One Warning For a Successful Contracting Business


When construction professionals turn to CSLS, they usually have one thing in mind: growing a successful contracting company. It doesn’t matter whether they are just taking the first steps toward earning their California contractor’s license, or are seasoned professionals who want to improve their skills – they are dreaming of the day when they can take on more projects, earn more money, and possibly even hire some new employees.

Those are all great goals, but let us give a word of caution: Don’t try to grow too quickly.

As any seasoned contractor can tell you, too much growth can be as dangerous as too little. The bigger your construction company gets, the more details, issues, and liabilities you have to worry about. Funny as it might sound, success can be dangerous, and things can easily start to get out of control.

To give you a sense of what we mean, here are a few tips for managing growth in your contracting business:

Keep a close eye on your finances. Generally speaking, more projects mean more profits. But, as you add employees, equipment, material costs, and other resources you need to take on more (or larger) projects, make sure that you aren’t overextending yourself. It’s easy to get blinded by big numbers and miss out on important details, like the ones that tell you that you aren’t making as much as you thought you were.

Remember that more work isn’t always better work. In the same way, it can sometimes be better to take fewer projects that you enjoy than it is to take on more work and stress yourself out. You might be tempted, after all the hard work it took to get your company going, to take every construction project that comes your way. Think the pros and cons through first, though, and make sure that the project is really in your best interests.

Always try to maintain a “buffer” as your company grows. As we have noted in the past, having a little bit of extra cash in the bank, or time on your schedule, can make your business a lot easier to manage – not to mention keep your blood pressure and stress level down. Don’t take on so many projects that you no longer feel comfortable with what you have left in the bank, or on your calendar.

Growing your company can be a great thing, and a rewarding experience that is worth it in more ways than you can imagine. But, to make the most of your business and career, don’t try to grow too quickly, or you could end up with more headaches than opportunities.

Interested in starting your contracting business or becoming a more established professional? Click here to see our list of upcoming CSLS courses for new and established California construction professionals.