There are a lot of ways to improve the cost efficiency of a construction project ranging from strategic team building to advanced software management. However, when looking at increasing each project’s profitability, it’s important to remember that how you deal with your clients can also significantly influence not only how much you get paid, but also how many other jobs you might get through references in the future. By being considerate, friendly, and fast, you can build a sterling reputation and earn bonuses through exceeding expectations.

1) Be Cautious About Bids

The one thing that clients most often have trouble with during construction projects is when the costs don’t match the estimates. Every new building is an opportunity and an investment in the future. It’s all too easy to start building elaborate plans for when the project is complete including estimates and plans for how to use the funds available. What the customers want most is a perfectly accurate bid, estimate, and quote. Unfortunately, construction doesn’t work like that. Little logistics details determined by the weather, quality of the materials, price changes, and last minute decisions can change the final cost of the project in small or significant ways.

Do your best to carefully estimate the potential costs and offer a more detailed quote including cost ranges and estimates of known variables that can change costs. This will increase transparency and make your client feel more like you’re on their side. If, for instance, it rains for a week during the project, your client will have an idea of how this will change the cost and they won’t be surprised or dismayed.

2) Always Finish Early

One fantastic way to both build your reputation and increase your profits is to create and meet early completion bonuses. Start by talking to your clients about adding an early completion bonus to the contract and agree on a date, then make this your true goal completion date. Almost every project includes a certain number of setbacks that couldn’t be helped and mistakes that are statistically likely. This is why you give realistic estimates for project completion and deadlines. Your early completion bonus date should be a time that considers fewer setbacks, meaning that with efficiency and a little luck, you can meet these dates and get a tidy bonus at the end of a project.

Each time you finish a project early, you perfect your technique for fast work and build your reputation as an efficient contractor.  While not all your clients will be interested, many are more than happy to throw in a little extra if you can speed up their plans.

3) Hand Out Stacks of Business Cards

Finally, just as you have to investigate the client’s project to give an accurate estimate, they have to research contractors to know who is the most reliable, efficient, and within their price range. One technique that they use is to ask friends and acquaintances who they hired for their last construction project. Not only do you want your customers to want to give a recommendation, you want them to be able to do so quickly and easily. While mobile phones have come a long way, the classic business card is still the best instant and memorable way to transfer business information from one person to another.

You can handle this promotional tactic smoothly by making neat stacks of business cards cleverly fashioned or in small envelopes that can be given to your clients. If they hold onto the cards, if a friend asks for the name of their contractor, you don’t have to rely on memory to get an accurate and useful referral. The more unique your cards and card-holder are, the more likely your clients are to keep and pass them out.