In 2021, home improvement pros are seeing rising costs in both materials and labor. Inflation is increasing the cost of doing business across the country, and you need to do something to save your business during this unpredictable time. Here are five things you can do to try to offset some of the costs you take on to complete a project—without cutting corners.
Smarter materials buying
The days of guessing how many palettes of shingles or tiles you need to complete a project are over. It’s time to take those measurements and start planning out what you need. This might add a little time before you can turn in an estimate or proposal. But, in the end, it’ll save you money on wasted materials, or worse–waiting on more materials because you didn’t buy enough. You may have to rely on new measurement techniques or technology to get the best information to make your decision. This could include anything from drones to phone apps.
Accurate project management
You need to have a clear understanding of how long it takes your crew to complete a task or for a subcontractor to complete their job. The more you know about what’s possible, the easier it’ll be to predict how long a project will take to complete. This way you can communicate early and often with your crew and clients what the expectations are. As labor continues to be scarce, you’ll have to push your crews to get the job done in a timely manner. You can even incentivize your crew with bonuses if they finish their projects sooner.
Ask for flexibility
Homeowners are aware of the issues facing home improvement professionals when it comes to materials and labor. Social media is littered with stories of people waiting months for a new roof or a year for their home to be built. When you run into a problem, ask for flexibility. Flexibility could mean a different material than they were expecting. This could actually lead to upgrading or upselling them on a better product. You may also need to ask for flexibility on timing for the project. As changes in the labor market create competitiveness between companies doing the same work for the same crews, you’ll need to level-set with the homeowner that every company is going through the same employer issues. What you may offer is stellar customer service and a quality guarantee.
The purpose of technology should be to give everyone on your crew and the client a better understanding of what’s going on with their home. Technology is a great way to make sure you’re buying the right amount of materials, managing projects effectively, and can ask for the right alternatives. Popular tech that can help finish your job sooner and save you money include drones, modeling software and project management apps. Increasing the information you give a crew and client on a project can save a lot of time and money preventing miscommunication headaches. More than ever before, you’ll want to avoid a dissatisfied customer who doesn’t like how the project is turning out.
All costs can’t be absorbed by you. It’s important that you price your projects according to what your business needs to create the best quality work, customer service, and profit. The truth is you may have to increase your prices to pay your crews more and offset the inflation of material prices. At Hearth, we encourage contractors and home improvement pros to offer monthly payment options early in your sales process. This plants the seed in the minds of your clients that even if the project ends up as a large sum, they can chip away at the cost with financing. Hearth has the tools to help you offer financing options early with no dealer fees, track your clients’ progress, and secure digital payments.
If you’re interested in offering financing to win more business and protect your profits, get started today.