Monthly Archives: November 2021

5 Reasons to Consider Buying a Vehicle for Your Contracting Business

Like any other piece of equipment, a vehicle is a major investment for your contracting business. Although there are many circumstances in which you might just use your own for travel to the job site, there are other ways that buying a vehicle for your company may make a lot of sense. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Equipment and Material Storage
For many small business owners in construction, it’s not possible to do everything and leave all the equipment at the job site. You may have tools that belong to your business that you need to take with you at the end of the day. In addition, you may be on the hook to deliver certain materials to the site. If your personal vehicle does not allow you the space, you may need to consider buying a vehicle specifically to hold this equipment and materials. Fortunately, this approach also gives you a convenient and portable place to store them. That way, they are always ready to go when you are.

Carpooling Capability
As a contracting business owner, you might work by yourself or with a handful of employees. When you’re commuting to a job site that is some distance away, you have to decide if you will ask people to take their own vehicles or find a way to carpool. Many vehicles meant for construction have space for multiple passengers, which would make carpooling a possibility. If you’re trying to cut costs on commuting, or if you have limits on the number of cars you can bring to the job site, the ability to carpool may solve a lot of problems.

Brand Development
One of the best ways to get your name out there as a contracting business is to literally get your name out there. You can post advertisements in a variety of places, but you can also use a construction vehicle as part of your brand development plan. Few people would deck out a personal vehicle with their contracting business name and logo on the side. But it’s commonplace to do that with a business vehicle. If you’re trying to get attention in specific neighborhoods or communities, it could be a good way to generate familiarity with your business.

Improved Driving in Difficult Conditions
California features a variety of weather conditions that can make driving difficult, like floods, snowstorms, or wildfires. While you might not be willing or able to invest funds to buy a personal vehicle that can handle these conditions, that’s not necessarily the case for your business. If you need to commute to locations that might be difficult to access at certain times of the year, having a vehicle with better control might be a matter of safety as well. Even if you just have a lot of freeway driving, something with better mileage may prove to be a great business investment.

Less Wear and Tear on Your Personal Vehicle
Ultimately, when evaluating a major purchase for your contracting business, it’s worth considering how you pay for the alternatives. If you don’t buy a construction vehicle, then you’re probably going to be using your own. That might not be a big problem if you’re only commuting a few miles each way and not using the vehicle for actual work. On the other hand, if you are driving up to 150 miles a day five days a week to various client sites, you’ll notice that mileage on your vehicle. You’ll pay more for gasoline, but also for oil changes and tire replacement. Having a dedicated vehicle for your business can keep those expenses tied to your company, not your personal finances.

When you run a contracting business, you’ll have to make lots of decisions, like whether to buy a business vehicle. If you’re ready to get started on your construction career, visit CSLS today!

5 Ways to Keep Your Contracting Business Out of Trouble on Social Media

Watching someone go off the script on social media can be a delight to observe. Going through it is another matter entirely. Knowing how to engage on social media for your contracting business is tricky, and there are a lot of possible problems. Here are five ways you can keep yourself from becoming the next viral nightmare.

Separate Business and Personal Accounts
One of the biggest problems that businesses have with social media is the inability to keep their personal and business accounts separate. Even if your business name is also your own name, you probably have a different approach to engagement on your business accounts than you do on your personal accounts. It’s important to make sure that you are distinguishing the two, especially if your engagement with social media can be controversial at times. If necessary, make sure that you only use your business accounts on certain devices. Create a different login for each one. That way, you’re less likely to post from your business by accident.

Be Selective When Assigning Posting Privileges
Every now and then, you’ll read a horror story about what happened when a social media manager for a small business went rogue in the off-hours. You definitely don’t want this to happen to you, because it’s your credibility and reputation on the line. As such, if you decide to hand off social media responsibilities to an employee, make the decision carefully. Even if you completely trust the employee to make good choices, you’ll still want to follow up with it on occasion. If something goes wrong, you’ll get an early warning that way.

Take Time to Reply
For many consumers, social media is a way to engage with businesses and provide feedback. You might encourage your clients to give you a review on sites like Facebook or Yelp. When you get good reviews, positive replies could be easy and quick to create. On the other hand, if you get negative reviews, you might feel pressed to provide your side of the story as quickly as possible. Instead, take time to think through your reply and how you want others to see it. It’s better to wait a day or two to craft a reasoned response than it is to reply off the cuff and wish that you had taken more time.

Ignore Trolling Comments
Of course, social media is full of bad-faith commenters. On the surface, they may look like former or potential customers, when in reality they are just random people jumping on the bandwagon. While it is a good idea to respond to the questions and concerns of real clients, you should be careful when choosing to engage with people who are trying to give you a difficult time. Some people see frustrating others as an entertaining pastime. It’s better to ignore them and let their posts sit empty than to fall into the trap and waste a lot of time trying to fix it.

When In Doubt, Log Out
The thing about social media is that you don’t need a big following to go viral, especially not when it’s something bad. So even if your social media is relatively new and you don’t have a lot of followers, it’s a good idea to take care of your overall engagement. If you’re not skilled in social media management, ask a friend or family member with experience to periodically check in on your social media accounts. They may be able to let you know when an account has gone off the rails, and they can give you valuable feedback about when to disengage and take a break.

Social media is a great way to engage with customers and find more opportunities for your contracting business. You just have to make sure not to get yourself in trouble. For more tips about becoming a licensed contractor, contact CSLS today!