Are you thinking of starting your own contracting business? This blog will give you an overview of what you need to do to get started.
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Define your business
Choose your business structure
There are four main business structures in the United States – sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. The structure you choose will impact many factors from your business name, to how much money you raise, to your personal liability, to the taxes you pay.
A sole proprietorship is the most common type of business structure. It’s simple and inexpensive to set up, and you’re automatically the sole owner.
A partnership is similar to a sole proprietorship except there are two or more owners.
LLCs can be structured in different ways, but most small businesses choose either a single-member LLC (SMLLC) or a multi-member LLC (MMLLC). Both protect your personal assets from business debts and liabilities.
A corporation is more complex than other business structures and can differ greatly from state to state. In general, a corporation is its own legal entity, separate from its owners. This means that the owners are not personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the corporation.
Register your business
You will need to register your business with the City or County in which you will be operating. This is usually done through the Department of Business Regulation or the Chamber of Commerce. You will be required to fill out a business registration form and pay a fee. Once you have registered your business, you will be issued a Business Certificate or License, which you must display in your place of business.
You may also need to obtain a separate license from the state in which you will be doing business. For more information, contact your state’s revenue department or licensing board.
If you plan to hire employees, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can apply for an EIN online at the IRS website.
Get the proper licenses and permits
In order to start your contracting business, the first thing you need to do is to get the proper licenses and permits. Depending on the type of contracting business you want to start, you may need to get a general business license, a contractor’s license, and other permits. You can usually get all of the licenses and permits you need from your local city or county government office.
Federal licenses and permits
There are a number of contracting businesses that require special federal licenses and permits in order to operate legally. These businesses include those that deal with asbestos, lead-based paint, and other hazardous materials, as well as those that engage in interstate commerce.
If your contracting business falls into one of these categories, you will need to obtain the appropriate license or permit from the federal government before you can begin operating. The process for obtaining a federal license or permit can be complex, so it is important to do your research and make sure you are familiar with all of the requirements before you begin.
Once you have obtained the necessary licenses and permits, you will need to make sure you keep them up to date and renew them as needed. Failure to do so could result in your business being shut down or fined.
State licenses and permits
Most businesses need some form of license or permit to operate. You can check with your city or county clerk’s office to find out which licenses and permits apply to your business. Even if you do most of your work in one state, you may still need to get a business license in another state if you have customers there.
To get a general idea of the licenses and permits you might need for your business, visit SBA’s Licenses and Permits page.
Local licenses and permits
You will need to obtain a local business license from the town, city or county you plan to do business in. In some areas, you may need to register your business with the state. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Administration office for more information on licenses and permits in your area.
In addition to a local business license, you will also need any permits required to do contracting work in your area. These permits are typically required for any type of construction work, including additions, renovations and repairs. Check with your local building department for more information on the permits you will need.
Find your niche
When you’re ready to start your contracting business, the first step is to find your niche. What kind of contracting do you want to do? There are many different types of contracting, from electrical to plumbing to roofing. You’ll need to decide what type of contracting you want to do and then get the necessary training and certification. Once you have your niche, you can start marketing your business and finding customers.
What services will you offer?
Niche markets are small but powerful markets with specific needs. They are often overlooked by larger companies, making them ripe for entrepreneurship. When starting a contracting business, consider targeting a niche market for the best chance at success.
There are many factors to consider when choosing which services to offer. What type of work do you enjoy? What are you good at? What equipment and skills do you have? What type of work is in demand in your area?
Once you have identify your niche, research what type of services in demand and how much customers are willing to pay. start your contracting business off on the right foot by offering quality services at a fair price.
What geographical areas will you serve?
Determining what geographical areas you will serve is an important step in starting your contracting business. You may want to consider serving a large metropolitan area, a smaller city or town, or a rural area. There are pros and cons to each option, so it is important to weigh your options carefully before making a decision.
Metropolitan areas usually have a larger population and more potential customers, but there is also more competition. If you choose to serve a metropolitan area, you will need to be prepared to compete with other contractors for jobs.
Smaller cities and towns may have less competition, but there is also less potential for customers. You will need to carefully consider the population size and growth rate of the area before deciding whether or not it is a good fit for your business.
Rural areas often have the least competition from other contractors, but they also have the smallest population sizes. This can make it difficult to find enough customers to keep your business afloat. It is important to research the demographics of rural areas before deciding whether or not they are right for your contracting business.
Create a marketing plan
Develop your branding
A well-defined brand is one of the most important assets of any business. It’s what sets you apart from the competition and gives your customers a reason to choose you over someone else.
