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How to start a building contractor business

Written by on September 08, 2014

Let’s establish one thing: you don’t want to build a building contractor business, you want to build a SUCCESSFUL building contractor business. To do that you’ll need to learn some tips and techniques, select a business structure, learn how to manage jobs efficiently and understand the financial part of the business.

Before you decide to become a building contractor and create a successful business, do you know the actual tasks that building contractors normally perform?

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Here are some of them:

  1. Calculate the materials that will be used for a job
  2. Discuss building plans with clients, architects, builders and everyone else involved
  3. Evaluate the cost of the job
  4. Employ and be responsible for tradespeople such as plumbers, electricians,…
  5. Arrange contracts, consents and inspections
  6. Ensure health and safety protocol
  7. Do invoicing, quoting and expense tracking
  8. Repair, alter, renovate and construct buildings

The pay highly depends on your experience, company’s success and obviously the area you’re working in. The building contractor business can experience high demand at times and no demand at all in certain periods, too.

As a building contractor you should have building and carpentry skills, plan interpretation skills, maths, office work and small business skills. You don’t have to have a university degree for this job but you should be fit, strong and healthy.

If you’ve decided that the building contractor business is for you, you should follow these steps in order to start the business:

1. Write a business plan. Yes, it’s a must. You should put together a marketing plan, business model, analyse the industry and competitors and write a financial forecast. The business plan will be also useful if you ask for funds from the bank. More details on how to write a business plan can be found here.

2. Get an office space. Decide whether you’re going to work from home or rent an office. A home-based business has its own advantages and disadvantages. Have in mind that you’ll have loads of equipment and company vehicles and you’ll need an office to do admin work such as invoicing, quoting and expense tracking.

3. Obtain all licenses. You’ll need to get certain licenses, registration numbers, permits and so on for your business depending on the state and country you live in.

4. Purchase Insurance. Physical and financial damages in the building contractor business can lead to a disaster. Therefore, getting yourself, employees and the business insured is a must.

5. Advertise your business. Your marketing strategy is already nicely written in the business plan, isn’t it? Follow it and make your business noticeable.

6. Establish yourself as an expert in the area. By creating positive relationships with clients, suppliers and business people you’re likely to get more job offers.

These are very first steps you should consider to follow in order to establish a successful building contractor business. Don’t forget that office work plays a vital role in order to keep a positive cash flow. Good luck!

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