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Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?

 
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:09 PM   #1
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Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


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"Maybe you have a degree in construction that you want to put to good use, or maybe youíve got years of on-the-job training while working for someone else and have decided itís time to spread your wings and go out into business on your own." http://www.contractortalk.com/articl...tion-business/
What tips would you offer to someone wanting to start a construction business?
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:28 PM   #2
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Don't.

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Old 07-06-2015, 01:39 PM   #3
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


If I had to give someone advice just starting out it would be:

Pick a niche and focus intently on it. Pick an area of construction and become really good at it and become an expert and charge accordingly. If you have a niche pricing jobs becomes much easier and you can become very efficient at your chosen niche. More efficient equals less costs to do the same job as someone else.

Also, keep sales and marketing at the forefront of everything you do. Do whatever you have to do to keep the schedule full. Downtime can eat cash and close doors in a hurry.

When I started, I did not choose a niche and instead "did it all". I have plenty of work but I need every tool know to man with me at all times and estimating is hard because I do such a variety of tasks but not necessarily all the time. Today I went and looked at a job to replace all soffit and fascia on a large home, another job to demo and rebuild a large wrap around porch, and a complete guy bathroom remodel. Hard to be truly efficient at such different jobs.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:49 PM   #4
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BradingCon View Post
If I had to give someone advice just starting out it would be:

Pick a niche and focus intently on it. Pick an area of construction and become really good at it and become an expert and charge accordingly. If you have a niche pricing jobs becomes much easier and you can become very efficient at your chosen niche. More efficient equals less costs to do the same job as someone

Needs to be repeated again. Advice I was given many many years ago

Last edited by Cricket; 07-06-2015 at 02:21 PM. Reason: fixed quote tag
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:51 PM   #5
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Know your song well before you start singing. I other words,do not jump in half cocked.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:08 PM   #6
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


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Don't.
+2 It isn't easy out there these days.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:36 PM   #7
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Take then price you think is good when starting out and add 50 percent at least.

The most important thing I can say is start keeping track of paperwork from minute one.
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:27 PM   #8
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Buy an iMac, iPad and iPhone.

Just kidding. There is a sticky at the top of the business section of this site regarding estimating and pricing that's a very good read. If there is no link in that discussion, there are good calculators online to convert annual business expenses into hourly rates.

Additionally I'd suggest checking if there's a need for the business you want to start. If I'd done that long ago I may have picked another business, but it worked out well.

Communications is important so set it up that potential customers can reach you by voice, email and in person. Websites are great. I get a few calls a week at very low expense.

Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:46 PM   #9
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Don't jump in all at once unless you've got deep pockets already.
Don't go into debt for a startup.
Analyze the market before starting. Can you do a niche business in your area? (Can't here. My cabinet guy also does roofs to keep busy)
Don't owe the government anything. They don't play nice.
Read read and read more.
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:53 PM   #10
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


My advice : start small and get to know what you are doing . write clear contracts and do a little extra. Be extremely clean. Have a presentable vehicle . get cards and invoices that match . be professional .
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:54 PM   #11
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Build a good relationship with a reputable supply house/lumberyard. An honest relationship with them is paramount for a business. I have to say I've been with my lumberyard for many years and they are probably the most valuable partnership I have in the business.

Also to add to this.

It's tough to go wrong if you under promise and over deliver to the client.

Last edited by Calidecks; 07-06-2015 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:03 PM   #12
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


That's very very good advice
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:55 PM   #13
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


-You can never have a perfect contract, but work hard at getting as close as possible.
-estimate how long a job will take you, and then add 30%. Things ALWAYS take longer than you expect.
-similar the one above, don't second guess that your estimate is too high. You if you do better than you thought you can always lower the invoice, if you are so inclined.
-keep track of EVERYTHING!!!. Fill up a page every day with all the thoughts that roll around in your head.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:57 PM   #14
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


There's a guy who's been there, done that. That's experience talking
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:29 PM   #15
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Recognize the power of good daily decisions. Learn how to positively influence your bank account one small incriminate at a time. If you do a few things a day that puts you $100 dollars ahead you end the year $36,500 better. Take advantage of credit card rewards, repair your broken tools, squeeze in a service call, return unused items, wright change orders, plan your mileage well, fit in one more job a month. There are so many ways to do this. A person has a lot of opportunities to end the year in a lot better spot than you might think but it takes attention to detail.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:41 PM   #16
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Without question, the most important lesson in starting any business is learning to get your a$$ kicked. It is going to happen. Nothing is more pitiable than a newbie whining about how he got screwed by a homeowner/sub/GC/supplier/judge/ex-wife ad infinitum. Here's a reminder from the 3rd grade you may have forgotten: Life isn't fair. As soon as you start a business, you're going to be reminded, probably painfully. Hopefully painfully, because if it hurts enough, you'll learn to minimize yer whoopins'.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:48 PM   #17
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Guys , this is awesome . I ve been at it 15 years plus and these are great reminders for me as well.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:52 PM   #18
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Learn the true cost of business. I had no idea for the first 5-7 years about any of it. We just threw a dart at what we thought we needed to charge. You must read, read, read about estimating and overhead from great guys here, books, trade agazines, etc.

Remeber to enjoy what your are doing. I know it sounds cliche, but isn't it why we all went into this industry? If you are miserable it probably won't get better.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:07 PM   #19
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


My advice would be:

1. Become an expert on contractor accounting.
2. Learn to speak fluent Spanish.
3. Lean CAD.
4. Join a Builder or Remodeler 20 Club.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:08 PM   #20
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Get a job with a large construction company and learn the business at their expense.

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