Building a Construction Startup: Tips for Generation Z
Working in the residential construction industry can be a great career choice. Here’s how soon-to-be professionals from Generation Z can establish a solid foundation for a career as a builder.
Create your business plan. It’s critical that you create a thorough plan without any holes, since you will need to provide copies to financial institutions and creditors. A good business plan should establish the goals of your new construction business. It should have detailed plans for each stage of the process, along with reasonable time frames and sources of funding. Be sure to include any detail that might relate to the smooth operation of your company.
Secure a good home base. Although many construction entrepreneurs begin working from their homes, you will eventually need to branch out. To legitimize your company, look into creating a more official business premise by securing professional office space where you can meet with clients. You will also need to secure ample storage space to hold your tools and equipment. Depending on your expected growth rate, you will want to consider finding a place with adequate parking for employees and company vehicles.
Prioritize professionalism. To establish your business, you need to instill confidence in employees, partners and clients by showing that you are efficient, organized and compliant with local and federal laws, regulations and standards. Be sure to acquire all required licenses, certifications, permits and registrations for your company. Since these can vary by city, county and state, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer to guide you through the process. You should also hire a bookkeeper and accountant to help with expenses and tax deductions.
Protect yourself. Schedule a meeting with a qualified insurance agent to determine the required coverage for your business. Be sure you have everything you need to protect your business assets and shield yourself from personal liabilities, work-related injuries and damage to clients’ property.
Get financing. To run a successful building company, you will need money to rent, lease or purchase tools, equipment and vehicles. You will also need money to pay your bills, hire skilled labor and invest in advertising. Since you probably won’t have time to work a second job while you are trying to launch your company, you will need to get a business loan. Have a financial professional go over your business plan to make sure it will get approved by a lender. You should also open accounts with suppliers and establish lines of credit with them.
Start networking. You will need to have good relationships with other contractors and sub-contractors so you can get assistance on jobs you may not finish alone. Sometimes, you won’t have the skilled labor; other times you may be behind deadline. Whatever the case, you will most likely need someone to help you complete an important job on time. Establishing positive relationships with industry professionals, including building inspectors, is essential as well.
Hire the right people. If you are just starting out, you probably won’t employ a full-time crew. You will enjoy lower costs and greater flexibility by dealing with contractors. That said, you should consider hiring at least one full-time assistant who can learn the ins and outs of your business and ensure that things run smoothly.
Establish a marketing budget. Depending on your initial goals, you might decide that simple signage and networking are enough to land consistent work. As you grow, however, you will want to invest in business cards, brochures, a business portfolio, online marketing, and TV or radio advertisements. Always allocate more money to marketing than you think you will need.
Streamline your operations. Don’t forget to reserve some money for construction management software to help streamline your business and automate various processes. The right software solutions can help you complete jobs faster and save money on man hours.
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