Whisper it quietly, but if you’re pretty handy with a hammer, then you might want to consider setting up a construction business. Why? Because it’s a booming industry at the moment, with record numbers of new orders being set in the past year. The varied type of work, plus the ease of setting up this type of business will make it an attractive option for those with the skills to go at it alone. Below, we take a look at some of the things you’ll need to get your business off the ground.
1. Pros And Cons
Before we start taking a look at what you’ll need, let’s think about the pros and cons of starting this business, to see if it’s the right option for you. First, the cons. It’s true that you can start small, but to become competitive you will need to have a steady financial war chest. There can also be quite a lot of legal documents to fill out, and of course, there are long, physically draining hours to think about as well. But if you can overcome these hurdles, you’ll find an industry that has plenty of jobs, a lot of scope for specialisation and growth, and the potential to earn a big return on your investment.
2. Where Do You Fit In?
No-one is really a jack of all trades, and even if they were, that would be the wrong approach for a construction company. To be competitive, you have to position as an expert in just one area of construction. You can be renovator, small contractor, or build new buildings from the ground up. With all these subsections, there’s further room for specialisation. When you’re trying to pin down where you fit in, think about the area of construction you know most about, what you enjoy doing, and how many jobs are available for that type of work. Naturally, it’s better to focus on types that receive a lot of orders.
3. Figuring Out The Business
Of course, a construction business is just like any other business, and that means you need to create a business plan. This will outline your costs, your anticipated earnings, and what exactly your company will be. While it’s maybe less important in the construction world than it would be in say, fashion, having everything clearly outlined will help you to stay focused on the business.
4. Securing The Funds
While you can start with just a hammer and determination, things will be a lot smoother if you have some money behind you. This will allow you to buy a van, tools, get your marketing up and running, and all the other essential company growth factors. If you don’t have any money of your own to invest, you can look at securing the money via a traditional bank loan. It’s usually not so difficult to get a loan for a construction business because much of the money is used to buy assets.
5. Finding Other Hands
To be competitive, and to make money, you’ll need to have other construction workers on your team. Doing so will allow your business to take on more jobs and finish your projects on time, and in a cost-effective manner. Get in touch with a construction recruitment agency if you don’t know where to start when it comes to hiring. They’ll be able to put forward potential employees that are ready for the task of work. If you try to hire by yourself, you’re liable to employ the wrong person (especially if you’ve never hired before), and this can end up being very costly for your business.
6. Beware The Many Rules
Like we said in the pros and cons paragraph, there are a certain number of rules you need to follow. This might seem annoying at first, but it’s for your benefit; most of them concern themselves with health and safety practices. With these guidelines and frameworks in place, you’ll be putting yourself and your employees in danger. The rules you need to follow do vary from country to country, and from state to state, so get in touch with your local agency and find out what certificates you need to obtain before you take on your first customers.
7. Protecting Yourself And Your Assets
Unfortunately, many construction businesses find themselves the victim of crime. This is because they usually have expensive equipment, and also often have sites that are left unmanned – and not fully secure – at night. It’ll be crucial that you obtain business insurance so that you’re protected in case your equipment is stolen. You’ll also need to protect yourself in a safety way, too. Go beyond what’s required by law to establish your own health and safety practices, and make sure your staff fully understand what they are.
7. Steady And Stable
In most businesses, the leaders are encouraged to be innovate and try out new things at their business. The logic is that a company that stands still won’t be around for too long. This advice, however, is not as applicable to construction companies. Instead of always looking to the future, it’s better to be steady and stable. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, at least not when it comes to your projects. Routinely completing high-quality work will be the best way to grow your business!
8. Word Of Mouth
Marketing for construction companies can be tricky. While it’s important that you have social media pages for your business, most of your work – at least initially – will come via word of mouth. Encourage your clients to tell their friends about your good work; you can even offer them a 10% finders fee if they find you extra work. When work is well established, consider advertising your services on the radio.
9. Final Thoughts
It goes without saying that it’s not easy setting up a construction company; it’s not easy setting up any company! But if you enjoy the work and can get yourself organised, you’ll find plenty of work in this booming sector – and be your own boss, too.