In service-related industries such as home construction, painting, plumbing, and window installation, experience is the most important thing to offer a client. That means the would-be business owner should work several years for someone else to gain the necessary experience before considering venturing out on his or her own.
Consider Pursuing More Educational Credentials
Those in the construction industries who have worked for many years may have outdated skills. Enrolling in a college or vocational school not only helps prospective business owners gain more skills, it also gives them the opportunity to network with others in their trade. Popular education choices include a building trade certificate, technical diploma, and an undergraduate degree in construction management.
One especially important thing to consider is that working as an independent home improvement contractor requires business administration skills as well as technical skills. It’s a good idea for anyone pondering this career move to enroll in courses that enable them to effectively manage a business. These will likely include business accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, and marketing.
Launching a New Business
Once the entrepreneur feels confident in his or her experience and education, the next step is to officially launch the new business. This requires coming up with a name, filing articles of incorporation in the state where he or she intends to do business, and paying the required fees.
Establishing the business as a limited liability corporation (LLC) makes sense for people in the home improvement construction trades. This business classification protects individual business owners from judgments filed against the business as well as liability for its debts. Companies as small as one person can establish an LLC and still file their taxes as a sole proprietor.
Marketing as a New Home Improvement Contractor
It would be nice if customers just showed up after all that hard work, but that’s simply not reality. The contractor’s hardest work still lies ahead. He or she needs a plan to attract customers, starting with an email and social media campaign. Even contracting businesses that just launched should establish a social media presence as soon as possible. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are the old standbys, but people in this industry should consider signing up on sites like Houzz.com as well.
Houzz.com allows contractors to list their business services for a fee. Visitors to the site enter their zip code and the type of home improvement service they need. The site then displays the closest contractors who offer the requested services.
A big benefit of establishing social media accounts early is that it allows newly self-employed contractors to collect opt-in email addresses. They should use this opportunity wisely to send coupons, promotions, and other forms of marketing to people already interested in their services.
Every new business needs a website, regardless of industry. The home improvement contractor will need assistance from a web development company to build it. While it’s an added expense, the entrepreneur benefits by working with an agency that knows how to create websites with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind.
After the website is firmly established, hiring someone to write a weekly blog is a great way to sustain continued interest in the company.
(Featured Image Credit: AAA Windows For Less)