Many of us had thought of being a teacher, doctor, musician, artist, and politician as a career. About only a little percentage of the entire world’s population had this childhood dream of becoming a general contractor when they grow up. These days, people are too engulfed with technology that many are also considering jobs associated with computers and innovation. Becoming a contractor is too far off from all these. The common people do not have a clear idea of what contractors do except that they oversee overseeing the construction of a building. In this article, we will tackle the job and specific tasks of a contractor and tips on how to become a successful general contractor.
What Does a General Contractor Do?
In a nutshell, the main function of a general contractor has been described in the intro. These are hired by firms to manage a pool of subcontractors including an electrical and mechanical crew, and a group of skilled carpenters and a concrete team. General contractors are also responsible for seeing to it that all these teams’ tasks are done well and completed as expected by the client.
Contractors can also build their own companies and make business directly with clients. They are contacted often with a pack of people who will be tasked to renovate, restore and repair houses (both interior and exterior), a structure in a location, office and other real estates.10 Steps on How to Become a Successful General Contractor
1. Enroll Yourself To A School
You won’t get enough training unless you learn the basic concepts from the school in an undergraduate course. Look for an institution that offers this degree and take classes to learn about all related subjects to be a contractor. Having a legitimate degree in construction management or construction technology could increase advancement opportunities, rather than only learning how to run the field on your own after graduating from a different bachelor’s degree in college.
2. Consider associate’s degree
If you are getting a different degree but want to shift to contractor management, you can take and consider an associate’s degree nonetheless and continue holding on to your dream. This path can also give you good returns once you graduate and enter entry-level positions in the construction industry. As soon as you finish school, submit your profile and resume to various companies for internships. You would want to get as much experience you need before you can eventually become skilled at this job. In every company you go to, ask for a recommendation letter from your bosses as these written testimonies will help you land a job or next project on the road.
3. Strive to be a manager
You cannot reach the ultimate high position of being a general contractor if all your work experiences indicate is that of you being a helper or assistant in the company. What you should aim for is to be at the next step in the management line and become a experienced contractor to hold a management position. This profession calls for serious overseeing of construction permits, good organization of purchasing orders and collection of documents, so make sure that you are able to handle everything well as you step up the ladder.
4. Get certification
Professionals who are certified with their expertise are ones that are projected as achievers and the authorities in their field. So to earn an eligible and acceptable designation as a general contractor, take tests and obtain certification to prove your knowledge and skills. Know which institutions offer these tests and the requirements you need to pursue them.
5. Build connections
The truth is, no matter how great you are at your job, you would not be successful without other people helping you out. It is very important to establish good working relationships with other professionals in the same trade. If you want to start your own company specializing in general contracting, you must know many clients, suppliers, and architects you can build partnerships with.
6. Persist to work hard
Success in being a general contractor is no easy feat. This needs persistence and determination. You should deliver outstanding work every time you are hired to make good records and good impressions behind your name. Your project milestones should always be on time as a set and with a very high level of quality. As the construction business always is operated with hectic schedules and costs, you must have a good grasp of time management as well as budget management.
7. Know the legalities of the job
Two things are important in the legal sector of the job: license and insurance. There are several permits you need to check before proceeding to the project. Check what you need to get signed in your federal and local state and know the amount of tax you should pay for. It is advisable to register with your state’s department of taxation if you will be collecting sales taxes. Regarding the license, some states law requires contractor’s license to conduct legit business. In addition, if anything goes wrong, be ready with your insurance. Get an insurance plan for your contracting work as this profession includes so much liability that may trouble your finances later.
8. Look for clients
Like a real estate agent, you should have an extensive circle of the network who would lead you up to prospect clients. Being skilled as a professional contractor alone is not enough. You should also market yourself and what you can do to spread the word about your competency. Contact old colleagues and people who might be interested in the market for you. To expand your network, be proactive in visiting local sites and sign up for bid lists. You never know who’s watching you. As this industry revolves around a project-centered and relationship-driven model of business, always get the chance to build prospect lists and continue to do your job well.
The opportunity of becoming a general contractor is open to many people nowadays, and since there are many real estate businesses and private individuals and companies that need an expansion of their structures, this job may be more in demand soon. If you start honing skills of becoming a veteran general contractor and face this serious industry with hard work now, you may attain success in less time than anticipated. The process of learning is not difficult. However, only a few succeed and make a lot of money. You can be one of the successful ones if take these necessary steps to action without excuses.