Developing New Business in the Construction Industry
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Developing New Business in the Construction Industry

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The last few years have been tough on the construction and real estate industries as construction ...

The last few years have been tough on the construction and real estate industries as construction
projects have been abandoned all over the world, with a high preponderance in the United States.
The economy continues to post high job losses, and though the employment outlook has improved
marginally, the wait-and-see attitude that has permeated the industry is likely to continue, with
recovery continuing at a slow pace.2
Developing Business
But just because “business is slow” doesn’t mean you can’t do something to improve the health of
your business. Innovation and motivation pay off. Construction firms can develop steady flows of
revenue by simultaneously addressing customer service and driving home fast, quality outcomes at
a competitive price.
In addition to actively managing your employees, assets, and ongoing projects, construction
executives need to be able to look to the future—gathering contacts, networking, nurturing potential
business relationships, and seeking additional clients is an important step in building that future.3 One
Phoenix-based construction company, Andale Construction, was able to go from a modest firm to an
organization managing two government projects with an $80 million budget because of the owner’s
determination, desire to learn, and ability to network and find out about opportunities such as those
offered to small businesses certified as “disadvantaged” by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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  • 1. Business Development
  • 2. IntroductionThe last few years have been tough on the construction and real estate industries as construction Products to assist you:projects have been abandoned all over the world, with a high preponderance in the United States.The economy continues to post high job losses, and though the employment outlook has improved Sage ACT!marginally, the wait-and-see attitude that has permeated the industry is likely to continue, with Sage CRMrecovery continuing at a slow pace.2 Sage SalesLogixDeveloping BusinessBut just because “business is slow” doesn’t mean you can’t do something to improve the health ofyour business. Innovation and motivation pay off. Construction firms can develop steady flows ofrevenue by simultaneously addressing customer service and driving home fast, quality outcomes ata competitive price.In addition to actively managing your employees, assets, and ongoing projects, constructionexecutives need to be able to look to the future—gathering contacts, networking, nurturing potentialbusiness relationships, and seeking additional clients is an important step in building that future.3 OnePhoenix-based construction company, Andale Construction, was able to go from a modest firm to anorganization managing two government projects with an $80 million budget because of the owner’sdetermination, desire to learn, and ability to network and find out about opportunities such as thoseoffered to small businesses certified as “disadvantaged” by the U.S. Small Business Administration.3Luis De La Crus, Andale’s owner, was also able to network and find a mentor in a larger constructionfirm. “I call them the big sharks,” De La Cruz says of mentoring company Sundt Construction. “I’m thelittle guppy.” 3Another key to success is having a steady flow of upcoming work, which means it’s important tomaintain a healthy backlog of projects. You need to always be working on acquiring future clientsby using existing projects as an example of the kind of quality you can deliver.4Marketing and Sales Campaigns InConstruction and Real EstateBuilding customer leads is another way to expand your revenue-making capabilities.1 Whetherthrough word-of-mouth or advertising, you need to build your leads and work them through yoursales process.6 Part of this means keeping detailed records of contacts and being persistent inyour pursuit of their business—don’t get discouraged by customer apathy, and consistently andefficiently follow up with everyone. 2Business Development
