Can You Counter the Construction Gloom?
A report published by industry lobby group, CITB-Construction Skills, in January made grim reading. It summed up the scale of the continuing downturn in the construction sector over the past 12 months and predicted a ‘decade of pain’ going forward with no significant change in the industry’s fortunes until at least 2022. According to the report, 60,000 construction related jobs were lost last year with output down by 9% thanks to a combination of cuts in public sector spending and low levels of private sector investment. As a result, public sector construction fell by 20%, with infrastructure projects down by 15%, commercial schemes down by 10% and private housing jobs falling by 5%.
While the bad news was tempered by predictions of some recovery in the East of England and Greater London, for the rest of the country, there was no such silver lining, which begs the question: what can construction businesses do to counter the downturn?
Clearly, market conditions are extremely challenging but the fact remains that there are still projects out there; winning them may have become more competitive but a clear focus on the contracts that are available rather than the challenges that lie ahead is definitely the key to success.
So what does that mean in practical terms? Here are our top marketing tips for getting ahead in a challenging market:
- Remain visible – success breeds success so make sure your target market knows you’re active, even if times are leaner than you’d like
- Communicate your proposition clearly – whether you’re all about quality or competing on price if customers understand your proposition it helps them cut down on the legwork
- Know what your market needs and find your niche – you may have a specialism you’re not pushing or experience that you could leverage better: identify it, define it and market it
- Expect to succeed – a negative approach stands on the way of a positive outcome, your business needs to talk the talk convincingly if you are to compete effectively
- Assess successes and failures – if something hasn’t worked why not? If it has, how can you utilise that success to succeed again?