While it might seem like everyone around you is struggling to find a new job these days due to economic shutdowns and COVID-19, one thing that could be beneficial to you as a worker in the construction industry is to start your own business, and for independent contractors, that might be way easier than you think!
Though many business buildings are closed and a lot of people are out of work, one thing that independent construction workers have the advantage of is choosing where to work, and who to work for. By doing this you can stay safe and conscious about where you go for construction projects and how many people you’ll be around.
To get started, however, you’re going to need a few things before you can get your construction business up and running:
1- Get Licensed
As an independent contractor, you need to get licensed or certified in the area you’re looking to take on work. Many times construction projects can be dangerous and require heavy-duty effort. Making sure that you have the paperwork to back up your skills and experience will help your future clients know that your business is legitimate and reliable.
When it comes to location, it’s also essential to understand things such as weather during all four seasons and how that will impact things like architecture and building. If you’re located in places susceptible to constant rain such as Oregon, or if you’re in a state where it’s always humid, like Florida, your certification requirements for becoming a licensed contractor may be different depending on where you live and who you are doing work.
2. Go Through Careful Planning
Whether you’re a construction worker or a clothing designer, starting a business only begins with crucial and detailed planning. Everything from paperwork and inventory to budgeting, it can all have a major impact on your business. It’s always best to make sure that you are aware of the ins and outs of operating a business in the US.
Making a checklist and getting organized can help keep track of all the aspects of your business. Here’s a quick, easy-to-follow outline for business planning:
- Plan for budgeting and finances.
- Keep track of inventory and materials you need/plan to purchase and. You can even incorporate how to reduce your inventory costs later on down the line.
- Establish your work schedule.
- Create a roster of clients you have worked with.
- Get the proper insurance you’ll need to protect yourself and your business.
If you’re not sure where to start with your planning, seek out a business mentor or financial advisor to help get adequately prepared. Talking with experienced professionals or friends who have already started their own business in your field might also be beneficial when in search of advice.
3- Build Client Relationships and Establish Credibility
One easy way to first build relationships with customers when you’re first starting is to create a website that easily summarizes and lets your audience know about your business plan, construction work experience, and other policies and procedures that you’ll need to let your future clients know before agreeing to take on a job.
Having a website and an online web presence will increase your chances of being found when people search for contractors to hire on the internet. On your website be sure to include your contact information, the average price you charge for projects, and the type of projects you’re willing to work on.
4- Make Long-lasting Business Decisions
Last but certainly not least, it’s important to make impactful decisions to keep your business running long-term. If you take on five different construction projects to complete on your own in one week, you’ll be burnt out and exhausted, and may not have the energy to work at all during your second week. The inconsistency of work will also lead to an inconsistent income. That’s why it’s also essential you plan carefully before committing to any jobs.
Once you feel prepared and ready to begin communicating with your first future client, just remember to do the work you are already knowledgeable and skilled at. Being friendly, welcoming, and understanding will also help you to build great rapport with your clients and future customers. After all, running a business is all about how your skills can be of service to others and establishing that connection to begin with.