Note: The Beacon blog for Nashville-area home builders appears on the second Saturday of each month. Read all the blogs here.
Many craftspeople think about starting up their own contracting business. If you’re thinking about it, this blog is for you.
Most people build a construction business by trial and error. They launch with a truck, a toolbox and a project.
Short on cash, they have to bootstrap their way – for example, depending on deposits from future projects to finish current projects.
This blog gives you a smarter way to start your business. First, let’s size up the renovation opportunity.
More and More Homeowners Want to Rebuild, Creating Opportunity for Renovation Contractors
Demand for home renovations is soaring for 3 reasons:
- People who were locked down have been home long enough to know what they need to remodel. Many need to add a room for a home office or home schooling.
- More than 3 out of 4 homeowners plan a remodeling project in 2020, says the LightStream survey.
- 19% fewer homes are listed for sale compared with a year ago, says the National Association of Realtors. Right now, homeowners are deciding whether to buy a new home or fix up the one they own.
You can learn from successful contractors – just follow these websites:
- National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)
- National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
- Industry trade magazines and websites such as Remodeling, Professional Remodelers, and Qualified Remodeler.
In Tennessee, you will need a contractor license BEFORE bidding or offering a price, for projects $25,000 and up (includes materials and labor). The State of Tennessee offers 6 different types of contractor licenses. Here are resources you can consult:
- A quick guide to Tennessee contractors’ licenses.
- Tennessee’s web page on contractors’ licenses here.
- Tennessee’s exam requirements for contractors here.
- Information on how to get a handyman’s license.
Among the 6 types, the limited residential contractor license enables you to take courses at an approved community college and get your license without taking the state contractor exam. For example:
- Chattanooga State Community College’s course starts July 24.
Find Customers, Especially Repeat Customers
You only get one chance to make a first impression with a new customer. To appear more professional, show up with a business card, an email address, a business phone number and a website.
When you start a project, ask the customer for permission to post your sign in their yard.
When you finish a project, ask customers if they have a friend who’s thinking about renovation. Also ask for a written recommendation to use for marketing.
Reach out to customers you worked with before. Out of all the customers you can find, the best are repeat customers.
For example, Beacon Enterprises LLC plans to do 12 projects, with a focus on the Nashville area, in the year ahead. If you need financing, reach out to Beacon today.
If you need financing for fix and flip properties, Beacon offers renovation financing with low transaction fees, transparency, great customer service and flexibility.
To build your own renovation business, subscribe to the Beacon blog, which appears on the second Saturday of each month.