How To Run A Successful Construction and General Contracting Company

Firms that are involved in construction & general contracting are hired to oversee various kinds of building projects. Traditionally, contractors used to handle virtually all aspects of the project thus; they could have a concrete team that constitutes of electrical and mechanical engineering crew as well as carpenters for door and other kinds of hardware installation.

Things have however changed in this industry and nowadays the contractors are generally responsible for managing subcontractors in various phases of the project. The following are some tips that can help one set up a contracting company with ease.

The first step towards having success in this industry is by knowing the nuts and bolts of the trade right from the start. This includes doing research to know the issues surrounding these types of companies as well as the various processes involved in the establishment of the business. It is important to check how the company one is working for runs its operations so as to know the ideas to buy and how to do things different for better performance.

The next thing that the contractor should consider is the creation of a business plan. There are word processing programs that have templates for this and one can take advantage of them. Having a business plan helps in identifying areas where the plan needs to be evaluated. A business plan is also needed when one sets out to seek financing.

The firm contractor should then obtain all the necessary legal documents such as business licenses. This is also where one should set up both the federal and state tax accounts as well as sales and workers compensation. Insurance cover is very important since such companies are required to carry millions of dollars.

Looking for financing should then follow through applying for business loans and setting up credit accounts. It is important though to ensure that the company will be able to finance projects for the first ninety days since this is one industry where financiers tend to be slow when it comes to payment.

The last step in establishing a construction & general contracting company involves building relationships with all the stakeholders in the industry such as the clients, architects and suppliers. The key thing in achieving good relationships is to deliver on the promise and to ensure quality work is what defines the business. Each and every project should be completed within the schedule since a delay could end up costing the company millions of money.

What Are The Three Most Important Elements Of Construction Logo Images?

Dining table, bed, sofa, fan, light, TV etc makes a place a home which clearly tells us that everything in the world is a perfect combination of various elements. Let me give you one more example; what do you think a computer is made of? It is also a combination of different hardware and software. Same goes with construction logos images.

There is a proper plan before commencing the task for creating a corporate identity of a construction company which consists of combining all the relevant ingredients creatively to come up with a perfect dish. These ingredients are considered on the basis of the requirement and relevancy of the nature of a construction business for example; a beautiful house can be shown for companies that build houses.

This proper plan of action is then executed to come up with a logo design. A well-defined building development corporate identity would act as a silent representative of the company so it is crucial that it must be designed in a way that depicts the constructive identity of the business.

Icons, texts, colors, fonts are the main part of a plan made by the designers which is then implemented for under construction logo. It is the duty of a graphic designer to select the best elements that not only comprehend each other but also the USP of a business where USP is the unique selling proposition. It is the one unique quality of a business that sets it apart from the rest of similar companies.

Let’s describe the preceding elements of a perfect corporate identity in detail:

Icons used:

The construction companies normally associate their logo with their surroundings like trees, rivers, animals to portray their concern over the environment. Moreover, drainage pipes, houses, buildings, workers, roads, bridges etc are also effectively utilized depending on the nature of the work a company does.

Colors used:

Every color has a meaning which is effectively used to convey a message through the logo. Colors like Red, brown, black, blue, yellow and green are mostly preferred for these corporate identities because they reflect environmental growth, loyalty, trustworthiness etc to the potential clients. Some of these colors are also used in combination to convey the message more effectively in these corporate identities.

Typography:

Typography that looks constructive in nature are mostly preferred while sometimes it is kept simple as well with no style because it is very important to convey the message in the first glance to the viewers. You will also find abbreviation logotypes with simple and bold typefaces in these corporate identities.

How B2B Organizations Should Define Target Audiences

Marketing is a rigorous knowledge area that is discussed in undergraduate classes and practiced as a critical skill in the real world. Tens of thousands of hours are allocated in studying, designing, and executing marketing methods while billions of dollars have already been spent by organizations to conduct marketing campaigns that attempt to make the brands they carry very attractive to their target audience. Even then, there are still marketing professionals who fail to grasp the fundamental tenets of the practice and end up piloting campaigns that fail at delivering their intended outcomes. This is largely because these practitioners unwittingly skip some steps that are critical to the marketing process. In particular, these marketers fail at defining their target audience properly.

In a B2B environment, this failure is easy to commit and can be very costly. Without properly defining your target audience, you can very easily end up marketing your products and services to just about everyone. This may be an effective strategy, but only in scenarios where resources are unlimited. As all corporate professionals know, however, different departments and projects always fiercely compete for limited organizational resources and that makes an ill-defined target audience an extremely poor basis upon which to design and execute a marketing campaign.

