Many construction companies seek to expand their firm into a particular niche now or in the future. Whether you want to diversify your operations, increase your client pool, or you’re just looking to diversify, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here is what you should know to develop a new niche for your construction firm.
From Private to Public
One of the biggest challenges in construction is transitioning from the private sector to the public sector. Before you make the leap, research compliance issues. Public projects often have different wage requirements and compliance costs than private work. You also have to jump through more hoops when working in the public sector and invoices usually take longer to process. A larger percentage of public projects tend to be hard bid. In general, public projects are less profitable. Without understanding these added expenses, you risk making your business less profitable.
Don’t Underestimate the Learning Phase
Anytime you enter a new niche, no matter what the area is, there is always a learning curve. Every niche has its own set of idiosyncrasies to learn. You will likely need to learn new skills and procedures, as well as new building codes and standards. All of this takes time. Don’t try to rush the process. You want to make sure you deliver the same quality you built your company’s reputation on.
Target Your Communication
When you developing a new niche, you have to adjust your marketing and communication strategy. You want to clearly communicate what your expertise is throughout your website and social media pages, and make sure the right people are seeing it. Use terminology and keywords relevant to the niche so clients have an easy way of finding you.
Seek out Advisors and Experts
Whenever you venture out of your comfort zone, it is a great idea to talk to an expert. While you may have trouble getting rival companies to give you authentic advice, there are plenty of experts who aren’t your direct competitors who you will likely find are willing to help. It’s important to find the strongest candidate in the niche to ensure you have the foundation to build the right team. This individual can then be the face of the new niche. A stronger hire should enable you to get up and running quicker, give new potential clients more confidence to give you a try, and more importantly give you a much better chance of ending up with a successful project. . As a result, you may have to overpay a little, but the $10K or $20K in salary can mean the difference between success or failure. From expert recruiters to consultants, to contractors outside of your region, there are many experts out there who can give you insights into the nuances of the niche you want to expand into.
Branching into a new construction niche can open all kinds of doors for your company, but it is not a decision you should make lightly. Take the time to research the differences between your current niche and the new niche, so you understand the risks and challenges you might contend with. As an expert recruiter in commercial construction, I’d be happy to consult with your firm about developing a new niche if that is something you are considering. Feel free to contact me directly with any questions – (248) 647-7766 x 1900.
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