In today’s world, growing your business isn’t as simple as upping your project load, hiring more employees, and hoping for the best. It’s about curating your business’s reputation, navigating relationships and, most importantly, staying organized.
Even with the roster of demands modern businesses face, there are simple ways to ensure you meet your growth goals. It comes down to things like networking best practices, fine-tuning your digital footprint, and using the best technology for your business — like the Punch List app. Read on.
1. Tune up your website.
You’re likely well aware that much of general contracting work operates on word of mouth, via referrals. Growth is about changing the status quo, though, and that means looking at other ways you might be able to connect with customers. The internet is your best bet.
Start by assessing your existing website. If you don’t yet have a website, check out free hosting sites like WordPress or SquareSpace. And don’t be intimidated!
Back to your website as it is now: Is it easy to navigate? Is your portfolio of past work prominently displayed? Small improvements like replacing existing photos with higher-quality versions, and polishing up your written content (this could be as easy as a spell check) can make a serious difference, especially for homeowners searching for their future general contractor exclusively online.
Also important is your ‘About Us’ page. Putting a face to your business—whether that’s through a short written bio, headshots of you and relevant staff or otherwise—grants homeowners a sense of who, exactly, they’re considering working with on their remodel.
2. Curate your Yelp profile.
Take this in the broadest sense possible. Yelp is a way for your potential customers to get a sense of your business; consider how that might help boost you in the long run. It’s not that you should be baiting former clients into leaving positive reviews, or trying to have negative ones removed—you might not even actually have a Yelp profile. The idea here is to curate your digital footprint as best as you can, especially when it comes to platforms that are outside your control. Polished up your website? Excellent. Make sure your other digital references won’t turn clients off to working with you. A five-star review could seal the deal for a client who’s never worked with you before. Now think about what a one-star review (or its equivalent) might do.
You’re a small business owner: to be shy about promoting your work is to draw your own boundaries.
That’s not to say that you should be obnoxious or overbearing. You don’t have to consider “small business owner” a personality trait. There are simple best practices you can adhere to here: always keep a handful of business cards in your wallet, if you don’t already. Make an active effort to connect with other construction industry professionals, whether that’s on LinkedIn or over a cup of coffee. Where appropriate, leave your mark on a completed job—whether you stake a sign in the front yard of a newly remodeled home or leave a good impression on a homeowner. You never know where your last connection might lead you.
4. Invest—in yourself, in your people, in your company.
While there are certainly free ways to work on growing your company, it’s important to be willing to invest in growth.
That means cultivating first impressions: paying for a wardrobe upgrade, if it’s appropriate, or paying a professional designer to rework your company’s logo. This could also take the form of professional development for both yourself and your staff. That industry conference you’ve been eyeing tickets to for years? Pull the trigger on them, for a change, and send relevant employees, too.
5. Use Punch List.
That is to say—get organized, get efficient, and get smart when it comes to the ways you’re choosing to grow your company. You’ll want to work with technology that’s catered to your company’s needs, like Punch List. The app is made specifically for general contractors to help manage projects, making seamless growth easier than it’s ever been.
Contractors can upload project plans for remodels to the app—as many as are needed—and then break projects into phases (demolition, installation and everything in between). Share the project with homeowners, and note the budget, timeline, and other details. And the in-app direct message function ensures you have a way to communicate with your homeowner at all times.
Once work has been approved (either in person or via photos you can send to the homeowner within the app) Punch List will generate automatic digital invoices for completed work. Homeowners can then pay you in the app, ensuring you’re paid faster and more efficiently for your time.
Plus, no more delay in payment means you’re earning income in real time. That’s income that you can use to invest in the growth of your business. And while construction hasn’t historically been an industry prone to adapting the latest in technological innovation, there’s no need to worry. The app is simple, intuitive, and user friendly.
Setting a goal to grow your business is an important first step to take, as is doing your research on what that might entail for you, your employees and your clients. That means you’re practically half way there—and with the help of some good old fashioned networking (don’t forget those business cards) as well as boosts from modern, game-changing technology (yes, we mean Punch List) you’ll be more than well on your way to successfully growing your general contracting business.