Many construction workers with years of experience often get the urge to start their own contracting business, especially once you’ve mastered a particular trade. Before going ahead and starting a business, there are many considerations that must be kept in mind. This article goes over a short checklist of items that any new entrepreneur will need to refer to. Whether you specialize in HVAC, electrical, or mechanical contracting, there are some things that all prospective business owners must keep in check.
- Learn and Understand Your Legal Needs
Legal requirements are extremely complex and may differ based on jurisdiction. When starting your own contracting business, do the research to find out if your business needs to be bonded, insured or both. You will also need to find out what type of insurance you are legally required to carry. Also, you will need to file the appropriate paperwork to begin operating under the business rather than as just an independent contractor. All of these need to be sorted out prior to servicing customers.
The type of insurance you need will depend on whether your business directly hires workers and also the nature of work carried out. You might need vehicle and property insurance which may also vary by specific state or jurisdiction.
- Business plan
A comprehensive business plan is a very important and a vital document for your business. It is essential to lay out your business plan in both the short term, as well as setting long term goals. Have realistic and attainable goals prepared, as well as contingency plans if things don’t work out as predicted. Aside from preparing yourself for the future, a business plan is needed when filing for a loan or grant. A well thought-out business plan may be the catalyst for securing the finances you need, and an ineffective business plan may impede your business’ progress. To start however, lay out your vision for what how you see your business operating before creating a more formal version that will be needed to show investors and creditors.
- Find Talent and Outsource Tasks
As an independent contractor, it will be hard for you to do everything on your own. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in an honest manner, and determine what areas you may need help with. Although the tendency may be to do as much of the work as you can, sometimes hiring a few staff members can accelerate the success of your business. Presumably, the fact that you are starting your own construction business means that you have expertise in a certain area. To execute other types of trades or jobs you are less familiar with, consider delegating or outsourcing certain tasks. If your expertise lies in plumbing or electrical work, but are unfamiliar with web design, perhaps consider outsourcing this work to an expert.
The same logic applies when handling other parts of the business. You may be a jack of all trades, but managing and trying to balance all parts of your business will be difficult. Things like taxes, bookkeeping and reaching out to customers may require some help, and hiring reliable staff members may be necessary.
- Remember You are Always Representing Your Business
When you start your own business, you no longer follow a strict schedule or answer to a manager. Being your own boss has its advantages, but also comes with a greater set of responsibilities. As the face of your business, you must remember that you are representing the company at all times. Whether you are on the phone, talking to people in person or through e-mail, make sure you have honed your communication skills. Some tips include writing a script for phone call reach outs or writing a set of emails that you want to send prospects. When starting out, use the resources around you like coworkers, friends and family to proofread and edit your work. The more people you can practice communicating with, and the more people see your business plan and marketing strategies, the quicker you can kickstart your business.