January 26, 2024

How to Leverage the Construction Slow Season to Accelerate Future Growth

Braving the fluctuations in the construction market isn’t easy. When winter rolls around, many businesses face a temporary downturn that hinders profitability—and not every firm survives the annual challenge.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that, among private construction businesses that opened between April 2012 and March 2013, only 40.1% survived through March 2023. Those that make it prepare for the construction slow season and leverage their downtime to refocus and strategize for the year ahead.

Here are six ways you can utilize the winter months to increase your business resilience and accelerate your future growth.

1. Diversify Your Projects

Construction laborers often have widely applicable skillsets, from plumbing and electrical wiring to carpentry and drywall installation. When your standard construction projects grow scarce, you can shift your focus to high-demand services—for example, indoor renovations, appliance repair and installation, and insulation. Exploring new opportunities can help you identify profitable markets your company can enter, even when construction business picks back up.

If you need to scale your staff as demand for new services grows—but want to avoid over-hiring during uncertain times—you can leverage temp workers during the construction slow season. An experienced construction staffing firm can efficiently fill your skills gaps for any project so you can achieve your target timelines and impress your new clients.

2. Optimize Your Construction Processes

Efficiency is key to excelling throughout the year. Winter is an ideal time to reassess your processes and determine how you can save time and money while enhancing safety and quality of work. Review your standard operating procedures (SOPs) and identify any gaps or outdated processes. Make updates and create new SOPs as needed to create to keep your entire team on the same page.

Once you’ve filled in the blanks, consider how you can further optimize each SOP to prevent bottlenecks in your upcoming projects. For example, leveraging new technologies—including construction software and up-to-date equipment—can help you streamline workflows and achieve more every month.

3. Focus on Marketing

If you want to ensure business picks back up in the spring, it’s critical to start marketing early. Take this time to optimize your marketing channels—perhaps updating your website, portfolio, and presence on social media, review sites, and other platforms—while preparing marketing campaigns for the next few quarters. These campaigns can include:

  • Sales promotions
  • Construction blog content
  • Social media captions, graphics, and videos
  • Webinars for construction business leaders
  • Sales email sequences

Set yourself up for success by building a large content bank, which you can pull from whenever you want to engage potential customers.

4. Re-Engage Clients and Subcontractors

As the construction slow season ends, you want your clients to return and top-performing subcontractors to rejoin your project teams. Strengthening your relationships—even when you’re not actively working together—can help you prevent turnover, maintain sales, and ensure the success of your upcoming projects.

Think about ways you can keep your past clients and subcontractors engaged. For example, you can pique client interest by:

  • Sending email newsletters with industry insights
  • Reaching out to ask about a recently completed project or how business is going
  • Sending a referral request, offering a discount on their next project

To re-engage subcontractors, you can provide skills development and certification resources, discuss construction job trends, or even ask about their holidays. Find opportunities to add value to their professional lives and start genuine conversations.

5. Manage Your Finances

Organizing your finances—especially for your upcoming tax return—is a sizeable task that businesses often put on the backburner when time-sensitive projects are the priority. The construction slow season is the perfect opportunity to work with your accountant to clean up your books and maximize tax deductions, including those for machinery, vehicle, and contract labor expenses.

Your accountant can also help you review your year-end financial statements and budget. Leverage their insights to optimize expenses, manage your cash flow, and develop a long-term financial plan.

6. Recruit Top Talent

As the construction skills gap grows, businesses must get more proactive about hiring skilled trades workers. Kickstarting your construction recruitment early can help ensure your upcoming projects are fully staffed with high-performing workforce. Start promoting positions you expect to open up—inviting workers to submit their resumes to stay in the loop—perhaps mentioning upcoming sign-up bonuses to get them excited about opportunities with your construction business.

If you want to streamline your recruiting process and leverage your downtime for other activities, you can work with a skilled trades staffing firm to connect with reliable construction talent fast. At Skinner, we leverage our database of over 10,000 qualified workers to quickly match you with candidates who align with your culture and project demands.

Fill your skills gaps for any construction project. Get in touch with Skinner about your staffing needs.