The construction industry is often seen as being general, in the sense that it exists to serve the infrastructure needs of the people. Yet all infrastructure needs are different. You could treat them all the same way for construction purposes. However, you would be missing an enormous opportunity to grow your business if you did.
Each client has different needs and ideas for their envisioned project. They have different preferences and goals – and they think differently.
They might choose a general contractor if they have no alternative. However, if you can speak their language and appeal to their unique needs and circumstances, you will win their trust and will let you lead the project.
When you have a specific niche, you will not only be able to increase the productivity of your team, but you will also gain clients faster, hire the right people, streamline your workflows, improve your profits, and be a trusted company for the market you are best at doing business with.
Here are four tips to find the specific market that will be the primary source of your construction company’s projects:
1. Evaluate Your Current and Recent Customers
The first step to determine the niche of your construction business is evaluating your current and recent projects: What projects brought the most satisfaction and why? Who are the clients that you find pleasant to work with? What kind of projects does your company excel in completing, and which brings the highest returns for your efforts?
By asking these questions, you will have a good idea of where you should be focusing your networking strategies, allowing you to build your specialty while removing all the unnecessary dealings from your overall operations.
2. Identify Your Area of Specialization
A construction business can specialize in many different ways. Consider the following list and review which of these you think your business excel the most or has the highest potential of providing the best return base on your business capabilities:
A. Project Type
- Commercial – large, small, tenant improvement, or specialty type
- Residential – new homes, spec homes, remodels, developer tracts, custom homes of a certain value
- Repair work – handyman, rot, siding, wood windows, log homes, roof flashings
- Service work – MEP maintenance, commercial contracts, industrial contracts
- Emergency Services
- Pre-construction design and planning
- Quote/Proposal/Fixed Price
- Owner’s Representative/Construction Manager
- Cost Plus
- Hourly/Time and Materials
- Time of Year/Season
- Insurance Claims
- Business Owners
- Financing Required
- Government Based Programs
This list does not by any means includes the types of specializations in the construction industry. However, focusing your marketing, operational, administrative, and networking efforts in any one of these areas can help solidify your niche in the eyes of the clients in these markets.
3. Narrow Down Your Specialty
Finding your niche does not stop once you pick a single market. You need to go deeper and combine the areas listed above to create a truly unique service offering to your ideal clients.
For instance, you can market business as a “general contractor that specializes in remodelling homes valued around $500,000”. However, marketing your business as a “custom remodeler that provides interior design services as part of your pre-construction process, and provides a fixed price for the scope of work that meets the requirements of financial institutions” is much better.
4. Communicate Your Specialized Expertise to Your Niche Market
Once you identified your niche and individualize your services, its time to let your target customers know what makes your construction business different. Here are some ways to establish yourself as the best business to deal with in your niche:
PR and media opportunities
Target channels your target clients often visit and do such things as providing free advice or write a guest editorial on a relevant website.
Attend local conventions and events
Event networking in public is the best way to build your authority while attracting high-quality leads in the process.
Produce high-quality content
Relevant and useful content in the form of articles, blogs, podcasts, infographics, and videos can help build a substantial audience base for your brand.
Many customers these days search the internet for information about companies and their services before they make a decision. By investing in paid search marketing, you will be able to place your brand on the first page of search engines and attract the attention of your target customers much faster.
In order to ensure your success in your area of specialization, you must be able to control the full facets of your construction business operation: job organization, scheduling, asset management, supplier management, procurement, payroll and accounting, etc.
Bizprac enables Australian builders and construction companies to succeed in their chosen niche by providing them with an integrated construction management software for more cost-effective and time-efficient construction operations.