7 Tips to Grow Your General Contracting Career

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Choosing to become a general contractor can have so many advantages. It allows you to start your own business, create your own schedule, and control the amount of income you make.

Being a freelance contractor is becoming more and more commonplace in today’s society. If you choose to take advantage of this career path, there are some tips and tricks that can help you succeed with your competitors as a growing general contractor.

1. Get The Right Certifications

You can start your career as a general contractor with only a high school diploma. However, having just your diploma will mean that you’ll spend a long time building up your reputation and brand. Plus, many companies seek a higher level of education if you’re looking to work for someone else when you first start. To really succeed, it’s VERY necessary to be licensed in your field. There are a number of ways you can prepare for your license or any exams you need to complete in your state like attending a local or online contractor’s training course.

2. Build A Great Team

If you’re building your own business, you want to hire people who will be dependable, skilled, and knowledgeable employees. To acquire and keep the best employees, reward them for their reliability and great quality of work. Encouraging your employees is key, but you don’t want to micromanage what they do. Lead them instead of managing them to show them you have confidence in their decision making and work.

3. Invest in Your Business

For your business to succeed, you need to take a risk. This means investing money and time into your company. These investments come in the form of upgrading to new technology and equipment when needed, marketing your business on all platforms, and properly training your employees. Beyond attracting more business, ensure that that business is profitable. Your methods of achieving success can backfire if your methods aren’t profitable. Try out a few strategies and be adaptable if it doesn’t work out.

4. Get The Word Out

Word of mouth is still one of the best methods for construction workers to get their company’s name out there and earn more work. One way to get your business’s name out there is by encouraging your most loyal customers to tell others about the work you do. Another way to verbally promote your company is to network. Go out of your way to join or be more active in your local trade association chapter. This can help you get your brand’s name become well-known. You’ll establish connections and see immediate growth.  

5. Play to Your Strengths

Being a contractor requires you to be a master of many skills: organized planning, communication, and infrastructure knowledge. There’s a lot of pressure to feel like you’re good at everything, but focusing on one aspect of contracting that you’re particularly good at can help your business grow. Finding a niche and excelling at that will be noticed against other companies who are average at communication or miss deadlines.  

6. Quality is King

Quality should be the top concern in everything you do. Think carefully when you’re considering whether to make any changes or decisions that would sacrifice the quality of your work. While cutting corners may seem to cut costs or speed up a project, it can prove detrimental in the long run. Your company’s reputation is at stake when you decide to put anything above quality, and your brand’s reputation is only as good as the last quality job you’ve done. So keep your standards high and stick to providing quality service.

7. Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Your career can’t be successful if you’re not working towards your goal of being an independent contractor. You can’t just expect work to come to you; you have to seek out new opportunities and do your best to retain the business you have. Reach out to your connections to see what new projects are expected to come up in the near future.

Bonus Tips

While many of the decisions you’ll make in your contracting career will be inconsequential, you want to always be on your toes. Be prepared to make hard decisions when things get tough. Look at every situation from all possible angles and don’t fall to the pressure. With determination and a few of these tips, you’ll be on your way to a successful career as a general contractor.

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