As an experienced business coach who services business coaching clients in the building and construction industry, I can say that some builders are making the most of this new grant, and sadly some are not.
Firstly, this grant is Federal (Australia wide) and potentially gives people $25,000 towards building a new home or substantially renovating an existing home. The online application is expected to be available in early August by the Office of State Revenue (for Queensland). Other states will manage their regions. There are criteria and currently, the contract is to be signed between 4th June and 31st December 2020. However, some of us feel it may be extended in some way – let’s hope. Couple this potentially with the First Homeowners Grant and other assistances and this really adds up. For that reason, home buyers or home builders and renovators are already looking at action NOW.
So, if you are a builder, are you ready? Are you making the most of this opportunity?
1. Market Yourself
Some builders are doing this exceedingly well and others haven’t done anything. In today’s strong competitive business world, you cannot wait for a sale to fall in your lap, nor can you sit back and assume business will naturally flow your way. Think of it like surfing. If you fall off the back of the wave, you miss that wave and get left behind. This goes for every industry, including the building and construction industry. You need to be out there proactively marketing your business. The first part of marketing yourself well is ensuring your website reflects the best you and is current, professional and doing its job to get business in the door for you. Whilst I am not a website designer, I do perform website reviews and can connect clients to the right people to get the job done – if a facelift or revamp is needed. I also work with clients to implement a marketing strategy and plan for the next 12 months to ensure greater success.
2. Educate People about the Grant
Be a leader in the industry and promote the grant; interested people will have heard of it, and can go searching for you, but if you provide great info with, of course, excellent branding and easy to locate contact details, you are making it easier for someone to find you. This education gets you seen, and being seen is going to get that phone ringing more.
3. Are you ready to do more business and meet customer expectations?
Some builders I know are flat out and struggling to process contracts. An exceptional problem to have, but they need to quickly get organised and potentially hire more people in order to meet client expectations and not damage their reputation. Just because you are ‘busy’ will not mean that clients don’t have reasonable expectations, want to be kept updated and informed and see things progressing in a timely manner. Have you taken the quieter times to review your systems and processes and ensure everything is on track? Have you got all your marketing material on hand, current and in stock? Nothing worse than you promise a plan or flyer to a prospect and you’re out of stock or prints.
4. Have you planned and forecast cash-flow?
Do you have the cash-flow to do the work? Whilst you may get deposits in and progress payments, there can sometimes be a lag, particularly if third parties (such as a bank) are involved. Ensure you have liquid cash to keep things moving. Please tell me you have budgets in place in your business and that you are all over your costings, take-offs, supplier pricing and other financial factors!
5. Have you planned your workforce and resources?
Secondly, ensure you have the workers. Communicate with your team, even if they are contractors and particularly if things slowed down due to Covid. Don’t assume they will be there when you get busy. If they stopped working, they will very likely have sought work elsewhere and may now be committed elsewhere. Line up all your ducks (aka tradies and workers). Check your gear now also and ensure you have everything, it’s in good condition and maintenance has been done.
This grant was brought out to help you – the Building & Construction industry (and, of course, it will have a flow-on effect and subsequently help those who service this sector), but you have to help the Government to help you.
As a business coach who specialises in service-based businesses – including trade and construction services – I’ve been working with businesses in your industry for more than 30 years. I know the industry, I know it’s frustrations and I know how to help you improve your business. Simply fill out the Contact page or call me on 0411 622 666. I look after clients all around Australia utilising technology to give clients the best value.