Setting up your own contracting business is a perfect way to enjoy the freedom of self-employment and the pride of small business ownership. In fact, there never really is a bad time to do it. That’s because when it comes to the housing industry, whether it is booming or not, contractors keep busy. When the market is up and there are a lot of new homeowners, they generally like to make improvements as soon as they move in. Conversely, when the market is down, homeowners invest their money in either upgrading or enlarging their living space instead of moving. Either way, willing contractors are in demand.
To succeed in the contracting business, there are some things that you must possess. You need to have the know-how, obviously, and for those parts of the job that are not your expertise, you can subcontract. Beyond that, you must also be able to be adept at ordering materials, scheduling appointments and deliveries, supervising, and making sure that your customers are happy. You must also have adequate knowledge of housing codes and permits.
On the legal side of things, you must decide on a company name, determine your business legal type (limited liability company, for example), apply for a tax ID number, set up a business checking account, and develop a system for keeping records. To simplify things, this can be done through hiring a bookkeeper to handle your company’s financial concerns.
To start gaining clients, some new contractors begin by subcontracting for installation work with lumber yards, manufacturers, and retail stores. Also, by cultivating a referral relationship with home inspectors, lending institutions, and architects, you can develop a lot of new clients. Registering with your local Chamber of Commerce, starting a website and utilizing social media for your company are other ways to get your name noticed.
Satisfied clients will be your company’s bread-and-butter --because it’s their referrals and repeat business that keeps many contracting companies’ business flowing. Knowing this and keeping it as a cornerstone of your company will provide a strong foundation going forward.