If you’re like a lot of people, you set a long goal and find it really difficult to make progress toward it. For example, if you’ve been hoping to become a licensed contractor and start your own business, the finish line might feel thousands of miles away. The good news is that you can work toward your goal, even if you still have a ways to go. Here are five things you can do to start making progress today.
Look at the Licensing Requirements
In order to apply for a contractor license in the state of California, you have to meet a number of requirements. These include:
- Be over the age of 18
- Have the experience and skills necessary to perform in the class of license for which you want to apply
- Able to prove that you have four years of experience
- Pass relevant exams
- Pay for a bond
For most people, the four years of experience requirement is the most complicated and time-consuming one. There are some exceptions, depending on your level of education and experience. If you’re considering relying on one of these exceptions, you should research the details and make sure that you have the correct documentation.
Start Saving Money
Although you may not need hundreds of thousands of dollars to start a business, any amount that you can save in advance can help. Businesses often have options for funding, such as grants or business loans. However, those types of financing are limited, and they may increase your overhead expenses. Do what you can to start putting away savings, even if it’s just a little here and there. The ability to cover a few early expenses, like the $15,000 bond and the cost of applying for a business license, could help set your business on stronger footing.
Research Your Options for Running a Business
When you start a business, you’ll need to think about what kind of business you intend to run. Many contractors act as sole proprietors or independent owners. It’s also not uncommon to have a partner or small team of contractors who all have a stake in the business. In any case, you’ll want to decide if you want to create an LLC or some type of corporation. There are benefits and disadvantages to any business structure, so you may need to consult with a financial expert to determine which one is the best choice for your goals.
Build More Experience
California state law says that you can’t operate as a contractor without having a license. To get one, you’ll have to build experience in the right capacity. Look at the requirements for experience and make sure that your job meets the criteria. If it starts to feel like the time is taking forever, break it down into smaller pieces. Every time you finish six months or a year, give yourself a small reward to celebrate your achievement. You’ll reach the end before you realize it.
Start Learning on the Side
Running a contracting business requires a surprising amount of knowledge, some of it in fields you might never have imagined. If you want to hit the ground running when you start your business, the time to start learning is now. You might have a day job that focuses on the skills that you will need to perform services for clients. At night and on the weekends, consider filling in your knowledge with other business-related tasks. For example, you might decide to improve your math skills or learn a few basic accounting tools. That way, you can do a better job managing your income and expenses.
Starting a contracting business is easier when you have the right preparation. For more information about our exam preparation courses, contact CSLS today!