The economy continues to improve in 2016, but not nearly as quickly as some would like. The outlook for the electrical construction market does seem promising, with gains of 16 percent in the residential sector and 9 percent for nonresidential buildings. However, this means little if your contracting business isn’t around to reap the benefits.
Many contracting businesses can’t push through tough recessions, and they end up failing. There are a few key reasons why some electrical contracting businesses thrive while others can’t compete. Here are a few tips for getting your own contracting business through a tough economy and coming out stronger on the other side:
Whether the economy is up or down, staying organized can be difficult for business owners who are focused on getting more done in less time. This lack of organization may not matter in some areas, but it can seriously hurt your contracting business in areas such as accounting.
Not keeping proper track of business expenses makes it difficult to measure your return-on-investment and will give you a headache when it comes time to file taxes. Simply put, staying organized allows your business to continue to run smoothly and will help keep you afloat during tough times.
Keep Employee Morale High
A tough economy also affects your employees, and it is important that they feel like part of the team during this time. Making your employees feel valued will not only help keep their morale high during this slow period, but it will also make them more invested in your company’s success.
Tell them when they are doing a good job, or ask their opinion when you order circuit breaker parts. When your employees feel like they matter, they will be more engaged, and this can boost your business’s chance of success. Building team loyalty is a good business practice that should be emphasized regardless of the state of the economy.
Don’t Cut Out Marketing
When things get tough, the marketing budget often takes a hit. Rather than immediately cutting spending in this area, it is important that business owners evaluate how effective their marketing efforts are. Older contractors can easily find themselves wasting money by using outdated marketing tactics that don’t give them a good ROI.
Instead of slashing your marketing budget altogether, it might be better to rethink where you are investing your money and whether you are getting the most out of your marketing budget.
Expand Your Services
Offering more niche services is a great way to give your contracting business a leg up on the competition. New technologies and trends are coming out all the time, from intelligent lighting controls to the deployment of fiber optic cables, and contractors can take advantage by staying on top of industry trends.
Being able to provide your clients with customized solutions or niche services can help your contracting business stand out in slow periods and keep you in demand. When business is booming, contractors should consider enrolling in training courses that expand their skillsets so that they are prepared for future recessions.
Make Sure That Customers Remember You
Remaining in contact with customers after a project is important, and you want them to remember your contracting business in a positive light. A key way to do this is by calling up past customers and surveying them. Knowing what aspects of your business need improving upon is helpful, but it also gives you a chance to reconnect with customers and possibly change their opinion if their experience wasn’t as good as it should have been.
Additionally, this is a great way to spread the word that your business cares about your customers, and it may help you get more business in the future.
Provide Consistent and Exceptional Service
This one may seem easier said than done, when your contracting business is going through tough times, but it is essential to your future success. Unfortunately, bad news can be quick to spread and could be the death of your business in a rough economy.
Even though your contractors may be crunched for time, they should be ensuring that every customer has a great experience with your company, and they need to follow up with them after projects to confirm this. Good reviews may be harder to come by, but they can be just as effective in helping promote your business and get you through a tough economy.