How to be creative and find new construction leads for your company.
They key to operating a successful construction business is to maintain a strong, quality pipeline of contacts and potential jobs, even during down times. Business can slow down during dips in the economy. In northern climates, seasonal dips are normal and anticipated.
Successful contractors, subcontractors and vendors employ all of the traditional methods of marketing and outreach. But the most successful businesses are not afraid to be creative and use less traditional methods of putting their business in front of the decision-makers and those who know them.
The days of turning to the “yellow pages” for business information have long since past. Successful businesses operating in today’s economy recognize the value of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a proven method for positioning your business to be successful.
There are many quite technical methods that marketing professionals employ to helping you enhance your search position. If you have a technical geek internally that is well-versed on these methods that person will continually update your website and social media pages with key words, blogs and links – all of which can potentially result in you “moving up the ladder” on search engines so to speak.
Companies like Construct-A-Lead are attuned to provide specific lead information that includes not just the latest projects, but also other valuable information like key contacts.
Any business seeking success in the 2020s will strive to stay ahead of the technology that can make their business operate more efficiently. It’s constantly changing. You need to stay abreast of the developments in the world of technology as they happen.
BUSINESS NETWORKING GROUPS
Depending on the category of business you are in, there are more than likely networking groups that bring together colleagues in related businesses. Membership in these groups is vital to building relationships with decision-makers.
In additional to trade-specific groups, local development organizations, chambers of commerce and even service clubs can provide opportunities to build relationships.
Rotary International, for example, is built around specific business “classifications”. Research your local Rotary Club – find out if they have members in the classifications you seek to reach out to. It’s a great way to both network and to give back to the communities in which you operate.
One of the most effective ways of promoting your business to decision-makers in the construction industry is through trade shows. These shows, which feature booths sponsored by construction-related businesses, can be national in scope. Many businesses are more regional in scope, which is ok because there are a plethora of regional trade shows as well. Some local communities even sponsor businesses expos that can be valuable for businesses seeking to interact with your peers in the industry.
Identify social media sites like Facebook and Twitter that often have pages for events like these. Besides sponsoring a booth, encourage key people within your organization to attend and network at these events.
Most communities have industrial or business parks within their geographic vicinity. Some of these have been there a long time. While these more “mature” parks might have limited space available for new businesses, there is great potential for expansion and renovation projects of the businesses that are there.
New parks open a lot of doors for potential leads to bid on projects for planned developments.
The key to getting in front of the right people is to develop a relationship with the park officials who have access to property sales and ongoing projects within the park. That can be the park’s sales rep. It might be a local official on a planning committee. Sometimes, local media business reporters have current information on projects planned before they are released to the public. Relationships with all of the above can prove to be valuable to businesses wanting to bid on projects at the parks.
One of the best places to learn of new projects being considered in any community is that municipalities planning board or commission. Quite often, municipal executives appoint business representatives to serve on these boards.
Even if you are not an active participant, the meetings are generally public and attendance can yield valuable information about projects being considered.
Short of that, developing a relationship with officials from your local planning department can help you get information about pending projects.
While government entities usually require various approvals (zoning, conditional use permits, etc.) for private projects, local infrastructure projects are also a great place to bid on projects. The rules are usually a bit more stringent with government projects. But winning those bids can result in lucrative jobs that position you well for consideration in the future.
Depending on the size of your business, you may or may not have the ability to hire an experienced, professional marketing person. For many businesses, it makes sense to hire an outside professional firm to handle things like your website (including SEO); social media presence; print materials and direct mail; and other smaller things as simple as a new logo or business cards.
Regardless of whether you handle it internally or not, part of your business plan should include specific marketing criteria, taking advantage of all of the tools available to you.
Success is relative. How successful your business can become is directly linked to how committed you are to creatively making use of all the tools and resources available to you. It can be a daunting and time-consuming process. But it is part of the deal when you undertake a business of your own.
The most successful business people out there in this modern economy are those who think creatively, work efficiently and strive to build those key relationships that will sustain your business through the ups and downs that every business experiences.