Specialist or Generalist? How to Choose for Your Contracting Business

When you decide to run a business, you’ll need to determine how many different kinds of services you intend to offer. Some people try to spread out their offering so that they can take advantage of demand in different areas. Other business owners prefer to stick to one or two services only. Here’s how to choose which one will be best for your contracting business.

Predictability vs. Variety
One of the benefits of starting your own business is that you get to decide which kinds of services you want to offer and how much each service represents your workload. This means that if you like predictability, you may prefer to limit the types of services you offer. This gives you the consistency of knowing exactly what to order and how long it will take to do certain tasks, because you do it every week. But if you prefer variety in projects, you can also have that. The ability to think on the fly and change what you’re doing from week to week can help you avoid getting too bored or complacent.

Demand for Services
The demand for services in your area may dictate the types and range of services that you can offer. For example, if you live in an area with a sparse population, or if you work in a niche field, you may need to branch out more than other people. On the other hand, if you live in a heavily-populated area with lots of competition in certain parts of your field, you may need to restrict your services to ensure that you can land the projects that you need for income. This may change from one year to the next, so it’s worth doing some research in advance.

Year-Round Income
Construction often has busy seasons and slow periods throughout the year. Although this is dependent on the condition of the market, it also relates to the outside temperature and the population. In order to keep a business going, you need to bring in a regular income. Without it, you may struggle to pay yourself and your employees, as well as the bills. At first, you may find that it’s easier to offer a wider variety of services. This way, you have a better chance of finding interested clients no matter what the weather looks like outside.

Expansion Opportunities
How you choose your services also depends on the way that you can expand and grow over time. This depends heavily on your field. For example, if you focus too much on a broad range of services, it may make it more difficult to get into specialties after you’ve been in the industry for several years. By comparison, limiting yourself to just one or two specific types of jobs may leave you unqualified to step up to the next rung on the ladder. You probably won’t need to make a decision right off the bat. But keeping these factors in mind will help you determine which is the best way to go forward.

Long-Term Relevance
Once contractors have a solid business with an established clientele, they tend to stay in that role for a long time. This means that you might have your business for 30 or 40 years or more. Think about how your job is going to change in that period of time. When you select services that you want to emphasize, do some research and consider whether or not you will be able to adapt them to work with new technologies and even new ways of thinking. Staying relevant over a period of decades is the best way to ensure long-term business success.

Choosing whether to be a specialist or a generalist is just one of many decisions you’ll make when you start your contracting business. First, you need to get your contractor’s license. To get started, visit us at CSLS today!

 

Are You Ready to Take the Contractor Licensing Exam?

It takes a fair bit of work to get ready for the contractor licensing exam. But once you’ve got everything you need to take it, you may open up a world of future opportunities for yourself. Here’s how to know that you have checked all the boxes and are set up to take the exam successfully.

You Know When Licensing Is Required
Most construction projects you might expect to complete as a contractor will probably require a license. As a general rule, you should know that if the total is more than $500, you’ll need to have a license in order to do it. Unlicensed contractors cannot break a project into several small pieces that are under $500 and be able to successfully claim exemption. There are a couple of exceptions, like if you’re working on your own home. Ultimately, it’s best to assume that you’ll need a license for most services you want to offer as part of your contracting business.

You Understand Why Licensing Is Important
There’s a reason that the state of California thinks it is so important that contractors should have a license in most cases. In order to get your contractor’s license, you have to meet certain benchmarks for experience in your field. And once you have your license, it’ll be easy to see what happens when people who don’t know what they’re doing perform the same kind of work you do. A lack of experience can be a hassle for clients, if not dangerous. Unlicensed contractors can also underbid on projects and make it harder for you to get established.

