Monthly Archives: September 2022

Are You Ready to Become a Construction Industry Professional?

It seems like the construction industry is flooded with people who are interested in building a career. This is a great thing since the industry has had such a labor shortage for the past decade. If you’re thinking about getting into construction, you couldn’t have picked a better time. Here are a few ways you can tell you are ready to take the next step.

You Want to Run Your Own Business
The ability to turn your career goals into a personal business is something that draws a lot of people to the construction industry. It’s not just that you can start a business because you can do that in most fields. Rather, you can build a stable career path on the basis that you are contributing something important to society. You’re helping to build the community you will live in for the rest of your life. The best part is that you can choose how you want to structure the business. Whether you want to start and expand a corporation or keep your services to yourself alone, you have the flexibility to decide.

You’re Learning Construction Skills
Learning experts say that if you figure out how to make learning a delight, it won’t feel like work. If you’re really engaged in construction, you will find that you spend your extra time on it. You can tell that you’re getting hooked on the idea when you notice that you pay attention to construction trends, and you find yourself looking for more information whenever you can. That kind of drive can do excellent things for you in a new career, particularly one that requires years of skill-building and a license. When you feel the future call, it’s wise to answer it.

You’ve Chosen a Field
When you were a small child, you probably had an idea of the kind of job you wanted to have when you grew up. Although children don’t always have the best reasoning for determining future careers, the decision-making process can be almost as simple. When you imagine yourself in the future, what kind of job do you see yourself doing? The more refined your decision, the closer you could be to getting your start. If you already have a field in mind, or even a specific job you’d like to work toward, you’re further than you may think.

You’re Ready for a Change
Change happens for everyone, at some point. The way that you react to the idea of change can tell you whether you’re ready to deal with it. Think about telling your friends and family about a career change. Do you feel frightened about their responses, or excited to challenge their thinking? When you imagine starting a new career path, do you feel terrified about failure, or do you anticipate success? Once you are ready to change, it may look like a big step, but you’ll still have the sense that you can do it well.

You’re Preparing for a New Career
Of course, being mentally or emotionally ready to take a big leap doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily in the physical or financial position to do so. Changing careers can take some time to research and prepare, particularly if you’re doing it in your 30s or later. Even if you’re a year or two out from being able to start your first construction job, you can still take steps toward the goal. These preparations might come in the form of learning skills you can apply to your new job, saving money to ease the separation, or researching the best way to run a contracting business. This investment will pay off by giving you a stronger footing for your new start.

Wanting to be a construction expert is the first step. Getting your contractor license takes time, but it is well worth the effort. For more information about how you can get expert exam preparation, visit CSLS today!

5 Ways to Improve Your Contracting Business Proposals

When your contracting business bids on a project, you might be competing with several or even dozens of other contracting businesses. If you want to win the contract, you need to have the right plan from the beginning. With these tips, you will have a better idea of how you can make your proposals stand out.

Fix Past Mistakes
As a business owner, one of the best things that you can do is learn from your mistakes. In the early years of your contracting business, you are more likely to experience failure. Where you go from there depends on what you do with that information. When you lose out on a bid, it’s a wise idea to learn why you didn’t win. Try to avoid letting your ego make excuses for you, and think about the problem constructively. Compare your failures to your successes, and see if you can distinguish obvious differences between the two. Get input when possible. These ideas will help you to correct problems and prevent them from happening in the future.

Write Appealing Content
Although each bid is going to follow a specific format, you still need to write as if you care about landing the project. Property owners might have to sort through dozens or even hundreds of bids on a project. The last thing that you want is for your bid to get lost in the shuffle, just one more generic document in a stack of 100 others. Instead, think about what you can do to grab the attention of the reader, in a way that makes your bid come to life. Make sure that your approach emphasizes the positive aspects of choosing your bid. If you decide to use humor as a way of keeping attention, be very careful, as humor is difficult to translate into writing.

