A construction company is an enterprise created to develop various infrastructural developments.
Starting your own construction company can be an exciting but overwhelming experience. It requires so much research, reporting, and paperwork to complete.
Construction companies take time to plan, set, organize, create, and build, and starting a construction business is pretty simple as long as you know where to start.
Table of Contents
Ways to Start a Successful Construction Company
1. Gather research about the construction industry
The construction industry, local publications, and statistics are vital resources in the construction business.
Doing your research ahead of time is your choice, but it will make the rest of the process of setting up your construction company much more accessible.
2. Write a business plan
Every startup needs a business plan which will help you through the process of starting your company and also help you raise investment funds, get approved for loans, and much more.
3. Register your construction business.
After preparing a business plan, you then need to register your company as a limited liability company or a corporation.
4. Acquire licenses, certifications, permits, and insurance
With all these credentials, you must ensure your construction company is insured before beginning any work to confirm that you will be covered in an accident or emergency.
5. Find funding for your construction startup.
Most companies need funding to rent or purchase the necessary equipment and supplies to begin work.
One can have these funds through small business loans, working capital loans, purchase order financing, and vendor financing.
Determine your niche and target market.
Here are some ideas to help you determine potential niches. Are there demographic trends driving construction needs in your area, such as an aging population, an influx of new families, or a drive to restore houses of a particular style or period? Is your site known for commercial or industrial sectors? If you are a flooring contractor, could you specialize in laminate floors?
Identify market trends and demands.
You need a sales strategy, targeted promotions, market positioning, and value proposition to satisfy market trends.
- Sales strategy- To turn marketing leads into contracted customers, you require a sales strategy.
- Promotions- You must also identify the marketing or advertisement strategy you plan to use.
- Positioning- This is how you plan to find and reach your target customers.
- Value proposition - Determine why your target customers need your company's services and why your offers are more competitive than others in your market.
Choose a specialty area for your company.
Understand the best area where your construction company can flourish. This can be based on your client reach, your goals, and the amenities you seek.
Commercial construction is any structure in which a business operates. That includes direct uses, where the company conducts business out of the building itself, and indirect uses, where the building itself is the business.
Research your competition and identify areas for differentiation
Differentiation enables you to provide superior value to customers at an affordable price. It outlines the product, service, distribution channels, relationship, reputation, and price.
Develop a comprehensive business plan.
Creating a business plan can be a demanding task as it requires a significant amount of information. You must follow these seven steps to ensure that your business plan is thorough:
1. Executive summary
This is an overview of who you are, what you will do, and where you will be doing it, including an introduction describing the organization's goal and focus. It also outlines the problems you will solve for your customers.
This is a statement of why your business exists and what sets it apart in the market.
3. Company Summary
Involves your business name, entity, and where your base of operations is located. Startup requirements, assets, liabilities, expenses, and Investment amount sought.
4. Marketing strategy
Your marketing strategy outlines your core marketing and networking strategies to acquire and retain customers.
5. Personnel plan
Outline expected personnel numbers and costs, including employees, subcontracted labor, and other personnel or business services.
6. Financial plan
A detailed analysis of projected financials, including projected cash flow, break-even analysis, projected profit and loss, and projected balance sheet and business ratios.
This may detail other information, tables, or data such as sales forecasts, personnel numbers, interest rates, cost of sales and cash flow.
Define your business structure and legal requirements.
Business structure refers to an organization's legal structure recognized in a jurisdiction.
Before choosing the type of legal structure, business owners should consider their needs and goals and understand the features of each business structure.
The four primary business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, and corporation.
Building codes, such as the international building code(IBC), are used and enforced in your area. Your local area may also use variants of the IBC that you must know.
States have different classes of construction companies, and different regulations and limits apply to each class.
Safety practices, personal protective equipment (PPE), bonding, licensing, and insurance requirements vary by industry and state.
Outline your goals, strategies, and budget.
Have a great sense of clarity to tick off the goals as they get attained and keep to the budget.
Create a marketing plan to attract customers and build brand awareness.