You’ve Got the Necessary Experience
Construction is a field that very much prizes on-the-job training. This means that in order to qualify to take the contractor licensing exam, you’ll need to show about four years’ worth of experience working in that class. If you go to a trade school, that education may cover part of the experience requirement. Similarly, if you do a lot of projects on your own home, you can submit them for review and consideration as part of your experience. But in most cases, you’ll get the experience working for a licensed contractor in a journeyman or foreman role.

You’ve Completed the Exam Preparation
Once you have checked all the boxes for experience and get bonded, you need to make sure you have adequate exam preparation. Like many other standardized tests, it may not be enough to assume that you have all the knowledge and can take the exam with ease on a day off. Preparation through a qualified organization may make the difference between passing it on your first try and needing to take it more than once. Exam prep schools give you a variety of study methods, including:

  • Live sessions
  • Practice exams
  • Opportunities for additional study

This can help you ensure that you know what to expect from the exam by the time you take it.

You’re Confident You Can Succeed
Passing the contractor licensing exam isn’t just about experience or knowledge. It’s also about confidence. Not everyone feels like they can take a test and smash it out of the park. That’s why you prepare. You spend time studying and reviewing subjects until you know them as well as you do the route home. You identify mistakes you sometimes make during tests and correct for them. This makes it easier to avoid confusion or stress on the big day.

You’re Ready to Submit an Application
Submitting your application to take the exam is one of the last steps. You’ll complete all the paperwork concerning your experience. You can fill out the application and submit it with those documents and a $330 fee. If everything checks out, you’ll get a notification that the application is approved. If there’s any question about your application, you’ll get a notification about that, too.

Taking the contractor licensing exam is the last step that helps you achieve your dream of starting a contracting business. To find out what you need to get ready, contact CSLS today!

How to Choose a Contractor Licensing Exam Prep School

When you’re getting ready to take the contractor licensing exam, you’ve got a few ways to prepare. Of course, you can study from home. But having someone with the experience to help guide you through what to expect and fill out your knowledge can save you a lot of hassle and stress. This is what exam preparation schools do. With these tips, you’ll know how to choose the best one.

Comprehensive Learning Options
Not everyone learns in exactly the same way. Some people benefit from in-person instruction, while others prefer to study on their own. When you are looking for schools that will help you prepare for the contractor licensing exam, you want as many options as possible. A good system will give you several choices, such as:

  • Live instruction
  • Online courses
  • Self-paced programs
  • Additional practice

This way, if you’re not sure which learning environment is best for you, you can try out a little of each and decide.

Convenient Locations
If you’re going to take advantage of in-person instruction or classrooms where you can practice some of your skills, there needs to be a location convenient to you. For example, CSLS maintains more than two dozen locations across the state of California. This makes it easy for anyone who wants that experience to find a location in their area and receive it.

Construction Focus
There are hundreds of schools that specialize in exam preparation. This does not mean that they will be able to give you adequate preparation for the contractor licensing exam. Many national companies try to do too much, by offering exam preparation for testing in a wide variety of different industries. But this may mean that they cannot specialize in construction as an industry, and specifically the rules concerning becoming a licensed contractor in the state of California. Finding a school that focuses on construction, and what you can expect when you build a career in the state, will give you a better preparation for your career in the years to come.

High Passing Rates
Going to school for exam preparation is a great tool to make sure that you understand all of the concepts covered, as well as what to expect from the exam itself. One of the best ways that a school can show you their success rate is through a higher rate of students passing the exam. While you look for this data, keep in mind that the number of times it takes a person to pass an exam matters. Schools with a higher rate of students who pass the contractor licensing exam on the first try may be a better investment in the long run.

Guarantees
If an exam prep school is confident that their preparation classes will help you to pass the exam within the first couple of tries, they may offer a guarantee to that effect. Guarantees indicate that if you follow their guidelines and do not receive the desired result, you may be able to get at least a portion of your investment back. This is an opportunity to read the fine print, because guarantees don’t usually come without requirements. Check to see how many opportunities the school gives you to attempt the exam before you request a refund. Confirm that the requirements for the guarantee are clearly outlined and easy to understand.

