Construction is going to slow down. Until experts say that they were actually wrong about their estimations. It’s hard to build and grow a business on shifting sands, and an election year can be a particularly tricky time to do so. Everyone’s waiting to see what happens and then a bunch of people in high-ranking positions may make hasty decisions based on the results. If you have a successful contracting business, you’ll be dealing with this on a regular basis. Here’s how you can make sure that you can weather these storms, even when you don’t know the forecast.
Follow Politics and Legislation
It’s easy to want to separate what is going on in politics because only a portion of it actually trickles down to your business. But you have a stake in the game, no matter what your personal positions happen to be. For example, if the fed raises interest rates, you may notice a cooling of the housing market. This could make a big difference in the way you run your business, particularly if you work in residential construction. Sudden changes to trade laws may affect your supply chain or the prices you pay. Even targeted state legislation like AB-5 is proving to have sweeping effects in a variety of industries, including construction. If you keep your eyes and your ears open for news, at least you won’t be surprised when a bill passes and becomes law.
Diversify Skills and Services
It’s hard to know where the best place to go next will be, especially when experts are trying to predict how the ground will move. When you’re first starting out, you don’t know where you will be next year, much less five years from now. As a way to hedge your bets, you may want to continue developing your skills so that you can offer a wider variety of services. You don’t want to be so spread out that all of your skills are too basic to be in demand, but you also want to avoid specializing too much. Finding the right balance between being an expert in your field and being able to keep your options open will help you pay the bills no matter where the demand is.
Pay Attention to Industry Changes
Watching the industry is just as important as paying attention to politics. Although they often go hand in hand, it’s hard to be sure how broad decisions will affect your business. See what happens to material and labor prices. Follow rises and dips in demand. Have alternatives for your supply chain or subcontractors. Keep in mind that politics changes all the time, and that the industry itself is much older.
Your own understanding of the current situation and flexibility gives you a higher chance of long-term success. Consider the border wall. There’s been a growing market for development on this project in California not long after the idea was introduced. But if the White House changes hands in 2021, these projects may be stalled or abandoned outright.
Practice Risk Management
In a big election year, you’ll often see people hedging their bets. If you’re trying to establish your business, you’ll need to take risks, but you should do it carefully. Investors might hesitate to start large projects when they don’t know what will happen to material prices or the market as a whole. This may lead people to conclude that demand in the construction industry is slowing when it really is the calm before a storm.
To keep your head, you should practice risk management in all of your processes. Minimizing waste and cutting down on the likelihood of failures keeps your business on a sure footing. It also makes you less likely to make reactionary decisions based on the results of an election.
When everyone else is caught off-guard by a big storm, you want to be the one who read the forecast. By paying attention to what’s going on around you, in the industry as well as in politics, you have a better chance of keeping your business afloat for what lies ahead. To discover the benefits of owning your own contracting business, visit CSLS today!