Tips for building your construction business
John Gordon and David Dovell, hosts of Pro Construction Guide’s podcasts, offer these expert tips for building your construction business.
Gordon, who has worked in the construction industry for 34 years, encourages contractors to embrace technology to grow your construction business. “I’m not talking about spending thousands of dollars,” he says. “There are free or inexpensive apps and solutions out there that can save countless headaches and considerable time.”
Talk less and ask more questions. “We have to sell a job to a customer,” says Gordon, “but stop and ask your customers what they really want. We want to just tell the customer everything we think we know, but questions, not answers, are your best friends.”
Asking questions, as well as understanding and implementing new technologies, is especially important to your younger clients and prospects. “The next generation is used to asking and answering questions,” says Gordon, who has worked for The Home Depot in various positions for 23 years.
Dovell, who has owned a remodeling firm in North Carolina for 30 years, says the best business advice he has when building your construction business is to network. “Building relationships is the most important thing you can do,” he says. “You can network with subcontractors, building department inspectors, dealers, all kinds of people. You’ll get more business, more help and all types of advice.”
In addition, contractors, especially those new to the industry, should make it a priority to find a mentor in the business.
“There are so many smart people who could be doing things better, faster and more profitably if they got more mentoring,” Gordon says. Gordon suggests Pros find a mentor who works outside their market areas so they won’t be competing for jobs.
When building your construction business, always be transparent with customers and others. Transparency builds trusts. “Explain why you do what you do,” says Gordon, “what your concerns are, if you make a mistake or if you’re going to miss a deadline.”
“Always work with integrity,” says Dovell. “And be the same all the time. That’s very important, too.”
Learn and grow
Dovell and Gordon have hosted a syndicated call-in home improvement radio program for consumers for 21 years. They say they wanted to host Pro Construction Guide’s ProCast, which began in January, because it was an opportunity to help contractors succeed.
The 30-minute ProCasts offer contractors an easy way to learn new construction techniques, as well as sales, marketing and business skills and strategies. “I learn from my subcontractors and I teach them, too,” says Dovell, who has been doing remodeling work since he was a teenager. “And I’m learning a lot from the ProCasts.”
The ProCast guests, who are successful Pros with decades of experience, share expert tips as well as the mistakes they’ve made over the years. “Listeners may have always done something one way, but here they can learn a new twist,” says Gordon.
“The best contractors want to learn,” says Dovell. “They have a thirst for it and that’s what’s going to make the industry better.”
Pro Construction Guide’s ProCast, a podcast just for Pros, features tips to save you time and money on the job, the latest industry trends, what’s new in tools and products, and advice on running your business more profitably. Download ProCasts here, at iTunes or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.
New to podcasts? It’s free and easy. You’ll find complete details on how to get started with podcasts, as well as the complete library of ProCasts. Then listen when and where it’s convenient for you.