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About makemeacontractor

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit www.MakeMeAContractor.com and tuned for more informative posts.

Is Your Contracting Business Wasting Money?

When you run a contracting business, you work hard to earn money. But you might also be wasting it, as well. Sloppy business practices can cost you more than you know, including the future success of your company. Here are a few things to watch for, and how you can avoid them.

Avoid Wasting Time
As a small business, one of your biggest expenses is labor. The longer it takes for you to complete a task, the more money you spend on it. You can’t rush quality, but there are probably plenty of things you do throughout the day that waste time unnecessarily. Evaluate your practices at least every year or two, and do research into new innovations and concepts that may make you more efficient. You might be surprised how much time you save by making a few slight changes. The best part is that you might be able to get work done more quickly without compromising quality, which allows you to take more projects.

Be Wise About Purchases
When you start a business, it is really easy to break your budget by investing in a comprehensive line of equipment and supplies. There are a few things that you will need to have for your business, but that list is probably nowhere near as long as it could be. Before you start shopping, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need it for my business the way it is right now?
  • Will I use this all the time?
  • Are there ways to get this purchase for less?

Sometimes, there’s no alternative to paying full retail price. In many cases, you may discover that there are opportunities to rent equipment you don’t use frequently, buy equipment used or refurbished, or delay purchases until you really need them.

Pay for Quality
As with a lot of things in life, quality tends to cost more. When you are thinking about things that you need to buy or pay for, make quality an important factor in your decision. Buying low-quality equipment and materials may cost less, but they could also give you a low-quality result. When it matters, be ready to invest in something that will last longer and work better. And do your research so that you know the difference between a fair price for a quality item and an unreasonable markup on something cheap.

Minimize Material Waste
The construction industry produces a massive amount of waste. If you learn how to cut down on the waste you produce for your contracting business, you may save money at the same time. You can minimize waste by:

Keeping track of all of your purchases, so you know what you have spent

Maintaining an inventory of your supplies, so you don’t overbuy

Making plans to use excess materials instead of disposing of them

Be prepared to try out different strategies and see which ones work best.

Evaluate Business Strategies
For your business, you will probably employ a variety of strategies. For example, you may invest money into various marketing opportunities so that potential clients are aware of your business. Although it is common to outsource services like these, it’s important to pay attention to the return that they provide for you. If your marketing strategy isn’t getting you new customers, you may need to change it. Changing your strategies on occasion lets you experiment to learn what works and helps you avoid spending too much money on strategies that don’t work.

Earning money is one of the most important things that you do for your contracting business, but avoiding wasting money is also crucial. To learn more about starting your construction career, visit CSLS today!

How to Take Advantage of Your Days Off for Your Contracting Business

Even if you have a very busy contracting business, you’ll still need to take days off. And while those days are dedicated to other aspects of your life, they can have a positive effect on your business too. Here are a few things you can do to get the most out of them.

Put Away Work Responsibilities
One of the biggest keys to maintaining a balance between work and home life is to be able to put away your work responsibilities. Even if you do some tasks from home, you still need to be able to shut them off and focus on the rest of your life. Do your best to finish up your work responsibilities in a way that allows you to set them aside, physically and mentally. Creating that separation makes it easier for you to enjoy your time off, without feeling like you are abandoning your business and its important needs. Some people need to create a physical separation between themselves and their work, to avoid the pressure to keep going.

Take Care of Obligations
When you are busy attending to the tasks of your contracting business, you may be less focused on other obligations. If they have a tendency to pile up for your days off, one of the best things that you can do is to address them as quickly as possible. Make yourself a list of tasks that you need to complete, and estimate how long you need to do them. Be sure to prioritize the most important ones, in case you run out of time. If you find that your days off are entirely taken up by these obligations, you may need to adjust your daily routines to spread out the load.

Balance Your Exercise Program
Many jobs in construction involve some kind of manual labor. While it may feel like you are getting a good workout at times, you probably aren’t working out as comprehensively as you think you are. Figure out which muscle groups are getting the most work, and add exercises that will help to strengthen them and avoid repetitive injuries. Dedicate more of your time to muscle groups that aren’t getting a regular workout, so that you can keep them strong and limber. Don’t feel like you have to spend all of your time at the gym, though. Outdoor activities and playing with the kids may accomplish just as much.

