How to Choose a Field for Your Contracting Business
With so many possible jobs that are closely related, your current experience might apply to a host of contracting fields. Once you get your license and start working, you want to be sure that you’ve made the right decision. Ask yourself these questions to help refine the field that will make the best start for your contracting business.
- What Kind of Clients Do You Want?
In most jobs, you’ll have some choice in whether or not you want to work with homeowners, businesses or other contractors. Some fields lend themselves naturally to commercial, governmental or industrial interests. When you imagine your dream job, think about the kinds of customers you want to attract. If you see yourself working primarily with businesses, you’ll have a slightly different set of options to consider than if you want to work mostly with homeowners.
- How Much Space Do You Need?
Getting your contracting business off the ground is going to take some capital. How much you need depends on the kind of work you’ll do. If you intend to go into an industry that uses a lot of materials or equipment, you will need to buy or rent tools and keep a moderate inventory of supplies. The size of the space can dramatically shift your initial outgoing expenses, and those costs will start right at the beginning. Before you get too invested into one field, be sure you can afford to get it going on your own.
- Which Fields Are Most in Demand?
You’d need a time machine to be absolutely sure which jobs will be the easiest in which to find work. However, you can do a little research to get a good feel. Although the construction industry has had a notable shortage for several years, there are a few specific fields that are really in short supply. The right one for you will also depend on the region. Find out which subcontractors are the hardest to find, and you’ll have a fairly good idea of where you might start.
- Where Do You Want to Go With This License?
Growth potential in a field can be very important to many people. Knowing that you could get a promotion that allows you to make a higher income, increase your leadership experience or expand your business can be a great motivator. It’s not an absolute necessity, of course. Think carefully about where you envision yourself 10-20 years down the road. If you want to keep a fairly limited skill set that you apply to a specific clientele, you might not need a huge amount of upward mobility. Exploring this topic will help you firm up what you expect once your business is established.
- Can You Expand This Field to Add More Specialties?
Not everyone is dying to get a variety of licenses that they can apply to several different services, but many people do. Diversification is a good way to ensure that your business stays busy through thick and thin. In some cases, expanding into a related field is pretty obvious. Otherwise, you can look at your potential competitors to see which products and services they offer to get a sense for what’s reasonable.
- Are You Prepared to Do This for Years?
Like any other industry, construction features all kinds of jobs. You’ll find positions that require you to think quickly on your feet, or interact with many different types of customers. Some might be very physically demanding, while others aren’t so much. Find at least one or two people working in your field with 15-20 years under their belt. Ask them what they wish they knew before they began. You might be surprised what they are willing to share with you that could help you choose the right position or have a smoother entrance.
Deciding on the specialty you want to establish for your contracting career is important. No matter which field you select, you need the right education to prepare you to take the licensing exams. To learn more about how CSLS can help you get started, visit us today!