How Small Construction Companies can Embrace Technology

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Think about how a small construction company competes with a large construction company. The large construction probably has a few advantages, including more people available to help, more money, and a few more. Small construction companies need technology to cover the gaps in personnel and time.

This article discusses how a small construction company can adapt to and embrace technology, what options are available, what works best, and how to get your employees to want to try what might be new technologies to them.

Why More Technology?

Technology can be essential for productivity and efficiency. Both productivity and efficiency are essential for a small business because they often rely on fewer people to perform the same tasks and have more to lose if projects don’t go well. The average general contractor only nets a 1.6% profit during a project, so the room for error is low, and the need for volume and efficiency are high.

What are others doing?

Consider your competition. Between project management software, specialized devices, drones, and presentation software, many large companies better transfer their information between offices and present compelling moments to their clients. Their software and people advantage can help them get to new clients faster.

How can I compete with technology like that?

Systems like this can be out of financial reach for some small businesses that are already operating under small margins. Ideally, in this situation, a small construction company can seek equipment or software that reduces costs or risks, especially if they already have enough work.

Consider which issue you want to solve first. Project management software can reduce risks by automating some estimates and scheduling with less human error and manual entry. New software can also help win clients with better presentation and save time. New equipment can make specialized jobs easier.


High-end equipment use also separates large from small companies, but it doesn’t have to. Instead of financing or purchasing higher-end and specialized equipment that’s not required for every job, a small construction company can rent the equipment. This reduces storage costs and allows the company to save money for other needs. Renting equipment also helps small companies learn to use newer technology instead of struggling later.


Software can help with many problems. Construction management software can quickly increase efficiency and communication on all levels of business from project management to estimating. Estimating properly is huge and increases profit and satisfaction without surprise costs. A poorly done estimate on the wrong project can cost a lot of money.

Software can help you narrow down problems too. Is the equipment for a project raising the cost? Is it too many labor hours? Were materials delayed? You can quickly and easily learn your problems and begin fixing them. For example, most contractors receive incomplete plans and end up wasting time pursuing ways to fix their issues or going against the plan to complete their job.

Fixing problems faster and easier is essential to making your business more profitable and your clients happier. Software companies care about making you happy too. Check out reviews like brigit bench vs laborchart comparison for a comparison between different products so you know which software better fits your needs.

What Not to Buy

A small construction needs to consider what is going to help now. Buying a drone might be helpful for inspecting your work from above, but might not be the most necessary tool. Focus more on tracking and accountability than the effect of cool gadgets.


Some small construction companies remain small and could remain that way because they don’t want to adapt. People who understand building, HVAC, and electricity might not necessarily understand the need for computers. Surveys show contractors only adapting in areas they need to.

Training employees and helping them understand why can be very helpful in gaining traction with technology. Lower resistance by showing that technology can be more efficient, less prone to manual error, and make the workday go faster.

Employees might like being able to fill out a timecard on their phone from anywhere instead of physically clocking in. You will like their ability to upload their cards without needing to physically collect them. This can be one small step to improving your payroll system and introducing incremental changes to your technology.


A good software company can help a small construction business embrace technology. Offering a good training program builds confidence and increases efficiency. It also makes people ask you fewer questions. Offering hands-on, in-depth, and timely training lowers resistance. Not knowing how to use software can be embarrassing for some and heavily increase resistance and lower communication.

Offering structured or learn at your own pace programs can have outstanding effects. Be persistent. Your employees learning technology can help you compete!

Finally, take it slow. Neither you nor your workers will appreciate learning several applications at a time while trying to do your job. Going too fast will have the opposite effect and impact your clients and profitability too. They might appreciate more creature comforts like direct deposit or time management first. Make them happy and they may be more willing to learn.


Technology is needed to exist in the competitive construction space, especially for small businesses. New software can fill some gaps to make smaller companies more efficient and more cost-effective, considering that most small companies don’t have very long life spans in the construction industry.

The most important parts of the process of including tech in your business are determining what you need help with, finding the right product or service to fill that gap, and training your employees how to use the new technology.

We hope the above article better clarified some possibilities for your small business.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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