We’re making our way through 2022 quickly and there’s still a lot of work to do. Inflation, shortages and plenty of more obstacles are hitting everyone. The construction industry is no different and in fact, millions of people are relying on new deals and upcoming projects throughout the country to give the industry a big boost. Interestingly enough, it’s not finding work that’s actually giving the most experienced contractors issues, it’s finding the workers and materials they need in order to get the job completed on time.

There are several reasons for these shortages and unfortunately, they are going to be with us for most of the year it looks like. There are things you can do to adjust, and these are part of the changes that need to be made. Keep in mind, even if you’ve run a company successfully for decades, that doesn’t mean you’ve kept things exactly the same. You’ve adapted when you needed to and you need to once again.

Why Contractors These Changes Have To Be Made

One of the causes for the labor shortage that few are addressing is the lack of training companies now provide. Companies, including construction, want experienced workers who are ready to get started. And where did these workers get experience? The industry used to focus on building workers just as it built houses and buildings. Get people in without experience and put them to work, teaching them overtime and turning them into quality contractors. Places don’t do that anymore and it’s led to experienced workers being at a premium.

Important Changes In Construction

If you understand the industry and economy are changing right now and you need to adapt, then you are already off to a strong start. There is a variety of changes, some subtle and some more impactful, that you should consider making. These may differentiate based on the size of your company and types of projects you take on. These are still areas that need your attention if you want to see improvements:

  • Research new vendors: The fact is that the material shortage is hitting every industry. If you are not having luck with your current vendor, you have the right to shop around. Part of the issue is that there may also be more companies demanding the supplies now. If that’s the case, then working with different vendors may be the best option.
  • Training: You cannot underestimate the value of having experienced workers on your team and if you do not have them, the next step is to incorporate training. This doesn’t mean you need to hire ten laborers and teach them how to be contractors. It means that you need to focus on bringing people in with less experience and be opened to showing them how to do certain things so that they can assist you and learn from you.
  • Organization: The days of leaving the receipts in the truck and not checking messages are over. Your business has to stay organized because missed appointments, lost receipts and other things no longer work. There are too many things going on and you need the entire operation running smoothly. Organization can make a world of difference, especially in time management.
  • Marketing: Even the style of marketing has changed. Regular advertising and options like television aren’t going to work anymore. You need to advertise online, reaching consumers throughout the web on social media marketing , search engines and more.

Some of these changes will have immediate impact on your company while others may take years to be effective. However, you should never give up on a sound plan, especially if the goals require long-term commitment like with marketing and training. Take your time and be patient. Investing in an employee may be the same as investing in your company.

How To Move Forward

Now that you are ready to try some of these options out, the first thing to do is put together a list of goals you hope to achieve based on an appropriate amount of time. For example, if you are looking to hire new employees, set a strategy on how to do that and when you would hope to have them by. Try to stick to that plan and use that time-frame to get the best workers, not just the ones who answer an ad. Here are some additional examples to consider:

  • Try out of town options: Supplies are in high demand and the shortages and impacting every business. However, have you considered that the supplies in the next town may not be as in demand? It’s possible that three or four hours away is all the materials you need and depending on those materials, transportation may not be too expensive. Consider expanding your territory for materials and labor.
  • Hire inexperienced: If an experienced contractor makes $30 an hour in your area, then a laborer could make anywhere from $15-$20 potentially. Wouldn’t that laborer, who is already working in construction, like to learn a new skill at the same place they are currently working at that could eventually double their pay? Give some new workers an opportunity to learn the way you want them to do it.
  • Apps: Connect with new vendors, market your company, look for new workers and keep organized with apps you can add to your phone. There are so many options available that cover nearly everything you need and can help you keep your company moving in the right direction.
  • Google: There’s a reason why your competitors are spending thousands of dollars a month to be ranked on the world’s largest search engine. Invest some time into Google marketing, even if you do not want to invest money. There are free services like Google My Business that can help you generate organic traffic and leads. Also, consider having your website ranked for valuable keywords as more people are selecting contractors from the web these days.

Your business has thrived for years and battled through a lot. However, you have to be able to adapt to the times and make changes that will not only keep you in business but allow for long-term success. Investing in workers is a good idea and a proven model for companies in all types of industries, including construction. People are looking for new opportunities and they are willing to put in the work and grow within an established company. If that’s what you can offer, try working with them to create a mutually beneficial partnership.

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