Anyone can go out and start their own trade business in today’s environment. But not everyone can survive in that space, even once they’ve gotten their license, registered with the government, and have all the relevant permits and equipment.
With so many contract workers and construction companies out there, including the behemoths who have dominated the industry for decades, you have to set yourself apart from the herd in order to survive as a fledgling contractor. That requires you to have a particular set of skills and qualities that will lead customers to choose you over your more established competitors, lead employees to seek out your company, and lead you from one successful job to the next.
We aren’t talking about capital here or how strong the foundation set for your business was; even the strongest of foundations can’t help a building stand if the bricks you use are made of sand. We’re talking about qualities that you should have and demonstrate as a leader, attitudes, and skills that can be developed personally and lead you to make decisions that will make your company successful.
If any of the above has piqued your interest, read on. We’ll talk about some of these behaviors and how they can benefit you in the long run.
Staying Up-To-Date On Regulations
It’s no secret that both federal and state regulations for contract work are constantly changing; some states even require you to stay up-to-date in order to keep your valid license status.
However, to ensure a safe work environment and make sure their work stays up to par, a successful contractor won’t wait for the state to tell them to look at current regulations. Successful contractors take it upon themselves to stay updated on changes at federal and state levels, doing research on their own time and taking classes when needed to keep their license valid.
There are two reasons why this is true. Paying attention to changes in regulation helps you ensure the safety of your team, making sure they’re always operating within the current industry standard rules. And it also prevents you from making mistakes you’ll be liable for while working on a project. You don’t want to work on a job, thinking you’re working within federal and state guidelines, only for something to go wrong and you find out you aren’t.
Become A Servant-Leader
The concept of servant leadership has been around for a while, and you’ve likely been exposed to examples of it without being aware of it: if you’ve ever had a boss, for example, who wouldn’t hesitate to join you on the front lines, doing jobs that others would consider the lowest of the low, you have previously been employed by a servant leader.
Servant leadership means that fundamentally, you are one of the workers, leading by serving their needs and filling any role that’s needed. It means taking care of your employees, listening to their concerns and seeking to address them, having empathy for their issues, and building a community. It means that you’re able to communicate your vision for the company effectively and that your employees feel like they’re sharing in the fulfillment of that vision.
There are many ways to be a successful servant leader, such as making sure your worksite is COVID-safe to protect your higher-risk workers, taking any job left unoccupied by a callout, and allowing employees to submit grievances to you without repercussion.
Organization And Strategy
Your business plan should outline not just your next steps over the next few months but your goals and aspirations for where you want the business to be in a few years. To be successful, you must attempt to plan for every eventuality, have backup plans in place for COVID-related eventualities, and be able to carve out a long-term strategy for your company’s success based in your area.
Knowing what kind of jobs you’re going to take and how your business will grow is essential if you want your company to survive long-term. If you aren’t moving forward, you won’t be moving at all before long; Keeping a weather eye towards the future is a necessary trait for every leader in every industry.
With the above traits, you’ll find it’s easy to attract both talent and consumers to your company, moving from profitable job to profitable job, and accruing the kind of reputation that will allow your enterprise to grow.