During the cold winter months, construction jobs are often few and far between. This can be especially true if you live in the northern part of the country where the snow and ice storms can make it impossible to even get to the job site. The holiday season also often slows down the number of jobs and the availability of your crew. Add to this that your clients whose fiscal year follows the calendar year and you have the makings of a very slow season for your business.
But just because business is slow doesn’t mean you can’t use this time to get ahead. Here are six things you can do during the slow holiday season to keep your business moving forward.
Expand Your Contractors, Your Expertise, and Your Equipment
Since you’re not juggling multiple projects at once and aren’t needed on the site, you can take this time to review your business and determine where you can make improvements. Research new contractors and compare their offerings to those you’ve been using. Look for new equipment, read reviews of it, and determine if it could fill a need your company has. Also consider taking seminars, reading journals, or even taking a few online courses to improve your expertise in certain areas.
Learning more about things such as budgeting, writing proposals, or using new software can have a lasting impact on your work. You can even use this time to organize your office, file away any paperwork that has stacked up, and review your budget for the spring.
Go to Tradeshows or Conferences
There are always tradeshows or conferences going on somewhere in the U.S. or if you have the budget for it, the world. Attending these conferences is a great place to make new contacts and to learn how to improve your company. You may even meet a small business coach who can answer many of those questions you’ve always had about running your business. Tradeshows allow manufacturers to show off their latest equipment and give you a chance to see it in person (and often in action) before you buy it. The networking you do here can open new doors and present new business opportunities in the future.
If you don’t have to budget or the time to travel to conferences, you may be able to attend a virtual conference. These online discussions include recorded video talks and panel reviews by experts in the field as well as presenting papers you can download. Some even have online conference calls or online chats where you can ask questions or join in the discussion.
Take on Indoor Jobs
Just because you can’t work on constructing new buildings doesn’t mean there’s not work for you. You and your crew can take on remodeling jobs, repairs, and other tasks to keep you busy and keep money flowing into your accounts. If you time it right, you may even complete construction of buildings towards the beginning of November so you can work indoors through the winter.
Increase Your Marketing
While you may not have much work in the winter, warm weather is just around the corner. Now is the time to start lining up jobs for the spring. Take the winter months to improve your marketing, reach out to clients, and even work on your social media presence. This may even help you line up some more interior work for the next few weeks and months.
You can also use this time to improve your company website or write a series of blogs to publish over the course of several months. You can put together your next year’s marketing plan, build new marketing materials, and handle other advertising tasks that you don’t have time to do during the busier months.
Find and Join an Association or Organization
Like any industry, the construction industry has some different professional associations you can join. These associations help you network with other experts, keep up with new technology and changing trends, and more. You may even be able to pick up a few leads from joining one of these organizations. The slower months are the perfect time to learn about what these associations have to offer and explore what they can do for you.
Expand Your Business
If you’ve been thinking about expanding into a new region or have been considering franchising your brand, now’s the time to put together that business plan. You may even want to look at opening a branch of your construction business in an area that doesn’t have such harsh winters to keep work going throughout the year.
Don’t Waste the Winter
While you may not be able to start new construction projects during the winter, there is a lot you can do. The six items on this list are sure to keep you busy and even help you stay profitable while it’s cold outside.