How to get the work you need, part 1 by ProQuest


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									How to get the work
you need, part 1
Tactics, strategies, and tips to help contractors
of all size and shape survive in this economy
By Allan Heydorn

          omeowners are hanging on             And, Gruenberg says, don’t forget       ment Advisory Board member. “I tell
          to their money and paying         to send a follow–up note to that new       him up front that we don’t do every-
          off debt, property managers       e–mail address.                            thing – we don’t do large overlays, for
are on tighter and tighter budgets as          Get the owner out with custom-          example – but I bid it and sub it out
vacancy rates rise, and your business       ers. Owners make an impact, it’s as        to some paving contractors who do
depends on getting prospects in either      simple as that, so in tough economic       good work, and they in turn sub work
or both groups to hire you so you can       times if the owner of the company          to me. They don’t want to crackseal,
maintain or grow your company, keep         can make a solid impression with a         for example, and we don’t want to do
your employees paid, and meet all           prospect, why not get the owner out        large overlays, so it works.”
your financial obligations.                 there making sales calls, giving pre-          Diversify. The financial barrier to
    To help, Pavement Maintenance &         sentations, and glad handing?              entry into many aspects of pavement
Reconstruction contacted a number of           Subcontract. You can subcontract        maintenance is low, so diversifica-
experts to learn some of the steps you      work to other contractors and you can      tion is open to almost all contractors.
can take to get the work you need.          be a subcontractor for other contrac-      Humphrey cautions, however, that
    Rely on your sales files. Con-          tors – and once you start, work often      contractors should know what they
tractors often have files that go back                                                 want to do and why they are adding a
many years, and Brad Humphrey,                                                         service to their business. “You need to
Pinnacle Development Group, says                                                       have a vision,” he says. “If you don’t
contractors frequently “forget” to con-         h           i     how
                                               Share your tips on h to get work k      you’re not going to do a good job at
tact these past customers as the con-
                                               by visiting the Roundabout blog at      it, and if you’re adding a service you
tractor emphasizes new blood. “So                   under the Pavement tab.            need to add it in a quality way.”
look at customers you did work for                                                         But first determine if your market
maybe five or 10 years ago and that                                                    needs the service you want to add.
you haven’t done work for since. Find       flows both directions. “Subcontract-       Humphrey stresses that it’s impor-
out if they’re still in business, confirm   ing provides a give and take,” says        tant the new service enhance and not
the primary contact, and create a new       Nick Howell, T&N Asphalt Services          in any way damage your reputation,
list for your salespeople to work.”         and a member of the Pavement Advi-         so a contractor adding striping, for
    Guy Gruenberg, Grow Consulting,         sory Board. “It can even keep you          example, should research and study
adds that simply by updating your           busy enough not to have to market.”   
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