Planning for Winter and a Construction Slowdown

Matt Shelly
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Most businesses have slow periods, and those in the construction industry are no different. With winter approaching and a downward shift in growth projected, now is the time to start preparing for a construction slowdown. Here are a few things you can do to weather the upcoming lull in construction jobs.

Save money. Almost every financial expert advises saving for a rainy day. Yet, very few people in the United States do this. In fact, some statistics show that the average American family only has $3,800 in a savings account and about $35,000 in a retirement account. Whether you are a business owner or work for a construction company, one way of weathering the construction slowdown is to ensure you have adequate savings in the bank. It is typically recommended that you have at least six months to one year's worth of expenses socked away in a liquid account. This will help you get through those months when work is scare. When work becomes plentiful again, be certain to replenish the account.

Move on to greener pastures. Your particular city may be experiencing a construction slowdown, but other towns may not. This is often seen in areas near tourist attractions. The residents that live in town may not be interested in doing any construction on their homes, but out-of-towners may want to update their vacation homes. Use the Internet to conduct research into the surrounding areas and then branch out into those locations if it's affordable and convenient for you to do so.

Expand your skill set. A construction slowdown is one of the many reasons why you should probably think twice about specializing in only one part of the industry. While it's true you can make more money if you specialize in one area of construction, this career choice also reduces the number of work opportunities available to you. Expanding your skill set so you're able to do other construction jobs can go a long way towards ensuring you have a steady stream of work. Look around for schools that offer courses in the type of work you'd like to learn about or find someone who will teach and mentor you.

Focus on other areas. The adage about not putting all of your eggs in one basket is true when it comes to the construction industry. If you're a business owner, you should develop multiple streams of income. For example, you could provide home maintenance and repair services in addition to construction. The additional lines of products or services can provide much needed income during a construction slowdown.

Dealing with a construction slowdown can be a challenge. However, proper planning for this eventuality can help you endure the work famine with grace and dignity.

(photo courtesy of


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