Construction is a crowded market, and your clients will have plenty of choice about who they work with. It’s easy to disappear into the crowd.
So you’re going to need to think about what makes you stand out. What are your strengths, your distinctives? How are you going to communicate them, and distinguish yourself from the competition?
Here are 15 ways to put some space between you and your competitors:
1. You! No one else has you. That sounds almost naively obvious, but there’s no better place to start. You are unique to your business, and you can leverage that in your favour. Your attitude can win or lose you work, so make sure you come across as positive, friendly and helpful.
2. Your staff matter too. As above, your clients’ experience of working with you is going to be a major part in whether you get contracts and repeat business. Get the best people you can, and make sure staff understand their role in selling the business.
3. Your focus and persistence – a lot of people are going to be chasing the same jobs you are. It’s those who keep calling back, who work to keep in touch if there are delays, and show they’re genuinely interested that are going to get the work.
4. Customer appreciation. If clients feel valued, they’ll think more highly of your company. Take an interest in clients personally, and in their work. Remember to say thank you.
5. Your attitude to claims and difficulties. When things go wrong, how easy are you to work with? Do you put things right or offer excuses? A bad experience on site is a sure-fire to lose repeat custom.
6. Your corporate identity – a logo and literature that makes you visible and memorable.
7. Maintain a website that is clear, informative and easy to navigate. Clients will look you up, so make sure they’re going to like what they see.
8. What added value can you bring to a project or a relationship? Do you have any particular expertise or capacity that others don’t have? Make sure people know about it.
9. Early budget pricing is valuable and will set you apart.
10. Can you add engineering and cost reduction at the tender stage? Good advice on keeping costs down will really help clients out.
11. Input into early stage site programme development. Don’t wait to be asked, but take a pro-active approach to solving your clients’ problems.
12. Comment on procurement and lead-in times for materials, showing that you can understand and anticipate potential hold-ups.
13. Make sure that you are easy to get hold of and clear in your communications.
14. Hone your listening skills. You’ll learn more, and clients will see you as a company that really has their best interests in mind and isn’t just pushing their own agenda.
15. Invite comments and ask for feedback. You’ll identify ways to improve your business, and you’ll show your clients that you respect them and value their input.
In reading the list, did any of them jump out as ways for you to differentiate yourself? Make a note, think about how to build on that strength, and build it into your corporate image and your marketing plans.
Put your distinctives to work, and you’ll stand out. Make yourself an obvious first choice, and you’ll win the work you need to build your business.