant to your business. This will be a key ingredient in the future.

You don’t take part or use technological advancement for the sake of it. Look for technology that will address the above-mentioned 5 points- forward-looking, responsiveness, solutions, reputation, and visibility.
If the technology you are introducing allows you to be responsive, provide solutions, and help you build your reputation, increase your visibility, help you become forward-looking then that is the right type of technology for your business.

But technology isn’t always the answer. There’s a couple of things you need to do beforehand. Ask yourself the following questions; is this process necessary? Is there another way of doing this? What are the best practices in my industry? What are the best practices in another business sector? 
Ask yourself those questions because technology cant always give you the best solution.

Recruitment of People
Look at the recruitment of people and add it to this pile. You need to get people into your company. But the questions that some large and smaller companies have asked are “Will my future team, general manager, or worker come from my business, or will they come from the outside? Do I bring on someone from my industry or should I look at another sector and mold them?”

When your business has changed to become forward-looking, you are putting yourself in a position that makes you look at how you have operated your business. It makes you change and ask yourself important questions such as “Do I promote someone because of what they have done in the past or because of their possible potential?” of which I would counter that question with another question, “Would the person you are considering promoting, be responsive to your client, employees, task and business? Are they solution-focused with a good reputation and can they take your business to the next level?’
Always consider bringing in the right people to get good results. Be mindful of asking yourself the right questions for you to choose the right person for the right role.

How to get from here to there?

In a nutshell, here is a 4-step approach:

  • Strategy development – the development of your game plan or strategy. This will need continuous improvement.
  • Strategy execution – executing the game plan. This is a vital key to successfully take advantage of the changes in our industry.
  • Problem solving – there are always problems that occur and one of the major approaches to elevate your business is problem-solving.
  • Digital intervention – You can start to have digital intervention by applying it in small increments to change your business. This will eventually add up at the end of the year. Clients don’t want contractors that don’t want to change anything and everything in their business. So, consider a slow but constant integration of technology in your company. 

Shivendra helps construction companies and contractors win more projects and grow profitably. Regarded as a master of practical implementation, Shivendra has guided organizations such as Downer and Siemens as well as smaller contractors to achieve double-digit improvements to their bottom line. Underpinning his extensive industry experience are qualifications in engineering and a Ph.D. focused on rapid cost improvement techniques. He is the author of two books, The Competitive Contractor and From Paper to Profit, host of the Competitive Contractor podcast, and the founder of Shivendra & Co and The Constructors Network. You can find more about Shivendra & Co on