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Networking & Your Contracting Business - Pouring the Foundation for Success In the contracting world, you will come across many different contractors that appear to be your direct competition on the jobsite.  They might bid, manage, and complete projects in different ways but the “competition” can actually help you secure more bids in the long run, if you play your …
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  If you’re working in the construction and skilled labor industry in the current year and you don’t have your general contractor’s license or trade certification, then you’re walking on thin ice. The Department of Consumer Affairs Contractor’s State License Board (CSLB) has been getting aggressive with sting operations within the state, targeting unlicensed and fraudulent contractors that bid for …
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It’s November which means that you are probably looking towards 2017 wondering if this is the year that you become a licensed contractor. Without a doubt, this is a big step in your future. With most high schools retaining vocational classes as part of their curriculum, the labor pool is being rapidly depleted of quasi-skilled labor. This means that the …
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Over the last 8 years, the construction industry has seen a steady decline in national unemployment rates. Starting with the disruption caused by the housing crisis and exacerbated by natural disasters in the Southern Atlantic States, the need for construction employees has taken several hits over the last few years, but many states have started to come back from the …
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So you want to become a contractor.  Maybe you went through a trade school or spent your youth on construction sites working through apprenticeships and now you think it’s time to become your own boss. First off: Congratulations on your ambition! Taking the step to business ownership can be highly rewarding and, eventually, pay off in great dividends. However, there …
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So today is the big test day. Your guts are in a knot, your palms are sweaty, and you’re remembering back to Mrs. Smith who always seemed to be eyeballing you during exams in high school. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Like hundreds of people before you, you have been struck by test anxiety; a ruthless affliction that has hampered …
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As a contractor working with residential customers, it’s important to keep relationships at least marginally alive, even after the work is done. Most of the time, this is accomplished with newsletters or mailers showcasing recent or current projects. The idea is to keep your company name high in your previous customer’s mind in case they need more work or, more …
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In 2009, a group was formed to provide research on plumbing and flow efficiency in drainage and waste systems. This group consisted of members from five major organizations including: The Alliance for Water Efficiency, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, the International Code Council, the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors, and the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute. Moving forward with the …
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It’s hard to travel through the extensive land of Youtube without running across 2.5 tons of DIY projects that the average schlub films in his backyard. The viewer gets to watch the maker goof a few times here and there before finally turning out a project that almost looks decent. Rarely are there videos for the DIYourselfer that show how …
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In one of his Dirty Job’s episodes, host and itinerant worker Mike Rowe featured a collage of episode snippets that prompted the eventual Dirty Job’s motto of “Safety Third”. He went on to explain that the motto was not intended to mean that safety should be relegated to a lesser importance than anything else, but that it should always be …
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It may seem absurd to advertise for winterizing services in the middle of September. After all, the cold months are well…months away. Why spend your advertising dollars now on a service that won’t be utilized for almost a quarter of a year away? For the same reason that Wal-mart and Target start putting up Christmas decorations in September or Valentine’s …
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Many contractors, while searching the local area for new business tend to overlook a rather large market that is capable of generating on-going business for years: Realtors. The vast majority of preowned houses that enter the market require some sort of upgrade or repair. While some may be minor fixes such as a new walkway from the driveway to the …
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Although many don’t realize it, the second most common question in any professional’s mind(right after, ”Should I get into this business”) is, “Should I specialize?” Granted, it doesn’t pop into someone’s head that way, but most, at some point when they are starting out wonder if there is an area that they want to focus on or a group that …
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You are now a Licensed Contractor! Congratulations! You put a lot of time and effort into getting here. Are you putting the same effort into making sure that you stay here? Many contractors don’t and end up losing their license or getting trapped in ruinous legal situations because they made a simple mistake. They refused to stay aware of the …
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Any contractor, whether they have been in business for years or just starting out needs equipment, machinery, and tools but where to get them? Shovels, hammers, and most hand tools can come from a local hardware store. Large machinery, on the other hand, is a little more problematic with more factors to consider. The biggest of which is: new or …
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Materials are a huge part of your contracting business. Without them, you can’t build. They are also a huge cost to your business and, even with a little markup to pay for them, you still want to find them at a low cost with sacrificing quality. Many contractors find a reputable supplier and stick with them for many years. This …
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Do you remember back in high school and college when a test was rolling around? Did you study? Did you cram? What about cheat sheets? Everyone has a method for preparing for an exam, even if they don’t know what it is. However, by not only being aware of your favorite techniques, but also enhancing them, you can fly through …
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Many construction employees start out as entry level labor or as journeyman/ apprentice trade school graduates. As time goes on, they develop their skills either through on-the-job training or by paying for continuing education themselves. While these are both great options for career advancement, you as a contractor and business owner, can benefit by being a benefit to your employee’s …
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One of the most frustrating things for a potential client is to be talked down to or to have something described in a terminology that he or she doesn’t understand. Most often, the client will lose interest in the contractor or even the project itself. It’s tempting, after months to years of training, to want to show the client that …
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A business plan(BP) is arguably the most important part of any company’s success, yet so many contractors treat theirs as though it was leveling out a wobbly desk. Without a solid, clear, actionable business plan, a company has little idea where to start building its future let alone how to take further steps once it begins. However, when a business …
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