What Happens in Quarter 1 (Q1) and Why It’s Important for Construction Business Owners

Zaid's picture
Zaid Rahman
January 27, 2022

The New Year has rolled around, and while everyone else is making their New Year’s resolutions, you are thinking about the first quarter and wondering how to make the most of these important first few months of the year.

What should happen during Q1 and how important is it for the growth of your business?

We’ll answer those questions by giving you the top three reasons why you should make Q1 a priority. 

What Activities Should Happen in Q1 for Construction Business Owners

The first quarter of the year should be a time to

  • Reflect
  • Regroup; and
  • Restart

It’s a time to look back on the past year and think about what went right and what went wrong. The first three months of the year should be a time to ask yourself all sorts of questions and be brutally honest when you give the answers.

After looking back on the past year, it’s time to get your ducks in a row and start setting some goals for the year ahead. Setting goals isn’t enough — you need a strategy. So, taking advantage of quarter one to plan your strategy will set your business up for success.

And Q1 is a time to begin again. Recharging your batteries and starting anew will give you the time needed to focus on some things that may have been moved to the back burner — now before the busy season arrives and the year starts to get away from you.

3 Reasons Why Q1 Is Important for Construction Business Owners

Construction business owners are engaged in all kinds of activities all year long. And each quarter of the year is important and will have a specific focus.

But Q1 is where it all starts and may be the most important quarter — the one that gives life to the other three. 

So, why is the first quarter so important?  

The following 3 reasons can help answer that question and may give you the impetus you need to make the most of it.

#1: Q1 Gives Construction Business Owners Time to Reflect on the Past Year

As a construction business owner, no one needs to remind you of the many aspects involved in running your company. With so much to think about and consider, the first quarter is the perfect time to take a small breather and consider how your business fared in the last year.

You’ll want to ask yourself what went right and what went wrong, and then you’ll want to ponder your answers a little bit. 

If things went right, ask yourself why and how we can do it again. For those things that weren’t successful, again you’ll need to ask why. 

Questions you may want to ask yourself during Q1 might include:

  • What types of jobs were most in demand?
  • What marketing strategies had the best results?
  • Have construction patterns and trends changed in the last year?
  • Did we see an increase, decrease, or leveling off of supply costs?
  • Do we have enough working capital?
  • Are we fully staffed, and are our staff relationships healthy?

When answering these questions, it’s important to be honest and realistic about your company’s current condition. Starting there paves the way to move forward.

Q1 gives you the time to:

  • Contemplate your company’s performance in the past year
  • Learn what you can; and 
  • Move ahead

#2: Q1 Is an Ideal Time for Goal Setting

After taking some time to reflect, Q1 is also an excellent time to set some goals based on what you learned from your inventory.

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “A goal not written down is only a wish.” No matter how cliche it may sound, we all know it’s true.

Setting goals gives direction and also prepares you to create a plan to meet those goals. 

Think about what’s working well in your company and find ways to accentuate those efforts.

In addition to setting goals, it’s also important to create a strategy that works backward.

For example, let’s say you made $3,500,000 in revenue in the previous year, and you set a goal to increase that revenue to $4,300,000 in the next year. How will you get there? How can you reverse engineer that growth? A good place to start is by taking a look at the contracts you have in place, finding the gap in the income you want to create, and then preparing a strategy to fill that gap.

When setting goals, remember goals come in all sizes. Create an action plan by setting

  • Long-term
  • Short-term; and
  • Quarterly

… goals and plan to review those goals regularly. 

#3: The Q1 Off-Season Is Built-in Time to Plan for the Busy Season

For many in the construction business — at least for those in the northern parts of the U.S. — the winter months are when business slows down. Roofing and siding projects may come to a halt, and other outdoor construction projects can get delayed by the unpredictable winter weather.

Wise construction owners will take advantage of that downtime to make plans that will play out when the days get busier (and warmer).

Use the off-season to consider the following aspects of your business and make plans and set goals in those areas that will pay off down the road.

Staffing and Employee Support

Are you short on staff? 

Now is the time to consider your staffing needs and begin interviewing potential employees.

Quarter one is also a good time to:

  • Ask your team for input
  • Give everyone a chance to be heard
  • Clearly communicate goals and responsibilities with your team
  • Offer benefits that are within your limits to give

Finances

Financial considerations are of utmost importance for any business owner. After all, you want to make sure your business is viable and is making money.

Q1 is the perfect time to take care of the following:

  1. Budget - Based on a review of last year’s budget, make changes where necessary. Is more funding needed? Research ways to get the financial assistance you need. 
  2. Cash reserves - Take the first quarter to begin building cash reserves that you may need to dip into throughout the year. Consider any equipment you may be able to sell or have a plan to set aside income each month.
  3. Taxes - Tax returns are at the top of the to-do list for everyone, so use this slower season to gather all your documents and forms and begin planning for your yearly tax return.

Flexbase has various financial resources available to construction business owners that help with cash flow and working capital. 

Our new Flexbase credit card is made for construction companies like yours. Check it out today.

Marketing

Marketing is a key role in the success and growth of your business. Take time in Q1 to review your current marketing campaign and highlight what’s working and what’s not.

For example, maybe you’ll ask questions like:

  • Did our latest marketing campaign not deliver the results we were looking for? 
  • Why not?
  • Did we pick the wrong person or marketing resource to run our campaign?
  • Did we do it at the wrong time?

Answering those questions and others can be the catalyst that jumpstarts your marketing endeavors for the new year.


Consider the Flexbase Credit Card During Q1 to Ensure Streamlined Transactions and Consistent Cash Flow Throughout the Year

The financial challenges of running a construction business are not new to you. 

Paying … 

  • Staff
  • Subcontractors; and 
  • Suppliers 

… can be a challenge when you’re waiting to receive payments from your clients. And keeping up with all the … 

  • Details  
  • Deadlines  
  • Documents; and 
  • Receipts   

… can be overwhelming.

Flexbase has you covered with Flexbase payments, so you can

  • File
  • Track; and 
  • Collect

… invoices. 

We also make it possible to easily deliver compliant pay apps and legal notices.

And the Flexbase credit card is built for construction business owners like you. The Flexbase credit card:

  • Offers 60 days to pay with 0% interest
  • Comes with receipt tracking capabilities
  • Provides higher credit limits
  • Has $0 annual fee and no security deposit
  • Is offered without personal liability; and
  • Is a card specifically for construction companies

Don’t do construction business the hard way. Use Q1 to get on the right track by adding Flexbase to your arsenal of resources. Get pre-approved today.

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