On this fine March 17th, many of you may parade about in your best green getup, eager for the merry-making to come. But at Graybar, we think contractors should see green all year-round.
If you’re a contractor in search of the mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, there’s no need to follow that sprightly leprechaun. Follow emerging trends instead. Here are a few ideas to help you rake in more green:
1. Capitalize On Emerging Trends
As luck would have it, I came across an interesting article in the EC&M archive: 10 Tips For Growing Your Electrical Business In Lean Times. In this article, David Brown and Sheila Burres of D. Brown Management suggest paying attention to evolving trends to win more business.
Whether you capitalize on the “Green Building” movement or make use of Building Information Modelling (BIM), EC&M suggests that contractors with a shrewd eye for market shifts are one step ahead of the game. For the latest industry happenings, check out my Reflections From The NECA Show.
2. Spin Your Rolodex
To keep growing your business, even during busy times, there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned business development.
The work of a contractor is chaotic. Between wading through paperwork, cutting POs, managing a team—and, at some point, a coffee break—it’s hard to slip away for a few moments to focus on business development. But busy periods end and seasonal lulls come too soon. Contractors who regularly focus on business development have a more sustainable income.
Here are a few easy ways to help win more projects:
- Ask your current customers for referrals
- Share testimonials/case studies from successful projects
- Get back in touch with old acquaintances and colleagues (perhaps over some Irish cheer?)
- Get introduced to companies you’d like to work with
3. Streamline Your Supply Chain
Business development is critical to every contractor’s success. But landing more projects won’t get you far when inefficient operations gobble up profitability.
As businesses grow, so does the complexity of how you get it done. In that kind of environment, every unnecessary process takes another bite out of your piece of the pie. Can you compete if your overhead inflates out of control?
Contractors are savvy business people, hands down. But who has time to become an expert in lean operations and supply-chain deficiencies? You know your business better than anyone, but could your Total Cost of Install (TCI) be creeping up without you even knowing?
Here are a few common supply-chain issues that can hurt contractors:
- Cumbersome, paper-based processes
- Time-wasting material-management practices
- Inefficient ordering that leaves workers waiting for materials and parts to arrive
- Materials and tools walking off the jobsite
- Inefficient bidding processes
How much is a messy supply chain costing you?
To find out, schedule an opportunity walk with Graybar’s continuous Improvement team. Graybar’s supply-chain specialists will take a closer look at your operations and provide a detailed report with recommended “quick wins” and long-term solutions to help lower your Total Cost of Install (TCI).
Opportunity Walks are a popular value-add from Graybar. So be sure to contact us ASAP if you’re interested in scheduling one.
Here’s to your greener future!
Over To You
As National Market Manager at Graybar, Todd’s goal is to find the best products and solutions to help contractors work more efficiently, stay safe on the job, and win more productive and profitable business.