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 quietly launched in October. “I started thinking about construction materials and pricing, and I reached out to the Internet to see if there was a buying program. I found buying programs for cars and appliances, but I found nothing for the general construction industry, so I developed the website. All it does is connect suppliers and contractors.”