If you are a business owner and have thought about upgrading your space by way of construction, don’t lose sleep over the possibility of shutting down while construction efforts are underway. There are ways to keep your business running, without having to stop operating completely, and in some cases, ways to grow your business during renovation efforts.Temporary RelocationThere is a misconception that during construction efforts, your office or business has to shut down. Not only can businesses continue to operate, but they can also find ways to thrive. If you are looking for a temporary structure, there are choices when it comes to mobile offices for rent that can help your business or office stay open. These wide trailer temporary building structures are fairly easy to utilize and they come with a variety of floor plans, suited for your needs. These same temporary buildings have been known to be used by public and private educational institutions during renovation efforts.Improve Internal and External CommunicationsYour staff might be expecting a prolonged time off work due to construction, but through the utilization of mobile offices your staff should not lose a step. Depending on how long you will be relegated to temporary offices, everything from phone lines and e-solutions needs to be accounted for. Employing communication via instant messenger and email via wireless connections is recommended in the interim. Additionally, alert your patrons of changes happening within your location so that they won’t shed negative light on your upgrading efforts.Digital Media PromotionsJust because your work space or store front may not look appealing during construction efforts, this does not mean your web presence should be either. If you are in the retail industry, having less people come by the store would be a perfect opportunity to ramp up online sales. For the service industry, connecting with existing and potential clients via social networks can grow businesses by leaps and bounds. Launching a grand opening event can also be a great idea to invite guests back and make it known to the general public that construction efforts have come to an end.Plan AheadAcknowledging the situation and planning ahead can smooth out this entire process. Proactive methods include email newsletters, active social media assets and large signs in front of the construction areas notifying where you are located.If you’re searching for a temporary location, it doesn’t have to be far from your original location. Obtaining a construction trailer rental is a good option to consider to not only oversee upgrading efforts, but to save money on renting out a fairly expensive office space.
Next to the cost of labor or materials, insurance premiums often represent the single largest business expense for a construction contractor. It only stands to reason then that successful contractors should seek to take advantage of all available means to minimize insurance costs. The good news is that there are many ways to effectively do so. Some methods are fairly simple, for example price shopping when looking for a policy. Others techniques, such as applying for credits and reviewing modifier rates are a bit more involved. In either case, most construction related businesses will find that the effort is well worth the reward in the end. When efficiently managed, even small contractors can realize a significant reduction in premiums. Here’s a few tips on how you can save money from an insurance professional that specializes in writing polices for the construction industry.My first piece of advice is to always shop around for the best price and get several quotes from multiple agents. The difference in price between the lowest quote and the highest quote can be substantial. This is especially true of general liability, commercial auto and commercial property coverage. Shopping around also means shopping for the agent that is the best fit for you. Make sure you are using an agent that has experience writing insurance for the construction industry. As someone who specializes in working with construction clients, I can tell you that I might not be the best person to come to if you were looking at liability coverage for a doctors office or a property policy for a manufacturing plant. Construction insurance represents a specialized area of insurance. Just as lawyers or doctors specialize in a particular area of their trade, so do many insurance agents. Not all agents posses the specific industry knowledge that is required to get you the best rates or have access to carriers that offer the most favorable prices for construction businesses. The additional tips that I will give in the following paragraphs are important methods to controlling your insurance costs. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to test your potential agents knowledge of these concepts. Ask what advice he or she can give you on how to lower your rates. Ask for references from other construction clients that they work with and don’t be shy about calling those references. Lastly, make sure your agent knows that simply renewing the same policy every year is not sufficient. In many cases renewing the same policy is the best way to go, but not always. It is easy for an agent to get comfortable and stop working hard to earn your business. Don’t let that happen.Another important aspect of controlling insurance costs is to minimize claims. One of the most efficient ways to accomplish this is to implement a formal safety program. This actually has a dual effect in reducing costs. The first is to raise awareness of safety issues at your company and to involve employees in pro actively working to prevent injuries. Research conclusively shows businesses that maintain a safety program are statically much less likely to file an injury related claim. It is a fact that claims frequency and the dollar amount of claims you have filed are two of the largest factors used by insurance companies in calculating your rates. A good claims history can drastically decrease the price you pay, while a poor claims history can send your premiums through the roof. This is true of virtually all lines of insurance including workers’ compensation, liability, property and auto. A safety program also helps to reduce costs because many carriers offer an extra discount to businesses just for having one. Many workers’ compensation polices offer a safety dividend return that will return a percentage of your premium to you if you are able to complete the policy with little or no claims. This safety dividend can be quite substantial. One company that I work with offers upwards of 30% back