Tips for keeping your construction company afloat when business slows in winter
Winter is nearly here, which means cooler weather is on the horizon and business will start slowing down for construction companies in the northern regions of the country.
The winter months don’t have to be a death sentence for construction productivity, however. What can you do to keep your construction business running smoothly during the off-season?
Have A Side Hustle Ready
Winter weather conditions might make it impossible for your company to complete its primary tasks during the colder months, but that doesn’t mean that you need to face a quarter or two without income.
Consider having a side-hustle or two that you can use during the off-season to keep the money coming in. In 2015, one contractor created a side-hustle platform for construction companies and other industry professionals to use when they needed some extra money or a way to support their career during the slow months.
During the off-season, your focus might shift to teaching DIY classes for homeowners who want to take care of their own properties or providing remodeling services that allow your crew to work indoors when there’s a storm raging outside. There are plenty of options if you’re willing to open yourself up to the possibilities.
Visit Trade Shows or Focus on Networking
Trade shows are a great place to learn new skills, network with other professionals and bring in new clients for your own business, but you generally aren’t going to have time to travel to them during the busy season. Take advantage of the slower months and use the opportunity to build your business on a professional level.
Spend some time at local and nationwide trade shows. In addition to being a learning and networking opportunity, it’s also a great way to figure out what your competition is up to — which can give you a leg-up during the next busy season.
Be Prepared for Severe Weather
If you’re planning to work through the off-season, you need to have plans in place to ensure that you’re prepared for severe weather. In this case, extreme cold, wind and rain or snow are all things that you’ll need to be ready to contend with.
Make it a point to stay informed about any incoming weather changes. You can sign up for mobile updates from the National Weather Service. Alternatively, you can download a weather app and sign up for notifications.
Either way, ensure that you’re always prepared for cold of severe winter weather. Staying informed is the best way to protect your employees from harsh winter weather conditions.
Focus on the Business Side of Things
It’s not always easy to pay attention to the paperwork side of things when you’re rushing from one jobsite to the next during the busy season. Once things start to flow down focus on the business side of your construction business.
Go through the data you’ve been collecting for the last year, analyze last year’s goals and set new goals for the coming busy season. If you do any marketing to advertise your business, now is the time to start observing your marketing analytics to see if the money you’ve spent has been effective at bringing in new clients.
The off-season is also a good time to order new supplies for the coming year, since prices will be lower than they would be during the busy season. While you won’t be able to predict all the supplies your company will need come spring, you can stock up on things that you use on a regular basis.
Running a Construction Business in Winter
You won’t be taking on enormous new projects during the off-season, but that doesn’t mean that you need to sit on your hands and do nothing. There are plenty of tasks left for you to do during the winter months, from handling the paperwork to visiting trade shows and running side hustles to supplement your income.
Whatever you’re doing during the off-season, make sure that you and your team are prepared for the harsh weather conditions that will inevitably occur, from extreme cold to blizzards and everything in between. You don’t need to shut down during the off-season — just shift your priorities and you’ll be just fine.
Written by: Holly Welles, BOSS Contributor
Holly Welles is a real estate writer who covers the latest market trends in everything from residential to commercial spaces. She is the editor behind her own blog, The Estate Update, and curates more advice on Twitter.