Transitioning Your Contracting Business in Winter
The construction industry experienced a significant financial decline throughout the pandemic. As material costs increased, professionals struggled to meet clients’ demands within their budgets. Fortunately, as vaccines become normalized and borders re-open, contractors encounter a spike in projects.
Professionals can lengthen their season of success by preparing for winter. Traditionally, fewer clients schedule construction in the colder months with higher rates of snowfall. Contractors can limit another financial decline by improving their marketing tactics, finding alternative jobs, investing in adaptive equipment, and planning.
Seasonal Challenges in Building
Each season has a varying effect on construction. Late fall and winter are high-precipitation months, increasing injuries on the job. Annually, about 244,000 workers took time off because of an on-site slip or fall.
Many contractors restrict exterior building projects in the winter to minimize fall risks. Rain and snow also increase one’s risk of electrocution on a job site. Employers can reduce general on-site injuries by eliminating construction work in the winter months.
The off-season creates notorious financial disadvantages for workers. Without consistent projects, contractors struggle to support equipment costs, pay employees, and rent storefront spaces. Individuals can increase their general success in the slow months by engaging in adaptive techniques.
Improving Marketing Tactics
Contractors can increase their business in high-peak months, using winter to expand their marketing techniques. In spring and summer, professionals have the highest number of client requests. They can use the slow months to maintain their websites and advertising outlets, improving their year-round marketing.
Construction professionals can also expand their financial gains while marketing. They may maintain their client relationships by reaching out to them in the winter. Contractors and customers can work together to plan spring or summertime projects, and they can pay 50% upfront for a discounted fee.
Professionals can also expand their network of clients by offering discounts to individuals who refer a friend. They may also use the downtime to run their own marketing campaigns instead of paying a third party for the same services. If you have a large construction team, you can also reassign some of the employees to alternative work.
Finding Alternative Jobs
Some contractors get creative in the slow months, finding different job opportunities to support financial needs. Construction companies can use their trucks and other equipment to develop snow removal services. Purchasing plows and pickup trucks are the largest expenses in starting a snow removal business.
Many construction professionals already have access to the equipment, helping them immediately reach a profitable level. Professionals can also take their skills inside, completing remodeling projects. If workers only have experience with exterior construction, challenging their indoor skills can help them grow.
They may also take on maintenance projects during the slow months. Using similar tools, they can minimize costs and maximize profit. Professionals may also consider investing in new equipment in the fall to get them through the off-season.
Investing in Adaptive Equipment
Contractors can invest in adaptive equipment that supports their conventional project needs and alternative work in the slow months. Front-loaders are effective construction devices, helping professionals move heavy materials on-site and plow snow in the winter. Dump trucks are also versatile pieces of equipment, expanding on- and off-season project accessibility.
Investing in sturdy, all-season shovels additionally aids in snow removal and exterior construction. The fall is also an optimal time to purchase new electric tools, expanding one’s indoor project opportunities.
If contractors are running low on funds, they may choose to rent versatile equipment over making a new purchase to expand their usefulness during slower seasons. While trucks and plows can effectively remove snow from the street, professionals can enhance their services by renting a blower and clearing sidewalks as well. Individuals may use the slow season downtime to plan, minimizing interference during peak project times.
Planning for Slower Business
Contractors can plan by first analyzing their profits and recognizing major loss areas. If individuals spend too much on transportation-related fuel costs, they can develop an employee carpooling plan for the spring. Some companies also experience financial losses from high material costs.
The winter is an ideal time to shop around for a cost-effective material supplier. During peak seasons, many professionals are too busy to compare product costs. They can use the downtime to conduct research and reduce their general production prices.
Of course, construction professionals know that the slow season is only temporary. Cash flow is a frequent concern in the industry even when contracts are steady. Another solution in these times is to lean on a small business loan for operational expenses now, then pay it back when business is booming again in warmer weather.
Winter Business Options for Contractors
Contractors can begin preparing their businesses for winter at the end of the summer and the beginning of fall. During those times, projects start slowing down, providing professionals with more time to invest in versatile equipment or expand their marketing knowledge.
When you plan before the slow season strikes, you can effectively improve your financial stability year-round.
Evelyn Long is a writer and editor focused on home building and construction. She is the co-founder of Renovated, a web magazine for the home industry.
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