Starting a contractor business can be very different depending on the area you choose, which makes it difficult to be too generic with tips. For example, working as a painter or as an inspector involves different tasks, especially at the beginning of your journey.
With that said, there are a few general guidelines and tips that can be applied across a wide variety of services, giving you a good idea of what to do regardless of the area of expertise. It’s a decent way to take your first steps, but you have room to look for more specialized advice when necessary.
These are the basic tips I recommend for starting a contractor business:
Learn any required skills
If you’re starting without any previous experience, it’s important to learn all the required skills before anything else. Look for courses in the area you want and start learning as soon as possible – you can work on other preliminary parts of your business at the same time.
Whenever possible, opt for courses and specializations that offer a diploma or certification. Since you’ll start with no experience, it’s a nice perk to have in case clients want to ensure you’re qualified.
Set up your business
While you’re working on your skills, you might also want to start working on a few logistical aspects of your business – which may include some bureaucracy to get out of the way early on.
Do you need a license? Some contractor workers may need a license to operate in some states, but it varies a lot. Investigate with your local authorities if your line of work requires a license, and if so, how to get it.
Think of a business name. You’ll have to register a name for your business, so start thinking about a good one as early as possible. It has to be something unique and easily identifiable. Check out more tips on how to name your business.
Investigate insurance options. Liability insurance is important in case there’s an accident during a job or someone tries to sue you.
Business bank account. It’s crucial to separate your business finances from your personal accounts, and you can start by opening a business bank account. In many cases, you will also need an EIN (Employer Identification Number), which means you’ll need to get one of those too.
Start working on your social media
This is why it’s important to decide on a name as early as possible. If you already have a business name and a general branding idea, you can start setting up your social media profiles for when you actually open your business.
Generally speaking, you want profiles on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Google is particularly important because it’s the easiest way to be found when someone looks for your service.
Instagram is probably the best option to stay active nowadays, posting regularly and calling attention to your completed jobs on a daily basis. Finally, LinkedIn is better for professional networking, as well as hiring.
Facebook isn’t used too much when compared to Instagram for regular posting, but paying to boost your profile page can pay off, so it’s nice to have that option.
Plan your investments
Some contractors can start working from home, but most of them eventually need a proper office. Take a look around your area and learn how much it costs to rent an office in a good location.
But you’ll also need some equipment. You don’t need to acquire everything at once, but you’ll need at least some basic office supplies and your main tools for work. This will largely depend on your area, so make a list and investigate the cost to acquire them.
With these in mind, you can start planning ahead. You may need to secure a loan and enough funds to hire employees, as well as set up an emergency fund. All of this is much easier to plan once you know the cost of starting out.
Use your first jobs as leverage
When you start getting your hands on your first few jobs, you can use them to catapult yourself further. Be sure to ask for reviews and start building a good relationship with clients, asking for referrals, and practicing good customer service.
Reviews are particularly important as they will help you land even more jobs as you get more experience. Here’s why you should care about reviews!
You may also want to sign up for a lead generation service like homeyou, which greatly facilitates landing your first few jobs and building a portfolio.
Take the first step towards growing your business today and start receiving leads that will make you money. — Sign up with homeyou!