Taking charge of your professional aspirations, for some, means learning new skills and striking out on their own. Those with an entrepreneurial mindset can become their own bosses by starting a new business where they get to do what they are passionate about. One industry that continues to thrive is contracting.
Contractors in construction fulfill extremely important roles in society. People live and work in buildings that need to be maintained and updated. Infrastructure is required to help everyone get from place to place. Plots of land have to be changed to improve the design or function of the area to suit the purposes of the owners. Becoming a contractor can open up many possibilities for working on interesting projects with homeowners, business owners, and even the government.
Before you decide to become a contractor, either by learning new skills or applying those that you already have, here are a few things you should know.
Types of Contractors
In the construction industry, there are many separate fields that you could get into. Each requires a unique skill set and plenty of knowledge to be successful. If you are interested in the construction industry, here are a few examples of roles you could fulfill.
Plumbers will always have a role to play in the contracting industry. Homes and businesses alike need effective plumbing systems in place to provide necessary functions for those who use the building, but only contractors with intense knowledge of these systems are equipped to maintain and fix whatever plumbing issues arise.
Love to work the land and be outdoors? Becoming a landscaping contractor might be perfect for you. For this field, you may need to invest in powerful equipment like skid steers with rock rake attachments so that you can serve client needs for big landscaping projects.
Want to be in the business of making people comfortable? Maybe you should become an HVAC specialist. These professionals deal with all things heating and cooling in a building, helping those inside manage the temperature through air conditioning, heaters, boilers, and even refrigeration in some cases.
If you want to be responsible for providing multiple contracting services to a client, then this role may be the solution. General contractors typically work directly with clients and play a crucial role in completing the project by hiring and scheduling subcontractors.
Focusing on Safety
The construction industry is well known for the statistics behind workplace accidents. The nature of the job often involves the use of dangerous equipment and working with large structures. This makes safety a top concern for contractors. Whether you are completing a private project for a homeowner or doing a public construction project, safety is important. Make sure that you and your team members are following standard safety precautions and using all equipment correctly. Also, wear the necessary protective gear at all times. This could include hard hats, gloves, safety goggles, and steel-toed boots.
Additionally, you will have to purchase insurance for your contracting business to protect your assets. Since this industry can be particularly dangerous, you should never run the risk of lacking enough coverage to protect yourself from severe losses.
Learn Best Marketing Practices
This is true for any entrepreneur who is starting their own business. You could have the highest level of expertise in your field and provide amazing services for your clients, but if no one ever hears about you, your brand will suffer. Marketing is necessary to communicate your message to a target audience that is most likely to benefit from your services.
There are many marketing channels that you could invest in to increase brand awareness and generate leads for your contracting business. You could run social media campaigns that demonstrate the quality of work you do with before and after pictures, especially on Instagram and Facebook. A functioning website with strong search engine optimization can drive organic traffic to your brand online. Local signs or billboards can boost your visibility in the community that you serve the most. Come up with a marketing strategy that will connect with your target audience or consider hiring a marketing firm for assistance.
Be Open to Asking for Help
Running a business is difficult. When you decide to become a contractor, you might find that it is hard to manage a project schedule that doesn’t overwhelm you, even if you can find clients in the first place. Maybe you are constantly coming in over budget due to delays or having to purchase tools to complete the job.
This is all part of the learning process. Seeking advice from other professionals who have been in your shoes could be critical to guiding you toward success. Research what you can about entering this industry and connect with other contractors who have experienced success. Look for podcasts about building a business or watch videos on Youtube about finding clients as a contractor. If you are open-minded about asking for help, you will learn best practices early on and be able to apply those to your business plan.