Small subcontractors and vendors face unique challenges in developing their business portfolios.
Small subcontractors and vendors face unique challenges in developing their business portfolios. Unlike their larger competition, small subs and vendors often do not have the financial and personnel resources allowing them to compete on a level playing field.
But there are steps that even the smallest vendors and subcontractors can take to position themselves to win jobs and develop valuable relationships.
Construct-A-Lead is one such resource. Small subcontractors and vendors who have availed themselves of the hundreds of established jobbers in our database have found this to be a valuable offset to the frustrating resource disadvantage they face in dollars and people.
Construct-A-Lead believes there are five key ways that small subcontractors and vendors can achieve greater success in identifying leads and winning jobs. These are:
1. Access Online Resources
Construct-A-Lead is a an affordable, easy-to-use online database that can same you time and money. We keep our listings up-to-date and include key contact persons so as to make it easy for you to access parties looking for subs or vendors on relevant public and private construction projects. Because the information is current, accurate and reliable, you will be able to spend your valuable time creating and submitting bids on projects that meet your business’s criteria.
By engaging with supplier connection web pages like Construct-A-Lead you can put your business in front of the people who need your services. This is a no-brainer in terms of maximizing your exposure to the people you need to reach.
Follow the social media pages of potential contracting partners and comment on their posts where appropriate. Create professional social media pages for your own business and use them to reach out to community and regional resources.
2. Trade Organizations and Events
Contractor trade associations are a valuable resource for subs and vendors looking to develop valuable relationships. It is important to join not just your local associations, but also regional and statewide associations. Keep expos and trade shows on your calendar to attend and perhaps put a booth in as a way to reach out to contractors in the market for what you can provide. Subscribe to trade magazines. Submit business announcements and buy appropriate advertising.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce and get involved in a chamber subcommittee. Participate in shows and events that are business-focused. Get to know your area business development organization if there is one and attend their events as well.
Service clubs are a wonderful resource for networking with your fellow business professionals. There are many, many options including organizations like Rotary International, Kiwanis, Optimists, Lions, Jaycees and others. Get a handle on which clubs are active in your community and review the membership lists to see which one offers the most potential to you.
Many businesses actively support nonprofit organizations through active participation on their boards or committees. Nonprofit fundraising events are a great resource for networking and for giving back to your community.
Be sure to have an adequate supply of business cards with you when you attend these events. Keep some more sophisticated marketing materials available in your vehicle as well. It is vital that all of your marketing materials are professional, attractive and reflective of you and your business.
4. Government Resources
Public sector opportunities provide many opportunities for small subcontractors and vendors. Unlike private sector jobs, these contracting opportunities are often governed by specific rules and criteria.
Local development, planning and inspection offices are a great resource in this regard. By development a relationship with development coordinators you can get information early in the planning process. Plan commissions are a place where projects are discussed and decided. Participation on these commissions is usually by appointment of the mayor or other governing officials.
City council members (aldermen/women) are quite often the first point of contact for developers looking to get a project approved.
5. Develop Relationships
After identifying businesses on sites like ours, reach out to the key persons identified. Send a letter introducing yourself and requesting a meeting (lunch or breakfast meetings are always appropriate). This is not a “one and done” thing – business cards can get shuffled to the bottom of the pile or general contractors can experience personnel changes that require you to redo your introductions. Make regular contact.
Introduce yourself and your staff to the business pages staff at local newspapers too. For that first meeting with them, bring a press release announcing an upcoming event your business is sponsoring or a list of promotions within your company.
You are in this for the long-term. Developing relationships takes time and often the best reference you can have with a company is the successful culmination of a deal. When you get that opportunity, take every step necessary to make it a positive one. Keep the general contractor regularly informed of your progress and be sure to be effusive in your gratitude for the work. With their permission, list them on marketing materials as a general contractor with whom you have successfully completed projected. Post progress reports on the projects on your social media pages.
Know the competition. Follow their websites and social media pages. Don’t hesitate to adopt “best practices” and learn from the success of those who have gone before you.
Small subcontractors and vendors do not need to settle for second fiddle to their larger competition. You can compete. Construct-A-Lead is a great resource to you to get maximum ROI on your job development dollars. Give us a call so we can start you on the path to greater success.