The last few years have been anything but kind to the commercial construction industry, especially the Specialty Contractors they employ. Specialty Contractors are being forced to re-evaluate and modify everyday operations to adjust to the volatile economic market that is threatening their demand.
Opportunities are few and far between these days, and every opportunity, big or small must be considered. For the majority of commercial construction companies, their futures appear murky, at best. Businesses that have been opened decades long are most concerned of the looming future of the employment of Specialty Workers.
Through desperate efforts to stay in business, contractors are forced to take uncharacteristic jobs and must now scramble to stay competitive and profitable. Plenty of contractors have to cut their staff in half, or more, to merely survive. Even worse, several sectors of commercial industries are still in the midst of a downward spiral. A commercial construction stand still is often the best case scenario for some struggling businesses.
Timelines, deadlines, and budgets are all shrinking. Stress is more palpable, the workload is more demanding, and the competition more fierce than ever. Like all industries, success is measured by supply and demand. Right now there is just no demand for specialty contractors in commercial construction.
For example, Las Vegas and its commercial construction commitments in the last few years have been severely affected by the commercial construction drought. At one point they were building as far as the eye could see, littering the strip with hotels, shops, restaurants, casinos.
With the huge lack of demand and vulnerable economy, the projects have only created thousands of square feet of vacant space. Commercial vacancies which include office space, retail space, etc., are all experiencing record highs. Las Vegas’ surplus of commercial space is so large that some predict the next project won’t take place for another decade.
Credit issues are another factor endangering specialty contractors. The criteria necessary for approval for large credit lines has become much more stringent and has proven to be a huge obstacle. Less credit approvals contribute to the decline in commercial construction and payment for work is significantly more challenging to collect. Combine the lack of demand with a volatile economy, and then compound that with the mounting credit issues. Most will be confronted with the grim reality of the challenges the industry will face to recover for years to come.
Many specialty contractors are coping by trying to be more aggressive and pursuing every possible lead or bid. Now their goals are just trying to maintain a workload to keep employees busy.
If anything positive emerged from the declining commercial construction industry, it yielded plenty of experienced, qualified specialty contractors enthusiastic to work. The few that are afforded the luxury should take advantage of each opportunity and maximize efforts by creating a strong sustainable team for success.
The decline in commercial construction is seriously endangering specialty contractors and their livelihood. With each project that launches, it is more vital than ever to hire valuable, productive, and efficient specialty contractors. This is not going to be an easy recovery and the current state of the industry is not indicative of a rapid growth or rebuilding period. The goal at hand should be how to survive the next few years to make it to the other side of this commercial construction recession. Adaptability is key, and may be the determining factor that keeps business doors open. Those who are willing to sacrifice and adapt will survive.
Written by: Craig Noble for JobSite123