For example, manufacturers of computer graphics engines can easily fall into the trap of showcasing the unique benefits of their hardware in terms of enhancing consumer experiences. This is well and good, as everyone is captivated by rich multimedia. However, the product’s net effect on consumers is only a secondary factor in the case of this B2B scenario. It is ultimately more important for the graphics engine maker to create and establish clear and unique value for computer manufacturers (and maybe for some major software companies whose products require advanced graphics engines). After all, computer manufacturers are the direct customers of chip makers.

While it may work in some cases, directly marketing to end consumers not only wastes limited resources but also erodes the efficacy of the marketing message. If your marketing message, mantra, or callout is not precisely attuned with the sensibility of your target market, then your audience will have a difficult time appreciating the value you offer.

Marketing 101

To get all these in perspective, let’s start by defining what marketing is. The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines it as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” This definition is comprehensive and is noteworthy for citing the different players that are constantly engaged by marketing professionals. The first two of these players are customers and clients, which are synonymous with the practice’s target audience.

That said, organizations can only attain marketing objectives in the light of how successful they are–especially within a competitive terrain–in anticipating, meeting, and satisfying their target audience. For marketing to be truly effective, therefore, all its processes must consider the needs and aspirations of the target audience.

In a sense, the critical objectives of marketing are 1) to create and establish differentiation; and 2) to build the differentiated value upon the needs of the target audience. Creating and establishing differentiation means making your service or product stand out from other similar offerings available. The more different and effective your product or service is compared to those of your competitors, the better your chances of succeeding in the field. Some gurus even go as far as stating that a company need not even offer the best price or conduct the most expensive campaigns yet still end up winning, simply by having a fundamentally differentiated product that satisfies the needs or wants of the target audience.

The last clause should give a clue on how to attain the intended outcomes. It is important that the target audience can easily distinguish your product from among other brands that deliver similar benefits. But that is not enough. The differentiation or value your product generates should also be one that the target audience actually wants. For example, you can introduce an energy-efficient and affordable three-wheeled prototype to automotive manufacturers but if your target B2B customer does not want or is not yet ready to adopt the unique value you offer, then your product will really have a difficult time succeeding. If on the other hand, you have designed a highly reliable hybrid engine that can easily be bolted on most vehicles, then it is likely that your product will have some early adopters.

Engaging the target audience

The challenge with many B2B organizations is that they never even bother to precisely identify their target audience. As a result, they end up marketing to everyone in the supply chain, including consumers and sources of raw materials. The fact is, the vast majority of players in your own ecosystem don’t really care about your product or service. Given the tight reins on your organizational budget, there is no compelling reason to directly engage them even if you wanted to or there is some fringe benefit in doing so. The sound tactical approach is to focus your momentum on the players that matter most to your company.

If you have yet to define your target audience, then that’s a real showstopper. There’s a way to go around it, even then. Start by describing the existing market your company is currently servicing. You can then identify the traits or describe the nature of the ideal target audience for your product or service. To get this translated in a practical context, you can even opt to conduct a social media campaign that seeks to attract the ideal target audience for your brand. You need to do this eventually, anyway, because sticking it out with a customer demographic that does not subscribe to or purchase your offerings will just spell the end for your business.

To further help you refine the process, construct a clear idea of what you are selling as well as the value it helps create for your customers. How are your offerings packaged? What benefits do customers get when they acquire the product or service? For example, you can say, “I sell different types of zippers.” You can then expand by saying, “our zippers are found in clothes, furniture, industrial equipment, luggage, and sports equipment. Some of our zippers are engraved with the trademarks of the manufacturers of consumer products we engage.”

Now that makes the process of defining your product and your target audience really interesting, doesn’t it? Proceed by listing the main reasons why your customers buy your product. It could be an inherent product trait such as durability or a stylish design. It can also be a selling feature such as white-labeling that allows your customers to imbue the product with their own branding. It can also be because of transactional aspects such as low pricing, volume discounts, or credit extensions that your company offers to its clientele. Note that the reasons your target audience buys your product tell something about the problems your product is trying to solve. Keep these in mind, especially when you are remaking existing products, conceptualizing new ones, or strategizing on how to market either. Whatever the reasons are, list them and weigh their respective importance or contribution to your bottom line.

The B2B approach to audience targeting

Companies that directly engage end-consumers generally use demographics (age, gender, income bracket, educational attainment, location, etc.) to create useful maps or profiles of their target audience. For B2B companies, on the other hand, characteristics such as industry size, industry conditions, number of employees, annual revenue levels, credit experience, and geographic location are very critical components of the customer profile.

