Recessions may mean hard times for businesses, but they also are mothers of invention. Entrepreneurs head for their garages and workshops, and business types get busy thinking up new ways to compete. Frederick Cann, a residential and light-commercial contractor based in Medford, N.Y., has done that, and come up with www.BidForMaterials.com, a kind of dating service for contractors and suppliers. “During this recession, all us contractors have done nothing but scramble for work, and the way to get more work is to be more competitive and manage money better,” says Cann, now president of the enterprise he and two partners
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.