Construction is a highly competitive industry and winning clients is no easy feat. In this guide, we share 7 effective strategies to attract and retain clients for your construction business.
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Not having a steady flow of customers coming through the door can create several problems for your construction business. For instance, you could have long gaps without work, leading to cash flow problems. It might also make your company look unreliable or problematic, pushing potential clients to competing firms.
You must have a clear strategy in place to attract and retain clients in this highly competitive industry. However, many construction companies don’t have dedicated sales and marketing experts—and business owners and company leaders don’t know where to start.
That’s why we’ve created this handy guide on how to get clients for construction businesses. We share 7 strategies that can help increase your client base today and make you the company of choice for future clients.
- A clear and well-thought-out strategy is key to winning clients in the competitive construction industry.
- Establish a strong online and physical presence and use paid advertising so clients think of you for their next construction job.
- Networking and referrals are effective ways to get clients through industry peers, previous clients workers, and subcontractors.
- Using technology to run your construction business leads to a smooth and positive client experience, encouraging repeat business and word-of-mouth promotion.
7 Ways To Get Clients for Your Construction Business
Here are 7 simple and effective ways to attract and retain customers for construction companies.
Build an online presence
In today’s digital age, establishing a strong online presence is essential to gaining customers and growing your business. Here’s how.
Create a company website
Create a professional and user-friendly website that provides more information about your business. Highlight your core services and share key information like pricing and key contacts.
Additionally, showcase your portfolio of past projects. For example, if you work on industrial or commercial projects, share pictures and information about the specific manufacturing plants, factories, and office spaces you’ve worked on.
Including high-quality images alongside detailed descriptions will help customers understand your capabilities and craftsmanship. Also, consider adding customer testimonials, awards you’ve received, and company milestones to further build trust and credibility with prospects.
Set up a Google Business Profile
Creating a Google Business Profile (GBP) helps establish credibility and attract more customers to your website. It ensures your business appears in local search results when potential clients search for construction services in your area.
You can also provide business hours and contact information so clients can easily reach out without needing to visit your website. Further, your GBP integrates with Google Maps so customers can see and visit your office location—if you have one. Finally, prospects can read reviews, see images of your work, and open your website directly from your GBP.
💡 Pro Tip:
Use an SEO (search engine optimization) expert to use relevant keywords, meta tags, and blog posts that improve your website’s and Google profile’s ranking on search engines. This way, potential customers will see your business appear at the top when they search for the construction services you provide.
Engage prospects through an effective social media marketing strategy
Current generations of customers often use social media to find products and services. So, you should build a social media presence and engage customers directly via platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more.
Use these platforms to share visually appealing content, such as pictures of your previous work or work that inspires you. Further, consider adding short-form videos showing behind-the-scenes snippets of works in progress. This shows customers the human side of your business and helps them connect with your company.
Finally, share industry insights and the latest market news—both good and bad—with customers on your website and social media pages. This form of content marketing helps build trust and encourages customers to share your content with others.
🧠 Did You Know?
You don’t need to hire expensive photographers and videographers to collect footage of your construction projects. Simply ask your workers to share real-time photos and videos of their projects and progress with you using Connecteam’s online team chat—and use the best ones for your social media pages.
Stay in touch with potential customers through regular emails. Send newsletters, project updates, promotions, and holiday messages. This keeps you at the top of their minds.
Most people today read a company’s online reviews before deciding to work with them. It’s no different in construction. Actively encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews for your company on platforms like Google, Yelp, and industry-specific sites.
Further, ensure you respond to your negative reviews—showing current and future customers that you’re open to feedback and always looking to improve your work. This helps build a sense of transparency between you and your customers.
Build a physical presence
Most clients in the construction industry will look for contractors and project managers in their locations. This is why you must build a physical presence in the areas and communities you want to work.
Here are some ways to build a strong physical presence.
Install professional and eye-catching signage at your construction sites. This could be your company’s logo, contact details, tagline, or any other short content that helps to build brand recall with customers. This means that when a passerby or potential client next wants a construction job, they remember your signage and think of you.
Place your company name, logo, contact information, and a brief description of your services on your company vehicles. This mobile advertising can increase visibility as your vehicle moves around the local area and job sites.
Consider creating a uniform with your logo for all your construction workers to wear. It shows professionalism and helps customers see your company name. Ensure that the uniform itself meets Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, including rules about outfit materials, colors, and the use of helmets.
Open houses and tours
If the owners agree, host open houses or offer guided tours of your current or completed projects. This provides potential clients with a firsthand look at your work. It also allows you to meet and interact with them in person.
Parade of Homes events
If you specialize in residential projects or you’re a renovation and remodeling business, consider participating in a Parade of Homes. Homeowners Associations and other industry groups typically organize these events for construction professionals to showcase their work.
