Due to real estate values, housing demands and lending activity, the construction industry has been one of the fastest-growing small business industries in the past few years, and start-ups continue to gain ground in the early part of this year. Though the number of small businesses is increasing, that doesn’t mean that just anyone can hack it. Managing a construction company start-up is no simple feat. The line between “essential” and “frivolous” is not always clear, which makes it easy to overspend on things you don’t need, especially when it comes to technology for your company. Since money is something that is never in abundance in the start-up phase, identifying which tech upgrades are absolutely necessary is important in efficiently running your company and achieving success.
It’s possible to spend an outrageous sum on fancy communication programs designed to allow your staff to communicate with each other throughout the day. Though interaction is an integral element in creating a winning team, and the tool, process, or framework you choose relates directly to the likelihood of success in your start-up, investing in pricey tech for this element is an unnecessary expense, especially when you can implement quality tech tools for free.
For example, with Workplace by Facebook, your employees will no longer have to frantically close out their Facebook tabs when you walk by. It is a social network designed specifically for use at work and offers a virtual space for teams and individuals to share ideas and work together. It pairs all of the familiar Facebook features with classic business tools. Best of all, after signing up and receiving Facebook approval, the service is free.
Especially important in construction projects, start-ups require a platform for syncing teams to tasks and as a means of tracking the progression and completion of these tasks. In construction, the difference between growth and saturation can be decided by how well your team members understand the assigned tasks, timelines, and ultimate goals of each project. To be successful in assigning and maintaining projects, you’ll require a collaboration tool.
Collaboration tools like Asana are incredibly helpful in organizing projects, regardless of your team size. They allow you to see the big project picture as well as each small task. You can track and manage projects through email, spreadsheets, calendars and other tools in order to efficiently keep your jobs on schedule. In addition, if your team has 15 members or less, the plan is free.
In the arena of job site security, digital tools are quickly replacing more traditional means of security. Due to the threat of equipment theft and vandalism, in addition to the risk of injury and liability, security for construction sites is one start-up facet in which it doesn’t pay to try to save a buck.
GPS tracking, surveillance cameras, and mobile security units are becoming standard and help owners better control access to their job sites and equipment. Mobile surveillance units (MSU) are becoming more prevalent in the industry due to the level of comprehensive security they offer. An MSU is a portable security station that deploys easily and can be positioned anywhere on the job site. Compact in size, these units can be situated to be discrete and unobtrusive to employees or to be highly-visible deterrents to would-be criminals. Some models are solar or generator-powered, which allows them to run even when the site has no electric.
Though construction is an old industry, it is once again experiencing a resurgence in demand. But construction is not an industry to jump into blindly. Managing a construction start-up requires the ability to prioritize, and deciding on what tech upgrades to include should be one of your first priorities. Carefully consider the best means of internal communication, project management, and security for your individual start-up needs, and remember, knowing when to save and when to spend could make all the difference in the productivity and efficiency of your construction company.