An effective marketing plan is detailed with simple steps to accomplish a defined goal. The plan should identify and discuss the target market with information about the direct competition in the industry.
It should include information about marketing activities used in the past with the effectiveness of these activities.
The plan must also have budgetary guidelines for marketing activities and a plan for measuring the effectiveness of the activities. Making the marketing plan easy to maintain and update as a company evolves is essential.
Creating a marketing plan involves market research to assess trends, profile target customers, identify potential competition, outline products or services, find vendors, calculate costs and brainstorm all positive and negative impacts that could affect the business.
Secure financing and assemble a team.
To secure financing, you must know where to source it from. This is a pivotal step, as it ensures the actualization of your plan to reality. In addition, it may mean financing using various available options.
Evaluating your financial standing could mean conducting an audit to determine your assets and debts. After that, commit to setting aside a reasonable portion of your savings to invest in your business.
Get creative with your resources by seeing which resources can be used to do this and that. This helps you spend sparingly.
When assembling a team, you need to know which leaders are right for your business. Unfortunately, venture capitalists are outside the market for small startups. They want repeat entrepreneurs with proven track records. Thus, seeking funding may be futile.
Your finances that are used in funding can be acquired when you save more while spending less. Take calculated risks that ensure your finances are only sometimes running dry. Becoming financially literate can save you from expending your resources inappropriately. Get aid from a finance coach and learn.
It is also best to set short-term goals to help you break the work to be attained into bite-size pieces with measurable timelines.
Explore options for startup financing.
Start-up financing can be daunting, though attainable when done well. There are several options for start-up financing in construction. Some options for start-up financing include:
- Personal Investment and Patient Capital: You can opt for personal investment, whereby when borrowing, you invest some of your money in cash or collateral on your assets. Another financing source is patient capital; money loaned by a spouse, parents, family, or friends, which you will repay later as your business profits increase.
- Venture Capital: Venture capitalists take an equity position in the company to help it carry out a promising but higher-risk project. This involves giving up some ownership or equity in your business to an external party.
- Crowdfunding: This is a form of fundraising where a business asks the public for a contribution, usually in exchange for equity in the company. It involves various forms of crowdfunding like Equity crowdfunding, debt, and Donation/reward-based.
- Grants and subsidies: Technically, a grant is a sum of money conditionally given to your business that you don't have to repay. However, you are bound legally to use it under the terms of the grant, or otherwise, you may be asked to repay it.
- Loans: Small and medium-sized businesses often rely on loans as their primary source of funding. Entrepreneurs who possess robust business plans and favorable credit scores are typically more successful in securing loans.
Hire skilled and experienced construction workers, supervisors, and project managers.
There are several reasons why your company needs a skilled workforce. This personnel includes the construction workers, supervisors, and project managers.
- Higher productivity - To achieve the maximum output, you need people who can manage the different workstations having the necessary skills to perform their tasks.
- Improved innovation and creativity - workers with the experience to perform the assigned task will spend less time worrying about how they will do it. That, in effect, will free their minds to find better ways to get the job done. As a result, skilled workers can develop creative ideas for new challenges because of their confidence in their abilities to work more efficiently and effectively in a particular sector.
- It saves you money- This may sound like a myth, as skilled workers usually draw higher salaries than their unqualified counterparts, but it is false. Workers with very little knowledge will be doing things that make many mistakes.
- Increased profitability and more vigorous growth- All businesses want their productivity to be maximized to sustain robust growth. Having a skilled workforce rather than an unqualified one means you can get more output and desired results with the same number of employees.
Create a team culture based on trust, communication, and collaboration.
Having a culture of collaboration helps organizations maximize employee knowledge and capabilities. Creating a team culture can be a struggle for many companies because of unclear expectations, lack of follow-through, or employees that may need more skill or desire to collaborate. However, creating a team culture will help you communicate with a clear vision.
Collaboration can look different from company to company, so it makes sense to establish your desired behaviors and attributes and what the organization will look like once a collaborative culture has taken hold.
Collaboration also gives a sense of safety among team members. When team members feel safe with each other, they feel comfortable opening up, taking appropriate risks, and exposing vulnerabilities.
