As a construction business owner, it’s important to always be prepared for a financial downturn. The construction industry is notoriously cyclical, so it’s crucial to have a plan in place to stay afloat when economic conditions take a turn for the worse. The Broker outlines some tips on how to recession-proof your construction business:
Reduce Debt and Cut Expenses
One of the first things you should do to prepare for a recession is to reduce your debt and expenses. This will help you free up cash flow that you can use in the face of potential financial hardship. To do this, closely examine your budget and see where you can cut costs. You may need to make some tough choices, but it’s important to be as lean as possible during tough economic times.
Retain the Best Employees
That said, do what you can to keep your employees, particularly your most valuable staff. Layoffs can affect staff morale, and you’ll want to be flush when the economy turns around. To help keep your best and brightest, offer competitive wages and enough work, so they’re not forced to look for other employment opportunities. Keep them happy and engaged, so they stick with your company through thick and thin.
Adapt Your Marketing
The right marketing can help keep businesses afloat by introducing new strategies to their campaign. One approach is focusing on value-based advertising which focuses on long-term goals and customer loyalty instead of price cutting.
CoSchedule points out that social media marketing has become a preferred platform for businesses of all sizes. One idea is to create infographics, which are quite popular due to their visual appeal and clear messages. Infographics offer immense value to businesses as they can capture attention with eye-catching visuals while providing a quick overview on topics or reports, making them ideal for highlighting essential data points in an easy-to-digest format.
Watch Revenue Projections Closely
You’ll also want to closely monitor your revenue projections in anticipation of a recession. This will help you adjust your budget accordingly and ensure that you’re not overspending. Be conservative in your estimates and err on the side of caution. It’s better to have too much money set aside than not enough.
Use Invoicing Software
Invoicing software can be a tremendous help for businesses today. It allows businesses to save time, effort, and money while streamlining the entire invoicing process. The software is capable of significantly reducing errors as it automates certain functions like calculating taxes and discounts, creating reminder emails and tracking customer payments. This software also allows clients to pay you online, and it sends them gentle reminders about overdue payments.
Accurately Estimate Job Costs
Make a point to be more proactive about accurately estimating job costs. This includes materials, labor, overhead, and other associated costs. When you have a clear understanding of all the costs involved in a project, you can price your jobs more effectively and avoid losing money during a slowdown.
Convert to an LLC
Forming a limited liability company, or LLC, provides business owners with many advantages. One key benefit is the increased liability protection for the owner compared to sole proprietorships or general partnerships. It also gives them opportunities to reduce their taxable income through deductions available only to businesses set up this way.
Setting up an LLC also taxes business income at a lower rate than it would be if taxed as personal income. An LLC can provide added credibility and professionalism that customers and other stakeholders may find attractive. If you’re wondering about the registration process in California, there are five steps you’ll need to take to file.
Increase Cash Reserves
Many construction businesses operate on tight margins, making them particularly vulnerable to economic fluctuations. In the event of an economic downturn, such businesses may find themselves struggling to meet financial obligations, which can in turn lead to project delays and cancellations. To protect against this scenario, Factor This! suggests taking steps to boost your cash reserves.
One way to do this is by diversifying your project portfolio, which can help spread the risk of any one project being impacted by an economic downturn. Another approach is to increase prices in anticipation of an economic downturn, which can provide a cushion against any potential decrease in demand.
Join Your Chamber of Commerce
Joining the local chamber of commerce can be an invaluable resource for any business, particularly during a recession. By leveraging the network of member businesses, you can access valuable resources, tips and advice to help you better understand the direction of the economy and make informed decisions on how to best move forward. Additionally, participating in chamber of commerce events and networking opportunities provide your businesses with a platform to increase your visibility amidst economic uncertainty.
While there’s no guarantee that you’ll avoid all financial hardship, taking steps like investing in invoicing software and changing your business structure can help position you to withstand the effects of a recession. And in the event that you come out unscathed, you’ll have better business practices in place to help your company stay strong.
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