If you’ve been working for other contractors for a while and you’re confident enough to branch out on your own, chances are you have the skills and the desire to succeed. But how do you hit the ground running and establish yourself as a contractor?
The good news is, with a little old-fashioned hard work and determination, you can gain traction, start landing jobs and begin earning an income all on your own accord. But you have to check off a few boxes before you can start bidding on jobs of any size or scope.
Studies have shown that contract work is in high demand, and self-employed contractors can make a handsome income in today’s world with many of the most successful contractors earning well over 6 figures annually. So if this sounds like the bracket you want to be in, you need to make some smart moves before you can get there.
Here, we’ll explore a few steps you should take if you want to start your own contracting business.
Make It Official
If you want to make yourself an official contractor with the ability to work on any job that you’re skilled to execute, you need to get licensed in your state. And despite the fact that many contractors operate without a license, you’re missing out on big jobs if you stay on this path.
For example, many states have licensing requirements for trade work. In Tennessee, you have to be licensed to be a plumber or an electrician to work on any job, but to be able to work on jobs valued at over 25,000 dollars, you need a contractor’s license.
A license not only gives you verifiable proof of your skills, but it’s also a great selling point for talking to clients and industry leaders such as city planners and government contractors. And as long as you have a valid license, you’ll be able to bid on any job valued at any dollar amount.
Without marketing, you won’t be able to gain the exposure you’ll need in order to land clients and start your business. And though you may think that word-of-mouth will propel you from one job to the next, you still need to develop a marketing strategy if you hope to stay in business.Marketing is all about building relationships within your community and establishing yourself as a trusted and reliable business owner. And once people begin seeing your work and your name and associating it with quality, you’ll be able to watch your clients line up at the door.
But what are some of the best ways to market yourself? Let’s explore a few methods:
Social media is everywhere in today’s world. And research has shown that about 80 percent of the U.S. population is active on at least one social profile. With this in mind, it’s a sound strategy to position yourself on social media so you can promote your services.
A few social media sites perfect for contractors are as follows:
When you share images or videos of your work, you’re likely to get much more engagement and generate interest in the work that you do. And if you’re clever enough in crafting memorable posts, these will likely be shared with others, and this is how you bring clients to your door.
If you’re a contractor, you likely work alongside professionals of other complementary trades. And these are the individuals you need to establish relationships with if you want to get your name known around your local community.
For example, perhaps you build houses, or you specialize in small structures such as decks, sheds, guest cottages, and the like. If this is the case, chances are you’ll be working alongside roofers, foundation specialists, electricians, plumbers, masons, and the like.
By networking with others within your field, you’ll be able to find new clients and gain new referrals. And as you build your relationships with others in your trade, you’ll also be able to foster new relations within your community which will lead to greater visibility for your business.
If your dream has always been to be your own boss, to work for yourself and live by means of the skills you possess, then you have a lot of work to do. But if you devise a sound strategy, stay determined, and adhere to the principles of hard work, establishing yourself as a reliable contractor within your community will be a goal that you can undoubtedly reach.