on your policy if you go without claims. Discounts are available on auto polices for safety measures such as air bags, anti-lock brakes, having drivers with safe driving records and even for such items as establishing and maintaining a regular maintenance schedule for your vehicles. While not necessarily safety related, you can also receive auto insurance discounts for anti-theft devices such as alarms and gps tracking systems.The last tip deals specifically with workers’ compensation. Your workers’ comp. policy is based on a percentage of annual gross payroll. Each job classification pays a different rate based on the risk associated with that particular class code. For example a roofer would pay a much higher rate than a plumber. In most cases the percentage of payroll charged for a particular job class is assigned and approved by the state in which you do business. California may charge a different rate for trim carpenters than Maryland, which may charge a different rate than Montana. Insurance carriers doing business in a state must base their fee for workers’ compensation coverage on the percentage that has been assigned by that state. There are however several ways to manipulate that percentage. I’ve already discussed one way, which is to maintain a good claims history. Another method is to take advantage of contractors insurance credits offered by many states. The credit amount varies by state and is not offered by all states. However, if you do qualify this is one of the most effective tools you have at your disposal to reduce workers’ compensation costs. In general terms, the contractors credit program offers a premium refund for construction industry employers who pay their workers an average wage that is above a certain bench mark amount. As an example, the minimum amount to be eligible in Florida is $10 per hour or higher. Employers in that state can receive a maximum credit amount of up to 25% of the total policy premium. In Missouri the credit starts when an employer pays an average wage of $16 or more and the maximum credit amount is up to 34.4% of the total policy premium. That can add up to thousands of dollars for even small contractors. The contractors credit is easy to apply for. In fact, your insurance carrier is required to provide you with the form needed to file. The form is just 1-2 pages long and is fairly simple to complete if you keep accurate payroll records for your business. Check with your agent for the specific details of your states contractors credit program.There are several other techniques that you may have heard about with respect to reducing your insurance premiums. One is to raise your deductible to a higher amount. I am not going to recommend that here because there are more factors to consider when choosing a deductible than just price. For starters you need to make sure you have a deductible that you can afford to pay if it ever comes down to that. There are several other reasons that I am not recommending a higher deductible as a standard cost cutting tool, but the bottom line is that I don’t feel it is necessarily a good solution for everyone. Another cost saving measure you may have heard of is to become self insured. While this can certainly be extremely effective in reducing premiums, only very large employers can choose to self insure. I have not discussed this here simply because it does not apply to most construction businesses.In closing, remember that while you will never be able to entirely eliminate insurance premiums as a cost of doing business, you can certainly reduce the financial burden that they have on your company. Shopping for the best price and the right agent, minimizing claims, emphasizing a safe workplace, taking advantage of safety dividend programs and applying for contractors credits are a few of the most effective methods at your disposal.
Business cards have been generally known to make businesses more productive. This is probably the very reason why many sales-oriented businesses are using this great tool. A vital element of promoting your business is to come up with a standout idea for your card. First impressions almost always last and this is also true once you present the very first tool related to your business. If you’re in a tough industry such as the construction business, it is doubly important to create cards that are compelling to potential clients. Business cards for construction companies should embody everything that the company is-strong, reputable and dependable.Branding is the initial step to creating business cards for construction. The last thing that you should do is to produce a card that is dull or very ordinary. The key is to catch people’s attention with just a single glance at this small piece of literature. You have, of course, received business cards in the past, and from among these, which ones caught your attention? Was it the more colorful ones? Perhaps the scented ones? Or was it the designs that got stuck in your mind?You can choose to order your cards from any printing shop. Just pay the needed fee and you just sit out the rest of the waiting period. These experts can mass produce business cards for construction companies within a few days. You can also choose from their wide array of designs-just point and relax.If you want to be more involved in making your business cards for construction, you could always go online and check the sites that offer their services. Before delving into any project, make sure that you know what you want to depict on your cards. Aside from the usual information such as your name, contact numbers, address and business name, you should also consider the type of paper that is going to be used as well as the color. Red is the most standout color used on any card. A vertically-printed card is also unique in its own way and it would always catch the eye of any customer.Some cards could also come with your photo or, better yet, a logo of your business. What would identify you is your brand or logo so it’s important that you think of a catchy symbol. A recent statistic or even a table of achievements by your construction company could also be printed on the back of the card. These are great reminders that you have made a mark in the world of construction and you have a reputation to uphold.It’s alright to spend some money just so you could come up with your business cards for construction. Just remember that these small cards could double or triple your current construction income as well as increase your number of contacts. Also, these cards are your business’ identity so it’s best to present them in the most unique and decent way you possibly could.