An Eye on the Competition: Top Business Strategies of 5 Wisconsin Contractors

Competition monitoring is a critical part of any successful business plan. Knowing what your competitors are up to can help you adjust your own services and strategies to meet changing market demands. In an effort to learn more about issues facing construction contractors, CONEXPO-CON/AGG staff traveled around the state of Wisconsin this past year to meet with several local companies in the industry.

Contractors in Nashotah, Janesville, Muskego, Oconomowoc and Greenville opened their doors to share business insights, shed light on industry challenges, and glean information about how they utilize trade shows to enhance their business operations.

Here’s what contractors had to say about the state of their business in 2018:

Top 4 Business Insights

  1. The large majority of contractors said they prefer to own their equipment, or at minimum, the equipment they use on a regular basis.
  2. Contractors will rent for larger projects that require more equipment, and for jobs that are farther away from their home base.
  3. Within individual companies, multiple people have buying power on their teams and they expect all positions to have feedback on the equipment being used or purchased.
  4. Companies have strong relationships with manufacturers and dealers, and they will turn to whichever contact will solve their problem faster.

Top 4 Industry Challenges

  1. Contractors expressed the concern of working in a volatile market, which makes forecasting a difficult challenge.
  2. The job-hopping industry keeps them up at night when there is a limited pool of good workers, and it is expensive to hire new staff.
  3. Due to the market and workforce challenges, contractors spend a lot of time ensuring their workers have enough hours, and that they’re not overworked at the same time.
  4. Contractors stated equipment maintenance is challenging and expensive, which impacts their bottom line.

Top 4 Reasons They Attend Trade Shows

  1. Leaders bring their staff for team building and to provide both the next generation of employees and industry veterans with growth opportunities.
  2. Companies attend to see everything in one place to determine future equipment needs whether to rent or buy.
  3. Contractors look to find small to mid-sized manufacturers at trade shows to uncover attachments or smaller equipment that they aren’t aware of at the time.
  4. Companies attend to visit with current manufacturers in order to maintain relationships, find out what’s new and discuss challenges they’re currently experiencing with equipment.

From the busy jobsites to bustling offices, the tour not only revealed the current industry pulse, it displayed the vital work our industry performs every single day to support our communities.




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