You can model homes, recent renovation projects, and other work that demonstrates your company’s craftsmanship, design, and capabilities. This is a great way to build brand exposure, network with industry peers, and attract potential clients.
Many clients like to support local businesses, especially those who give back to the community. Consider sponsoring events, participating in charity projects, and supporting other local initiatives. This is a great way to help the local community while gaining visibility among customers.
Building and maintaining relationships with relevant individuals is one of the best tactics when finding clients for your business. Here are some networking strategies to use.
Know thy neighbors
Construction projects take a while, giving you ample opportunity to get to know nearby homeowners or businesses that operate near your job site. You can introduce yourself, leave them one of your business cards, and tell them to contact you if they ever need your services.
This is also a good way to showcase your work since those near your site will see your team’s work quality, efficiency, and progress in real time.
Network with local businesses and suppliers
Attend local business events such as chamber of commerce meetings and community business breakfasts. This is a good way to get to know people from other businesses and find opportunities for jobs and even collaboration.
Additionally, form good relationships with local suppliers, architects, engineers, designers, and so on. Set up regular meetings and stay in touch with them.
When people use suppliers repeatedly for various construction projects, they build a sense of trust with them. It’s not uncommon for people to ask their trusted suppliers for recommendations when other needs arise—for instance, construction-related work.
Similarly, recommend your local partners to others. They may return the favor.
Attend industry events and trade shows
Participate in local and national construction industry gatherings, exhibitions, and trade shows. These are great places to meet potential clients, suppliers, and other members of the industry. This is also an effective way to build networks in other markets that you want to consider expanding into.
Spruce up your knowledge and expertise before attending events so you can speak knowledgeably and make a good impression.
Join construction associations
Become a member of relevant construction and real estate associations—for example, the Associated General Contractors of America. Attend meetings, seminars, webinars, and events to connect with industry insiders.
If you can, host a few sessions to showcase your drive and level of expertise, building credibility with construction professionals, architects, real estate agents, suppliers, and others who may use or recommend you for projects.
Nurture existing relationships
Networking doesn’t mean you build relationships in the short term just to get something. You need to nurture and maintain long-term relationships with current and previous customers and industry contacts—especially ones you’ve worked with—providing mutual support to each other.
For example, check in with customers regularly, even when projects are complete. For instance, you might check if they’re satisfied with the work. Or, invite them to your office for a coffee and informal catch-up. Maintaining these relationships helps secure repeat business and referrals.
🧠 Did You Know?
Connecteam’s company directory is a great place to quickly store contact details for individuals you meet at conferences, trade shows, and other industry events. This way, your work and personal contacts remain separate. Plus, you can easily follow up with people after your meetings.
Bid for the customers you want
One approach to getting clients involves finding and bidding on construction projects. Bidding is the process where contractors submit competitive offers to win a contract. It’s commonly required for projects like government-funded infrastructure developments, commercial building constructions, and large-scale residential complexes.
Identify projects you want to bid on using the below strategies.
- Public agencies: Government agencies, municipalities, and other public organizations often publish requests for proposals (RFPs) or invitations to bid (ITBs) on their websites. If you’re open to working with customers from the public sector or are particularly interested in working in utility, aviation, port and harbor, public parks, and so on, this is where you can find clients.
- Private sector: If your company’s reputation is strong, you may be approached by property developers or private businesses to bid on their construction projects. Otherwise, track construction-focused websites, magazines, and publications to learn about upcoming projects to bid on.
- Online portals: Websites like ConstructConnect help connect contractors with project owners, making discovering projects and customers in your industry or location easier.
- Indirect clients: Seek subcontracting opportunities with larger general contractors and become part of their bid proposals.
- Construction plan rooms: Some regions have physical plan rooms or builder’s exchanges where you can access detailed information about projects available for bidding.
Once you’ve identified the project you want to work with, conduct some research about how to win the client. Understand what their pre-qualification process is and what they’re looking for.
Set up meetings with any mutual connections to learn more about the client’s decision-making processes. For instance, you may learn the client prefers a flexible payment schedule. This information can help you tailor your bid to maximize your chances.
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Advertise your services
Consider the below paid advertising through digital and traditional channels for your construction business.
Run paid ads on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and other online platforms. Google campaigns can get your construction business to the top of search engine results when clients search for particular keywords.
Social media ads let you showcase your projects, services, and promotions through images and videos. You can even tailor your online ads based on location and demographics to ensure they reach the right audiences and give them the right information.
Also, consider investing in “display advertising” where you place attention-grabbing visuals about your company on other websites and online platforms. For instance, if you run a marine construction business, you might consider displaying your visuals in marine industry publications, offshore engineering websites, or maritime news portals, as these are related to your industry and might drive traffic to your company’s website.
