10 Essential Steps To Start A General Contracting Business

By taking the right steps, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about
30 April 2024
Photo by Benjamin Lehman

If you’re about to start a general contracting business, then you’ll already know you’ve got quite a few steps to get through. Some of these will be relatively obvious, while others mightn’t be. You could even think some of them are optional when they’re not.

It’s worth making sure you know every step you need to take when starting off. Not only will it make sure you don’t overlook anything, but it’ll help the process go much smoother.

Thankfully, this doesn’t need to be nearly as complicated as you could think. Once you’re done with them, you can start focusing on getting more and more clients, seeing even more success.

It’s worth diving into ten of the most essential of these.

Photo by Samuel Cruz

Start A General Contracting Business: 10 Essential Steps

1. Actually Register Your Business

When you start a general contracting business, you’ll need to register it with the appropriate authorities. This is a legal necessity, so make sure you get it out of the way before you start trading. You could run into more than a few problems if you don’t, and these could be larger than you’d think.

Thankfully, the process doesn’t need to be too complicated. Most authorities offer a step-by-step guide to help you get through this. Make sure you follow this, and you shouldn’t have any problem registering your business. With how important this is, there’s no reason not to.

2. Pick The Right Services

There are countless services your general contracting business could offer. While it can be tempting to offer as many of these as possible, it isn’t exactly the best approach to take. You could do much better if you specialise in certain areas and tailor your services to that.

In time, you can become known as an expert in these, making you the go-to option for anyone who needs these services. Pick your services carefully, and make sure you can follow through with them and deliver them to a high-quality. Your business will be all the better for it.

3. Invest In A Vehicle

You’ll naturally need a vehicle when you start a general contracting business, and you’ll need it to transfer tools and supplies to the sites you’re working on. It’s always worth investing in this and making sure it’s a high-quality option. If it isn’t, you risk it breaking down when you need it the most.

You’ll have plenty of these to choose from, some of which can be much better recommended than others. RAM trucks can be one of the better options, thanks to their towing capacity and other features. Spend some time figuring out what the best option for you is, and get it.

Photo by Dmitriy

4. Buy Other Resources & Tools

Your vehicle wouldn’t be the only resource you’ll need when you’re running your business. You’ll need countless others, too. The materials to do a project will be the most obvious, but these can vary from project to project. You’ll also need quite a few others for your business itself to run properly.

Accounting software, equipment, and similar options will all be some of the more notable of these. Make sure you invest in these as early as possible. They’ll help make sure you can actually run your business while being able to complete any projects you start. As expensive as this can be, it’s worth it.

5. Establish Pricing Strategies

You’ll already know you’ve to charge clients for the work you do. You’re not going to make any money if you don’t. The trick here is knowing how much you should charge them. Since the price can vary from project to project, it’s always worth having a pricing strategy in place to help.

Knowing how to budget a project is a core part of this. Keep all of your costs in mind, and have an appropriate percentage on top to cover labour and generate a project. While this takes a little time to master, you’ll get there eventually.

6. Get Insured

In many places, having insurance is an essential part of starting any business. Even if it’s optional where you’re based, it’s still worth investing in. No matter what, it’s always worth getting comprehensive insurance for your company, as it makes sure you’re as protected as possible going forward.

While nobody expects anything to happen, there’s always a decent risk something will happen. Workplace injuries are some of the most common. By having insurance in place, you can make sure your company isn’t at financial risk in case these happen. You’ve no excuse not to.

7. Have A Business Bank Account

You’ll naturally need to use a bank account when you’re operating your business, and it can be tempting to use your own. That isn’t exactly a good idea, as it’ll lead to your personal and business finances being too interlinked. A business bank account can be much better at separating the two.

It’ll also make sure you’ve a dedicated bank account to get paid in and out of while making sure your personal finances are protected. Without this, you could end up at financial risk if anything goes wrong. Make it one of the first steps you take.

8. Market Your Services

When you first start a general contracting business, you’re not going to have much – if any – brand awareness. It’ll be difficult to get customers coming to you without investing in your contracting services. The sooner you start marketing your services, the sooner you can start building brand awareness.

In time, this leads to more people being aware of your company and considering hiring you for their projects. There are multiple strategies you can use, but it’s worth focusing on local advertising when you’re doing this. You’ll target your main customer base with it, helping you develop a strong foundation for growth.

9. Do A Great Job

Once you start getting clients, it’s time to put in most of the hard work. You’ll have to make sure you actually do a great job when you’re working with them. The main area involved in this is making sure the work you do is to a high quality and meets your client’s expectations.

It’s also worth putting time and effort into delivering great customer services. The better this is, the more likely it is these clients will consider you for work in the future. It’ll also lead to better word-of-mouth marketing and help your business succeed long-term.

10. Ask For Reviews

Now you’re doing a great job for each of your clients, it’s worth going out of your way to ask for reviews. Online reviews can be especially helpful for getting new clients and consistent work in the future. It shows prospective clients you can be trusted to do a great job for them, helping to convince them to pick you.

There are more than a few ways you can do this, and it might even be worth offering a small discount to encourage this. Make it as easy as possible for clients to post these reviews, and you shouldn’t have a problem getting them.

Start A General Contracting Business: Wrapping Up

Trying to start a general contracting business and make sure it succeeds can be a long and complicated process. It involves countless steps and more than a bit of stress. This doesn’t mean you’ve to struggle with it the entire time, however.

Instead, there are more than a few ways you can make sure it’s a relatively straightforward process. By taking the right steps, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.