Coffee Break

Construction Downswing: Is It Happening, And What Can You Do About It?

Pixabay – CC0 Licence

The construction industry has, for some years, been one of the most reliably bankable sectors in any national economy. Whatever the goals of any business or government, you’re always going to need buildings; and even when you have enough buildings, you’re still going to need renovation and redevelopment in some of them. So there’s rarely been a shortage of opportunity for construction firms and their workers.

In 2021, however, the picture is somewhat more complicated, even if it isn’t universally clouded by the circumstances brought about due to the pandemic. 2020 saw the industry beset by the same problems every other industry saw, and the economic landscape is going to continue to be somewhat bumpy until we achieve stability in the wider pandemic recovery. There could be some disruption in the flow of contracts for a construction business as we go forward – so, as a business owner, what are the steps you’ll need to take?

Market your business proactively

2020 saw some projects needing to be mothballed, and others simply not getting off the ground. It will have disrupted a lot of plans, too, and as service users start to revisit their old plans they will have a need to put feelers out for new contractors. Even if you’re not immediately ready to break ground on a new project, there couldn’t be a better time to bring yourself to the attention of people in need of contractors. Take account of the ways the business has changed in the last 12 months, and position yourself as a contractor ready to take on the new landscape.

Use downtime for upskilling

If you’re not in a position to immediately send your workforce to sites and get into action, then make use of the spare time to ensure everyone reaches a certain level of training. Check out the courses on offer from providers such as Kallibr so that when you do have the chance to deploy people, they are 100% prepared to hit the ground running and work efficiently and safely. There is no better publicity for your business than reputation, and when your teams routinely carry out jobs to the optimum quality, you’ll soon have a long list of interested parties.

Take a detailed inventory

When you have teams in the field day-in and day-out, it’s easy to develop tunnel-vision with regard to ticking off the work you’re expected to do. However, like any other business, construction companies need to do admin. Making sure you have the tools and the materials that you need – a task that can sometimes be put on the back burner when you’re rushed off your feet – is one way you can spend any spare time. This way you’ll know what you need to restock, and whether you’ll need to look for sources of capital when you’re looking at getting back in the market.

So much of the messaging around this last year has been an encouragement to “build back better”. That’s meant particularly literally for construction companies, who can use 2021 to solidify what they’re good at and attract new customers.