Few people would doubt the incredible impact the web and tech have had on today’s world, and the construction sector is no exception to becoming embroiled in the ongoing digitization of business.
As populations and businesses around the globe increasingly invest more and more of their private and work details online, so we’re seeing a business transformation – a fourth industrial revolution – an Industry 4.0 as it’s often called.
If you want to keep your construction company ahead of your rivals and gain a competitive advantage, below are some tips that might help.
Accept that automation is here and learn how to use it to your best advantage in your firm
The idea of smart machines and robots has been with us for many, many years, but it’s only recently that a world filled with autonomous machines and robots has become anything near becoming real. Today’s most pioneering companies like Boston Dynamics are producing robots with almost superhuman capabilities that could – one day very soon – be used in almost industries.
AI and ML
The progression and sophistication of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have accelerated at such a rate in recent years that the tech is being used in the military, and we will soon see a raft of other applications, including self-driving vehicles.
Even just at the lower, more basic end of the scale, AI/ML could help your construction firm operate more effectively in everything from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that could help you build and maintain better client relationships to automated accountancy and project management apps.
Use the best design tools
Where AI and ML are undoubtedly changing the entire landscape of all businesses, increasingly sophisticated software tools are revolutionizing the way construction projects are approached, administered, and followed through.
Today, there is a huge range of site plan planning tools available online that will allow you to envisage jobs before the first brick is even laid – tools that could potentially save you thousands or even millions in production costs.
There’s nothing particularly new about Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools, but the software of today has expanded considerably to include Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) apps that can help architects and engineers test the components for a particular build.
Realize the value of your staff
While it may be a common preconception that customers are the most important aspect of a company’s success, the truth is the lifeblood of a firm is its staff. Unless you’re a one-man band, the people you employ will be the front-facing contact with your customers, the people that produce your products or services and keep your business afloat.
Sadly, many company bosses either don’t realize just how valuable their staff are or fail to articulate and show them their worth. Don’t be that boss.
Showing your employees that you care goes way beyond just wages. Sure, money helps but, in truth, something as simple as the occasional thank you will earn more than any cent ever could. If you want to go the extra mile, you could also think about offering time off for hard work, bonuses, percentage shareholdings, included healthcare, etc.
Engage positively with social media
No matter how good the quality of work you produce, if you don’t learn to promote your firm properly, much of that great effort will likely go unnoticed. In today’s world, it’s easier than ever for firms to promote themselves (and their work) over social media.
Construction work is particularly well-suited to social media promotion, as you can show before, after, and in-between shots of the work you did – just the kind of thing that can show your expertise and won’t cost a fortune.
Posting on the staple channels should be a given – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube – but also don’t discount the value of signing up to industry-specific social media channels.
Use your website to its fullest effect
The days of paper-based promotion via catalogs and flyers may not be fully over, but it’s certainly true that marketing your firm online is considerably less expensive, quicker, and less hassle. Modern consumers these days expect pretty much all companies to have an online presence, so you should spend some time promoting your previous work and building a showcase of older projects to demonstrate your expertise. It’s also a very good idea to keep your site updated – particularly when you land new projects or complete new builds.
Invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The majority of consumer journeys these days start with a search on Google to find information or make decisions on a purchase. If your site isn’t ranked high in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), you’ll potentially be missing out on a huge amount of business.
Today, the web and search engines have become the primary link between customer and company, so appearing high up the list under searches made for your particular keyword or key phrases could unlock the door to multiple new contracts and new work.
SEO is a highly complex and involved process performed by web marketing professionals to ensure sites (and therefore businesses) are found with search terms likely to be used by people looking for that type of firm.
While it’s true there are many things you could do yourself to promote and propel your site to higher listing rankings (and therefore generate new traffic), in truth, if you’re to get the best results from SEO, you need to enlist the skills of a professional web marketing firm.
Encourage client feedback
There surely can be few things better than client recommendations, so be sure to gather feedback about the work you do and publish it wherever and whenever possible. Real-world advice will and comments will do more for your marketing and promotions than you’ll ever possibly achieve yourself. Be sure to ask clients what they thought of your work – and also check they’re ok with you publishing their comments. This kind of stuff is like gold dust when used on your website and social media channels.