Starting your own construction company is both thrilling and terrifying—almost there’s as much to lose as there is to gain. It’s your responsibility as the person in control to make crucial decisions, and you’ll need to study a variety of supporting business skills to complement your art, such as administration, marketing, customer service/management, and accounting, to mention a few.
You’d be unlikely to find someone who hasn’t thought of establishing their own business at some point in their lives. So, you’ve got your credentials, a sack full of excitement, and a custom hard helmet, but now what?
When launching a construction company, there are 8 key steps to consider.
Step 1 – Conduct thorough research to confirm viability:
It is critical to evaluate the viability of another construction company in your market or with your unique value offer before embarking on the route of starting your own construction firm. Is there a viable potential for a new entry if the market is over-saturated and the addressable market is satisfied with the current players? Investigate the present competitors in-depth, including what they specialize in, how much they charge for jobs, and how clients regard them. This can also assist you in defining your own possible consumer base and establishing a foundation for your company plan.
Step 2 – Craft a strong business plan:
To paraphrase an ancient saying, “fail to plan, and you plan to fail.” So, you’ve done your research and determined that there is an opportunity for you to enter the industry. Now every startup requires a business plan, not only to guide them through the process of launching their firm, but also to acquire cash, have loans authorized, and so on.
The following are the steps you’ll need to take to build a business plan for your construction company:
- Executive Summary:
Your business plan’s executive summary serves as its introduction. It should be succinct (one or two pages), thorough, and persuasive.
Your mission statement, basic biographical information about your firm, the products and services you offer, financial highlights and financing objectives, relevant prior triumphs, and your future plans for the business are all recommended by the Small Business Administration. The remainder of your business plan will cover the same topics as the executive summary but in greater depth.
- Company Overview:
Give an overview of your firm after the executive summary: who the founders are, when it was founded, and what it does. You should also produce a value proposition statement that explains why your company’s products and services are in high demand in your market.
You should also provide if your company is an S-Corp, a C-Corp, or an LLC, as well as how ownership is distributed if you aren’t the single founder.
- Market Analysis:
You’ll need to submit research in this area to show that there is a specific demand in your target market and that your firm is uniquely positioned to meet that demand.
- Business Structure:
This is where you’ll go into great depth about your company’s structure. Include the following:
- What is the company’s ownership structure and how is it divided?
- If you have any investors, divide your shares among them.
- The legal framework of your firm (corporation or LLC)
- The layout of the organization
- The number of present workers and the number of new personnel that will be required in the future
Keep in mind that your aim is to demonstrate how each structural feature contributes to the long-term success of your company.
- Products and Services:
This is where you’ll describe your products and services in greater depth. If possible, talk about current or former projects that might serve as samples of your company’s services. Because materials procurement is so important in construction, highlight any current relationships you have with building suppliers, subcontractors, and so on.
You could also wish to mention the contracts you plan to utilize with potential clients. Lump payment, unit price, cost plus, and time and materials contracts all have distinct approaches to purchasing, thus your vendor requirements will vary based on the contract type you choose.
- Financial Plan and Projections:
Give a detailed account of your company’s present financial situation as well as your financial goals for the future. Include anticipated versions of the same papers and the market research and analysis you used to produce those estimates if you don’t have historical financial data.
An appendix can contain any charts, notes, research, or other material that you feel is significant to your business plan but is too extensive or does not belong in the document itself.
Once you’ve finished writing your business plan, it’s time to make it official by registering your company with the federal, state, and local governments.
Step 3 – Register your company:
After you’ve decided on a business structure (sole proprietorship, limited liability company, publicly traded corporation, or trust), you’ll need to register your company. You’ll also need a tax file number to keep track of your tax payments and company costs. Some states require you to register on paper, while others enable you to do so online. To find out what your state requires, utilize the SBA i.e. state lookup database.
Step 4 – Obtain the requisite industry licenses:
You’ll need to research the licenses and permissions that your state and, in certain situations, your municipality require. Consult your state’s Contractors’ Board and/or your local Department of Labor to find out exactly what licenses you require. There are a few things that differ from state to state, such as liability and workers’ compensation regulations.
State and territorial governments are in charge of a multiplicity of building industry-specific licenses. When you’re just starting off, you’ll need the following licenses:
- Before beginning any home or commercial work, an individual contractor’s license is necessary.
- A company contractors’ license is essential for limited liability and public firms, and it allows you to enter into contracts and subcontracts with other businesses.
- If you’ll be operating heavy machineries like cranes, excavators, or graders, you’ll need a high-risk work license.
Step 5 – Meet safety requirements and secure insurance:
Because of the nature of construction and building activity, safety is crucial. Some licenses will need a thorough safety plan to be submitted at the time of application, but it is still a vital piece of paperwork for your business. Building and construction enterprises must conform to the particular Workplace Health and Safety regulations, which include induction cards (white cards), clothing, noise control, preventing falls, and electrical safety, in addition to basic Occupational Health and Safety requirements.
It’s also critical to have adequate insurance coverage in place to protect your company from unexpected mishaps. You’ll need public liability insurance (to protect the public from any harm caused by your company) and workers’ compensation insurance (protecting your workers from any accidents occurring on-site).
Step 6 – Secure financing:
Rarely does a construction company start off with all of the necessary automobiles, tools, and equipment to execute tasks? Before you can win a bid, you’ll need to buy, rent, or lease these, so get them done as soon as possible. In addition to these expenses, you’ll have to pay bills, pay salaries, and spend on marketing, etc. Consider how your billing structure and cycle will help you meet these obligations, and keep in mind that most businesses fail due to a lack of cash flow, so make sure you’ve taken the time to thoroughly plan this out.
Step 7 – Hire your staff:
While there are a number of recruiting processes and fair work regulations that you must follow (such as providing safe working conditions and achieving minimum wage levels), it’s also vital to think about the culture you want to cultivate. Because you’re at the beginning of your company’s life cycle, you have the opportunity to help create your ideal workplace, so take the time to write precise and thorough job descriptions and make sure each new employee has defined tasks and responsibilities. Ambiguity frequently generates an unfavorable initial impression, so strive to eliminate it as much as possible right away.
Step 8 – Start marketing to generate awareness:
While many people consider marketing to be merely a cost center, it is critical for raising awareness and, eventually, demand for your services. This is especially critical in the early stages of your company when you are still relatively unknown and are not automatically included on tender panels. Equally crucial, though, is establishing a brand identity that reflects how you want your firm to be seen – something that may not be within your skillset. This Website can assist you here, with developing a launch and marketing strategy, as well as key communication channels such as:
- With a high-impact website, you may have a better online presence.
- Setup of Google My Business with a local directory
- Creating a social media channel
- Templates for email marketing
So once your construction company is up and running, don’t sit back and rest. Every business move you make should be made with the objective of increasing your company’s growth in mind. While advertising is crucial, keep in mind that the ideal marketing plan is good work that speaks for itself.