Scaling Your Construction Business with Professional Estimating
February 9, 2022
The tools and team you need to win more projects
When you are a builder who produces high-quality work, your business will typically grow at a steady pace. You may earn new projects from referrals and owner relationships, but eventually you will reach a point in your company’s strategy where it is time to take a bigger step and scale your business. Whether that means larger projects, an additional revenue stream, or an entirely new market, you can’t scale if you don’t know how to price your work. Estimating is vital in any construction project, but as your projects and team grow larger and more complex, the ability to accurately estimate your material and labor costs must be the number one priority for your business.
Know your customers and competitors
In the construction industry, there is always pricing pressure from global and national economic shifts, but most of your market determinations will happen at a regional level. Paying close attention to your customer budgets, as well as upcoming RFQs in all project types, will help focus your attention on the pricing expectations in your area.
This information also helps to track your competitors and what bids they win. What is the bid price? What is the overall project budget? What is the final cost with labor and materials? This is especially helpful if you share subcontractors or suppliers.
Do what you do best
As a business owner, what is your most useful role? It depends on the size and nature of your company. If you are a small team focused on craftsmanship, your most important role might be in the field, leading your team, training new craftworkers, and executing difficult projects with excellence. The best use of your time may be in a business development role—connecting with clients and building a network. Or maybe you are best suited for a project management role where you manage contracts, change orders, and schedules.
For specific jobs like construction cost estimating, consider how much of your weekly time you spend on the task—from taking measurements, to calling suppliers, to drawing takeoffs, and researching recent price shifts—is there a way do that work more efficiently? If you bring on more projects, will there be enough hours in your day to complete the bids, along with your other responsibilities? In order to scale, you need to have the right tools and the right people.
Use the right tool for the job
The efficiency of scale only works if you also adjust your tools to match the level of work. Imagine there is a manufacturer who goes from producing 10,000 units a day to 500,000 units a day. That owner must upgrade their machinery and technology to match the desired output. The same goes for your construction estimation. A dog-eared paper pricing book may work for a handful of smaller contracts, and a spreadsheet may eventually get the job done, but if you are looking to save time and get real-time accuracy for your projects, then you need a robust estimating software.
Bring in the professionals
If you are ready to scale, here’s your next challenge: Delegate. Once you know the role that’s best for you, and have seen exactly how much time it takes to create an accurate and competitive estimate, there are two options to consider.
Train a team member to use the best construction estimating software. 1build construction estimating software is easy to navigate, and our Customer Success Coaches are included from onboarding through the life of your subscription. Rapid Estimates can be created without architectural plans, or your team can create takeoffs with specific measurements and item counts that connect directly to your estimate and our leading-edge cost database.
Let the 1build Estimator Network handle it for you. Our network of professional estimators can take any size project off your plate and provide a completed estimate in about a week.* All 1build users have access to the Estimator Network and are able to pay per project, so you are never adding more overhead than you need. With a team of professional estimators at your disposal, you can be confident as you go after new projects and even new markets.
*Delivery may vary depending on project size/type
With professional support, you can scale your construction business, grow your team, and add more trucks to your fleet. And with the cost estimating handled, you may even get to take that vacation you’ve been putting off! To learn how 1build can help you scale your business, sign up and get a quote today!
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