It is also advisable to consult industry research studies to glean more insights that can help you market your products or services to your target audience. There are both free and page reports that are available online. You can also acquire social media listening platforms that generate often-used keywords or phrases per industry. This is something you can use to have a top-level view of which needs or issues different players in your industry are discussing more often and which players are likely to adopt your solutions.

To conclude, having a precise idea of your intended audience equips your company for success. This is because a well-defined target market will help you 1) determine whether there is a sufficient number of potential customers (demand) that will help sustain your operations; 2) configure your offerings to better meet the expectations of your clients; 3) customize or streamline promotions and campaigns to deliver optimum returns; 4) improve cost efficiency by focusing resources on customer groups that can give value to your business; and 5) align your brand message–including your taglines and corporate mantra–to meaningfully attract the people or organizations who are the most likely to adopt your product or service. Remember, having a target audience will only limit your market, not your business. On the contrary, delivering your message across to a small number of the right listeners is far better than broadcasting it to a larger but apathetic audience.

All Stainless Steel Hardware Is Not Created Equal

304 Stainless Steel Decorative Hardware

In 1821 a Frenchman named Berthier found that iron when alloyed with chromium was resistant to some acids. Today stainless steel is a common name for metal alloys that contain 10.5% or more of chromium (Cr) and more than 50% Iron (Fe). In fact today there are over 150 types of stainless steel, most of which is unacceptable for use as decorative hardware. 304 Stainless Steel ’18/8′ Good decorative hardware uses Grade 304 in the standard “18/8″ stainless steel. It is a steel (that is, an iron-based alloy) which contains a minimum 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel (thus the 18/8 abbreviation). Those two elements, the chromium and secondarily the nickel, provide the corrosion and staining resistance. It is these qualities that make 304 stainless steel an excellent choice for decorative hardware. It is the most versatile and is available in a wide range of products, forms and finishes. It is also good in a wide variety of atmospheric conditions. Plus its luster lends itself to a wide array of decorative applications.

(Stainless steel that has nickel in it like 18/8 is non magnetic whereas stainless that does not have nickel in it like 18/0 is magnetic.)

As an example of the integrity of 304 stainless steel consider the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. It stands 630 foot high and is 630 feet at its widest point. It is stainless-clad (type 304) and defines the St. Louis, Missouri skyline. Construction of the Arch began in 1963 and was completed on October 28, 1965. It has been standing in the elements for over 42 years. It is a time tested testament to 304 stainless steel.

Industrialised Building System – Evolution of the Construction Industry

With the impact of globalization having run deep into many industries, more efficient methods have been introduced and implemented in order to survive the challenging market ahead. Every product has improved dramatically and been produced in a higher quality and at a lower cost but with the exception of houses and buildings. Whilst, other industries have been thriving in terms of technology application, only small improvement has been made in making building processes more efficient.

Industrialised Building System (IBS) can be defined as “Construction technique in which components are manufactured in a factory, on or off site, positioned and assembled into a structure with minimal additional site works.” The IBS concept is essentially the injection of a techno-based mindset into the construction industry ‘hardware’ aspects and incorporation of the highly successful manufacturing concepts as the driving ‘software’. In this respect, the construction industry has a great deal to learn from the manufacturing sectors that have long been emphasizing on quality and minimising defects. IBS will definitely among others reduce unskilled workers in the country, less wastage, less volume of building materials, increased site cleanliness and better quality control.

In many parts of the world, IBS takes its forms in an initiative called open building concept. Open building is an approach to the design of buildings and said to be representing a new wave in architecture. Open building is defined as an innovative approach to design and construction that enhances the efficiency of the building process, while increasing the variety, flexibility and quality of the product.

Houses of the future should be similar to products like cars or computers today. It is built mostly in a factory with parts that is easy to replace or maintain. The construction industry can be transform by following what other sectors are already doing; standardize and accessorize. Developed countries such as Japan, Netherlands and USA to name a few, have already started to develop concept that is called ‘Open Source Building’. The concept of the open source building is similar to what has happened in the ICT industry whereby through standardization of jointing parts such as USB ports, consumers can buy computer equipment such as mouse or scanner anywhere in the world. The equipment can then be easily installed by the users as the connection from the equipment to the computer has been internationally standardized.

IBS gives the ability for companies from just being a simple plain brick contractor that is driven by projects to a component builder manufacturer that is driven by consumers. Modular components or also known as volumetric components can be configured into wide variety of end products and the design can be based on customer’s individual needs through unique combinations of the modular components. Mass customization will allow companies to penetrate new markets and capture customers whose demands could not be met with standard products. Developers and contractors who embrace the IBS methodology can even upgrade their capability to export houses in countries that are in need of fast permanent shelters.