Down Time Can Be Profitable Time

Winter’s here. Will you sit back and relax or do the work that will set you up for success in the next busy season?

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The holidays are over, and winter is in full effect, especially in the North. Your equipment is stored; you and your employees are waiting for warm temperatures to return. The slow season is officially here.

It’s up to you how you spend this downtime. Some may just want to kick back and recover from a busy year. Others might be itching to keep moving and driving the business ahead.

Here are some productive and profitable ways to use the off season:

Attend a Trade Show

It’s time once again for two of the biggest shows in the industry. The Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show returns to the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis on Feb. 21-24, while the North American Society for Trenchless Technology No-Dig Show is in Palm Springs, California, on March 25-29. Both are great places to see the latest equipment and technologies, obtain continuing education credits, watch live demos, and network. Our Smart Business feature offers tips for making the most of trade shows.

Perform an equipment inventory

When your technicians are working sunup to sundown, proper maintenance can get lost in the shuffle. Take time now to prepare for the busy season. Develop an equipment readiness checklist for your excavators, trenchers, pipe bursting machines, directional drills and other equipment. Fix everything now, and you may avoid that costly surprise breakdown in summer.

This month’s Machine Shop feature focuses on maintenance for the support vehicles you rely on to deliver your equipment to the job sites.

Recruit a new worker

Jose Moraga, owner of J. Moraga Construction and featured in this issue, has plenty of experience in finding the right workers. His company has grown from just himself in 2006 to nearly 30 people now.
Finding the best employees is hard. During this slow period, you might have some time to fine-tune your recruiting.

Think about the skills you want your next worker to possess. Write a job description that covers all the bases; it can help you find a great employee who will help the company grow. Ask your crew members if they can recommend someone. Tell your friends and family that you have an opening. Post the job on social media sites. Broadcast your needs any way you can.

When you find good candidates, make an offer that stamps your company as a place to make a career. Hire someone who can grow in the position and take on new responsibilities down the road.


Do you have ideas that can help contractors take advantage of slower winter days? Send your suggestions to

Enjoy this issue!


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