From supply chain disruptions to scheduling and resourcing delays, the last year was rife with obstacles for industrial sector businesses. As we close out the first quarter of the new year, the outlook is much rosier. With the global economy beginning to rebound, construction companies and others in the industrial sector find themselves in an ideal situation for acquiring new prospects.
Opportunity knocks, but is your company prepared to answer? Make sure these five, must-have building blocks are part of your strategy to maximise your growth efforts.
Building Block #1: Improving Marketing and Sales
Now is the best time to increase your brand’s visibility in the marketplace. Some companies were not fortunate enough to survive the turbulent times in 2020. For those who muscled through and emerged on the other side ready to continue the fight, securing customer leads is the first step in the “survive and thrive” process. This is where good marketing and sales strategies come into play. If your organisation is not working with a marketing and communications professional, it needs to correct that oversight quickly.
Launching an aggressive marketing campaign can give you an edge over competitors in the marketplace. Akin to putting out an “open for business” sign, the right advertising and sales strategies let prospective clients know you are ready and willing to meet their needs. A good brand website is still your number-one resource for getting noticed by your preferred clientele. Around 85 per cent of consumers conduct online research before consider doing business with a company. If your company is lacking a website, it can hurt your chances of being selected.
Google My Business is also a handy tool. In addition to running standard Google Search and Display ads, it is an extra digital layer to help prospective clients find your business. The next time someone searches for “construction company near me” or “engineering consultant near me,” Google will generate your business listing as a potential match.
These are not the only marketing and sales approaches industrial sector businesses can use to get noticed. Working with a professional is the best way to target and deploy the best method.
Building Block #2: Competing for Government Contracts
Government contracts are a lucrative option, especially during times of economic recovery. To counter the havoc COVID-19 unleashed in 2020, the Australian government launched an initiative focused on infrastructure to stimulate the national economy. In June 2020, the government authorised the fast-tracking of 15 infrastructure projects worth AUD72 billion. The contracts are expected to support more than 60,000 direct and indirect jobs. Including government contracting in your business offerings is a great way to capitalise on the extra money the government is pouring into the economy. There is a lot of work involved and plenty of rules to follow with bidding on government contracts. Landing a profitable government contract makes it worth the extra effort.
Building Block #3: Picking Up Unfulfilled Contracts
Government contracts are one aspect of expanding your customer base. Seeking out and picking up unfulfilled contracts is another option. Sometimes other contractors drop the ball on a project and fail to deliver as promised. When that happens, unfinished business can leave customers frustrated. If your company is prepared to swoop in and rescue the project, it can lead to lasting relationships with clients who will refer you to others and consider contracting with you again for future needs.
Building Block #4: Reconnect and Strengthen Your Network
Word of mouth and customer referrals are the number-one source of new business for companies in the industrial sector. Networking is one of the best ways to improve your visibility with new customers. How do you do it effectively? Reconnecting with current and previous clients is one of the most effective ways. If it has been a while since a client has worked with your company, it is likely they have forgotten about the interaction. Giving them a gentle nudge to remind them you are still in business is a valuable tool in getting their word-of-mouth working. It also is a reliable way to learn about potential projects in the pipeline so you can get in on the bidding process.
Building Block #5: Plan Ahead
If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it's the need to be ready for any crisis. A solid strategy for sustainable growth includes planning ahead. Global pandemics are an extreme example of the kinds of crises the industrial sector may face moving forward. They are not the only crisis scenario that can interrupt construction, engineering, and manufacturing sector businesses. Other situations can include:
- A natural disaster like a tornado, earthquake, or flood can strike at any time and compromise your offices, warehouses, and vital equipment
- A technology crash of your major operating systems or supporting software for equipment necessary for running your daily business
Businesses that are proactive in managing crisis situations as opposed to reactive are more likely to build trust and loyalty with customers. Organisations that anticipate the “what ifs” and plan for them accordingly not only boost customer confidence, but they also ensure their own survival. Some situations are difficult to plan for in advance. However, actively monitoring for potential threats can help reduce their impact.
Opening the door when opportunity knocks
Do not miss out on the prospect for growth the industrial sector is reaping in 2021 and beyond. Commit to a sustainable growth strategy that not only anticipates opportunity knocking but that also has a welcome mat to roll out once it arrives.