Many contractors experience seasonal downtime regardless of your trade. If you are not taking this time as a well deserved extended vacation, there are several ways to maximize the downtime and set your business up for success once things heat up.
Get your finances in order
There are several things to tackle related to your finances including making sure you are up to date with payments, your clients are up to date with paying you, your expenses have all been accounted for and that you have financing lined up for the upcoming busy seasons.
If you are struggling to get financing for your business or are just looking for an alternative funding source, now is the time to do your research to see what options might be best for you and your business. One you might not be as familiar with is construction factoring. With construction factoring you get immediate funds for your invoices and won’t have to worry about when your clients are going to pay you. Additionally, factoring companies may also help you by paying some of your suppliers, taking another thing off your to do list.
Secure the equipment you will need for your busy seasons
Now is the time to assess the condition of your current equipment and what new pieces you may need for your upcoming jobs. Take the time to research your different options for acquiring the equipment such as making a cash purchase, taking out a loan or leasing. Each option has different pros and cons so make sure you look at everything from how each option impacts your current cash situation, how it will impact your working capital going forward including if you will have to budget for possible maintenance and how each option effects your taxes.
Secure partnerships and build your network
Take the time to make those phone calls that you always put off when you are to busy to different suppliers, subs and others who you could partner with to make things easier and help you grow your business. Since you are not tied to a job site have lunch with someone who might be able to help you land a new job or attend a local networking event.
Get your team in place and sharpen their skills
Your team is your most valuable asset and you can’t get through the busy times without a great group of people you can count on. When things get busy it is easy to make quick decisions on new hires that may or may not work out. While things are slower take the time to make sure you have the right people on your team and if you need to make some changes take the time to thoroughly vet to candidates.
For those team members you really value, including yourself, check out if there are additional skills they can acquire or new certificates they can work towards while things are slow.
Develop a marketing plan
While things are busy it is easy to live in the here and now and not worry where your next job is going to come from. But when things slow down that can easily turn into the only thing you think about. Instead of just worrying about it, use this time to develop a marketing plan that can carry you through the next twelve months and generate enough jobs to keep you busy and help you grow your business. Make sure you consider all options including print, email, online, social media, publications and your website.