While most of the building materials industry is trying to figure out what is going on and taking things one day at a time, some companies are proactively looking to the future. Instead of waiting for the coronavirus and its effects on the market to define their future, they are taking steps to ensure their continued success.
Two Ways to Position Your Company to Outperform Your Competitors
1. Reducing Waste and Inefficiency
The financial benefits of offsite construction have created an opportunity for the companies that can help customers complete projects in less time and with less waste. Helping your customers become more productive will lead to more demand for your products. As this provides more value, it can also lead to more margin.
The majority of projects will still be site built. Customers with these projects are the ones who can most benefit from a building materials company showing them how to be more productive.
Not all customers are ready to change the way they build. Don’t waste your time on customers who only care about the cost of your product or the size of your rebate. Taking the time to find the more forward thinking customers will pay off.
Every company can find ways to reduce cost and inefficiency for their customers. It could mean designing a product that installs faster or it could be as simple as being the easiest company to deal with.
Ask your customers about their pain points with your type of product and what would make their lives easier. You might be surprised at how small a change it would take to make you the preferred supplier.
2. Help Your Customers Become More Successful
Back in early February, I wrote a post about how Healthy Is the New Green in Building Materials. That article was based on what I saw at the builder’s show and the initial news about the Coronavirus.
That trend has only become more important since then. We are starting to see home builders, owners and developers focus on offering their customers healthier buildings.
A home builder in Georgia, Artisan Built Communities, is now offering a “Breathe Freely” healthier home as a standard feature.
If your product can make a homeowner feel safer or healthier, now is the time to promote these features. Builders have a tough time differentiating their homes from those built by other builders. They all have to have the same amenities that are expected within a price range.
Years ago some builders saw the benefits of differentiating themselves by offering energy-efficient homes. Now that doesn’t work so well because every builder calls themselves energy-efficient.
The Coronavirus has now placed health and safety top of mind, especially since we can expect new viruses and other health issues to be a permanent part of our future.
The builder who knows how to promote their homes as the healthier alternative will have a very powerful differentiator. Many builders are already using healthier features, such as Kwikset antimicrobial hardware or Trane’s healthier HVAC systems. The problem is that they’re doing it quietly instead of promoting these features.
If builders are already buying your healthier product, make them more successful by helping them promote these features. It can be as simple as giving them a sales script for their salespeople.
If you have a product that can make a building healthier, now is also the time to let builders, architects, owners and developers know about it.
Healthy can be many things. It can be germ-killing surfaces, no-touch products, more sunshine, fewer chances for mold, more fresh air or cleaner air. Whatever it is, if your product offers it, you need to let your customers know.
For commercial buildings, the safer a builder or owner can make their customers or tenants feel, the more their buildings will succeed. If they’re not already looking for the building materials that can make this happen, they soon will be.
Define Your Own Future
There is a recession. Business will decline. That’s the reality. But it doesn’t have to be the reality for everyone.
You can define your own future. The most successful companies recognize that we’re in a recession – they just choose not to participate in it!