If speaking honestly, construction is an industry that has faced its fair share of difficulties and controversy in recent years. The collapse of Carillion, who up until the beginning of 2018 were one of the UK’s biggest construction giants in the game, just further demonstrates how fragile the world of construction can be.
Despite landing huge contracts maintaining prisons, hospitals, military homes and the joint HS2 venture, even Carillion failed to keep its head above water. When the country woke to headlines about the liquidation of the UK's leading construction company, it sent shock-waves through the entire sector, with many construction companies worrying about their own eventual fate.
Construction can be a tough industry to crack, but with the right planning, knowledge and resources at your disposal, your SME should be able to flourish over the coming months and hopefully even years to come. In this blog, Nucleus share tips on how your SME can secure a positive future for decades to come
Embrace the Warm Weather and Prepare Your Business For It
Whilst we all embrace summer in our down time, that cannot always be said about working in the heat, but it is something that no industry can avoid, so it is best to prepare for the influx of hot days ahead. With summertime comes the need to really step up efforts with your construction contracts. The days will grow longer, the temperatures are set to soar and with that follows a workforce that are just that little bit slower, a little more tired and a little less motivated to put in the hard work.
The heightened temperatures might mean that severe weather conditions make an appearance and of course, for construction sites, this can prove to be disastrous. Powerful winds and flooding are two big concerns you need to be prepared for, so if you have big contracts to deliver during the summer months, ensure that your sites are built with those risks in mind. You want to protect your stock, machinery and most importantly, ensure the safety of all the people you hire to work on your sites.
Find Your Workforce with Plenty of Time to Spare
It is vital that your construction projects are adequately supported with the right amount of manpower. As you are likely aware, there is usually a need to hire larger than usual volumes of temporary workers, so plan ahead, hire those who are highly skilled at what they do and offer training to those who need it well in advance of projects starting.
Leaving hiring to the very last minute will likely be a mistake that costs your construction firm more than you’d like to even think about, as a failure to have the right team in place will delay projects and potentially lose your SME money.
Hire as soon as possible to allow enough time to train any new team members. Your business will likely hire a mix of seasoned workers, alongside those who are new to the construction landscape. Workers with heaps of experience and specialised skills will be the first to get snapped up by your competitors, so if you want the best workforce to assist in delivering your projects, starting the hiring and training process early will help you beat your competition to the finish line
Prioritise Equipment and Purchase More If Necessary
Trying to meet deadlines with the wrong equipment is next to impossible and it is undoubtedly one of the main reasons that construction firms fail to deliver. We understand that buying new stock and machinery can be costly, but what you’ll save by completing contracts on time will far outweigh the initial expenditure.
If your business is struggling to find enough working capital to afford the purchase of new equipment, construction finance is a hugely viable option that many construction firms rely on each and every year. In fact, when we surveyed 500 SMEs a few months ago, over a fifth of them said their motivation for applying for finance was to fund an asset purchase.
This commercial funding product can be used to address the various challenges those operating within the construction industry face on a regular basis. Whether you use your business loan to combat late payments, improve your purchasing power, pay your suppliers and even your workforce, our construction finance will help to alleviate your financial woes. For more information on this type of funding, download our construction finance fact sheet.
Schedule Well Ahead of Time
It can be a truly exciting time when project after project roll in and if your construction business has delivered on time and to an exceptional standard, you will no doubt have amassed projects from new clients.
However, in the grand scheme of things, getting the contracts is the easy part – delivering them successfully within the agreed time-frame is where things start to get difficult.
Approach your clients at the earliest convenience to lock down details of each job. Create a detailed schedule for each year and refer to this regularly so you can maintain the right staffing levels required to fulfil all of your SMEs contractual obligations.
For those in construction, surviving the summer months can feel challenging at times but with some forward planning, the right people and the best resources to hand, your SME should be able to successfully navigate the unyielding nature of the construction industry.
For more SME advice and tips, read our related posts below. If you are experiencing cash flow challenges or want to realise your business growth plans, get in touch with our team of Funding Specialists today on 020 7839 9451 or email [email protected]