For contractors, your brand should convey both your professionalism and your niche. Are you a roofing contractor who specializes in high-end homes? A plumber who focuses on fixing leaks fast? Whatever it is, make sure it comes across in all of your marketing materials, from your website to your business cards.
Your branding should also extend to your uniform (if you wear one), company vehicles and any other promotional items you use. Consistency is key – if your branding is all over the place, it will be harder for customers to remember who you are and what you do.
Create a website
Your website is one of your most important marketing tools. It’s a great way to introduce potential customers to your business and give them the information they need to make a decision.
There are a few key things to remember when creating your website:
-Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. More and more people are using their phones and tablets to search the web, so it’s important that your site can be easily viewed on these devices.
-Include clear calls to action. What do you want visitors to do when they come to your site? Fill out a contact form? Call your office? Make sure it’s easy for them to take the next step.
-Include testimonials and case studies. Nothing is more convincing than hearing from other happy customers. Include testimonials on your website and showcase some of your best work with case studies.
-Make sure your site is updated regularly. No one wants to visit a website that hasn’t been updated in months (or years!). Keep your content fresh by adding new blog posts, case studies, and other updated regularly.
Get involved in your community
One way to get your business name out there is to become involved in your community. This can be done by joining the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, or other civic organizations. You can also sponsor local events or participate in trade shows. By getting involved, you will not only be increasing your company’s visibility, but you will also be building goodwill within the community.
Build your team
In any business, the first step is always to build your team. This is especially important in a contracting business, where you will need a team of skilled workers to complete the jobs you take on. You will also need to build a team of support staff, such as an accountant, a lawyer, and a marketing specialist.
In order to build your team, you will need to hire employees. You can find potential employees through online job boards, classified ads, or by word-of-mouth. Once you have found potential employees, you will need to interview them to determine if they are a good fit for your business. When interviewing potential employees, be sure to ask about their experience, qualifications, and work availability.
Once you have hired your employees, it is important to train them. Training will ensure that your employees are knowledgeable about the contracting services you offer and how to properly perform those services. Training may include shadowing another employee, Online research videos , or attending a trade school or training program.
Find independent contractors
The first thing you need to do when you’re ready to start your contracting business is to find independent contractors (ICs) who will work for you. You can find them in a number of ways, including:
-Asking people you know if they know anyone who might be interested in contracting work
-Searching online job boards and classifieds websites
-Attending job fairs and networking events
Once you’ve found some potential ICs, the next step is to screen them to make sure they’re a good fit for your business. You’ll want to look for things like:
-Their level of experience and expertise
-Whether they have the necessary qualifications and certifications
-If they’re a good cultural fit for your company
-Whether they’re reliable and trustworthy
After you’ve found and screened some potential ICs, the next step is to get them onboard with your company. This process will vary depending on the size of your company and what agreements you have in place with your ICs.
Get the word out
There are a few key ways to get the word out about your contracting business. You can start by creating a website and adding content that talks about your business. You can also add a blog to your website and write articles about the contracting industry. You can also distribute flyers and business cards in your local area. You can also add your contracting business to online directories.
Develop a marketing plan
A marketing plan is a roadmap that describes how you’ll attract and retain customers. It includes specific strategies, tactics, and tools you’ll use to reach your target market and achieve your business goals.
Your marketing plan should be created with your unique business goals in mind. It should be flexible and adaptable, so you can make adjustments as your business grows and changes.
Developing a well-crafted marketing plan can be daunting, but there are plenty of resources to help you get started. The Small Business Administration’s Developing Your Marketing Plan guide is a good place to start. You can also find helpful tips and templates on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Nation website.
Once you’ve developed your marketing plan, put it into action by starting with these key strategies:
Create a website
A website is a central place where customers can learn about your contracting business, view your services and prices, and contact you to schedule a consultation.
To create a website, you’ll need to purchase a domain name (which can usually be done through a web hosting service) and design the site itself. You can hire a web designer to create a website for you, or use a website builder like WordPress or Squarespace to do it yourself.
Once your website is up and running, make sure to populate it with engaging content that will attract visitors and help them understand what makes your contracting business unique. And don’t forget to include calls to action (like “schedule a consultation” or “get a free quote”) so that visitors know what to do next.
Get involved in your community
Your potential customers are your neighbors, so it stands to reason that getting involved in your community is a great way to get your name out there. volunteering, attending community events, or even just participate in conversations at the local coffee shop or diner. You can also sponsor local youth sports teams or donate your time and services to local charities. Every little bit helps when it comes to building name recognition for your business.
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