9 Ways To Grow Your Contracting Business In a Slow Season

If you’re a contracting business, you usually expect the amount of work you receive to dip when the temperatures get colder. 

Slow seasons can be especially bad for workers located in the northern part of the country, where snow and ice storms can delay projects until warmer weather returns. With the proper planning, your business can actually grow during the slow season.

Here are our tips to help make a slow holiday season more productive for your business.

1. Consider moving your operations inside

Instead of focusing on strictly exterior projects like siding, windows, and roofing, your contracting business can offer indoor services instead. Consider expanding to projects like remodeling kitchens, baths or basements or flooring. 

Even if these jobs aren’t your specialty, winter is the perfect time to begin growing your business in areas inside the home or even consider shopping jobs to subcontractors. 

Temperature drops shouldn’t mean your cash-flow should drop too.

2. Evaluate the legal aspects of your work

evaluate the legal aspects of your work

As a contracting business, you should take the time to review your legal options for the terms of your contracts. 

It’s essential to keep accurate details like whether there’s a bond that you can reference if you don’t get paid, what your lien rights are or what the filing deadlines in the jurisdiction where your project is located.

Things to consider when you negotiate a new contract could be: 

The better prepared you are legally going into a downturn, the more likely you are to survive it.

3. Chat with customers about their experience

It’s much easier to keep your current customers happy than it is to find new customers. Take the time to reconnect with your existing customers so you can fully understand why and how they found you. 

Your existing customers already have a connection with you and are more likely to give constructive feedback you can use to improve your operations. Online reviews, in particular, can help with your business reputation and garner useful feedback to tailor your business projects for the coming season. 

If you can find out what other jobs your customers have projected in the future, you can better adjust your sales or product strategy to fit their needs.

4. Evaluate your internal operations

evaluate your internal operations

A slower season means you have more time to review your contracting business to determine where you can make improvements. 

Part of facilitating growth is auditing your current practices to determine whether you can improve existing strategies. For example, you can research new contractors and compare their offerings to those you’ve been using.

Maybe search for new equipment, read reviews of it, and determine if it could fill a need your company has. A great way to learn new industry best practices is by attending seminars or even taking a few online courses to improve your expertise in certain areas.

5. Attend tradeshows or conferences

Industry-specific tradeshows or conferences are happening year-round in the U.S. and – depending on your budget – around the world. If you haven’t already done so, attending these conferences is a great way to meet potential clients while learning the newest industry practices. 

Networking at these conferences is key and can open up new doors and business opportunities for your business in the future. Manufacturers at these shows can show off their latest equipment and give people a chance to see it in person (and in action) before they buy it.

For those with smaller budgets or time, virtual conferences have become more popular in the last couple of years. These include recorded video talks, panel reviews and online discussions by experts in the field that you can download and read on your own. A select few conferences even allow you to ask questions or join a discussion live.

6. Make yourself available 24/7

24-7 availability

Our internal data showed that homeowners are 20% more likely to start chats and 12.76% more likely to convert at night than during the day.

Customer success should always be top of mind when you are considering how to grow your business. The happier your existing customers are with your services, the more likely they are to refer you to their friends and family online and in-person.

Nowadays, prospective customers want to talk to actual human beings, not robots, during normal business hours. While it may seem like a lot to have someone handle the phone all day, you don’t want to lose potential customers to your competitors because you didn’t pick up the phone.

Consider using our live chat services for your business and start converting more quality leads on your website.

7. Market your business better

Marketing campaigns should assist your business in securing more profitable projects while keeping your current customer base happy. 

A large part of marketing strategies utilizes your online social presence to drive engagement. 

Your marketing efforts should include interacting with your target audience through social media, email campaigns, blog posts, video content and more. 

Many businesses purchase online advertising on social platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and more. Through these mediums, you can demonstrate how your business can solve your audience’s problems.

Another avenue to explore is marketing your business locally. For example, listing your local business phone number, address and operating hours online will increase your searchability by prospective clients. Online reviews play a huge role in how reputable your business seems to new clients.

You can also attend in-person community meetings or provide insight in your local newspaper forums. Don’t be afraid to reach out and provide insight, the more proactive the better!

8. Assess your competition

There will always be competition vying for the same customers in any industry you operate in. 

You can minimize the grind of a slow season by analyzing how your competitors are serving their customers. Study their internet presence, partners, prices or customer reviews.

Your competitors may be doing something extremely well or extremely poorly that you can take advantage of in your contracting business. Pay attention to the details and keep tabs on businesses in your space, you can always learn something new to capitalize on the market.

Additionally, have you considered opening up a branch of your construction business in an area that doesn’t experience harsh winters?

Winter months are a good time to strategize about expanding into a new region or franchising your brand. 

Have you considered opening up a branch of your construction business in an area that doesn’t experience harsh winters?

9. Focus on your ROI

Most expenditures for your business should deliver a measurable return on investment (ROI). As an owner, you have a set number of opportunities based on the resources at your disposal. The best way to utilize a limited budget is by investing in providing good customer service for your existing customers.

For example, investing in an affordable live chat channel can help bring new projects to your business through your website. You can also adopt a customer success program for your business to help you retain and gain new customers over time. 

Make the most of the winter

Even if there are fewer new construction projects during the winter, these nine items will keep your business busy and prepared to stay profitable during the next slow season.