Strategy, leadership, goal-setting and game changers – these were just some of the topics covered in our webinar How to Win More Work in a Competitive Marketplace.
We partnered with Kurt Hegetschweiler, Specialist Building Industry Business Coach, to deliver a webinar that went through the strategies and processes that builders and trades can implement to get on the front foot, fast-track their business, and get ahead of the competition.
Below are the Top 7 Takeaways from the webinar, however, we encourage to also watch the webinar recording as there is so much valuable information that you’ll be able to use in your business.
Takeaway 1: First and foremost … don’t let your mindset hold you back
You’ll never out-perform whatever your mindset is, so if your business is not progressing the way you want it to, then it’s time to re-assess your goals and put an action plan in place so that you start winning more work, increasing your profits and setting your business up for success.
You are the leader and you set the standards for yourself and your team. Part of your profits should be spent on developing your business and leadership skills so that you understand what is required to take your business to the next level. Likewise, you need to invest in your staff and empower them with the skills to become high-performers. Building industry coaches such as Builders Coach can help with the development of you, your staff and your business, but ultimately, you must have the right mindset to succeed.
Takeaway 2: Communicate the value of your business
One of the key factors to winning more work is being able to differentiate yourself from your competition, demonstrating your value to qualified potential clients, and educating them to look beyond ‘the cheapest price’. Communication is the key to this, with you firmly steering the conversation. It’s worth investing time in the following before submitting any quote.
– Extract as much information as possible about the project from your potential clients.
– Book in a site visit
– Provide them with information and FAQs
– Explain what’s involved in your process and what they will get
– Send your potential clients a portfolio of your work, and make them fall in love with what you do
Pro-active communication will demonstrate the value of your business against that of your competition and instill confidence that you are able to fulfil their construction requirements. You will build trust and credibility, and you will see an increase in the percentage of jobs you win.
Takeaway 3: Show your potential clients that you’re ahead of the game
Communicating the value of your business is one thing, but effective communication with your clients throughout a job is paramount. Whichever construction software you use, make sure that it includes a client portal; that is, a designated ‘mini-site’ for each of your clients which contains all details of their projects, and through which you can communicate and keep them updated. Buildxact software enables you to set up individual, secure portals for clients, using your own branding, and which clients can access at any time to see how their project is progressing.
All communication is recorded in their portal and you can upload images and relevant documentation for them to view even before you win the job. Setting up potential clients with their own portal right from the get-go is a powerful way to show the value of your business. It sends a strong message to your potential clients that you are in control of the builds that you work on, and that it will be easy and smooth working with you. This is an important point of differentiation which will set you apart from other builders.
Takeaway 4: Set aside money towards marketing the value of your business
Word of mouth is great and some builders are happy to tick over on referral-based business. But if you want to grow your business, you must invest in marketing it, and you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to do this. Here are some basic must-do’s:
1. Make sure you have a website that showcases your work and clearly outlines your business value
2. If you haven’t already, set up social media sites (eg. Facebook & Instagram) to showcase your work, and ensure that you are regularly posting and responding to enquiries as quickly as possible.
3. Proactively network with others in the industry such as architects and engineers in order to increase referrals.
4. Invest in direct response marketing such as banners, flyers, etc.
If marketing is not something that you’re comfortable with doing, invest in an experienced professional to help you set everything up and maintain the marketing momentum.
Takeaway 5: Get your quotes right
An all-encompassing and accurate quote will reduce the number of surprises (eg. costly variations) for your clients later down the track. This contributes to building a good reputation which in turn helps confirm your business value and instill trust and increase referrals.
Using estimating software, such as Buildxact, will enable you to up the ante on the accuracy, presentation and timeliness of your quotes, ensuring that your business comes across as professional and competent, and this will definitely give you a leg-up when pitching for new work against your competition. Moreover, it will also allow you to analyse previous quotes, fine tune them, and use them as templates going forward. This means more accurate revenue, profit, cost and cashflow projections, and a better bottom line for you.
Takeaway 6: Your time is valuable so start charging for quotes
Most builders don’t charge for quotes believing that if they do, they will lose opportunities to win work. But in an industry where time is money, spending hours and even days putting a quote together and not charging for it is ludicrous, and bad for your business. This encourages tyre kickers who you will never end up working with, and who gather quotes in order to ensure that their preferred builder has quoted them fairly.
There is no evidence to suggest that builders that charge for quotes lose out on business; quite the opposite. Charging for quotes puts a value on them, and enables you to ‘go deeper’ than other builders do by producing quality quotes to people who are genuinely interested in working with you. Have the confidence to start charging for your quotes. Once you do this, you’ll find that you will win a higher percentage of the work that you quote on.
Takeaway 7: It’s ok to let business walk away
One of the biggest mistakes that builders make is not qualifying their potential clients and their respective ‘builds’. Don’t waste your time working on jobs, or with people who are not a good fit for your business. Politely but confidently refer them on to someone else. Your red flags should go up when, for example, you’re presented with incomplete plans to quote on and are expected to ‘fill in the gaps’; or when a potential client requests continual budget cuts to your quote while insisting on maintaining the same specifications. It’s ok to let potential business walk away if it’s going to compromise your quality of work or your bottom line.
Do you have a niche? If the client doesn’t fit your niche then pass them on to someone else and focus on the jobs that you specialise in, and the type of clients that value what you do. Clients that don’t see the value in the service you provide are not worth your time or effort so it’s ok to reduce the number of quotes you produce, and concentrate on winning the ‘right’ type of work.
Watch Now: How to Win More Work in a Competitive Marketplace
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