Set Clear Expectations
When people are sorting through a bunch of bids on a project, they want to be able to separate them quickly and cleanly. One way that you can set yourself apart is to outline your expectations and your goals in a quantifiable way. It’s tempting to craft a bid that allows you a lot of wiggle room in terms of completing the project. The property owners and general contractors may see through that quickly, and opt for a bid with more concrete details. Be specific as much as you can, giving yourself a cushion on budgets and timelines when possible.

Avoid Making Unreasonable Promises
Practically everybody has an experience with a professional who promised far more than they were able to deliver. Since you don’t want your contracting business to be known as one that over-promises or under-delivers, it’s best to only offer work that you know you can deliver. It’s always possible that you can have problems throughout the project that make it difficult for you to complete them according to specifications. But that issue is far different from using your bid as a way to undercut the competition in a way that isn’t sustainable. After all, it’s not a business if you can’t make enough money from the projects to keep going.

Show Your Uniqueness
When you start to craft your bid, do some research into your likely competition. Most property owners will have to decide among a set of bids, and it may not be too difficult to get a sense for the other businesses out there. What are they good at? What gives you an edge? It’s a good idea to know your competition in general, but this also gives you an added opportunity for the bid itself. If you have more information about your competition, then you can use the bid to explain how your company is unique from the rest. You can set yourself apart in a way that helps the deciding party feel comfortable choosing you over someone else.

Making successful bids is one of the best ways to secure more projects as a business owner. To take the next step on your construction career path, contact CSLS today!

How Do Rising Interest Rates Affect the Construction Industry?

After a few years of keeping interest rates low, the Federal Reserve is increasing them again. In an attempt to keep inflation from spiraling out of control, the Fed uses interest rates to control the costs of goods and services. It tends to carry a heavy weight in the construction industry, and you may already see the effects. Here are a few things you can expect as a result.

Interest Rates and Inflation
If it’s hard to see the connection between interest rates and inflation, you’re not alone. There are several degrees of separation between them. When interest rates are low, it’s easier for people and institutions to borrow money. When money is easy to get, the costs of goods and services tend to go up. The Fed raises rates on the loans the banks make to each other as a way to control inflation. Although you might notice immediate changes to things like mortgage interest rates as a result, other changes could take months or even a year to show up.

Buying Power
For the construction industry, interest rates affect the kind of buying power that investors, businesses, and property owners have. Although many people pay cash for construction, it’s common to rely on short-term or long-term loans to pay for it. The amount that a person or business can get in a loan depends on how much they can pay back. Interest rates determine the size of the payment, with higher interest rates demanding a higher payment. As such, interest rates can determine how much people can spend on a construction project.

Interest rates also affect the way that lenders approve borrowers. When interest rates are low, borrowers may have more options to finance a construction project. As interest rates get higher, borrowers have to be more selective about the lending options they choose. They might be priced out of a few of them, especially if they aren’t highly qualified for financing. On the other side of the coin, lenders become pickier about who they will approve. They may expect a higher degree of qualifications to handle a higher payment or a longer term for the loan.

Project Planning
Changes in interest rates can also cause investors to rethink their project plans. It depends on their limitations and their goals for the project. For example, an investor who is trying to get ahead of rising interest rates might be more likely to schedule a project sooner, instead of waiting and possibly paying more. By comparison, a property owner who is already stretched thin may have to wait on a project because they can’t afford it at the moment. Rising interest rates often have a cooling effect on demand for projects as a result.

How Rising Rates Can Affect Your Contracting Business
Eventually, you may start to see these changes trickle down to your contracting business. Investors and property owners who are hoping to lock in a better rate now could be looking for contractors who are ready to start right away. So, contracting businesses that are prepared might get more business at first. Over time, the number of new construction starts may decrease due to the higher cost. This means that contracting businesses may have to compete for more for a smaller number of available projects.

Rising interest rates tend to have a big effect on the construction industry. If you know what to expect, you can prepare. For more tips on running a successful business, visit CSLS today!