Building relationships and partnerships that take your business to the next level
A new year means new opportunities, and as the construction industry grows, your business can grow too. Once you have all your tools and systems in place, the best way to start scaling is to make sure you are connected to the right people in your industry—from fellow construction companies to potential clients and partners. Winning bids isn’t all about having the lowest price. Your relationships with contractors and clients will set your business up for positive reviews and referrals.
We have pulled together six ways that you learn how to network in construction, so you’ll be ready for meetings, conferences, and online conversations in 2022.
- Know what problem you solve
- Use the right tools
- Make the most of events
- Prioritize people over transactions
- Stay connected
- Keep it creative
Know what problem you solve
Maybe you have your elevator pitch perfected, but are you ready to share about the value you bring? The best way to connect with a new colleague is to listen well and share about how your business is creating a solution that intersects with a problem they may have. Take time to think through common problems that may come up in conversation and the unique way your team is addressing each one.
Use the right tools
Just like on any project site, good tools make the work possible. Depending on where you are connecting with people, you may need a traditional business card or a digital version. Make sure you are ready with photos of completed projects to share your best work. You may even put together a booklet or PDF that showcases your approach, team, pricing, and past clients. And if you want to share a recent estimate, 1build’s easy sharing feature gives you a quick link that anyone can open, whether they have a 1build account or not.
Make the most of events
Conferences and trade shows are coming back, whether it is business specific, like the Color World Housepainting conference, trade specific, like World of Concrete, or industry-wide, like the AGC Convention. Set goals for networking events, such as planning one in-person event and one virtual event each quarter. Do research with your team ahead of the event to see who will be attending, and what possible connections you can make that relate to upcoming projects in your sector.
Prioritize people over transactions
When you are at an in-person event, you will also want to leave space for spontaneous conversations, especially with that person who may be standing toward the edge of the room. Let your personality shine and remember that genuine connections aren’t all about business. Talk about what motivates you, like family or hobbies. You may even make a friend!
What does networking look like for contractors? “My number one piece of networking advice is always find ways to be helpful and useful for others before you look to gain personally from networking,” says Anuj Kommadreddy, 1build Chief of Staff. “Doing that will lead to success and opportunity for you, as well.”
After an event, organize your new contacts and make a plan to keep the connection going. A quick email follow-up is an easy way to move the conversation forward, but you may also reach out to schedule coffee or lunch with a local colleague. Also lean in to social media tools like LinkedIn or Facebook groups to expand your network beyond just one connection.
Keep it creative
Industry networking doesn’t have to be boring! Use your creativity to ensure new contacts remember you and your business. A branded gift box with personalized items, a 3-D print of their most recent project, or an interesting video will keep your name in conversations. And don’t be afraid to be a cheerleader for recent connections—referring their business in other conversations or social media posts will show that you understand and appreciate their value.
Now that you have taken the next step with your networking, you are ready to make sure your pricing and estimates are on point! Sign up for 1build today so you can win more bids faster, and grow your business in 2022.