The notoriety of a company is an essential element to its growth. Networking and word of mouth can be the basis for interesting contracts.
These visibility activities require time and money, two resources that are often already in high demand among construction contractors. The question arises: how do I get the word out about my construction company? While there are many answers to this question, here is one: your local association.
Choose the right association
There is no shortage of associations in construction. You can find them for employees, employers, trades, material distributors, general contractors and more. Each association seeks to meet the needs of its members, but sometimes those needs are similar. So how do you choose the right association?
Start by assessing your company’s needs. Are you looking to network with other contractors in the same trade or sign up new clients? Do you want to improve your job site management or recruit new workers? This reflection is important because it helps to target your current needs: optimization of operations or growth. For optimization, a group of contractors in your field is an excellent place to learn. For growth, join an association outside your expertise. For example, a specialized contractor wanting to grow his reputation could join an association for general contractors to promote his business.
Exchange and learn from others
Associations organize several events throughout the year with the objective of creating relationships between contractors. These events provide an opportunity to meet business managers who, like you, are facing multiple challenges and are eager to exchange ideas and solutions. How do they manage their workforce issues? How did they find their latest contract? Even if they are competitors, experiencing a similar reality is very unifying and encourages discussion. Demonstrate your willingness to listen and share. Reach out to meet new people. Don’t hesitate to ask for the contact information of the people you are talking to. Remember, these people are also interested in expanding their network of contacts. Who knows, they may have discovered a new work technique or tool that would be very useful to you.
Showcase your professionalism
Being a member of a contractor group demonstrates that you adhere to the ethics and standards adopted by top industry professionals. With two-way visibility (your logo on the association’s website and theirs on yours), at a glance, you showcase the credibility your company enjoys. This is certainly an asset in getting you noticed by general contractors and making you stand out in the eyes of general contractors.
Take advantage of the tools available to members
Associations aim to help their members thrive in the industry. They want to allow them to get known, to exchange with their peers and to keep their practice up to date. For this reason, they offer a wide range of tools and services that allow them to do so. Here are some of them:
- Golf: Every year, take advantage of a beautiful sunny day to hit a few balls with your colleagues or distributors. It’s a great excuse to network, trade or even negotiate better deals in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Seminar/Training: Attend information sessions to keep your business up to date. Learn from experts and the new trends of the year.
- Newsletter: Receive industry news and the latest tenders in your inbox. Don’t miss any interesting contract.
- Magazine: Specialty magazines attract a large number of readers each year. Take advantage of them to promote your company by securing an advertising placement. Take the time to read a few and pay attention to what might interest your next client.
The pace of innovation in construction is accelerating. 3D modeling software, robotics, AI, 5G, high-performance materials, the list goes on. Some innovations bring more productivity, others more quality to construction. How do you identify these innovations that will make a real difference in your own context? Associations can help you filter the good from the not so good thanks to their relationship with distributors. They act as a filter and ensure that the solution in question is worth analyzing and trying. Even if distributors pay for access to members, a good association concerned with its relevance would not accept to promote poor quality products. In addition, it is not uncommon for members to receive discounted prices.
The last chapter of the construction project is the actual building process itself. A lot of work is put in, from the initial plan, to the last brick. Today, the digitalization of the industry is beginning to gain traction, but why is it exactly? What could we gain from it?