Finally, consider advertising opportunities on online directories such as Angi. Make sure your business information is current and accurate. You can also add client testimonials or project photos on some directories.
💡 Pro Tip:
Target online ads toward users who have visited your website or social media pages but did not convert to paying customers. This way, you can remind them of your construction services and encourage them to take the next step.
Advertise in local newspapers or relevant magazines, informing readers about your services and contact details. Ensure that the design and messaging align with your brand and resonate with readers.
Consider exploring television ads to engage potential clients. If you don’t have the budget for this, consider using local radio to reach your community.
Further, design and send direct mail campaigns to targeted neighborhoods or businesses. This is a great way to feature your services and offer special promotions to a local audience.
Finally, always have some printed collateral such as brochures and flyers to hand out at fairs, trade shows, and other events or give to passersby who are interested in your work.
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Get referrals from existing clients, workers, and subcontractors
Trust and reputation are very important in the construction industry where clients rely on you to build and work safely and compliantly. Recommendations from your existing and past clients, workers, and subcontractors can play a huge role in bringing you more customers.
Here are some of our top tips.
Timing is everything
Ask for referrals during moments of project success. This could be during project completion, milestone achievements, or right after you’ve been given project feedback.
Establish a structured referral program
Creating an official referral program is a great way to encourage referrals. Tell your clients, workers, and subcontractors what kind of referrals you’re looking for and how to pitch your company. Further, provide incentives—like discounts on future services, exclusive promotions, employee bonuses, and other benefits so they know what’s in it for them.
Show genuine appreciation for received referrals, even if they don’t materialize. Consider personalized thank-you notes, public acknowledgments, and so on to express gratitude and encourage continued support.
Drive organic word-of-mouth marketing
With word-of-mouth marketing, rather than asking someone to refer your business, you’re creating an experience so good that they’re internally driven to recommend your services to others.
The only way to attain this kind of organic promotion is by providing clients with high-quality work and exceptional customer service. Here’s how you can do this.
- Provide clients with clarity on specifications, timelines, and budget estimates to manage expectations from the start and reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings.
- Hire skilled workers and ensure they’re well trained, current with best practices, and can produce quality work.
- Offer continuous training to your construction workers.
- Use high-quality materials and modern equipment to improve your workmanship and show your commitment to delivering excellence.
- Tailor your services to meet the specific needs and preferences of each client, providing them with personalized experiences.
- Complete projects within agreed timelines and update clients through the process.
- Seek client feedback throughout the project and make adjustments to address any concerns.
- Anticipate potential issues and be proactive about addressing them before they escalate.
- Prioritize health and safety on job sites, demonstrating your commitment to protecting workers, clients, and the public.
- Provide flexible payment options—especially for costly projects—and a seamless experience with invoicing and payments.
- Conduct post-project follow-ups to ensure client satisfaction and address any concerns.
How technology enhances the customer experience
Construction apps like Connecteam offer several features to simplify and streamline the above processes so you can provide clients with a positive experience and run a successful construction business.
For instance, Connecteam’s employee time clock helps to track workers’ productivity levels and stick to client deadlines. Timesheets also help keep track of labor costs and billable hours so there’s no conflict at the time of payments. You can use the job scheduling tools to assign shifts and add notes and task descriptions so employees know exactly what to work on.
Connecteam’s employee training software and knowledge-sharing tools are also a great way to improve workers’ skills and enhance the quality of their work. Finally, digital forms and checklists give you live reports from the field and ensure that workers adhere to health and safety protocols.
Try Connecteam for free today to explore everything it has to offer.
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Final Note on Getting Clients for Your Construction Business
Construction is a highly competitive space. Without an effective strategy in place, you’ll struggle to set yourself apart from other construction businesses and might lose customers to companies that take more proactive approaches.
You must build a strong online and physical presence in your local markets. Further, put some effort into networking within your industry, submit bids for jobs that look appealing, and ask previous clients, workers, and subcontractors to refer you for jobs. Additionally, investing in paid digital and traditional advertising can help you reach the right audiences and make an impression.
Finally, using construction management apps like Connecteam can help streamline processes and provide clients with exceptional service. This is a great way to encourage word-of-mouth marketing and build a credible reputation in the market.
How can I onboard the government as my construction client?
Explore platforms such as sam.gov to find work with the government. Consider checking out the Defense Logistics Agency or US Army Corps of Engineers for construction work and installations related to the military. Also, look at state and local government websites where you can often find RFPs and ITBs.
How can I get clients through my subcontractor?
Ask your subcontractors if they know any project owners looking to start new construction projects. You can also create an official referral program, providing incentives to your subcontractors to recommend you for projects. Finally, consider presenting joint proposals with your subcontractors to get clients from their networks.