Construction Challenges: Five Factors That Small Businesses Face

Building and maintaining a small business is a difficult proposition, and construction contracting firms face more challenges than most in the quest for profit.

From rising material costs to labor shortages and insurance, we have detailed some of the primary difficulties facing construction businesses in our changing industry.

Labor Shortages and Upskilling

Skilled worker shortages are recognized as an industry-wide issue in many parts of the globe.

For the United States in particular, the Associated General Contractors of America released a recent survey finding that 80 per cent of contractors have reported difficulty in finding qualified craft workers. Skills shortages and an ageing workforce are also causing issues in the UK industry, with the Federation of Master Builders reporting that specific shortages are at ‘record highs’.

It’s evident that younger workers need better training projects and career prospects to get involved with construction. Without widespread initiatives, future hiring might become even more difficult for small construction businesses.

Material Costs on the Rise

Many construction companies operate with thin profit margins that can be compromised by sudden material pricing changes. Incremental year-on-year rises can impact common materials such as ready-mix concrete, lumber and other essential items.

While there is no clear way to mitigate this challenge, business owners should do all they can to ensure that material does not go to waste unnecessarily. Working with efficient and accurate estimating software can give owners greater confidence that they are acquiring the right material quantities.

Lack of a Clear Business Vision

Proper planning is imperative to securing the future of your business, especially when it comes to construction. Failing to keep up with demand can cause critical problems, as can excessive spending based on unconfirmed future projections. Clear and impartial business projections can keep your enterprise on the right track and ensure spending is sustainable in the long-term.

Growing Insurance Premiums

Another construction business expense that can impact profitability is insurance. Depending on the nature of your business, certain levels of coverage are essential. The insurance landscape is always evolving, so it’s vital that business owners stay up-to-date with the latest changes to ensure they are only paying for relevant coverage.

Delayed Software Adoption

Despite the benefits on offer, it’s still common to see construction businesses persevere with manual estimating methods. Fear of investing in the wrong software is understandable, but there are a wealth of options available that will boost accuracy and efficiency for a modest and risk-free outlay.

If you are looking to start off the second half of 2019 with new streamlined software, why not try out eMeasure? Our affordable takeoff and estimating solution is available to rent or purchase outright, and we even offer a 14-day free trial with no obligations or credit card details required. Claim your free trial today at this link, or you can contact our Sales team for more information about what eMeasure can do for you!

(!) Please note that eMeasure is no longer available to purchase or rent. RIB Software have taken this decision so that development efforts can be focussed on RIB’s flagship iTWO costX range. Click here to find out more about iTWO costX takeoff 2D, which features the same underlying engine and workflows as eMeasure, plus several other advanced features.