Have you been thinking about starting up a construction company? Have you been in the industry for some time and feel now is the time to bite the bullet and go it alone? Starting a company in any industry is a major undertaking but it is always possible with careful planning, a big dollop of motivation and a smidge of innovative thinking to bring it all together.
Setting up a construction business is definitely not something that should be taken lightly and can certainly feel overwhelming in the beginning stages. If certain elements are missed out, these oversights could create big problems in the future and there are a lot of steps to be taken before you can even think about contracting your first project.
Careful preparation and a clear vision is everything. So for those of you looking to take the bold decision to start up your own construction business, we are here to help with a checklist of things that need to be planned and factored in, in order to ensure that you are properly prepared and the foundation of your new business is solid and set for success.
Funding Your Company
Before you start with anything you are firstly going to need to get your head around the numbers. Depending on the size and type of construction company that you are wanting to set up, you are going to need to do some serious number crunching. Construction companies work through a huge amount of outsourcing, so you need to be clear about how much you are going to need to pay out before you get paid for the completion of a project.
You will need to think about the costs of everything from hiring out construction teams, to renting or buying used cranes from companies that offer cost effective, second hand machinery. You will need to factor in all the additional costs from health and safety experts to equipment and transportation through to paying for administrative and financial staff.
It is all very well to get carried away with big figures for big, juicy construction projects, however once you start factoring in how much needs to be paid for and covered, way before you will see your paycheck, you will realise how much business finance you will need in advance in order to get yourself properly set up.
The second two most important things that you need to be thinking about are registering yourself as a business owner and looking into the types of business licensing that you are going to need to make sure that your business is all above board.
Depending on the size and type of the construction company that you are wanting to set up, the business licenses will differ. So you will need to put in a little bit of time speaking with an expert business licensing specialist who will be able to talk you through all the different licences that will ensure that your business is properly registered and set up.
Are you planning on being a sole proprietor or do you have your mind set on a different business variety. What type of business model you are thinking of you are going to need to create a legal entity again to make sure that your business is completely above board and that you will not come across any legal issues later on down the road.
Bank Account Set Up
You would be surprised how many people set up a business with just their existing bank account. This is not a good idea however and it is always recommendable to keep your private and business finances separate. Worst case scenario, if you lose everything in your new business and you have not separated your accounts, then you could also end up losing savings and private assets. So be really careful to separate your new business from your private accounts and look for a solid business account.
As construction is one of the highest ranking industries for accidents and insurance payouts it is essential that you are covering yourself with the necessary insurance policies, from tradesman insurance to fleet insurance and professional indemnity insurance to ensure that you are protected should there ever be any accidents or mishaps under your clock. Again, hire the help of a specialised insurance agent and allow them to talk you through the necessary insurance for your construction company.
Build Your Foundation Team
Although all construction companies, both big and small, outsource a lot of work on the projects themselves, you are going to need to build an advisory team that are in place for all your projects. Carefully constructing a team of trusted advisers around you will make sure that you feel confident that your business is running smoothly and is heading in the right direction. So have a look into building your foundation team that includes a banker, an insurance agent a lawyer and an account. The combination of these experts should be all you need to be sure that your company is running in accordance with modern law, that your business is always properly protected and that you are always on top of your finances.
Create A Website
Once you have all of the above sorted it is time to get your business out there. The best way to do that nowadays in the new digital age, is by creating a website. Your website is essentially the first impression of your business and is your opportunity to show people what you are all about and what you have to offer.
Content and website positioning is the best place to start for any business website, in any sector. So before you start putting ‘pen to paper’ and start writing the content for your website you are going to need to consider what makes you special and what makes you stand out from your competition.
You are going to need to try and carve out a specialised, or niche, area for your business in order to be able to proudly offer something that no one else does in your sector. This point of difference is what is going to pull your clients in. So draw on your previous experience in the field, closely monitor your competitors and from their draw up your website content by carving out your point of difference to your competitors.
Once you have developed the brand identity of your company, through your website, and you have created a logo for your business you will then want to stretch that out into other areas of your business material and merchandise. You will want to get business cards printed out, with your logo looking clear and distinctive and easily recognisable from your website. You will need to make sure that all the most important business information is covered on your business card and that they are produced to a high quality.
You will also want to pull your branding and logo into all other areas of your business to ensure that your business looks as professional as it possibly can. So use your same business graphics, colours, fonts and logo to develop letterheads, contracts and use it on any business merchandise that you choose to develop.
Once you have your website, your brand and logo and all your business material ready and good to go you can then start thinking about how you are going to need to market your new business. The best place to start when you think about marketing is to first understand your target market. Who they are, what they need and where they look for the sort of services you offer. Once you have researched and have understood your target market you can then move forward to looking at the best marketing platforms for you to begin promoting your company and your services.
That might be putting an advert up in your local newspaper, and adding yourself to local business listings and classifications. Perhaps you also want to go with the digital movements and promote your business, through your website, on social media platforms. Social media is not just used by millennials, it is used by a whole host of consumers and potential new clients who could be looking for your type of services.
So put some research into the best ways to track down your target market and then figure out how to build connections with them through your social media marketing and through your website. There is a huge amount of information on marketing websites and businesses through social media so spend a little bit of time looking into this and try dipping your toe into the world of digital marketing and building up your knowledge and experience of this over time.
Setting up any type of business takes real preparation, attention to detail and a thorough business plan. Rushing in, with an excitable attitude, but inadequate planning can lead to the failure of new startups. So using this checklist, make sure that you are exercising patience and that you build your construction business, up over time, slowly but surely with a meticulous eye for detail and a careful approach to your new business.