One thing is certain, the economic future of the Triangle is… hot, hot, hot. Yes, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas are on fire, and this can only mean good things for both general contractors and subcontractors in the area. But don’t just take our word for it… A slew of recent polls rank the Triangle with some very exclusive company:
Forbes Magazine ranks Raleigh #2 on list for Businesses and Careers. (November 2018)
Money ranks Raleigh #2 amongst Big Cities to Live Right Now. (November 2018)
Market Watch ranks Raleigh #1 as the best city for new graduates to live. (May 2018)
U.S. News & World Report ranks Raleigh & Durham #13 in Best Places to Live. (February 2018)
U.S. News & World Report ranks Raleigh & Durham #17 in Best Places to Retire. (February 2018)
Money lists the Triangle’s projected job growth (2017-2022) at 9.6%. (November 2018)
Money shows a 13% increase in population since 2010. (November 2018)
Watch out New York and L.A. The Triangle is up and coming! The rankings above support the increased construction projects currently happening all around the area. New housing developments, shopping centers and professional office centers are being erected every day. Let’s face it. If you aren’t getting a lion’s share of the construction market right now, something might be wrong. And if you are over your head in projects, be assured that competition is coming and the good times may not last forever. Now is the time for general contractors and subcontractors alike to secure your future and stand out above the crowd. Smart branding is the way to do just that.
Smart Branding For General Contractors
The Triangle is changing. Gone are the days when you could get by on your reputation alone. In the good old days, work would simply land on your doorstep. Potential customers knew you from the neighborhood. Not anymore. The world wide web has single handedly replaced word of mouth. Now, customers conduct internet searches to find your business. And once they find you, your website may be your only chance to make a great first impression. Longtime, historical businesses are sometimes reluctant to change their approach… but the future is now. Consider the following points to help create, improve or rebrand your company for a better position in the future.
Do You Know Who You Are And Where You Are Going? Smart branding always begins with a self-evaluation. There are several questions that come under this umbrella. Are you considered an expert or specialist in a certain area? Do you want to acquire additional skills? Who are your clients? What type of clients do you want to have in the future? Do you know how your customers are selecting a general contractor? The Triangle is changing right before our eyes. Are you changing with it?
Your Logo Matters.Many companies around the country are taking a second look at their logos in order to keep up with changing demographics. More and more millennials will be making construction hiring decisions. And, with the influx of non-native North Carolinians, it’s a good bet that an old traditional logo of downtown Raleigh may not catch their attention. A strong and compelling logo for a general contractor could convey such qualities as trust, integrity, quality, leadership, efficiency, precision and conservation.
Market Your Expertise And Experience.
People like to hire experts, especially when it comes to construction. If your specialty is custom-built solar powered houses… or historic renovations… or urban-modern detail… then let the world know about it. Make sure potential customers can find you—this includes understanding how customers are using internet word searches to locate the best general contractor for their project.
Your online presence is the initial introduction for your customers. Perhaps yours features photos of some past projects. Maybe it tells the story about what prompted you to become a general contractor. That is all good information, but is this the introduction you want? As soon as someone lands on your home page, they are evaluating your company. The question is, will they remember you? Do you have a memorable brand?
Don’t Be The Dinosaur. (Evaluating Your Systems.) Are you still sending paper invoices to clients? If so, then you may be missing out on the millennial revolution. Being on the cutting edge of technology can build confidence in your customers. Real-time billing, customer alerts, client portals… These things may seem small, but to a potential customer they signify a smooth working relationship.
Smart Branding For Subcontractors
Subcontractors have a wide range of potential customers. Depending on your expertise and experience, you may be reaching out to general contractors, property owners, property managers, co-op and condo boards, municipalities and neighborhood communities. These customers have different demands and expectations. For example, a general contractor (GC) will want you to be available when they have a project, and might get you on their schedule weeks ahead of time. Many individuals will need you immediately. Smart branding for you also starts with the same question: Who you are, and where do you see yourself in the future?
Are You On The List? First and foremost, as a subcontractor you want to make sure you are visible to every GC. If there is a database of all the subcontractors they have worked with or might hire in the future, you want to be on that list. Consider mailings, telephone calls and in-person visits.
Know Your Customer. GCs care about quality, safety, reliability and trust. They don’t necessarily hire the least expensive person for the job. Being part of a GC’s team is like being part of a family. You might eat lunch together on the jobsite. You might have disputes over best practices or costs. But the goal is always the same: Complete the job on time and within budget. Smart branding means that GCs can decide from your materials and your online presence whether they want to ask you to bid on a job. Then it is up to you and your employees to follow through.
Everything You Do Is Branding. As a subcontractor, everything you and your team does on a job reflects back on your company. Your proposals, your invoices, your business cards, mailings and internet presence should constantly reinforce who you are and what you bring to any team.
Stand Out From The Crowd. We all remember the Roto Rooter jingle. The company became famous doing one thing: Fixing clogged or leaky pipes. If you are a master cabinet maker… or electrician… tell the world. If you have a great team… or have worked on exclusive projects… let people know about it. And while you might not opt for a catchy jingle, a memorable tagline—or logo that pops—is always a great place to start.