As the Construction market landscape continues to be more competitive now more than ever it is important to obtain a Contractor’s License and or additional licenses to obtain a competitive edge. With limited dollars to spend on home improvement and construction consumers are compelled to hire the best Contractor they can find and are looking for the most cost effective opportunities.
Many Consumers are not taking a chance at hiring an unlicensed Contractor for fear of potential additional cost to their projects. Consumer skepticism includes fear of unlicensed operator’s not carrying adequate insurance coverage necessary to protect them from potential claims. Unlicensed operators do not carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees as required by California Labor Code or the contractor license bonds required by the state’s Business and Professions (B&P) Code. In this case, should a problem arise the homeowner may be liable if a worker is hurt on their property and without financial recourse if something goes wrong with the project. Many consumers want to avoid costly pitfalls such as these by hiring an experienced Licensed Contractor. For example “badly installed heating or air-conditioning units cost California families money, harm the state’s ability to meet important energy and environmental goals, and can even make people sick,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. Additionally, Failure to obtain a building department permit and have proper follow-up by a California Energy Commission-certified inspector could result in additional expense and risk for the homeowner. A deficient HVAC system may affect a property’s resale value, and could harm the state’s air quality and environment. Inspections ensure that a system is safe, will produce lower utility bills, and help the state and consumer meet energy-efficiency goals. [CSLB]
B&P Code also requires licensees to place their license number in all advertisements. Unlicensed contractors can advertise and perform projects valued at less than $500 but must state in their ads that they are not licensed. A Licensed Contractor in this case would be a more competitive candidate.
The Contractors State Licensing Board works diligently to protect California Consumers from costly mistakes. Recently, four unlicensed operators contracting to replace the air-conditioning unit of a Rancho Bernardo condominium were among the 13 snared for violating California home improvement contracting laws during an undercover contractor sting operation on July 28 and 29, 2010. The Contractors State License Board’s (CSLB) Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) was assisted by the San Diego Police and City Attorney, San Diego County District Attorney, and the California Department of Insurance. SWIFT members posed as homeowners seeking bids for the installation of a new air conditioner, and for plumbing, painting, and tile work. “Stings like this help keep California consumers from making an expensive mistake.”
Several industries and occupations also require or prefer licensed contractors which equates to a competitive landscape:
How might you gain a competitive edge?
Network with other contractors for more business
Continue your education with seminars and certification programs
Create a Corporation or DBA to protect your company
Network and get connected via social media outlets such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter
Do the best work and build a stellar reputation
Ask for referrals