4 Ways to Increase Profits by Reducing Construction Overhead

  • A construction business owner talks on cell phone about reducing overhead and driving profit.
You’re working hard every day, getting new business for your construction or contracting business, and charging a price you’re happy with.

So why aren’t you making more money? One of the first places to look is your overhead. It has a way of creeping up on you and eating away at profit.

Yes, you have to spend money to make money—and to grow your business. But, if you take a closer look at your finances, you may find there are areas where you can easily—and without much impact—reduce your operating expenses.

What’s more, the world is always changing. Technology changes. The tax code changes. Your industry changes.

In other words, there are always new ways to get business done. They may not all work for you, but some might.

And remember, you’re not looking for one drastic way to cut costs. Instead, you’re looking for small changes that will add up to, perhaps, a 5 or 10 percent reduction in overhead. The goal is to run lean. Not to starve yourself of needed resources.

Here are a few aspects of your business worth evaluating:

Your Technology

The days of landlines and voicemail are over. Many smaller construction businesses find they get by just fine using only cell phones—which offers the added benefit of being able to easily check messages throughout the day.

Another option is voice over internet protocol (VoIP), which allows you to make and receive phone calls online. VoIP is usually at least 40 percent cheaper than traditional landlines. It also offers many features that landlines don’t, such as voicemail-to-email and automatic call forwarding.

Your Finances

If you actually enjoyed this aspect of your construction or contracting business, you’d be going to work in a suit-and-tie everyday, right?

But it’s often the tasks we like the least that can yield the biggest results. Have you, for example, recently compared the interest you are paying on any loans to the current interest rate. It may be time to refinance.

Also, if you’re sloppy with your bookkeeping, you may find yourself paying tax penalties or not maxing out your deductions. This is an instance where spending money—by hiring an accountant to do your taxes—could ultimately save you money.

Your Employees

Being a small business owner has its perks, but also its disadvantages. One of them is that you don’t have a board—or sometimes even a partner—to bounce ideas off of.

But who knows your business better than your employees? It could be that one of your workers knows of a new supplier or time-saving product. Maybe your front office has a plan for you to go paperless. You don’t know unless you ask.

You could even turn the question into a competition, with the best idea receiving a gift card or some other incentive.

Your Space

It’s important to have the right tool for every job. It’s also important that your supplies and equipment are stored in a clean and well-lit area where they won’t be exposed to the elements.

So when space runs low, that presents a dilemma for many. Do you need bigger digs? If your business if growing rapidly, the answer may be yes.

But it could also be that there’s a better fit for you. One that will keep overhead low, while also giving you options and flexibility.

At StorageMart, we offer affordable self-storage units for construction companies and contractors that can be rented on a month-by-month basis. Check out our storage unit size guide or rent a unit online today. It may turn out to be an easy way to help your business grow, without signing a contract or making a commitment.

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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