Becoming a general contractor can be a very rewarding career, but it’s not easy. It takes years of dedication and hardwork to achieve success. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, This article will share ten important steps that will help you on your way.
What is a General Contractor?
A general contractor is a person who is responsible for the overall coordination of a project. They manage other contractors and subcontractors and are responsible for completing the project on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
General contractors are usually involved in construction projects, but they can also be involved in renovating or restoring existing buildings. In some cases, general contractors may even be responsible for constructing new buildings from the ground up.
Why Become a General Contractor?
There are many reasons why you might want to become a general contractor. For example, perhaps you’ve worked in the construction industry for many years and are ready to take on more responsibility. Or maybe you’re looking for a new challenge and want to be your boss.
Whatever your reasons, becoming a general contractor can be a very rewarding experience. It’s a great way to make a good income, and you’ll be satisfied knowing that you’re responsible for successfully completing construction projects.
Eligibility Criteria of General Contractors
The minimum requirement for becoming a general contractor is the following:
- High school or general equivalency diploma (GED)
- Ability to provide services and work legally in the United States
- Clean and work record
- No criminal record
- 4 years of experience at a journeyman level or 2 years of experience as a general contractor’s helper
- Passing a general contractor’s exam
Education and Certification
There is no one specific route to becoming a general contractor. However, many general contractors start as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, or other construction workers and then work their way up to management positions.
You may require a license to work as a general contractor in some states. To get a license, you will usually need to pass an exam that tests your knowledge of construction laws, regulations, and codes.
In addition to being licensed, many general contractors also have certification from professional organizations, such as the National Association of Home Builders or the American Institute of Contractors. These certifications demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to be a successful general contractor.
How to Become a General Contractor
If you’re interested in becoming a general contractor, there are ten steps you should take to get started:
Get Experience Working in the Construction Industry
The best way to become a successful general contractor is to gain experience working in the construction industry. You can work as a carpenter, electrician, plumber, or construction worker.
Familiarize the Law
Become familiar with construction laws, regulations, and codes. As a general contractor, you will ensure that all aspects of the construction project comply with applicable laws, regulations, and codes. Familiarize yourself with these requirements to properly advise your clients and subcontractors.
Obtain the Proper License
You must obtain a license to work as a general contractor in some states. To get a license, you will usually need to pass an exam that tests your knowledge of construction laws, regulations, and codes.
Many general contractors are also certified by professional organizations, such as the National Association of Home Builders or the American Institute of Contractors. These certifications demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to be a successful general contractor.
Establish a Business
Once you have the experience and credentials required to become a general contractor, you must establish your own business. This will involve registering your business with the appropriate government agencies, obtaining insurance, and finding a suitable location for your office.
Create a Marketing Plan
As a general contractor, you must market your business to potential clients. Therefore, develop a marketing plan that includes strategies for advertising your business and generating leads.
Bid on Projects
Once you have a few clients, you will need to bid on projects. This process involves estimating the project’s cost and submitting a proposal to the client.
As a general contractor, you will manage construction projects from start to finish. This includes coordinating with subcontractors, overseeing the work, and ensuring that the project is completed on time and within budget.
Handle Customer Service
In addition to managing construction projects, you will also need to handle customer service inquiries and concerns. This may involve dealing with angry customers or resolving disputes between subcontractors.
Stay Up To Date on Industry Trends
As a general contractor, staying up to date on industry trends is important to provide the best possible service to your clients. Attend trade shows, read industry publications, and network with other professionals to stay abreast of the latest developments in the construction industry.
Important Skills of General Contractors
In addition to the steps outlined above, several important skills you will need to possess to be a successful general contractor. These skills include:
Strong Project Management Skills
You will manage construction projects from start to finish. This includes coordinating with subcontractors, overseeing the work, and ensuring that the project is completed on time and within budget.
Excellent Communication Skills
You must communicate effectively with your clients, subcontractors, and other professionals. This includes being able to clearly explain instructions and give updates on the status of the project.
Strong Negotiation Skills
You will often negotiate with subcontractors, suppliers, and clients as a general contractor. You will need to be able to negotiate favorable terms and prices to get the best possible deals for your projects.
Good Organizational Skills
You must be organized to keep track of the many details involved in construction projects. This includes keeping track of deadlines, orders, and invoices.
Critical Thinking Skills
You will often face challenging situations requiring quick thinking and creative solutions. Therefore, you will need to be able to think critically to find the best way to solve problems.
Strong Attention To Detail
You will need to pay close attention to detail to ensure that construction projects are completed according to plan. This includes paying attention to the small details of the project as well as the big picture.
Tips for Succeeding as a General Contractor
You can follow several tips to help you succeed as a general contractor. These tips include:
- Develop a niche. As a general contractor, you compete against other businesses for projects. One way to stand out from the competition is to develop a niche. This could involve specializing in a certain type of construction, such as green building or historic renovation.
- Build a strong team. As a general contractor, you will be working with a team of subcontractors and other professionals. Building a strong team that you can rely on to get the job done right is important.
- Stay organized. As a general contractor, you must keep track of the many details involved in construction projects. This includes keeping track of deadlines, orders, and invoices.
- Be flexible. Construction projects often involve unforeseen challenges and obstacles. As a general contractor, you will need to be flexible to adapt to these challenges and find solutions that work.
- Focus on quality. As a general contractor, your reputation will be based on the quality of your work. It is important to focus on providing quality workmanship to build a strong reputation.
- Build relationships. As a general contractor, you will be working with clients, subcontractors, and suppliers. Building strong relationships with these people is important to succeed in the construction industry.
Why ReliaBills is Important for General Contractors
As a general contractor, it’s important to have a system to manage your finances and get paid on time. ReliaBills if your partner is helping you get paid—it’s a powerful invoicing and payment processing platform that will help you create a solid billing system, get paid faster, and manage your cash flow. With ReliaBills, you can:
- Send invoices in a few clicks: create professional-looking invoices and save your templates to send to clients in a few clicks.
- Get paid faster: clients can pay by credit card, ACH bank transfer, or eCheck—you’ll get paid in as little as 2 business days.
- Automate your billing: set up recurring invoices to be automatically sent to clients on a schedule so you don’t have to remember to send them monthly.
- Stay organized: with our easy-to-use interface, you can keep track of all your invoices in one place and see which ones have been paid.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, create a ReliaBills account for FREE today! Visit our website at www.reliabills.com to learn more.
To become a general contractor, it is important to have the right preparation and knowledge. With the tips above, you will be well on your way to success in this field. And with ReliaBills by your side, you can create a billing system that will help you get paid on time and manage your finances. Get started today!