Mistakes can be costly for growing construction businesses, here are seven you need to avoid if you want to grow your business.

One of the biggest costs a small construction company can face is reworking and conflict resolution costs. In fact, it’s estimated that here in the US, these costs are over $177 billion every year. From having to purchase new materials to sending your crew back on-site, these costs aren’t just hard on your bottom line. It can also cost your business reputation, team morale, and credibility as a professional.

So, what are the most common mistakes that a growing construction company can make? And how can you avoid them? Explore our guide to find out. 

1. Being unclear about what services you offer 

When you’ve got a brand-new client and an exciting project on the table, it can be easy to overpromise. And even when you don’t, clients can make assumptions. So it’s essential to be clear about what you can offer and what you can’t. 

It can help to create a written plan for clients to review about what will happen on the project.

With details like whether you will remove debris if there’s a charge for this, or whether the client will need to manage this. As well as what will happen in unforeseen circumstances, such as bad weather or a staffing issue. 

It’s also important to be clear on your website about the services you offer and get a clear understanding from a potential client at the start of the sales process.

2. Not focusing on customer service 

With 97% of customers stating that reviews impact their decision to purchase, it’s essential to take customer service seriously. Many customers now expect the construction companies they partner with to take the time to talk them through any concerns they may have, as well as be available for check-in calls. Plus, customers who experience good customer service will spend 67% more on their second experience. 

So, how can you deliver five-star customer service? 

  • Show up when you say you will 
  • Make sure you always answer calls, even if it’s just a message being taken (and by a person, not voicemail)
  • Train your whole team on how to interact with your customers. 

3. Jumping into projects without a clear strategy  

The more you expand your business and take on new projects, the more likely it is that mistakes can happen. It’s easy to double-book a project or forget to check a permit, but these construction mistakes can be costly. 

With this in mind, it’s worth taking the time to review your processes. Look at how you currently schedule and manage appointments as well as preparing specific strategies for tackling larger projects. 

4. Not obtaining the correct paperwork or certifications for all of your crew 

While certifications vary from state to state, it’s essential to obtain all of the correct licenses you require. From your business license to your general contractor license, clients will expect to see qualifications or, in some states, evidence that you’re registered with the state contractors’ board or the local department of labor. Not only is this essential for your customers to see you as a professional and for you to continue booking projects, but in some cases, you can actually face penalization or jail time if you don’t comply. 

5. Not prioritizing health and safety training 

You and your crew’s safety should be your top priority on any job. Without having proper measures in place your crew could be in danger. In addition to regular training, it’s important to remember that construction protocols and requirements often change. So updating your team on any changes to the procedure is essential. You should also lead by example and highlight things like staying hydrated on a project, leaving your phone in your truck or pocket and communicating with your coworkers. 

It can also be worth training your team in basic first aid and CPR. Accidents can happen in the workplace, but if your team is trained in what to do when mistakes happen, you can reduce the chances of anything serious happening.

6. Overestimating or underestimating costs

It can be hard to estimate how profitable a project will be. However, it’s important to review previous work and develop an understanding of which jobs are likely to make you and your construction business money and which jobs won’t. For small home contractors, it can be easy to offer lower prices to secure a competitive advantage, but this can result in you losing money. 

On the other hand, overestimating the cost of a job can see you losing valuable clients and opportunities. 

With this in mind, it’s essential to qualify every job in detail. This will allow you to be better prepared to research materials, check back on comparable projects and, most importantly, quote your client the most accurate cost.

7. Hiring the wrong people for your construction business

When it comes to hiring candidates for your small construction business, it can be easy to move too fast. Especially if your business is busy. But, taking the time to properly vet each candidate and picking someone with the correct skills can reduce long-term costs, improve team morale and diversify your team. 

So, how do you find the right person for your construction company? Look for candidates with diverse experience or someone with specific skills that can allow your business to take on new projects. You should also seek someone with genuine enthusiasm and passion. 

Once you’ve hired the right person, it’s also essential for you to train them, no matter their experience. Remind them of the safety procedures and requirements you follow, your expectations for customer interactions—even small ones—and how you work as a team. This means that you can feel reassured that no matter the situation, whoever is representing your business will be someone you can trust. 

Turn short-term success into long-term growth.

If you’re a growing construction business, then you know how important it is to respond to every opportunity. But the question is how you do that. Check out our additional resources to learn how to respond to every opportunity and build the foundations for long-term sustainable growth.