Some people might call you a jack of all trades. You’re handy with tools. You know how to fix just about anything under the sun or the sink. And, you’re reliable with your advice when it comes to building and repairing anything.
If this sounds like you, and you’re a versatile handyman, then a life as a general contractor might just be a perfect career for you.
Maybe you’re stuck working a job that just isn’t aligned with your skills or your purpose. So, why not take those skills and start a lucrative side-hustle? While starting your own business can be an exciting prospect, it can also be intimidating. But, don’t worry. You don’t have to quit your dayjob in order to start a career in contracting.
If you’re interested in taking your skills and passion for being a handyman to the next level, the following guide will assist you in getting started.
Develop a Business Plan
So, you’re ready to take the plunge. Well, the first thing you need to do is get serious about how you plan on offering your services and expertise. As such, you’ll need to form a business plan, or a model for offering services, promoting yourself, and taking payments.
Any business plan involves an entire range of elements, but to keep this at a basic level, you first want to narrow down to your specialty.
For example, if you’re really good at fixing plumbing, but you’re extremely skilled at building cabinets, you’ll want to start with offering the services that you know you execute the best. This way, your work quality will speak for itself.
You can always branch out and offer different services later on down the road. But, for now, you’ll want to keep it specific to build a name and reputation for yourself.
Consider Getting Licensed
Most general contractors are required to pass an exam and be issued a license in a specific state in order to perform certain types of work. For small jobs when you just start out, this might not be required especially for work valued at under 5,000 dollars. But, you should check with your local bureau of labor to see if a license is required in your state.
Getting a license is worth the time regardless. This is simply because you’ll want to be able to take on those $50,000 jobs when they do present themselves.
Equipment and Transportation
If you’re any type of self-respecting handyman you probably have an entire arsenal of tools at your disposal. This is a good start, but you’ll also want to acquire all of the tools that you’ll need to perform any job that might be presented to you.
The nature of your work will dictate the types of tools that you’ll need to purchase. This is why it’s important to narrow your specialty down to the specifics as previously mentioned. Once you do this, you can come up with a shopping list for tools that you’re sure you’ll need.
In addition to the proper tools, you’ll also need to get to your work site in a professional, safe and efficient manner. While you might be tempted to pull up to a job site in your old, rusty 95’ stepside, this is going to throw up a few red flags for your clients.
Consider renting a work truck for professional jobs. This not only will give you options for what type of truck you’ll need for a specific job, whether a flatbed for hauling materials or a crew truck for bringing along help, it will give you a professional appearance.
At the end of the day, becoming a contractor takes time. But, with a little bit of drive and a smart head for business you’ll be able to work, build relationships, and create a name for yourself all before you ever decide to quit your day job.