It’s enough to keep any CEO awake at night.  Over 4 in 10 contractor business owners report a decreasing backlog and 1/3 have enough work for the only for next six months. These are some of the findings uncovered by a contractor survey conducted by Grassi & Co, a New York-based CPA firm. While the firms in this survey are concentrated in the New York region, they may be reporting on trends that contractors are encountering in many parts of the country.1187851_construction_ahead

Here are a few of the leading trends:

  • Over 90% of firms expect to bid on more public projects through 2012
  • 76% of firms are seeing fixed price work more frequently and larger contracts coming in
  • Joint projects are an increasingly common occurrence

Here’s how contractors say they handle the need to market:

  • 40% have a formal marketing plan
  • 21% have in-house marketing person
  • 76% have a Web site

The survey author reports that historically, marketing in this industry has been “conducted on a relationship basis”. It comes as no surprise that he encourages contractors to either increase the level of internal resources allocated to marketing or to seek outside expertise. Whether contractors are seeking new business partners or higher visibility in the community, a new marketing plan can help them compete in the changing economic climate.

[Source: 2009 State of Your Business, Construction Industry Survey, Grassi & Co, 2009]