As cliché as it sounds, obtaining your license to become a general contractor really is just the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of resources exist to prepare aspiring contractors for the licensing exam. Readiness programs, tutors, and study guides have helped contractors nationwide pass this phase of the process with flying colors. However, start-up contractors who succeed are asking the same questions: what’s next? What do I need to do before opening for business? How do I market a new construction company?
While the requirements to launch a general contracting business vary from state to state, here are a few ways you can jump-start your business development journey:
- Home Business Permit: If you’re thinking about operating your general contracting business from home for the time being, be sure to look into your local laws. Many states will require you to obtain a permit before you launch headfirst into home-based operations.
- Surety Bond: Licensed contractors must obtain a surety bond from a surety company – some of which have partnered with the SBA to help emerging contractors get their start. A surety bond ensures that a project will be completed in the event that a contractor is unwilling or unable to fulfill the terms of the contract. If the surety company cannot find another contractor to complete the project, they will see to it that the client is compensated.
- Insurance: Be sure to obtain liability insurance to cover yourself, your equipment, and your vehicle. If you intend to have any employees on board, you’ll need to invest in workers’ compensation insurance as well.
- Consider your marketing now! It’s not too early to start brainstorming how you’ll get the word out about your business. And, contrary to popular belief, effective marketing in the contracting space doesn’t begin and end with word-of-mouth. Social media, networking opportunities and even digital advertising present viable avenues for lead generation and brand awareness. Get creative!
Just received your contractor’s license? CRATE Franchise Systems provides expert guidance to walk start-up contractors through the twists and turns of the launch phase. Learn more about how we can help today. Click here to download our complete CRATE Information Guide, or click here to schedule a phone call with me at a time of your choosing.
Scott Monday is Co-founder + CEO of CRATE Franchise Systems, the franchisor of the kitchenCRATE & bathCRATE remodel products. You can follow him on Linked-In or email him at scott[at]cratefranchisesystems[dot]com.