The right exam school will make you feel much more prepared to take the licensing exam. To find out more about what CSLS can do for you, visit us today!

 

10 Things to Do if Your Contracting Business’s Project Shuts Down for COVID-19

You know it could be coming, and it might even happen within the week. When whole states are shutting down construction projects to try to slow the spread of COVID-19, it may not take long before your contracting business is affected. There are times throughout your career that you will need to suspend work on an ongoing project due to weather problems or even a contract dispute. If you have to shut down, even for just a few days, here’s a checklist of things you should confirm before you leave the site.

Organize Paperwork
Unless your business operates exclusively electronically, there is probably a few pieces of paperwork that you will need to take with you. This might include:

  • Contracts
  • Purchase orders or invoices
  • Equipment rental information

Make sure that you know where everything is. If you are required to leave some of it at the jobsite, double check that you have copies that you can access elsewhere.

Update Status of Project
Once you have left the jobsite, it may be much more difficult to establish where you were at for specific aspects of the job. Take the time to assess the status of each task and document what has been completed before you go.

Confirm Contact Information
Regardless of the reason you need to shut down a project, you will probably need to be in regular contact with your employees, subcontractors, suppliers and clients. Make sure that you have the correct information for all involved parties, especially a way to reach them if they are not currently working in the office.

Identify Items to Remove
If you suspect that it may be a while before you’re able to come back to the jobsite, it’s a good idea to remove at least some of the things that belong to your company. This might include laptops, materials and other equipment. Make a checklist of what you need to take with you so that you can confirm you’ve got it before you go.

Determine What Needs to Stay
Likewise, there will be many things that you must leave at the jobsite. Be careful of taking anything with you that does not belong to you, to avoid getting into a dispute over the contract. If it’s not yours and you are worried about leaving it at the site, make a note of this and contact the person responsible for it so they are aware of the shutdown.

Arrange for Equipment Pickup
If you’re renting equipment or using resources of another business, they may need time to pick it up before the jobsite is closed. Be sure to give them as much notice as possible to collect the equipment or arrange for someone else to get it.

Protect Against Weather
If you suspect weeks of waiting, you may need to protect the site against heavy rain or winds. Cover open piles or pits, and secure loose materials so that they do not topple over or blow around. Avoid placing anything against a security fence or in obvious view from the street.

Notify Employees and Subcontractors
While you wait for the site to reopen, everyone will need to stay away. Contact any of your employees or subcontractors working on the project to let them know. Confirm you have a viable way to update them once you have new information.

Post Notifications
Just in case someone didn’t get the message, create a sign that you can post somewhere alerting people to dangers on the jobsite. You may also need to post a notification that the site is currently closed.

Secure the Jobsite
The last step is to secure the jobsite. You can do this by:

  • Securing materials
  • Locking up equipment
  • Moving technological devices out of visibility
  • Locking the fence or gate
  • Turning on a surveillance system

This decreases the likelihood that anyone will try to break in while you are out.

Waiting on a shutdown can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to ruin your project. Taking these 10 steps ensures a better result. To start building toward your own contracting business, visit CSLS today!

Do You Have the Right Soft Skills for Contracting Business Success?

Running a business requires you to be an expert in sales, marketing, accounting and more. Of course, you must have the skills to become a licensed contractor, but that’s usually not enough. You may not think much about it when you’re figuring out which field to choose or what services you want to offer. But you’ll miss out on lots of opportunities if you don’t. To keep your business on the rise, you should also invest in developing these soft skills.

Sales
The act of selling something to a client is one of the most important things you will need to do as a business owner. You have services that you would like people to request, and the best way to achieve that is to figure out what they need and how you can give it to them. This involves a lot of careful dealing with prospective customers, in both conversations and your marketing materials. If you know what your likely clients are going through and how you can solve their problems, you can tailor your approach in a way that is more likely to appeal to them.

