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Top Tips for Starting a Small Construction Firm

For many people, conventional forms of employment do not fit with their career expectations or what they wish to achieve in their working lives. The repetition and routine of a 9-5 working week spent in an office can be extremely demoralizing for millions of people, where the need to undertake routine tasks and manage incoming email communications can result in a lack of stimulation and motivation. 

If this situation sounds familiar and you consider yourself to have an entrepreneurial streak with a highly developed business mind, you may have already considered starting your own small business. If you are practically minded and enjoy the idea of seeing projects come to life, then starting a new small construction firm may be the ideal way to start working for yourself. 

In this article, some key top tips will be discussed that will be of significant benefit to any business person who is seeking to start their own construction business.

Assess the competition

Before any money is committed to the business, it is important to have a clear idea of the existing construction firms in your area. More established firms may have already built a positive reputation for their work in the local community and as such, they may be favored for contracted work over a new firm. 

As a construction business owner, you will need to compete with such firms, and this may be difficult in the early years of your company when little is known about its reputation in the industry. Take a critical look at all construction firms in your locality and visit their company websites. Consider how they position themselves in the market and what attributes of their firm are heavily promoted (for example, reliability, quality of workmanship, sticking to budgets). 

Ideally, you will want to create a niche for your own firm that offers a service that is not well served in your locality; or offer clients benefits that are not mirrored by current existing firms. There are many specific construction industry niches, and you can read more about them here. Decide on the speciality that is right for your company and ideally, on that is not already well served in your area.

Rent expensive construction equipment

One of the biggest costs for any new construction firm is the need to buy specialist construction machinery, vehicles, and equipment. These costs often come in the early stages of a businesses’ formation, when profitability is low (or even non-existent), thus creating the potential for negative profits in the first years of trading. For example, excavators can cost between $100k and $500k depending on the model and its specific uses. 

Clearly, these costs can be difficult to finance in the early years of operation, but thankfully, renting key pieces of construction equipment can allow your new firm to operate successfully whilst keeping capital costs down. Many suppliers in the construction industry will offer firms forklift rental services—amongst other key equipment. 

Forklifts are essential for most construction firms as they have a range of vital uses when moving heavy materials or unloading equipment, so hiring them on an occasional basis or for a set period can be the ideal way of managing your company expenditure. The equipment is delivered when it is needed, and there will be no maintenance or depreciation costs that would be involved if the vehicle was purchased. In addition, you will often be able to choose from a wide range of models to ensure that the specific task can be carried out safely.

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