  • 3. Rather than having a name that could potentially lead to thousands or millions of dollars in revenuesaved on a fragile and easy-to-misplace scrap of paper or on a small business card, input theinformation into a database that will enable your sales team to keep track of the contact. Managingpeople’s contact information will let you follow a lead from when you enter it into a system throughthe estimating and bidding process until they’re a client or customer.Contact data quality and careful management of it on an ongoing basis is key to success in salesand in business. It’s a good idea to make every employee an advocate for the company. However,having multiple promoters each talking to clients and generating leads can result in a number ofmistakes and lack of uniformity in the contact database. Inserting the wrong phone number at thepoint of entry of a potential lead will stop the sale dead in its tracks.Poor data quality costs businesses in the United States up to $600 billion every year, according toresearchers at the Data Warehousing Institute.8Internal data informs many of the decisions organizations make, from developing expansionstrategies to assessing how to pursue or manage a certain customer.8Data quality encompasses all the information a company stores—on its clients, projects, vendors,everything. Managing names, numbers, facts, and figures means a company will be able to keeptrack of all its clients and contact them when it’s time to pitch a sale or follow up on an invoice, inaddition to recalling the data used for estimates, projects, and other operational matters.“Deploying a disciplined approach to managing data as an important corporate asset will betterposition your company to improve the productivity of its information workers and to better serve itscustomers,” Jonathan Geiger of Intelligent Solutions writes in his data quality management report.“This is no longer an option, particularly in today’s competitive and regulatory climate.”8Active Client Relationship ManagementGood Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps you keep track of what leads youhave and notes where they are in the sales process or whether a contact is still in the developmentphase.5 It lets various departments across your company access the information and improvescommunication, and can also serve as a marketing tool. A CRM solution allows everyone to sharedata about clients, vendors, and subcontractors, making any marketing strategies your companylaunches more tailored and thus likelier to succeed.5Great CRM or contact management solutions, such as those offered by Sage (Sage ACT!, SageCRM, Sage SalesLogix), offer marketing tools such as e-marketing services. The software enablesyou to market more efficiently to your leads, and also enables companies to rise above the details toget a more comprehensive view of their clients, by providing users with an organized list of customers,vendors, and subcontractors.9Additionally, users can call up recent emails, social media profiles, and meeting notes, allowingcompany decision makers to quickly access information that drives their development andmarketing efforts.9 Sage ACT! will be integrated with Sage CRE productions in 2012. 3Business Development
  • 4. ConclusionStaying afloat in the construction sector has been no easy feat these past few years, and companiesthat tread water without trying to develop and move their business forward will eventually tire and sinkto the bottom of the pool.Continued survival necessitates exploiting every available resource and actively managing projectsand client contacts. Investing in technology that can boost your efforts to expand the business andits prospects can lead to wider industry recognition, more clients, and ultimately, higher revenues.Sources1.  edley, George. Construction Business Development: Overcome the “Business is Slow” Excuse. (January 2010). Construction H Business Owner. From: http://www.constructionbusinessowner.com/topics/general-management/construction-business- development-overcome-the-business-is-slow-excuse.html2.  robosilo, Ray. Slow Recovery Ahead for the Steel Sector. (March 2011). Construction Executive. From: F http://www.constructionexec.com/Issues/March_2011/Business_Development.aspx3.  nderson, J. Craig. Phoenix construction firm has big payoff for owners. (July 7, 2011). The Arizona Republic. From: A http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/2011/07/07/20110707phoenix-construction-firm-andale.html4.  tone, Michael. Making Every Possession Count. The Construction Marketplace. From: http://www. S theconstructionmarketplace.com/marketing.asp5.  exler, Tina. Customer Relationship Management or CRM Programs. (2009). Marketing Tips for Commercial Construction W Companies. From: http://www.thedirectorofmarketing.com/Construction.html6.  organ, Dick. 10 Marketing Tips for Business Growth. Construction Busines Owner. From: M http://www.constructionbusinessowner.com/topics/sales-/-marketing/10-marketing-tips-for-business-growth.html7. http://gvoss.cox.smu.edu/RelationalCommunication.pdf8.  eiger, Jonathan. Data Quality Management: The Most Critical Initiative You Can Implement. G http://www2.sas.com/proceedings/sugi29/098-29.pdf9.  age ACT! http://www.act.com/Products-and-Services/Sage-ACT-Pro-2011 SSage15195 NW Greenbrier PkwyBeaverton, OR 97006-5701800-628-6583www.SageCRE.com 4©2012 Sage Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Sage, the Sage logos, and the Sage product and servicenames mentioned herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sage Software, Inc., or its affiliatedentities. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 12-02458 07/12