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How tradespeople can make the most out of the construction boom

  1. A tradespeson

    MJSB Contributor, Simply Business Free Member

    Posts: 0 Likes: 0
    2 |
    In association with Simply Business

    Prior to last year’s election the Conservatives promised 200,000 more houses by 2020, on top of masses of infrastructure spending through projects like HS2. Some economists suggest this could see total construction work increase by some 3.6% this year – the result an upsurge in opportunity for Britain’s tradespeople.

    Already many tradespeople are suggesting they’re busy, so it all points to a construction boom within the British economy. What steps do you need to take then, to get a slice of the growing pie?

    Make your business visible

    Whilst referrals might be the backbone of your business, this boom could be a good time to experiment. Some smart marketing could bring in more leads and grow your business significantly, so consider trying some methods you haven’t tried before.

    Consider a little digital marketing alongside traditional efforts like flyers and sponsorships, and perhaps put a chunk of your earnings into social media or search engine advertising. With so many of us shifting behind our screens, an online presence can go a long way.

    Essentially, it’s all about getting the right marketing mix. Do your best to strike a balance between digital and more traditional methods.

    Consider an apprentice or two

    It’s no good bringing in more business if you don’t have the hands to do the work, so weigh up whether it could be time to bring an apprentice in.

    They won’t be up to scratch straight away but (good ones) will be willing to learn, and they could become a vital resource as your business grows with the boom. According to government research seven out of 10 employers find apprenticeships useful to their business, whilst you may be able to claim a £1,500 grant if they’re:

    • Aged 16-24
    • Your business has less than 50 staff

    All in all they could prove a cost-effective asset that helps you build your business.

    Ensure you’re insured

    Something to bear in mind if you do bring in staff is that you’ll have new legal responsibilities, covering your business with employers’ liability insurance one of your new duties. By law you’ll need to have the cover in place if you employ one person or more.

    Elsewhere, public liability insurance could be essential if you’re working on government contracts - they’ll typically require you to have at least £5m in public liability cover as part of any legal agreement.

    Explore your financial options

    Marketing, employees, insurance… all of this means more spending, so if you’re strapped for cash but want to expand why not explore some funding options?

    Rather than going straight to the banks (who are proving pretty tight) take a look at some government schemes and see where you might be eligible. Start Up Loans and the Regional Growth Fund are two good places to start, but there’s plenty more options out there – as this A to Z list illustrates.

    Elsewhere, examine whether alternative finance could help. There’s a growing number of peer-to-peer lenders out there receiving rave reviews, and they’re well worth investigating if you need a cash injection.

    As with anything financial, do your due diligence first though.

    Finally, follow where the work is

    The capital leads the way when it comes to housing construction, with swathes of the South East following closely behind. However, areas in the North are also seeing growth as the government seeks to build its ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

    Elsewhere, flood affected areas are in the midst of a massive rebuild, whilst the aforementioned HS2 could mean construction of all kinds. Keep a careful eye on the news and see where the opportunities lie, and be willing to travel that extra distance to build your business during the boom.

    Are you a tradesperson? How are you maximising the construction boom in the UK?

  2. Edd Dutton

    Edd Dutton UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 31 Likes: 10
    Great advice, I love hearing about companies that take on apprentices.
    Posted: Jan 16, 2017 By: Edd Dutton Member since: Dec 13, 2016
  3. Ian McGuiness

    Ian McGuiness UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 0 Likes: 0
    I agree, nowadays making your business visible is so important. I also think it should be mentioned how important it is for tradesman to have a website nowadays. I was ready an article earlier about the reasons a tradesman need a website and it's definitely made me think about getting one for my scaffolding company. You can see the article here:
    Posted: Jan 16, 2017 By: Ian McGuiness Member since: Jan 16, 2017