Have you always been passionate about fixing, improving, and building homes or other structures?
Then you already have what it takes to start your own business and join the trillion-dollar engineering and construction (E&C) industry in the U.S. It might be the opportunity of a lifetime for you, too, since construction is one of the few industries that remained resilient despite the pandemic wiping out profits and driving entire companies out of business left and right. Furthermore, every single forecast dictates that engineering and construction are headed for more growth in the coming years.
Here’s the thing, though: starting your own construction business is worlds away from succeeding with it. To do so, passion is not the only thing you need, although it’s a pretty good start. Here is a list of everything you need to have locked down before you run those ads for your new construction firm.
A sound business plan
What services will your firm offer? How many employees/contractors will you be working with? How much capital will you be taking out? And when do you expect to recover that to turn a profit?
All of these details have to be in the business plan that will guide your company once you’re ready to get things going. Working on your business plan will also give you ample time to think about what you really want for your company and how you will achieve it.
Area of expertise
While your goal must be to build an all-around construction firm in the future, it’s best to start small and find a niche that you can specialize in while you’re still trying to find your footing as a business owner.
There are a lot of lucrative construction specialties like plumbing, electrical work, and even solar PV installation. It’s not advisable to do it all at once while you’re still trying to figure out how to run the business efficiently. For a smoother launch, pick an area of expertise you already know and like, preferably something you already studied before.
Licenses, Certifications, and Permits
Every single state and city in the U.S. has their own requirements before aspiring contractors can get licensed to offer their services to the public. In Tennessee, for instance, you won’t just be required to pass the traditional construction or trade exam. You will also be sitting for a separate test that will test your aptitude in business and law.
These licensure and certification tests are not to be underestimated. In fact, if you are looking to open your business sooner rather than later, you might want to explore the Tennessee contractors license exam prep or any similar courses in your area to ensure that you can pass the tests in one take, lest you’re willing to shelve your dream business just because of a few exams.
A network of trusted suppliers and workers
Whether you like it or not, in this industry, you’re only as good as the suppliers and contractors you choose to associate with your name and your brand. Their products and handy work will be the sole gauge for customers and clients to know whether your company is worth what you charge.
You might think skipping insurance coverage when you’re starting out is a smart way to cut down on your initial investment, but it’s way too risky to start taking clients without the appropriate coverage to protect your business (and your people) from the risks of construction work.
People will go to great lengths to protect their properties, so one wrong move, regardless if it’s intentional or not, can put you out of business for good. Do not leave it up to chance and get the most comprehensive insurance coverage you can afford, and upgrade it every so often as you scale the business along.
It goes without saying that you need a substantial amount of money to hire people, buy or rent equipment, run marketing campaigns, and buy insurance for the business and for your employees.
Line up for financing as early as you can since the process can be quite tedious.
Commitment to excellence
Finally, to wrap up this list of the things you need if you’re looking to join the construction industry as a business owner, you need to commit to excellent work and service.
There is just no substitute for a job well done. At the end of the day, you will be judged by the work your company does, and it’s one thing you can never compromise — not if you really want to make it in such a competitive industry.