If my network is producing a consistent flow of projects, why should I bother to get NEW commercial construction clients?

When more than half (some would say up to 99%) of your work is based on referrals and repeat business, businesses tend to fall into a comfort zone that can be hard to break out of. And “why would you?” – some might ask. If this is your situation, your reasoning might look like this:

  • “I worked hard to build this reputation and I’m rightfully getting rewarded for it.”
  • “The excellent service I have provided is yielding rewards and serving as its own promotion.”
  • “The cost of new business can be up to 8x the cost of retaining existing business; why would I venture out into the unknown?”


All these are not only warranted; they are absolutely TRUE (after all, the same can be said about our agency, which works with the same clients for YEARS after project delivery). Further, we salute and commend the companies that put forth such effort to consistently win business from the same network of clients, and applaud the flow of work that is continuous. Still, there are many reasons to pursue new business – all purely strategic (yes, let’s remove emotion out of the equation for a second). Read on to see just five:

Build a Pipeline for Future Stability

Commercial contractors often thrive on repeat business, with a significant portion of their projects coming from loyal clients. While this model can be lucrative, relying solely on repeat business poses potential risks. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to build a pipeline for new business development, ensuring stability in the face of changing circumstances with existing clients. In the construction industry, projects can be affected by various factors, such as economic downturns, changes in leadership within client organizations, or shifts in industry trends. By actively engaging in lead generation, commercial contractors can safeguard against unforeseen challenges. A diversified pipeline ensures that even if a portion of repeat business diminishes, new opportunities are readily available, providing a safety net for the future.

Venturing into New and Potentially Profitable Markets

Working for the same clients on similar projects can lead to a comfort zone that, while secure, may limit growth and profitability. Commercial contractors may find themselves doing the same work for the same people consistently. To break this cycle and explore new, possibly more lucrative markets, embracing business development through lead generation is crucial. Expanding into new markets allows contractors to diversify their project portfolios and tap into industries with high growth potential. It opens doors to innovative projects and partnerships that can contribute to the overall success and sustainability of the business. By embracing lead generation, commercial contractors can break free from the monotony of routine work and discover exciting opportunities in uncharted territories.

Leveraging New Relationships for Referrals

A significant advantage of venturing into new business development is the opportunity to work with new people. While repeat business fosters strong relationships with existing clients, expanding the network by collaborating with new clients can lead to a ripple effect of referrals. Working with a diverse clientele introduces commercial contractors to a broader network of professionals in the industry. Satisfied new clients are likely to recommend the contractor to their network, creating a snowball effect of referrals. This organic growth can significantly contribute to the success of lead generation efforts, as word-of-mouth recommendations remain a powerful force in the business world.

Diversify your Client Base to Mitigate Risk

In business, diversification is a well-acknowledged strategy for mitigating risk. Think of your investment portfolio; the same can be applied to your business. Relying on a small group of clients for the majority of business can pose a risk, especially during economic uncertainties. Diversifying the client base through effective lead generation minimizes dependence on a specific sector or group of clients. In times of economic downturn, having a varied portfolio can act as a buffer, ensuring a steadier flow of projects. By spreading the risk across different industries and clients, commercial contractors can better navigate challenging economic conditions and maintain a resilient business.

Price increases can be more challenging

For commercial contractors, raising prices can be a challenging endeavor, especially when dealing with long-term clients accustomed to established rates. However, embracing new business development through lead generation provides an avenue for justifying and implementing price increases. When entering new markets or taking on innovative projects, contractors can position themselves as experts in high-value services. This added value enables contractors to command higher prices for their specialized skills and experience. While raising prices with existing clients may be met with resistance, attracting new clients who recognize the unique value proposition helps establish a pricing structure that aligns with the true worth of the contractor’s services.

As a company looking to increase your flexibility and your profitability, it’s a good idea to give lead generation a proper place in your business growth strategy. When done right, building a pipeline, exploring new markets, leveraging relationships for referrals, diversifying the client base, and overcoming pricing challenges can become game-changing aspects that contribute to the overall success and resilience of a commercial construction business. By embracing these strategies, contractors position themselves for sustained growth and profitability in an ever-evolving industry.

At DCE Clarity, our area of expertise is identifying and exploiting your key differentiators to create compelling business cases that further your sales and consistently lead to bigger and better projects. We love a good challenge, do you want to share yours? Book a Discovery Session with our managing partner today.