Negotiation
Similar to selling, negotiation is a skill you have to build in order to negotiate with clients, subcontractors, organization administrators and more. Negotiation is the way that you let another party know what you need and what you expect, and find ways that you can come to an agreement that works best for everyone. This isn’t always easy, as you will often encounter people who will try to bowl you over to achieve their own ends. Negotiation is what helps you stand your ground and keep your business running smoothly until you get to the next project.

Team-Building
Even if your business technically is a one-person show, you are still going to be working with a lot of other people. Your ability to build a team that will help support you during the toughest of projects is a matter of survival. You need to find employees and subcontractors who can get the job done well and be reliable at the same time. You’ve also got to persuade them to stick with you when they get better opportunities. There are lots of different ways that you can do this, and not all of them are ideal. You’ll notice that the companies with the best team-building skills are the ones with long-term employees who are good at what they do and protect the business owner’s interests at the same time.

Networking
When you decided to go into business for yourself, did you know how much time you would have to spend maintaining relationships with other people? This is one of the biggest aspects of business success. The ability to develop a working relationship with suppliers, subcontractors and people doing similar work in your industry can help you:

  • Save money
  • Find more work
  • Establish your business on firmer ground

If this isn’t a natural skill for you, you’ll need to practice at it so that it doesn’t come off unnaturally. People can usually tell when you’re trying to fake interest in them or the work they do. A genuine attempt to engage with them can pay off decades down the road.

Conflict Resolution
During the course of your business, you will have lots of opportunities to deal with stressful situations. You can ignore this fact and try to pretend it won’t be a problem, or you can learn the best ways to get through it. Conflict resolution is something that you will encounter between yourself and employees, with clients or colleagues. If you know how to de-escalate a conflict, you can minimize the chances that a simple disagreement will turn into a crisis. Helping yourself and the other involved parties to reach a peaceful resolution allows business to continue, and helps you preserve those important working relationships for the future.

Sometimes knowing the skills to produce products and services isn’t enough. In many cases, you need a lot of soft skills to make your business thrive, too. To find out how you can begin a career in construction, visit CSLS today!

Is Your Contracting Business Relying Too Much on Backlogs for Reliable Work?

Scheduling work far out in advance is a good way of protecting your cash flow. But what happens when the flow of new projects dries up? The pandemic has changed the demand for construction significantly, although some areas are affected more than others. If you’ve been relying on a backlog to ensure that you always have something to do next, now might be the time to change your tactics. Here are a few things to think about as you plan.

How Have Backlogs Protected Construction?
The construction industry often has a slow season, although this depends on the area and the specialty. Contracting business owners have long had to plan for slow times and expanded their business offerings so that they can keep paying their bills until they get busy again. The thing is, construction hasn’t had much of a slow season for several years. This is how the industry kept growing, even as other industries were starting to notice slowing in 2018 and 2019. Having a large backlog of future projects translates into a more reliable income. That makes it easier for you to hire regular employees and provide a better guarantee of paying them consistently.

How Are Backlogs Measured in the Construction Industry?
In the construction industry, backlogs are measured by a certain number of months. If you have a backlog of 8 months, this means that you have 8 months’ worth of projects already in the pipeline. Over the past year, backlogs for the industry have dropped by about 0.5-1.5 months a handful of times. If you were tracking along with much of the industry, that might mean that you have not added as many new projects to replace current ones. Over time, if backlogs completely run out, that means companies may lose a significant amount of potential income.

How Significant Have California’s Backlogs Been in Recent Years?
Of course, backlogs are region-specific as well as related to the specialty. Anyone who lives in California should be well aware that the state has had a significant backlog of housing and commercial projects that could extend out for several years. The changing economy can throw this into flux. If land prices remain high and investors remain wary, it’s likely that new construction starts will drop. If prices go down or if the economy rebounds strongly, investors may feel more comfortable about funding construction projects.

