Six Ways to Stand Out in the Competitive Construction Industry
The construction industry is a tricky place to be in during these times. Fast changing technology, ease of business creating stiffer competition, increased infrastructure spending, changing trends and an upward swing in the industry in general make for an interesting mix in the industry. While the new entrants are figuring out how to make their moolah utilising trends, the old players are struggling to keep up with the fast chasing trends and the medium players are swinging between the two extremities of the industry. Lets take a look at ways to stand out in this melting pot of competition in the construction industry.
1.Stay ahead of the curve or set it:
We live in a fast changing world and the construction industry is no stranger to changing times. The government’s efforts and steps are working to create a favourable environment for doing business and starting new one. The ease of business policy has shown its effect in the construction industry too! With new players coming in by the dozen every other day, it has become imperative for businesses to re-invent themselves. Business has become a much more competitive place in the past few years than it ever was in decades.
To stand out form the competition both old and new, businesses need to distinguish them selves by staying ahead of the curve by anticipating the requirements of the changing times and trends. If staying ahead of the curve is not an option, businesses should attempt to stay at the top of the curve by staying informed of the latest trends and adapting to the trends and changes before its competitors. Being the amongst the first few at anything will definitely keep your business in the news!
2. Focus on the customer:
A wise business man rightly said “forget your competition foc us on your customer!” While wise the words are not to be taken literally. While it is good to keep an eye out for what the competitor is down to increase their business, the focus on the customer should be much higher. While staying vigilant of the competitors is necessary, it shouldnt take precedent over the customer and their requirements. Only a good product, good price or service is not enough to keep the customer coming back. Customers have evolved and know how to get the most out of any deal and use competition to their advantage!
A good product and price kept the same, customers will choose the business that gave them a better experience, so ensure that you and the staff takes ensures a good working experience with your company. a good customer experience is a team effort and ensure that you invest in it. The returns will most definitely be many folds in the times to come. It is a good move to get to know your customers better to be able to anticipate their requirements and attend to it without them even having to ask. Focus on doing what’s best for the customer instead of what’s best for you will go a long way for repeat business.
3. Do what you say you will do:
The construction industry is both time and cost sensitive. Time saving increases costs and cost saving increases the time spent which eventually leads to increased costs none the less. Making commitments about the cost and time of completion should be taken extremely seriously. Delayed projects make for a bad reputation in as do cost issues. Check and cross check “n” number of times before making commitments. And once commitments are made, see them through. In the construction business time is money and delays cost money, there by not only diminishing profit margins but causing bad publicity which is harmful to the business in the long run.
Businesses should take up jobs that your current team can deliver with their expertise and financial standing. While expansion is good, it should be well thought out so that it has a solid foundation to stand on. Commitments should be made only after thorough thinking, planning and assessment of all the variable that come into play for execution of the job. Businesses have grown leaps and bounds because they made good on the commitments that were made to their customers.
4. Think it through:
While opportunities will come and go, its important to think through the fundamentals of the business and how it functions. The reality of the business and the reality of how the business is perceived are two different things. It pays off too to take the time to think it through and create a plan that stays true to the core values of the business. Paying attention to details like the business logo, its brand identity, positioning of the business, its placement in the minds of the current and future customers is important and will pay in the long run.
Another important aspect that needs to be thought through is the costing of the product and services offered. Products and services should be priced fairly to make it easier for the customers to make the buying decision in your favour. Providing value for money will always work in favour of the business. The perceived value of the product should always be higher than the actual cost to ensure that the customer are happy and keep coming back for business with you in addition to getting new customers through referrals.
5. Get personal:
Technical skills will get you the business but your soft skills will keep you in the business. Top businessmen have always known that businesses are created by people and that they are a very important aspect of growing one’s business. Good people skills with employees help create a better working environment for them and in turn result in better customer interaction and services. A good name as an employer and business help create good will that money can not buy. Good will in the industry will open doors to many opportunities that would have otherwise been difficult to even come by.
Getting to know the clients and taking personal interest in getting their work done makes is a must to ensure that their interaction with the business is good to keep them coming back. All things same, people are more likely to give business to people they like better. So ensure that your business is known for being extremely customer friendly. Loyal customers make for the best kind of brand ambassadors for your business. Ensure loyal customers are rewarded for their loyalty to ensure their continued loyalty to the business and brand.
6. Take guarantees:
Guarantees are a tricky business in the construction industry. While a lot of businesses know that they can guarantee certain results, they dont say it out loud by claiming guarantees. Only after ensuring all variables and the infrastructure required to make a guarantee claim are in place, should a business take guarantees. Guarantee claims should be made only after ensuring rigorous testing of the products and spare parts in question. As far as services go, businesses should ensure adequate infrastructure is in place to carry out the guarantee that is claimed. Guarantee claims made in writing should be very carefully drafted to ensure no misuse takes of the guarantee takes place.