Knowing how to differentiate your business from the competition can help you stay busy year-round
Competition is healthy for your business. It not only shows you what others in the construction industry are doing, but it can give you insight into what you could do better.
With an upward swing in new players entering the industry, which means increased construction competition, you may wonder how to differentiate your business and hold your own. Follow these eight tips to differentiate your company from competitors and come out on top.
1. Focus on Your Customer
Because you’re busy juggling a business, monitoring employees, and possibly managing a crew of subcontractors, it’s easy to overlook your customer’s concerns or leave their questions unanswered.
What will it cost?
How long will it take?
Do you offer a warranty?
Do you offer financing?
Build trust by explaining the details of the job in clear and uncomplicated language, and ensuring your staff is knowledgeable in all aspects of the project. Be transparent in your pricing strategy and warranty details.
Respond by text message, phone, email, or social media DM—use the channel each customer prefers. Being attentive and listening to your customer will give them the confidence to trust you with the job and have them reaching out to you again.
2. Step Up Your Marketing Game
Turn customers into fans. Differentiate your business from the competition by creating buzz for your construction company.
Research and target keywords—like construction specialists in your local area—so your contracting business will rank higher in search results.
Send past customers surveys to gauge satisfaction levels. You can easily do this using a tool like SurveyMonkey.
Set up a pro account on Angi and reach millions of customers in your local area.
If you already have an Angi account, showcase customer quotes and testimonials to highlight your expertise.
Add signage to your vehicle and ask your crew to advertise your business during off-hours with T-shirts, bumper stickers, and more.
3. Know Your Competition
Looking closely at your competition online, on a job site or through social media, gives you insight into what others in the industry are doing and why. It’s important to differentiate your services from the competition, so you set yourself apart.
Take note of what your construction competition is doing and do it better.
Maybe your competition is using a new construction material you haven’t yet come across
Perhaps they’re advertising a summer special
They might even be discounting services to past customers to help with retention
Once you identify what your competition is doing, you can focus on your unique selling points:
Reliability: You get the job done on time and on budget
Customer referral program with a discount or cash bonus
First-rate customer service and five-star feedback on sites like Angi
4. Stay Engaged
Construction and remodeling projects have many moving parts. And you have to manage them all in order to complete the job on time, on budget, and to your customer’s satisfaction.
If you hire a subcontractor to install new plumbing in a bathroom, and one week later, there’s a leak, it can reflect poorly on your company.
It can be challenging to be in many places, but doing your best to stay engaged on-site and in the office can instill confidence in your customers.
Here’s how to differentiate your business from the construction competition:
Respond promptly when your customers have a question
Plan an email campaign around your company earning a new award, like a local business award for stellar customer service
If you’re on-site, communicate issues that arise to your customers
Send a personal thank you note to past customers
Create a loyalty program by giving your customers a discount on a future job
Offer outstanding customer service
Create a robust FAQ section on your website
5. Use Badges and Visuals to Showcase Expertise and Certification
Showing off your badges and certifications to the world can build credibility and help you gain customers. If you’ve been awarded or certified on a local or national basis, highlight your accomplishments.
Become Angi certified and post it on your website.
If you win a National Excellence in Construction Award by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), post the badge on your website, in your email signature, and on your social media pages.
Post company safety awards from the ASA (American Subcontractors Association) on all social media.
Display local Chamber of Commerce awards on Facebook, LinkedIn, and your website.
Posting your BBB A+ certification on your website and in emails shows you are operating at or above industry standards.
6. Become a Techy
According to a report by Electri International, there are more than 2,000 technology solutions available to contractors.
Take a look at these tech products and ideas that can set your business apart from the competition:
Use drones to identify shingle or tile damage if you’re a roofer or to create maps, monitor job sites, and track job progress.
Set up cameras to minimize the risk of theft on job sites.
Generate digital representations of buildings to show customers using a company like Building Information Modeling (BIM).
Purchase photographs from aerial photographers to use for measurements and estimates.
Consider using apps like Fieldwire, PlanGrid, Building Calculator, GasBuddy, Procore, and Punch List & Site Audit Report to estimate jobs, monitor progress, calculate costs, and more.
7. Expand Your Network
By networking, you can make new connections and build long-lasting relationships. All it takes is having a purposeful conversation with the right person. You can network while at the gym, in line at the drugstore, while attending a sporting event, or on the job site.
Use these tips to become a networking pro:
Try new social networking tools like Instagram Stories that allow you to post and share multiple photos and videos taken throughout the day.
Host an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit. It can be an excellent opportunity to reach a large audience by answering questions about your expertise and services in real-time.
Sites like LinkedIn can get you in touch with past customers, business associates, and construction groups.
Join local organizations to become your brand’s ambassador.
Partner with a local builder and share marketing channels and costs.
8. Develop Your Own Selling Strategy
Knocking on doors is hard work. It can also take you away from running your business. But sometimes, meeting potential customers face-to-face can positively impact your business, and that’s well worth the effort.
If you don’t particularly like selling, have a top-notch sales presentation that does most of the talking for you.
Here’s an example of what your sales presentation should include:
A short video of a construction job you just completed
A variety of photos showing similar contractor problems and your solutions
Samples of materials you feel best meets the customer’s needs
Other creative ideas might include:
Offer a discount on future work to anyone who refers your company to a friend.
Offer an early spring discount on new gutters.
Every fall, offer a percentage off to winterize homeowners’ attics.
Offer a discount when someone recommends your company on Facebook.
Use YouTube videos to educate homeowners about new construction devices and methods.
Drive traffic to your website or Facebook page by starting a blog on WordPress.
During a slow time of the year, offer a discount to past customers to provide feedback on Angi.
How to Set Yourself Apart From the Competition
There will always be other construction companies in your area vying for work. But offering value and timeliness over the lowest possible cost can turn a hesitant homeowner into a confident customer.
Up your marketing game by creating a pro account on Angi to differentiate your business from your competition, get more leads, and book more jobs today.