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The 6 Steps to Success as a Contractor

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

Setting yourself up as a contractor entails all sorts of challenges, expectations and goals. People looking to get set up as a new contractor, and even people who have been contractors for a while, should be asking themselves a series of questions in order to establish what needs to be done in order to be successful.

With the construction industry going from strength to strength there has never been a more appealing nor a more opportune time to go it alone and get set up as a contractor. With so much competition, however, it is essential to know what will be expected of you in order to be a success. So if you are thinking about moving into this here are the six questions that you should be asking yourself to test just what needs to be done in order to achieve a solid level of success.

Your Vision, Goals and Objectives

Before anyone starts out in any industry it is crucial to have goals and a vision. The construction industry is no exception. So anyone thinking of setting themselves up as a contractor should always start by thinking about what the overall vision for the company is. What sort of a future do you see, or want, for your company and how do you plan to make that happen?

In the beginning stages of setting up a contract business, it is crucial to be working towards some sort of clarity about the sort of construction company you want to create and what your position will be in the industry. If you have been in the industry for a while, you can be thinking about your previous experience and how you can channel that into your own company. If you have had your own construction company for a while it is still a really good idea to regularly ask yourself these questions to make sure that you and your business stay on track and stay focused on working towards achieving your main goals and objectives.

The Importance of Leadership

One of the most important traits for good contractors is leadership. So the next place to go to after establishing your goals is to think about how you want to lead and the type of leader you would like to be. Building and developing good leadership skills is essential in the world of construction, so this is certainly an important thought process to be having.

As you will likely be managing large teams of people you will want to think about the type of leadership skills you would like to adopt in order to win the respect and cooperation of your team members, clients and partners. Also another good way to analyse the type of leadership you want to establish is by thinking about the type of work culture that you’d like to create.

Solid Partnerships

As the range of projects you will be taking on will no doubt be varied, you are going to need a wide range of partnerships with reliable partners that you can confidently call on to discuss details of new projects. Those partners will be everything from heavy haulage solutions all the way through to logistics specialists and health and safety experts. Establishing trustworthy relationships with knowledgeable and reliable people in your industry will pay dividends when it comes to pulling teams together for last minute or big, important projects.

Approach To Education & Training

One of the most admirable qualities in any contractor is to be seen to be invested and involved in the regular training and support in their teams and workers. Therefore you will want to be planning how you will go about providing on-going training and education for your workers. For short-term or seasonal contractors this may be a case of bringing them in for a couple of days before the project begins, or for longer term projects it could be that you allocate a certain amount of hours every month to ensure that your team is focused, competent, knowledgeable about the project and are feeling supported.

The more you invest in the development and training of your team the more your resources and the strength of your team will grow. The more your teams can handle the easier your job will be. Making sure that you have more than one member of a team that can handle certain machinery or certain elements of the project will mean that the productivity of your project doesn’t need to be interrupted and your projects are more likely to stay strong, focused and profitable through competent workers.

Effective Communication

When communication breaks down, all sorts of issues can start to rear their ugly head. Therefore any good contractor will be ensuring that there is a certain time of every day for daily meetings. Whatever you call these daily meetings, they are critical to the failure or success of every project, so they are a non-negotiable. These meetings will not only ensure that you are staying on track but they will also provide the opportunity to set targets, offer support and check in with your team.

Create an Enjoyable Work Culture

No matter the industry, the company or the team, everyone wants to work for a company, and with a team that they can enjoy. Enjoying day to day work is motivating and helps to ensure that all members of a team are connected and working towards a shared goal. Therefore you should be thinking about how you can shape a work environment that your workers will enjoy and will feel motivated in and inspired by. In every industry the most successful companies are those where people enjoy what they do and therefore feel connected working towards a common goal. You can keep team members with you for a long time if you nurture work cultures that encourage laughter and a good time.

Even with all the above points to worry about and mull over, even you, as the boss should also allow yourself to laugh and enjoy yourself. To enjoy what you do and to enjoy the people around you is the most important part of any business, so with all the above points in mind, one of the most important has to be to smile and enjoy the journey.

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About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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