Trade Life, Starting out in the world of trade contracting can be an intimidating experience. Really, starting any business in this day and age is a huge undertaking, and one that will only succeed if you have a solid strategy in place.
If you’ve just begun to take on the big jobs, perhaps it’s time to upgrade your existing business practice.
While it’s nice to start out small, and have the convenience of taking on smaller jobs when you have the time and resources, it’s the bigger contracts that will bring you the most money. And, even though it’s nice to get those small 5,000 dollar jobs on a recurring basis, wouldn’t it be better to have recurring jobs of over 50,000 dollars?
If you think it’s time to go from small-time to big-time, the following tips will assist you in taking your contracting business to the next level.
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So, now that you’re on the road to getting bigger, better paying jobs, you’ll need to be able to transport your equipment, personnel, and materials to the job site with ease. Now you might think that you can do this with your trusty old Toyota, but think again.
Larger jobs are correspondingly going to require more materials, and probably more equipment as well. If you’re trying to expand your business and just don’t quite have the savings to spring for a brand new heavy-duty pickup, you can rent a ¾ ton pickup truck perfect for hauling heavy loads.
Where a ½ ton truck provides you with plenty of power, a ¾ ton truck will provide you with much more, and most of these models have towing packages perfect for hauling big trailers with a lot of weight.
So, don’t worry about getting that Bobcat to the jobsite. With a ¾ ton rental truck you won’t spend an arm and a leg while you’re expanding your business, and you’ll be able to haul all of your equipment and materials with ease.
Additionally, you’ll also be able to apply a magnetic logo to your rental truck so that you can give yourself that professional edge that customers appreciate. This is also a great advertising strategy as well, as professional signage in any form attracts attention.
Landing the Big Contracts
Often when you’re in the beginning phase of your business, you don’t typically bid on the big contracting jobs. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to word of mouth advertising and completing smaller jobs, but you’ll have to do twice as many small jobs in order to make the money that you would from one large job.
If you’re looking to make the big bucks, you’ll have to put yourself out there into the local community. This means that you might need to consider renting a commercial space, getting business cards and developing a marketing strategy.
But, your biggest asset is going to be with relationship building. This entails communicating and working alongside other specialty contractors in your community.
For example, let’s say you specialize in framing work. Well, chances are you’re likely to be working with other contractors on the same job site. You’ll meet plumbers, pipe-fitters, welders, electricians and many others who specialize in a specific trade. The key here is to use your people skills, and pick the brains of those around you. Tell them you’re looking for bigger jobs, and see what kind of contacts you’ll be able to share.
If you develop quality relationships with others within your profession, chances are the bigger jobs will start coming to you through their recommendations of your work.
If you’re working in the contracting universe, chances are you know that most states require an exam and a valid contractor’s license in order to work on jobs over a specific monetary value. Where you might not need a contractor’s license in your state when it comes to doing jobs under a few thousand dollars, for the bigger jobs you’re likely to need a license.
Check with your state’s bureau of labor to see exactly what is required in order to get a license or certification.
Some states require that you have a certain amount of work experience as a bare minimum, usually between 5 and 8 years on average. Other states may require a certificate or a degree from an accredited institution.
While getting a license does require a renewal every couple of years, this only adds to the level of professionalism that you’ll be able to carry with you. A state certification and a valid contractor’s license looks great on any resume, and this will enable you to go after those big contracts with confidence.
With any business venture, you want to position yourself in the most professional manner possible. This only tells your prospective clients that you’re serious about what you do, and that you perform quality work no matter what size job you decide to take on.