A Niche Can Help You Survive Challenging Times

A Niche Can Help You Survive Challenging Times

If you’ve been involved in the construction industry for any length of time, you know it’s a career field full of peaks and valleys. This particular valley is quite a bit worse than most and it may take a while to climb a peak again, but the valleys of 1980-1982 and 1989-1991 weren’t exactly walks in the park either. However, sooner or later the industry will climb out of this deep valley and conditions will start to become good once again. How much they’ll improve and how long the good times might last is anyone’s guess, but one thing you can count on – sooner or later another valley will come along.

So how can a construction professional or company navigate the valleys while waiting to climb the next peak? The best piece of advice might be to save lots of money during the good times. Many small business and even some larger ones go out of business during the down times because they operated as if the construction boom times would last forever. There are also many unemployed career construction professionals who wish they had put away a little more of their good salaries and bonuses during the gangbuster days of 1996-2005. That’s water under the bridge at this point, but might be something to keep in mind for the future.

The other consideration for surviving challenging economic times might be to develop a niche for your services. If you’re a homebuilder, your company is competing for business with many other homebuilders starved for customers right now. However, if your company develops a reputation as a homebuilder specializing in energy efficient construction, design build capabilities, or historic reproductions, then you may have shortened the playing field somewhat.

The same concept holds true if you work in home improvement. Develop a reputation as the company to use for kitchen design and remodeling or old house restorations and you’re not competing with every contractor with a home improvement sign on the side of their pickup truck. If you’re a construction professional, earn a LEED certification or a security clearance and you may never be out of work – even during the extreme depths of the valleys. Building green is here to stay and government contractors are always looking for construction professionals who can work in secure areas.

If you plan to make the construction industry your career, the peaks can be memorable and rewarding, but remember that sooner or later the next valley will appear on the horizon – it’s good to be prepared before it arrives.

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Posted on Aug 08, 2011 by admin | Posted in Construction Business Plans, Construction Management

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