Communication provides several benefits, including the potential to encourage creativity, enhance employee engagement, and increase productivity.
Establish processes and systems for success.
Before you can fix your processes, you need to understand how you operate and spend some time getting to know yourself. You then need to evaluate your processes which will constantly show you where bottlenecks are and how you can fix them.
Study what other people do. Not only does this save you time, but it also helps to save you from making similar mistakes.
It’s prudent to anticipate problems in construction. Whereas this may sound awful, it is the right attitude to have. It keeps you alert on what should be done should things go offside and adjust as needed.
Once you have your winning systems, you will notice many things changing. You will have eliminated where you were wasting time on useless tasks. The beauty of this is you aren't just copying someone else, even if you take inspiration from them. Instead, you are doing something that works for you and will be more committed. You are developing your magic bullet for success, and when you stick with it, you will achieve your goals.
Develop a project management system to ensure efficient and effective operations.
Project managers are leadership personnel who oversee projects deciding the scope, budget, and production details. Project management systems help the project manager adapt to changes during the project, improve the planning phase and unite the team toward the common goal.
- Define your goals early and keep them adaptable: Defining goals is part of the project system phase that carries through the entire project as your needs change. During this period, identify incoming changes, keep the team informed, and plan for the challenges.
- Understand the project scope: The project scope is the size of the project, which can affect the budget, labor needs, and overall efficiency of the project. For example, larger projects require labor and materials, which can increase the budget and require strong leadership.
- Communicate with clients and team members: Communication is essential to project progression because it helps everyone understand the project's needs and the potential challenges they can encounter. Good communication includes clear, concise conversation and honest feedback.
- Encourage teamwork: Teamwork is essential to the project because many projects require the efforts of multiple people or departments working together.
- Set clear expectations: Clear expectations minimize the margin for error because they unite everyone under the same guidelines.
- Manage project risks: Some projects come with risks or financial implications, which can affect the project's overall outcome. The more the project manager understands the risk, the less surprised they are during each phase.
- Use a work breakdown structure: A work breakdown structure, or WBS, is a tool project managers use to break down projects into manageable tasks for the team. This helps break up larger projects into smaller goals which can sometimes be easier to reach.
- Allow for feedback: Feedback from teams and stakeholders can help a project manager identify key project factors that they might have missed during the project. In addition, the team and the stakeholders often hold a different perspective than the project manager, helping you better understand the project's progress.
Create a safety plan and ensure compliance with regulations
Creating a safety plan that complies with regulations guarantees success for your construction business. You need to determine which regulations are relevant to the company and identify the requirements you must abide by.
You then need to conduct an initial internal audit and establish document compliance policies and procedures. This will act as a guide when providing your employees with regular compliance training.
Implement quality control procedures to guarantee high-quality workmanship
Quality control in construction is crucial in growing your business, maintaining a professional reputation, and staying profitable.
To implement quality control procedures, start with the right workers, invest in technology, and use the right materials.
You also need to ensure safety and compliance and protect completed work. Avoid scope creep, audit and test regularly, and repair deficiencies immediately.
What is the best way to finance a construction company startup?
Among the best ways of financing a construction company startup is savings or grants.
How do I find and hire skilled construction workers?
Seek referrals or job sites where you may find workers. These job sites are helpful as you get various job seekers and their portfolios in a click. Choose from the myriad of people based on your preferred specifications.
What processes and systems should I have to run a successful construction company?
Running a successful construction company is like running a chain of things. You can move through easily when you have ample finances, get the right loyal employees, have a client plan, and ensure the site area is secure.
What are the legal requirements for starting a construction company?
To start a construction company, you need the proper permits and licenses, a valid business name, and registration with local and state agencies. You also need proof of knowledge of the industry.
What is the best way to market a construction company and attract customers?
The best way to market a construction company is through referrals, networking meetings, and social media like LinkedIn.
Starting a construction company is complex but rewarding in the long run. Construction companies also have among the highest closure rates, so the biggest challenge is starting on a strong foundation. By following the proper steps, you can create a construction company that stands the test of time.