The era of entrepreneurship is alive and well. Many Americans have ambitiously set out on career paths of their own making for decades, but the last several years have seen an uptick in new business applications being filed across the country.
People love the idea of working for themselves and forging their path rather than working for a larger entity. It takes a brave and motivated individual to start a business, especially if their livelihood depends on it, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.
One industry sector that is ready-made for entrepreneurial spirits is home improvement/construction. Though many will elect to take the DIY route with the internet at their fingertips, there will always be a need for professional contractors who can count on their experience to do a job well.
Plus, some people are simply not cut out for handiwork, and these individuals will always look to professional assistance first.
If you are considering a career in the contracting business, then you need to be prepared for what you are taking on.
5 Crucial Things To Know Before Becoming A Contractor:
Here are a few things you need to know before deciding to become a contractor.
1. Becoming Licensed
Any contractor that is worth their salt has a license for the work that they do. Homeowners or business owners will immediately scroll past your name if you do not have a license to do the project that they have.
Pursuing a license to become a contractor will be a necessary step that you take before working on any job. Fortunately, for most disciplines, there are online certifications that you can pursue to obtain that license.
For others, you can probably locate an in-person course nearby. These classes allow you to obtain a license for contracting work, at a very low cost in some cases, that will demonstrate your education and expertise to potential clients.
2. Having the Right Tools
A huge part of being a self-employed contractor is the equipment that you have access to. To do a job well, every project requires specific tools or machines that can accomplish what the property owner needs for their project.
The right equipment can make your job easier and quicker, while also ensuring quality work. You will have to decide whether you want to purchase certain tools to keep on hand or rent equipment depending on the job.
Does a client need a fence built around their property to keep some livestock? You’ll need to rent or buy a quality skid steer post-pounder to ensure that the posts are placed into the ground evenly and without splitting. Before you consider a career as an efficient contractor, know that you will have to invest in equipment to get serious consideration from clients.
3. You Will Need A-Plus People Skills
Though contractors are mostly thought of as people who work with their hands, you will need to have incredible people skills to be successful in this industry.
A lot of your job will come down to how you communicate with clients before, during, and at the conclusion of a project. You need to be a good communicator in order to understand their vision for improvement, and good listeners will be more effective at interpreting goals into a project plan. Also, things will go wrong during a project.
Materials may be delayed, or unforeseen circumstances could slow the process and make your clients dissatisfied. You will need to be a master at being honest and open with your clients to make sure that they are informed during every step of the project. Also, when problems arise, communication will be a necessary part of finding a solution.
4. Familiarize Yourself with Current Trends
Knowing what is popular in your industry will be a key to your success. If your contracting knowledge is outdated for years or even decades, clients may not want to rely on you for their projects. For this reason, you will need to stay on top of current trends in your specific field of expertise.
If you work in home improvement, then knowing about energy-efficient upgrades will set you up as a leading expert who can help homeowners save money on utilities without harming the environment.
Stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry to demonstrate to clients that you are constantly learning in your field.
5. Be Prepared for Hard Work
Becoming a solopreneur is difficult enough on its own. But when you strike out on your own journey as a self-employed contractor, then you will have to work even harder for success.
Your biggest obstacle may be startup costs for equipment and marketing yourself to find clients.
Before you make this career-changing decision, know that you will potentially have to work harder than you ever have in order to be successful. However, if you are passionate about this decision, then you can find a way to make it happen.