As a contractor, you’ve got to wear plenty of hats. You’re business manager, human resources manager, quality control person and keeper of the budget (just to name a few). Part of the job is knowing how to combine all of these roles to ensure smooth construction project management and happy customers. Poor management means dissatisfied customers, unhappy employees and possibly claims against your company. To avoid these hassles, take a look at our top five tips for smooth construction project management.

1) Be a team player

It sounds obvious, but working well within any kind of team is one of the most important aspects of being a good manager. Doing this starts with good communication between you, the architect/designer, the client, and your team. teammate-15611_1280Ultimately, what it really comes down to is attitude. All the technology or software in the world won’t create a teamwork-friendly environment. Updating everyone working with you on each project’s status at regular intervals helps to create a predictable flow to teamwork and will avoid any potential frustration resulting from lack of understanding.

2) Budget smartly

Arguably the greatest complaint clients seem to have about construction contractors is that they go over budget. If you’ve had to explain a hundred times that this is a normal part of the process, join the growing ranks of other construction companies and contractors who budget for these costs from the beginning.Blog 110416a

Try beginning realistically by adding 10% to the budget for unexpected costs. Explain to your customers that the budget includes this and hopefully, instead of having the “we need more money” conversation, you can have the “we actually finished under budget” conversation at the end of the job. That would make a great change.

3) Take design seriously from the start

Not every contractor is a designer, architect or engineer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep good design in mind on your projects. At the very least, advising clients to consult a professional designer before beginning major work can leave you with a happier client and a more predictable (and on budget) project.blueprint-964629_1280

Doing this can also help you to build trust. A client will feel more comfortable knowing that you’re happy to bring another person or firm into the project and work with them if needed. Without the comfort of trust, client worries can result in slow decision making, cost overruns, and major headaches.

4) Make and refer to a comprehensive list of goals

Most contractors and managers make lists, but making a comprehensive list, incorporating information on the priorities of the client, makes a big difference. Having important project information at your fingertips avoids having to turn to a client with questions about whether they would prefer one feature over another.notes-514998_1280

This can really cut down on the number of phone calls asking questions or requesting updates, and allows you to focus more on what you’re doing, leading to more efficient and better work.

5) Look at the big picture before starting a project

Before beginning any work, make sure you’ve taken a step back to consider all the wider construction implications. This can be anything from how drainage will affect a site, how an addition will affect the structural integrity of a building, or how green technologies might save money on the project.beach-1300823

These considerations can save amazing amounts of time and money in the long run. Because ultimately, having a clear idea of the bigger picture immensely helps with remembering details. Plus, catching a potential disaster before it occurs is a great way to build a good relationship with a client.

 

HOW TO STAY AHEAD OF YOUR COMPETITORS

These days, it’s so important for your website to be up to date, easy to navigate and fast to load. With everything being on the web, your company website should be in the best shape possible to ensure your online prospects turn into leads.

So we’re here to help! This article is going to list improvements you can make on your website right away:

  1. Site loading speed

Apparently it takes just six seconds to win a visitor over with your website, so you don’t want them to be spending most of that time waiting for your site to load! If your website is slow, make sure your images and project photos are optimised to a smaller size – this is the biggest thing that can make a page take longer to load.

  1. Stand out from your competitors

Grab the attention of your visitors with your unique selling points and the benefits that they can get from coming to you. Does your homepage highlight your USPs? It’s vital for your USP to be unique and something that makes you stand out. For example, a building company’s could be “We’re not just the best builders in town, but we’re the only builders who offer a no hassle, money back guarantee on all our work!” instead of something less exciting like “We provide a professional building service at the right cost.”

  1. Make the text font and colour consistent

You shouldn’t have any more than 5 main colours on your website, otherwise it can look untidy and unprofessional. Make sure your site is colour consistent and relevant to your branding. Here’s our website as an example – the font is the same for all headings and we only have a handful of different colours.

 

 

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  1. Proof-read every page

When did you last check your website for spelling and grammar errors? Yes it’s tedious, but there’s nothing worse than poor punctuation and spelling! It’s vital to proof-read everything.

  1. Have a form to request a quote

All websites need a call-to-action, and yours could be for visitors to request a quotation from you. Also make sure it states what you’ll need in order to quote (e.g. a set of plans) and how long it will take. Make sure it includes ‘Where did you hear about us?’ – If you’re a company with different marketing techniques, how will you know which methods are working? Having this question on your contact form will give you an idea.

  1. How does your website look on a mobile?

50% of online searches are done through a mobile/tablet. Is your website mobile friendly? See what it looks like on a mobile and check the layout and navigation is ok.

  1. Testimonials

Having testimonials on your website from your past and current customers makes your company more valid and easier to trust (social proof is a big thing now); it’s better to hear what is good about you from somebody else. So if you don’t have them already, put them on!

  1. Have a gallery

Having a gallery of before and after project photos is an effective way to show your prospects exactly what you can do. Show off your previous work!

  1. Blog posts

Blog posts/articles (that include relevant keywords and phrases) are a great way to drive people to your website via Google and they also show that you’re “in the know” about your industry. Write about things that your prospects and clients will be interested in reading to gain new website visitors!

For example, a builder, ground worker or hard landscaper could have the following titles as blog posts:

  • New ideas for hard landscaping
  • The best ways to remove snow from hilly driveways
  • What to expect from your building contractor