Maximizing Winter Downtime: A Contractors Blueprint for a Flourishing Business

Maximizing Winter Downtime: A Contractors Blueprint for a Flourishing Business

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How contractors and custom home builders can beat winter slowdowns.

As the dog days of summer give way to the crisp air of autumn, many home builders and general contractors start bracing themselves for the challenges of winter construction. Contractors and home builders know that with the plummeting temperatures and potential snowfall, the industry faces many obstacles during the colder months. However, by planning ahead and embracing the opportunities that winter offers, contractors can keep their businesses bustling all year round.

Winter weather presents a myriad of challenges to construction projects especially in the mid-western and northern parts of America where it can get brutally cold and blustery. High winds turn your job site into a disaster area with materials and debris blowing all over the place. Cold rain and snow create ice skating rinks in the smallest of puddles and exposed surfaces. And frozen ground can be as tough as concrete, making digging impossible at best. Plus, your materials can become brittle, frozen, or simply unusable.

Winter’s challenges aren’t just physical. The slowdown means fewer clients and possibly a dip in revenue too. It could mean layoffs for your crew members, or struggles with your vendors, or weeks without pay for yourself. Winter can make or break a contractor.

But, for contractors and custom home builders who embrace the cold, it isn’t just about surviving; it’s about thriving. Planning and a commitment to being agile can help you overcome most of the obstacles winter presents. In fact, it can transform your business into a year-round money maker. Here are just a few ways you can turn the cold and dreary winter forecast into a season to looking forward to.

  • Contractors Have to Plan Like a Pro

    The key to a successful winter construction season for contractors is preparation. Start planning for winter projects during the summer to avoid weather-related delays. Schedule exterior work earlier in the season, and transition to indoor projects as winter sets in. Keep a flexible approach and incentivize your customers to allow you to phase projects completing the exterior work weeks or even months in advance of the interior work.

  • Home Builder Diversification

    Custom home builders can consider offering additional services, such as basement finishing, garage finishing, kitchen and bath remodels, etc. Diversifying your offerings can help maintain a steady stream of clients and revenue during the winter. You could even throw a plow on some of your heavier duty trucks to add a revenue stream. Get creative.

  • Prebuild Components

    If you’re a deck contractor you can purchase wood at this season’s prices and mill standard sized lengths or prebuild benches, landscape holders, rail components and more. This is just one example of how a contractor can save money, stay productive, and keep your crew employed during the winter months.

  • Improving Your Skills and Knowledge

    Winter does not have to mean downtime. You can improve your own skill and knowledge by getting material, manufacturer, or tool certifications. You can take courses through your local builder’s association about codes, laws, or regulations affecting your industry. You can even plan company-wide training to improve the work and knowledge of your employees. All these activities can have a direct effect on the reputation of your company and the amount you can charge for your services in future seasons.

  • Building Relationships

    Maintaining strong relationships with existing clients and networking with other professionals can lead to valuable referrals. Join local networking groups and focus on marketing efforts to keep potential new business flowing in, even during slow periods. You can also create a referral incentive system to employ your past customers to help you find new ones to keep your backlog full.

  • Buy a Fixer Upper

    You have the skills. You have the tools. You have the crew. You’re a custom home builder or contractor… what’s stopping you? Buy a fixer upper you can work on all winter and sell in the spring. This is a great way to produce revenue and keep your crew employed all winter.

  • Take a Break

    Don’t overlook your own health. Sometimes a long and extended break during the hardest of the winter weeks is just what you need to recharge yourself for next spring. Avoid burning out and take some time to pamper yourself.

  • Improve Your Online Game

    How’s your online presence looking? Bit rusty? Don’t sweat it. You have plenty of time to get your online game into shape before the busy season of spring. You may say, “But wait! I’m not a marketing guy nor do I know how to build a website.”

    Here’s our shameless plug…

    That’s where the Builders Brand Schematic comes in. Think of it as a tune-up for your business. We’ll sit with you, have a chat about what you want, and map out a game plan. We’ll fix up your website, make sure your brand looks sharp, and set you up for success online. Imagine this: by spring, not only are you taking on projects you love, but you’re also working with the kind of people you want to have a beer with after the job’s done.

You see winter doesn’t have to be a struggle for home builders or contractors. While it can be challenging, with proper planning and some minor mindset changes winter can be as profitable, busy, and productive as any other season.

So, as winter approaches, gear up, stay prepared, and make the most of the chilly season with these practical tips. Happy building!

Til next time…
CHEERS!
Michael 🙂

P.S. Here are some great ways I can help you grow your business right now:

Contractor’s Success Call: We’ll talk about the concerns you have with your brand and website to see if we’re a good fit to get you moving in the right direction.

Builder’s Brand Schematic: Let’s get started on creating the plan for your new brand and website. When we deliver your plan, you can break ground on your own or hire us as your design-build team to take care of it for you. It’s like hiring an architect for only $595 (NAHB, HBAV, and FABA members receive a $100 discount).

After more than 25 years swinging a hammer helping contractors is near and dear to my heart. I’m here to help.

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Michael Pollaci

Michael Pollaci

I know you are just looking for someone who you can trust. But, how do you know? Truth is you can never know. You have to trust your gut on this.

What makes me different and why should you trust me? Unlike most of the techies in this industry, I started swinging a hammer when I was very young. In the late 70’s I was installing aluminum storm windows with my grandfather in Brooklyn. I knew how to bend aluminum on a brake when I was twelve. I spent my teens and 20’s building decks. I spent my 30’s on a roof or on a pick and pump jacks and my 40’s in some kind of construction management capacity. I have held just about every position possible in construction from residential home improvements to large scale and phased commercial construction.

I left construction in 2007 during the market crash and had to reinvent myself. I have completed approximately 150 websites and or projects in varying industries (mostly contracting) and with varying results. To be perfectly frank, the first website I did for a plumber came out horrible. I did it for $500! The point is, I constantly improved my skill set just as I did in construction – from apprentice using a yankee screwdriver to install storm windows in Brooklyn to a project manager managing multimillion dollar projects in Manhattan.

Simply put. I know your business, your day to day struggles and more importantly, your customers. If you are looking for someone who can talk the talk and understand the lingo. Someone who understands your customers. Someone who has been through the trenches. Someone you can communicate with. I am your guy.

If you are looking for just another flash in the pan or someone who will kowtow to you, move on and save us all some time. I am here to work with serious people and produce real results.

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