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AS A NEW DECADE BECKONS, WHY NOT TRY SOMETHING NEW?

January 2020 doesn’t just mark the start of a new year. It’s the beginning of a whole new decade — and a great opportunity to commit to changing your business for the better. Here are five “resolutions” to consider making that will help turn 2020 and the years that follow into some of your best ones yet.

  1. Try out a new technology (or several). If it seems like there’s always something new on the equipment and jobsite technology front, that’s because there is. Construction technology is starting to keep pace with that of the automotive and consumer industries. It’s time to accept it. Could using a drone to map a site save time and money? Could adding grade control lead to faster, more accurate work? Could switching from paper inspections to inspection-by-app help you catch more problems? You’ll never know unless you try. If stepping into the digital world alone makes you nervous, find a younger or tech-savvy person on your team to jointly lead the effort with you.
  2. Bid on a new type of job. Chances are, you have a niche — projects you’re comfortable bidding and working on. Though it’s great to know and play to your strengths, it’s also important to push yourself outside your comfort zone occasionally. That doesn’t mean bidding on a highway job if you typically work on landscaping projects. But if most of your clients are in the healthcare field, could you branch out to education? Or apply your knowledge of municipal work to a university job? You’ll find lots of bid opportunities online, so look for projects that align with your strengths but require you to stretch and grow. All you have to lose is the time it takes to prepare the bid.
  3. Take a new approach with your team. How are you currently communicating with your operators and other employees? Are you delivering the same-old messages in the same-old format every time? Shake things up in 2020. If you always hold a Monday morning safety talk, switch it to a Thursday lunch session and ask a couple workers to lead it. If you only provide performance feedback once a year, start stopping by once a month with kudos for a job done well. You don’t need to invest a lot of time and money in making changes — just look for different ways to ask for input and share successes.
  4. Track something new. If you’re using onboard telematics to monitor where your equipment is being used and when, that’s great. In 2020, why not take advantage of some of the additional tracking features available? You could review fuel use and idle time to identify areas to save money or take a look at operator performance in certain types of work to see if additional training is needed. Not using telematics at all? Commit to tracking one thing beginning in January, even if it’s just on one machine, and add on throughout the year as you get more comfortable.
  5. Connect with someone new. Does most of your work come through repeat business? Do you find yourself working with the same clients and engaging the same suppliers for every project? Loyalty is great, but don’t get stuck in a rut. Try to expand your professional circle in 2020. Join a peer group. Travel to an industry trade show or conference. Get active in an online forum. Your new connections may not always lead to new work, but they can expose you to different ways of thinking and approaching projects.

There’s nothing magical about the changing of the calendar, but a new year offers a fresh opportunity to make some of those changes you’ve been thinking about — and even some you haven’t. Embrace the new in 2020 and see where it takes your business.