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I'm a new member to contractor connection. I have worked in the industry for the past 12 years in different capacities from assistant superintendent to director of construction. I recently decided to venture out and start my own company. I luckily had 3 jobs requested of me from individuals that I had previously known but these jobs were completely random and are not sustainable. All of the marketing research and information that I have read states +/- 80% of contracting work comes from referrals and individuals with whom you have already had dealings with. My questions is this. How does a contractor starting from scratch attain their first few jobs? This relates to the light commercial and custom home market. For information, my company focuses in the 200K to 2Mil segment. Below are the steps that I have assumed I should take. Any info would be helpful. I would like to know how other individuals started and grew their business.

-Deliver marketing material to architects and engineers to establish a relationship to be added to their invitation to bid lists.
-Deliver marketing material to commercial realtors to be referred for new construction and tenant build-out to their client base.
-Deliver marketing material to residential realtors for buyers looking to build a custom home.
-Place bandit signs at strategic area around town .

Fundamental question is how does a contractor acquire their first project and grow from their? Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.
 

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Fake it til you make it.

Might need to buy some work doing it at cost.

What is your online component?

Billboards for brand. Online for contact.

The builders in my town in your price range advertise on the public radio stations because the audience is more educated and affluent. They are also typically tree huggers that will spend fifty percent more on 'green' sustainable free range locally sourced drywall and such.
 

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Do you mean contractor connection contractor talk? If you mean contractor connection would yuk mind giving me some advice on how you got in with them?
 

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Getting started

I'm a new member to contractor connection. I have worked in the industry for the past 12 years in different capacities from assistant superintendent to director of construction. I recently decided to venture out and start my own company. I luckily had 3 jobs requested of me from individuals that I had previously known but these jobs were completely random and are not sustainable. All of the marketing research and information that I have read states +/- 80% of contracting work comes from referrals and individuals with whom you have already had dealings with. My questions is this. How does a contractor starting from scratch attain their first few jobs? This relates to the light commercial and custom home market. For information, my company focuses in the 200K to 2Mil segment. Below are the steps that I have assumed I should take. Any info would be helpful. I would like to know how other individuals started and grew their business.

-Deliver marketing material to architects and engineers to establish a relationship to be added to their invitation to bid lists.
-Deliver marketing material to commercial realtors to be referred for new construction and tenant build-out to their client base.
-Deliver marketing material to residential realtors for buyers looking to build a custom home.
-Place bandit signs at strategic area around town .

Fundamental question is how does a contractor acquire their first project and grow from their? Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.
I would never go after realtors nor property management companies for work with the exception of the medium to large commercial real estate management companies. Get with the right commercial management company and you can be set for life (if you can deliver).

It is very simple to get work for general contracting and this can be accomplished within minutes by calling general contractors and asking whether or not they have jobs to bid. Almost every busy general has jobs they want bids for. The problem is earning a good profit, but you will make some connections with their customers, get referrals, and you will meet other contractors who will steer you in the right direction as you are earning a little money.

There are many websites where you can download jobs to bid. Many of these sites offer free trial periods and jobs range from a few thousand dollars to several million dollars.

It takes too much time to visit contractors who don't know you and it can be depressing. Direct mail is too ineffective and takes too long if you want speed. Therefore, the telephone is the best bet and you will get positive results within minutes (at least as far as contractors saying they want bids).

If I parachuted into a brand new city the first thing I would do is find the busy contractors and get on the phone.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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Almost every busy general has jobs they want bids for.
I second that. I've met a few GC's who have said, "I have no problem with getting business. Finding someone to do the work profitably is always a challenge.
 

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you need to look like you've been in business for 20 years...from day 1

spend $5-10k on a website

uniforms, labeled work truck, your logo on all your invoices/bid sheets

look professional...this will all help you get the few jobs that come your way....

if you look unprofessional your going to get stuck with sidejob type customers

steady referrals took me 3 years...in the mean time you have to find customers on your own..

a shop location with a large sign on a busy street will help

I would put all my money and time into the website....

if you have no money to spend then your stuck ...you need $$ and a marketing plan of some sort

join a builders association(or 2) and get involved with their events...you could get a booth at a home show....
 

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steady

Hi all out there! Hope everyone is keeping busy making money

Me on the other hand not so much I guess. My question would be is how
I can go about finding steady leads/work?
Ive been working in construction for over 11 years now and am still
having the same issues with this. I can take on a exterior paint job or small remodel but when Im done Ill be slow for a few months sometimes.
My main form of advertising is through flyers which I pass out from time to time. Word of mouth is always almost a guaranteed contract which is good but hardly steady.
Ive tried Angie's, Respond and Kelly's but they seem to take more money out of my pocket then they put back. So maybe I'm looking in the wrong place or going about this the whole wrong way? I was going to try to put a REALLY nice portfolio together with a bunch of pics from past jobs and try to find a builders list or something and send it out.
Partly it's my fault because I'm not too good with organization skills and not too good of a salesman at times either. My skills are in what I do and I consider myself pretty good at it too. I would treat a strip and re roof job the same as installing a sump pump when it comes to quality. It's hard to bid a job too because of that because I don't like to cheap out on materials or quality which makes me lose jobs to the guy that will not glue down his materials or buy the more expansive cement etc etc... I could go on and on but you guys know what I'm talking about.
Anyway sorry for going on and on so to sum it up I guess my question would be "How can I go about keeping steady work/leads, finding good quality leads residential or commercial?
As I said I've been doing this for over 11 years and it's supported me and my family with a few pit falls obviously or I wouldn't be here but I'd like to be able to pick and choose the jobs that come along instead of scrounging for anything that comes along.
I hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes here trying to steal ideas or to get anyone angry for asking such a question so I'd love to hear of
your successes, what works or if not I get it if you cuss me out :thumbup:
Thanks in advance and I hope everyone stays busy and making $$
 

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anna....if you aren't a good salesperson, here is a thought; try to find someone who is. Someone charismatic (who knows a bit about your business would be a plus) and strike up a partnership. If they can bring you business you will give them a cut. Just a thought.
 

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Anyway sorry for going on and on so to sum it up I guess my question would be "How can I go about keeping steady work/leads, finding good quality leads residential or commercial?
There is a wealth of good information on this site. Your question and virtually any other questions you can think of have been answered here many times over, so I suggest starting out by just browsing old threads first.

Good luck!
 

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Thanks!!!
Ive spent literally the last 2 days reading posts trying to learn.
Everyone here seems to be great. Everyone Ive ever dealt with
seem to be out for blood and it's everyone for themselves. To ask
for a little help is out of the question and unheard of so I feel like
I'm in a whole different world here :thumbup:
 

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No. Absolutely not. I am a terribly salesperson (in person...I'm not that bad in print).

I was just looking to a suggestion outside the box that no one else had gotten to yet.

It's a good idea! Im sure it would work if I can find someone I trust.
Maybe a family member.
 

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One day I was handing out flyers and gave one to this guy who needed
a small tile job done. We chatted a bit and I took the job because I was
a little slow. Come to find out he was a detective and referred me to all
his neighbors. I worked for 6 years alone on that street and didn't do any form of advertising for 6 years. Once the work dried up I kinda forgot
how to. I wish I could've keep going because it was sweet. Now Im scratching my head.:blink:
 
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