Construction Business Case Study: How 3 Companies Are Taking Different Approaches to Grow Their Businesses

Construction Business Case Study: How 3 Companies Are Taking Different Approaches to Grow Their Businesses

Over the past couple of weeks I started surveying random businesses in the construction industry to find out how they were holding up in the current state of the economy, and what they were doing that was allowing them to stay afloat while a large number of construction companies have been filing bankrupcty and/or going out of business.   We all know that the economy is having a huge impact on the housing market and building in general.  So why are some companies surviving and others are failing?  This is exactly what I wanted to find out for myself.  So of all the responses that I received, I picked out three very different businesses.   From newly formed to well established, from large company to small office, tech savvy to old school.  Hopefully you can take something away from each of them that will help your business grow (for more information about each company, check out our Featured Business section).   If you have any comments or suggestions for any of these businesses, I am sure they would appreciate the feedback in our comments section.

Elevate Construction LLC

Elevate Construction is a commercial general contractor that specializes in tenant buildouts and bank work, located in Charlotte, NC.  While the management team has been in the industry for years, the company was only formed two years ago, so they are the new guys on the block.  They faced a two sided challenge in that they were trying to break into a well established market, while battling a weak economy at the same time.  

So how do you break into a well established market?  Without competing on price, you have to be innovative and offer something that no one else in the market is offering, which is exactly what they are trying to do.  By staying on the cutting edge of construction techniques and designs, they are starting to penetrate a market where the well-established builders have become complacent.  In addition to offering new design techniques, they are also one of the only companies that I interviewed that are taking advantage of what the internet and email marketing can do for your business.  By publishing blog posts, and emailing all commercial brokers, developers, and architects they are staying in front of their customer base and giving them good content/information at the same time.  With a well-structured email campaign, you can connect with your clients without having to be in pushy.

Suggestions:  While they are doing some really good things to help grow there business, there are always things that could be improved, right?   Since they are new to the market, networking is going to be the key.  Joining as many local organizations and getting in front of the decision makers.  The construction industry is all about relationships and trust, so the only way to really establish that is to get in front of them as often as possible, and let them know what it is that you offer that is different than the rest.

Mulderrig Builders LLC

Mulderrig Builders has been around for 11+ years, and had traditionally specialized in the building of high end custom homes in the Southampton, NY area.  Over the past couple of years, the economy has forced Mulderrig to shift from building custom homes to doing more renovation work.   Even with budgets becoming tighter, and fewer homeowners being willing to spend their extra cash on high end renovations, Mulderrig is still able to get a higher price for their work.

How do you get a higher price for your services in a bad economy?  Through education.  Mulderrig does a great job of educating the homeowner on the different building techniques- high quality versus low quality.  By educating their clients on the differences, it is easier to justify the higher price for their work. An educated client is no longer just looking at the bottom line price when getting bids from other remodelers.  What I really like about their business, is the attention to detail.  They put a strong emphasis on the quality of the work and their reputation, which I don’t think enough companies do these days (they try to increase revenue by cutting corners).  They make sure that they always have someone knowledgeable on-site during working hours who can supervise the work being done and ensure that it is up to their high standards.

Suggestions:  The biggest suggestion I would have for Mulderrig is to get a website up and running!  They are dealing with a high end product, and people will want to see results and proof that their work is worth the price.   It doesn’t even have to be a fancy website, but it should showcase their previous work and offer customer testimonials.  The power of a customer testimonial shouldn’t be under estimated.   With their attention to detail, a showcase of their work should just enhance their business.

A & A Design Build Remodeling

A & A Design Build Remodeling, Inc is a full service remodeling company that does some amazing work (based on the portfolio on their website). They have been in the remodeling business for 20+ years.  They were able to weather some of the economic struggles by downsizing and becoming a leaner, more flexible company. 

What I liked about A & A Design was their marketing strategy.  It was the only company that I found from the survey that was using social media in a construction business.  They have accounts set up for facebook, linkedin, zillow, naymz, twitter, flickr, and youtube which is how consumers are finding businesses these days.   If you want to see some staggering facts, watch the video on the main page titled Social Revolution.   They also do a great job of networking.  Taking advantage of the connections that organizations like NAHB and NARI can provide.

Suggestions:  There are a couple of things that I would suggest from a marketing standpoint for A & A Design.  Their work looks amazing on their website, but they don’t have any customer feedback to testify to it.  I mentioned it before, but customer testimonials are extremely important, especially in an industry like construction where there are as many shady companies as there are reputable ones.  I also noticed on their blog that they are connected with social media, but don’t really know how to use them.   I am going to do a special blog post that will hopefully help them with this problem. 

While these are not in-depth studies of each company, I just wanted to highlight some of the main points that made them stand out from what other companies are doing.  Even if these companies are in different segments of the construction industry, you can still apply the same strategies to any of their businesses to help them grow.   Stay tuned for my next post on how to effectively use social media for your construction business.

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