Lots of people want to own their own businesses, but many are unsuccessful. You need to plan well in order to make your business one of the few that make it. If you’re looking to start your own business as a contractor, then you need to follow certain steps that will help you to be successful and avoid the possible problems along the way.
Don’t Skip Hands-On Experience
Before starting your own contracting business, it’s vital that you have several years of actual experience doing the job. One of the best ways to get the necessary hands-on experience is to work for one of the smaller or medium-sized construction companies for a few years so you will have worked with every aspect of contracting, or at least been exposed to them.
Make Some Friends Along the Way
As you get your hands-on experience, be sure to build some good relationships with people in the field such as suppliers, workers, customers, etc. Once you stop working there and decide to put together your own contracting company, you will need these kinds of relationships to be successful. If you do a good job and make a good impression on the people you see along the way, they will remember and that can help you later on.
Be Sure to Have a Business Plan
Every new company needs a viable business plan. The plan needs to list your goals for your company, along with things like how you plan to work the business, your financing plans, etc. Without a clear plan leading to your exact goals, you will be missing a key component to becoming a success.
Do the Legal Necessities
You will also need to take out any licenses you may need, especially if you are planning on running your contracting business from your home. You also need to talk to an accountant to see what kind of tax accounts you need, as well as an insurance agent to see the type of liability you need to cover you, as running a business from home can mean more dangers in case something goes wrong and the client decides to sue.
Get Financial Backing
It’s also vital to know where the money is going to come from to actual set up your business. You will need to know how much money you need. This depends on if you are doing it from home, or buying existing property or building a building. Home may be the cheapest, but it depends on what you plan to accomplish.
There are many sources of financing to choose from, including banks, credit union, government loans or grants, donations from a third party, etc. You should decide the pros and cons of each and then choose the ones you want to apply to.
You may also need advance financing options to fund the jobs you do since most contractors don’t get paid everything up front.
Advertise for Clients
Once you have everything set up, you will need to advertise for clients. You could start your own website; you can post notices on bulletin boards, use word of mouth, take out ads on the radio, or other media. Once you get a few clients, if you do a good job, then you should have no problems getting more and then your business will continue to grow and hopefully thrive.
All in all, the main thing to remember in starting your own contracting business is to work hard and be prepared for the different situations that might come up on your way to making your business a success.
Photo credit: Contractors review plans by USACEpublicaffairs/flickr
Candace Hobson is a stay at home mother and freelance blogger for workathomeinfo.org, a site she often recommends as a great resource for learning how to work at home.