How to Start a General Contractor Business
Once you have decided to throw your hat in the general contactor ring, making your dream a reality can seem daunting. However, by following a few simple but effective steps, you can ensure that your business gets off on the right foot and makes an impact on the market quickly. Here are four steps to starting your general contractor business.
1. Set Your Goals & Determine Your Targets
You may have drawn up a business goal, but have you really sat down to develop your goals and targets? Before starting any new business, you must write out your company mission, values, goals, and client targets. Consider asking yourself questions such as:
- Why do you desire to start a general contracting company?
- Have you landed on a name for your new company? Branding? Logo?
- What is the mission or purpose of your business?
- Will you have any employees or contract workers?
- What is your target demographic – residential, commercial, or both?
- Who are your direct competitors in your region?
- What unique element do you bring to the industry that sets you apart?
- How will you charge your clients?
These questions may seem like a lot to answer upfront, but by taking the time to sit down and put your goals on paper, you can get started on the right foot. With your goals and targets in mind, you will be better prepared to set up your business and reach clients with a strong mission and purpose.
Adrian K., owner of Brooklyn-based Golden Talon Construction, remembers when he committed to starting his general contractor business. He “felt freedom and a new self worth. Freedom from the 9-5 lifestyle and a chance to reinvent himself”. Understanding your goals, motivation, and ideal clientele isn’t easy, but definitely rewarding.
2. Make It Official (And Legal)
Once you have decided on your goals and developed your target audience, you are ready to start your new venture. However, before you can begin drawing in clients, you need to make sure your new business is legal.
You’ve developed a company name, a bit of branding, and a goal. Now it’s time to take the first truly official step – establishing your company as a legal entity. Why is this step necessary? By ensuring that your business operates as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you can avoid being held personally responsible should your general contracting come under any legal problems – including the nightmare of being sued.
There are a variety of options for you to consider when establishing legality with your new general contractor business:
Learn more about the various options online to discover which option holds the best benefit for your new business.
3. Get The Low-Down On Taxes
Once you are legal, the next step is to register your new LLC for taxes. Nobody wants to roll up on tax season and realize they never set up their new business with the Internal Revenue Service!
Luckily, this step is incredibly easy. Simply head online and apply for a small business EIN. The process is easy, and you will ensure that your business operates as a legally recognized entity with the government.
4. Launch A Digital Marketing Strategy
Let’s face it – the world has gone digital. For your new general contracting company to survive in the industry, you must set up a vibrant and thriving digital presence. While setting up shop in a physical office and throwing out a few yard signs and business cards is excellent, the best place to find and convert clients will be online.
To truly capture a competitive advantage online, you will need to invest in a robust digital marketing strategy. From developing your website with Search Engine Optimization to promoting your services through social media advertising, a full digital strategy can help your new company rise in the ranks and be seen by more potential clients. A robust digital marketing strategy will include the following elements:
- A fully-equipped website with SEO optimized keywords, backlinks, and responsive pages that will guide clients to your services and contact page quickly.
- A strong social media presence on only the most effective social streams where potential clients engage daily. Your social media presence should include enticing video and image-based content that looks professional and feels personal.
- Social media advertising that reaches clients through a variety of targeted ads across streams.
- Google Ad-Word optimization for helping your company’s website appear in the advertising on webpages for customers across your target area.
- A digital advertising plan that has a long-term strategic focus, helping your company to reach a variety of advertising mediums at different times of the year.
GC Pro Tip: Invest In Your Online Presence
With general contractors working to construct the physical world, investing in and developing an online presence can seem unnecessary. However, the current climate has only led to an exponential increase in online consumer activity, with most residential and commercial construction clients taking to the internet to find their next general contractor.
As you take your first steps into the general contracting world as a new company, don’t leave your success up to chance. Take advantage of the online marketplace to ensure that your new venture can find and land clients quickly and effectively. As your online presence grows, your opportunity to grow your brand recognition, your client base and your revenue will follow suit.
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