The UK’s construction industry ended 2016 on an unexpected high, experiencing a 1.8 per cent surge in output during December.
Considering economic experts had predicted a growth of only one per cent, it’s a positive sign worth taking note of.
But behind this good news, there’s also a serious warning we can’t afford to ignore.
As the housing crisis continues, the demand for new-build homes is becoming higher, with figures estimating that 270,000 new houses are needed every year.
The problem? The construction industry requires an extra 400,000 workers to be able to meet those targets.
Hopefully we’ll see more government funding to help solve this staff and skills shortage. But until then, what does this news mean for small and medium sized construction companies around the UK?
On the whole, you’re on fairly steady ground.
With the housing demand so high, there’s plenty of work available – you’ve just got to make sure you can successfully take on bigger jobs.
With that in mind, we’re running through a few key changes that’ll improve your business and help you win over lucrative new clients. Take a look.
#1: keeping your equipment in tip-top shape
In order to reassure clients that you’re the only people for the job, you’re going to need proof that your equipment is in fighting shape – especially since it’s not just customers who demand high standards.
There are a bunch of regulations and laws regarding safety you need to follow when it comes to maintenance of equipment. Fail to meet them and, as well as putting your employees in danger, you’ll face profit-destroying fines.
Invest in the likes of lifting equipment inspection software from Motion Software and you’ll be able to quickly create detailed reports on every piece of kit you own. Then you and your clients will have plenty of evidence that your business is fully compliant with all legislation.
#2: look at offsite construction
If you’re struggling with staff shortages and feeling like your team is stretched a little too thin, look at incorporating offsite construction into your business model.
With companies specialising in several different elements of house-building, like manufacturing steel frames, you’ve got plenty of options for outsourcing key tasks.
Partner up with these experts and you can streamline your building process, saving both you and your prospective clients invaluable time.
#3: focus on sustainability
The construction industry doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being green, but with the demand for green housing growing every year, you can’t afford to miss out on eco-conscious clients because they’re unsure about your commitment to sustainability.
Focus on improving your record for being environmentally friendly by reducing waste (reusing and recycling where you can) and swapping to diesel or electric powered vehicles if possible.
When it comes to undertaking work, always source eco-friendly materials and make sure your employees have the correct tools and training to implement energy-efficiency measures in every building.
Don’t just sit back and celebrate the construction industry’s triumphs. Follow our advice and make a few key improvements across your business – you’ll soon be winning over bigger clients and more lucrative projects that’ll make 2017 your most successful one yet.