What Does a Loss in Backlogs Indicate for the Coming Years?
In the middle of a crisis, it is difficult to predict what will happen in the next five years. After all, in 2010, it wouldn’t have been unusual to claim that California would never have the same kind of construction momentum that it had in 2005 or 2006. Yet the industry rebounded and moved even faster. In the short term, it is likely that the loss of backlogs means that you may need to take fewer risks with your cash flow, or find other ways to protect your income.

What Can Contracting Businesses Do to Protect Future Income?
It might seem logical to extend projects to increase your backlog, if only to protect cash flow. But in this case, efficiency is more likely to win the day. Think about the ways that you waste time or money unnecessarily right now, and cut back. Focus on maintaining cash flow and being realistic about your estimates. Avoid bidding below your costs on projects, as this may only drive a race to the bottom with companies competing against each other to earn less. Instead, focus on providing a value relevant to the current economic climate.

Building a backlog of projects can help to protect your income, but you can’t always count on it. To start building a contracting business you can count on for the rest of your career, visit CSLS today!

 

Money Management Tips for Your Contracting Business

In order to run a successful business, you have to keep an eye on your money. This is particularly true in the first few years, if you have to do your own accounting. There are lots of reasons to hire a professional to handle your bills and income, but it’s still wise to keep your own tabs on it. Here are a few money management tips to make your business run more smoothly.

Watch Your Cash Flow
When you handle your personal expenses, you probably wait until you have income before you pay the bills. But what happens when you have more bills to pay than income to handle it? What do you do when you have a lot of money that comes out at one time, while the income slowly trickles in? Keeping an eye on your cash flow helps to ensure that you have the money to pay the bills when they come due. This also helps you to avoid having to make tough decisions, like determining whether to pay yourself or pay the rent on your workspace.

Beware of Excessive Overhead
Overhead is a term used to describe the bills you have to pay from the revenue that you bring in. If you have a lot of bills to pay, cash flow may be a bigger problem for you. A lot of people working in construction need to pay for:

  • Labor
  • Equipment rentals
  • Supplies
  • Workspace
  • Services

You may have to make some decisions about whether or not to buy or rent equipment, or how much inventory of supplies you keep on hand. Keeping this in balance gives you more flexibility with your income.

Minimize Debt Load
It’s hard to run a business without incurring any debt, particularly if you did not have a significant amount of savings to start with. However, running up a lot of debt can increase your overhead. If you have to choose between paying credit cards or a line of credit on the equipment and supply purchases and paying the people who work for you, you will be in a very difficult position. Be strategic about your choices to get into debt for the business. Sometimes, it may be unavoidable. At other times, there may be alternatives that make more sense, like delaying a purchase.

Don’t Forget to Invoice
When you are traditionally employed with a regular boss, you don’t have to worry too much about when you’re going to get paid. You just wait until payday and get your money. As a business owner, you have to ensure that you receive payment for services. And while this may seem obvious, it can be more difficult than you think. When you agree to a contract for a business or a private property owner, you may need to bill them throughout the project and at the conclusion. Then you have to wait for payment according to the stipulations of your contract. If you forget to invoice, you may end up waiting longer for the money.

Pay Bills on Time
Many construction fields require you to have a decent setup of equipment and supplies before you can start to offer services. This means that you may have bills before you have reliable income in which to pay them. Write down all of your expenses or use an accounting program that helps you keep track of them. Ensure that each of your bills can be paid on time whenever they are due. This will help you to avoid late fees, which can make it more difficult to manage your cash flow.

Money management is just one more way you can set yourself up to be a great licensed contractor. Passing the exam is the first part. To discover the benefits of expert exam preparation, contact CSLS today!

How Do Environmental Regulations Affect Your Contracting Business?

As the owner of a contracting business, your work might require you to take certain precautions related to environmental regulations. There are quite a few of them, and the ones you’ll work with depend on the jobs you do. Here are a few of the most common you can expect to encounter while you’re on the jobsite.

