Certainly contracting has slowed over the past few years, but it has not completely dried up. Contractors can adapt to a slowing market by broadening their scope of projects to find opportunities for gains.
There are many areas with ongoing construction projects regardless of market economics. For example, government projects are budgeted well in advance and will continue during a slowing economy. Some projects may be trimmed from their original size, most projects will continue because they are essential to the overall infrastructure and improvement of the municipality. Projects such as roadway improvements, bridge repairs, school renovations and building maintenance will continue.
Private companies may be growing or downsizing in this market. Growing companies require build outs for new space and a larger staff. Downsizing companies require clean ups and retrofitting of space to accommodate a smaller staff. This is an ever expanding market place that will help contracting businesses grow.
Banks have seen a rise in the number of properties they own. Bank owned properties need to be cleaned and spruced up, some major repairs. As well, these properties require ongoing property maintenance and management.
Even in a slowing economy, people continue with home renovations and improvements. Projects might be smaller in scope than in the past but there are projects to be won. Some folks wait for a slower economy to enjoy better pricing and greater availability of quality contractors. These savvy customers appreciate quality products and customer service and will be loyal future customers.
Demand for moderate income housing increases in times of crisis. Many moderately priced home project managers hire additional contractors to meet the growing need.
Contractors should view economic challenges as opportunities to improve quality and customer service while expanding into new markets to gain market share.