With the real estate market booming and many people looking for contractors for home repairs and home renovations, it’s a great time to think about starting a contracting business. If you’re a carpenter or other trade person with building skills, you might be surprised to learn how easy it can be to start up a contracting business in your area.
In four easy steps, including working with a lead company, you’ll be well on your way to making bids on your own jobs as either a subcontractor or general contractor. To learn how to get started, read on.
Consider How You’ll do Business.
The most successful businesses begin with a plan. If you’re like most new contractors, you’ll want to start by filing for an LLC if you live in the United States. An LLC will protect you and your personal assets if you run into problems with homeowners or customers down the road. Taking care of this from the beginning is a great way to go into your new business with peace of mind.
Consider, too, coming up with a business plan where you’ll write down decisions on how you’ll operate your business. Think about adding ways you’ll achieve your long and short-term goals, and don’t be afraid to be specific. For example, if you’ll be working based out of a vehicle and will need to take client payments on the road, you’ll want to do some research on the right retail POS software for deposits and payments.
Having the right POS software will make for easier transactions, so you and your clients can focus on the work being done instead of the transaction. That is, if you plan to work as a bathroom remodeler, you can make the payment process easier by giving your clients options when it comes to payments. Not only will this improve their customer service experience, but it will help when it comes to things like bookkeeping for taxes.
When building your plan, think about the equipment you’ll need beyond carpentry tools. A tablet, mobile device, and call center software could all help keep business running smoothly.
Sign up With a Lead Company.
Once you have a basic plan, it’s a good idea to sign up with a lead company. For a monthly fee, lead companies can offer you jobs in your area and add up to building a strong customer base from the beginning.
Perhaps you’re living in Wisconsin and hoping to connect with clients looking for a bathroom remodel in Milwaukee. A lead service is a great way to learn about people looking for work in your specific niche. The way a lead subscription service works is that they provide you with potential customer data so you can go out and make a bid on a specific project without ever advertising your business.
Consider a Digital Marketing Plan.
While lead services are a great way to get started, they can be expensive long-term. Eventually, you might want to start advertising your services in other ways. Once you have a strong customer base and news about your work is spreading through word-of-mouth, you’ll want to begin advertising on the internet.
Start with a strong web presence and consider reaching out to social media. A blog or vlog on your services could also help. When in doubt, reach out to a digital marketing professional. The investment now will pay off in the long run.
Network With Other Contractors and Industry Pros.
Every customer has their own unique needs. It’s important to remember that while competition can feel steep, the reality is that there’s generally enough work for everyone. Instead of competing with other contractors in your area, consider networking. Where you might prefer roofing, another carpenter might prefer framing. Teaming up to help each other with referrals could benefit all involved.
At the end of the day, you’ll likely be glad you took a risk and worked to build a contracting business now if you follow these four easy steps. Down the road, you might not need a lead service or even those important contacts, and your business will be booming just on word-of-mouth alone. Best of luck to you in your new business and future as a contractor!