Clean Water
Everybody needs clean water to drink. Part of the way that we achieve this is by sending water supply through water treatment to test for and remove contaminants. But while this provides a moderate level of protection, it doesn’t ensure that there will always be clean water under all circumstances. As the owner of a contracting business, you may need to take care to ensure that debris from your jobsite does not end up in the local water supply. Environmental regulations may dictate how close you can set up to sources of water, as well as how you dispose of waste when you are done.

Dust Management
When you are working on a construction site, you have to manage what you bring in and use, as well as what you unearth in the process of your work. For example, lead is a naturally occurring element that can be toxic if people inhale or consume it. Lead was also a common material used in construction, particularly in plumbing and paint. If you are renovating or demolishing an old building, you will need to pay attention to whether or not you may stir up lead dust in the process. Careful mitigation of harmful toxins like lead or silica can minimize the likelihood of illness or injury to people living and working nearby.

Hazardous Waste Disposal
Many construction jobs require the use of possibly hazardous materials for manufacturing, building or cleaning. While this may seem like an uncommon part of your job, you may actually be dealing with hazardous waste disposal on a regular basis. For example, you need to have a plan to dispose of paint that you do not need and cannot use for another project. Similarly, it’s unsafe to leave piles of debris around the jobsite. Proper disposal ensures that it doesn’t blow down wind or get caught up in the water supply. Waste materials don’t have to be actively toxic or poisonous in order to represent a hazard. There are many natural elements that can still cause significant harm, like mold.

Why Environmental Regulations Exist
If you pay attention to politics, you’ll notice that politicians will often write laws dictating the way that businesses need to run in order to protect the environment. On the other side, you may see politicians who want to limit these kinds of regulations because of the ways that they can make running a business more difficult. As a business owner, you will need to balance these two perspectives. You don’t want to accidentally harm the people near a jobsite, but you also need to get your work done. Understanding the environmental regulations that are most common for your field and what you should do about them will minimize the hassle that you face on a regular basis.

When you own a contracting business, you’ll need to follow a lot of rules to ensure that you can keep it running smoothly. To find out how to get started, visit CSLS today!

Skills You Need for a Career in Construction

Construction’s a great industry to work in, but it helps if you can start off on the right foot. Although most jobs give you some flexibility, others may require you to spend a lot of time on your feet or working with your hands. Your ability to succeed in your field depends on the skills that you bring to the table. If you’re thinking about starting in construction but you’re not sure if you’re a good candidate, here are a few skills to develop as you decide.

Problem Solving
Like many jobs, construction requires you to solve problems on a regular basis. Some of them might call for you to act quickly, while others demand a thorough analysis and a careful response. You will need to practice different approaches to common issues in your field, so that you are ready to address them as they come. For example, learning how to handle a minor dispute about the details of a contract may help you to avoid escalating it into a major crisis. Although this is something that often comes with experience, the ability to analyze all sides of a problem and draw the best conclusion from there will make it easier to avoid mistakes in the first few years.

Quick Thinking
In most careers, your decisions don’t usually put your coworkers at immediate physical risk. Construction is somewhat unique in this arena. In many construction fields, the decisions that you make from minute to minute can ensure an ideal outcome for your project, or create disastrous consequences for your business and the people working with you. Quick thinking comes with practicing the job, but also analyzing the risks inherent in any particular task. The more you know in advance, the easier it is to make a decision on the fly, when moments matter.

Good Communication
As the owner of a contracting business, you will be communicating with:

  • Prospective and current clients
  • Subcontractors
  • Contractors
  • Employees

You need to be able to get your point across clearly, simply and in the right format. This means studying up on basic communication techniques for emails, phone calls and even text messages. It also includes developing an understanding of the different methods people use to communicate, and which ones are best for the task at hand.

Math and Simple Accounting
If you were a high school student who wondered when you would ever use math knowledge after school, you might be surprised to discover how much you use it in construction. And it’s not just the ability to determine the correct angle or measure something before you cut it. At first, you might be doing a lot of your own finances for your contracting business. Being able to correctly estimate items on an invoice or figure out how much income you need to balance your expenses is a skill you need for your business to survive. You don’t have to be an expert at mental math. You just need the basics, and the ability to find apps that will help you.

Willingness to Learn
You’ll often hear education experts say that they can teach someone how to do something, but they can’t instruct them how to care about learning it. Although construction is an industry that’s been around for thousands of years, it is in a constant state of change. New technologies, equipment and building practices are always just over the next horizon. This means that once you’ve mastered the skill, there’s a high likelihood that you will need to relearn it in a different way within a few years. The ability to do this, and the eagerness to do so, can help ensure that your skills remain current and that your business can stay relevant with the changes.

Building a career in construction calls for a lot of basic skills that you may already have. To see if you’ve got what it takes to start your own contracting business, visit CSLS today!

How Your Contracting Business Can Practice Social Distancing on the Jobsite

For the moment, social distancing seems to be the order of the day. While you can still do work, your contracting business needs to be accomplishing as much as possible. But trying to do that while you stay six feet apart from everyone else and avoid touching things feels impossible. Here are five things you can do to keep your workplace and jobsite safer, with a few concerns to note along the way.

Ensure Access to Sanitizing Implements
When you’re working on a job site, things tend to be a bit rougher than they might be inside a workshop or office. Instead of standard bathrooms, you might be dealing with portable toilets. However, this is one of the most important times to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to wash their hands and to keep the place sanitary. Your health literally depends on it. If the site where you are working doesn’t already have these tools, bring them in. Request additional assistance from clients if necessary.

Structure Tasks for Maximum Distance
Depending on the type of work that you do, you might have several employees working at various points on the job site. Or you might have two or three people working head-to-head. If you’re in the former category, keeping a minimum distance of 6 feet might be easy. If you’re in the latter, you may need to rethink your workflow. The reason for social distancing is that if someone coughs or sneezes, the droplets can only go so far. Ensuring a safe distance between workers minimizes the chance of contact.

Clean Each Station Between Tasks
Outside of industries like healthcare where absolute cleanliness is vital, most employees may not be accustomed to cleaning the area where they were just working. To understand the importance of cleaning stations, tools, and reusable protective gear, imagine that you’re just about to follow someone at the gym. When a person is done using a particular piece of equipment at the gym, it is a standard practice to wipe down everything that they may have touched. That’s mostly to keep the equipment from getting gross, but you can see how it applies to keeping your workplace sanitary. Providing anti-microbial wipes or sprays in various places will make it easier for people to clean up when they are done with a task.

Encourage Practical Use of PPE
Many industries have diverted significant numbers of supplies of personal protective equipment to the healthcare sector. This is because there has been a dramatic shortage of PPE like:

  • N95 masks
  • Sterile gloves
  • Protective gear to limit contact with eyes

Even if you don’t think you or any of your employees have contracted COVID-19, you may not necessarily be able to assume that nobody could. The virus has an incubation period of 7-14 days, which means that somebody may have it for up to two weeks before they see any symptoms. This doesn’t mean that everybody needs to suit up like a hazmat expert before they start work for the day, but maintaining a reasonable commitment to regular cleaning and the use of PPE as needed can minimize transmission.

Implement a Sickness Protocol
If you haven’t already significantly changed your standards for how to handle a worker who is obviously sick, now is the time. The last thing that you want is to have an employee infected with COVID-19 coming to work because they feel like they have no recourse. Take a moment to examine new federal policies concerning paid leave for workers who have COVID-19. And then make sure that everybody on your team understands that they need to stay home when they are sick.

While construction remains an essential service for the state of California, you may need to continue going to the jobsite and finishing projects as needed. Taking this advice can help you minimize your risk. For more information about building a safe contracting business, visit CSLS today!