Catch Up on Rest
Running a business can be exhausting, in large part because it often requires you to work longer days. If you tend to run a little short on sleep throughout the week, your days off are a good opportunity to catch up on needed rest. Try to avoid using your days off as a way to justify poor sleep routines during the week, however. No one wants to get to a day off and feel so tired that they have no energy for anything but sleep. It’s a lot easier to build more rest into your daily routine so that you can use your days off for relaxation. Even just taking some downtime to read or watch TV can help you to reset.

Get Ready for the Week
As your days off come to a close, it’s a good idea to start shifting your mind back into your work routines. If you typically pack a lunch for yourself for each workday, you might consider investing a little time on a day off to prepare them in advance. Making breakfasts that you can eat when you are in a hurry will help to ensure that you have the nutrients needed to do work and aren’t relying so much on energy drinks. Washing your work clothes and ensuring that your vehicle is ready will help you to start the next workday in the best position to be productive.

Taking days off is an important part of running a successful business. So is becoming a licensed contractor. To learn how, visit CSLS today!

5 Time Management Strategies for Your Contractor Licensing Exam Studies

Preparing for the contractor licensing exam takes plenty of time. When you’re not paying attention, you may lose track of it. If you’re going to balance life, work, and your studies, time management is key. Here are five things you can do to get more done in less time.

Be Realistic About Motivation
When you start to outline the tasks that you need to do for the day or for the week, you’ll probably notice your gut feelings about each one. Some will feel like they are a snap and maybe even fun to work on. Others could feel like drudgery or something that will take forever. Find a way to classify these tasks, such as putting them into easy, medium, or hard categories. That way, you can stagger the harder tasks in between the ones that are easier. If you feel like you only have to spend some time on a hard task, it may make it simpler to push through, so that you can get to an easier one.

Break Up Your Time
One way to accomplish more in a shorter period of time is to break up the tasks into smaller pieces. You don’t want to spend all of your time planning out every five minutes of your schedule, simply because that can decrease your productivity. However, breaking up your work into increments of 15 or 30 minutes can make the work feel more achievable. On days that you’re feeling tired or stressed, opt for shorter increments. That way, you don’t get lost in a single task and give up for the day because you’re too tired to finish.

Set Timers to Stay on Schedule
If you have ever had to research something online, you know what it means to completely lose track of your time management plan. To avoid getting stuck in research rabbit holes or spending too much time on any particular task, set timers that go off at a specific interval. Choose something that you cannot snooze in an instant, or you may turn it off without realizing. If you are scheduling variable times based on the individual task, you may consider using an app that lets you customize the schedule. Time-management apps can be a great way to plan out your time and choose alerts that will be most effective.

Reduce Distractions
To allow you to really dig into the subject you’re working on, make a point to reduce the distractions that you may encounter. If you need to switch books or notes, keep the next set close at hand but not immediately in your face. Otherwise, select a study area that allows you to minimize:

  • Noise
  • Excessive clutter
  • Harsh or insufficient lighting
  • Alerts from other apps
  • Disruptions from family members

If you find that distractions are constantly interrupting your tasks, you may need to choose a different schedule. For example, booking 30 minutes out of every hour as distraction-free might be easier to enforce than planning two solid hours of uninterrupted study time.

Plan for Breaks
If you don’t take enough breaks while you study, you may notice that you’re not retaining the information. Cramming can be a useful skill when you know you won’t need the information again, but it doesn’t apply very well to this process. Taking breaks is important for maintaining health and wellness, as well as lowering your overall stress level. It also helps you to process the information that you are studying, so that you are more likely to remember it. When you have a lot of difficult topics to get through, consider giving yourself a five-minute break for each 15-minute period of productivity. You’ll have an easier time keeping the momentum that way.

Time management is an important skill for preparing for the contractor licensing exam, but it’s also good for your future business. For the best tools in getting ready for the licensing exam, visit CSLS today!

Is the Supply Chain Problem Putting Your Contracting Business At Risk?

You’ve probably heard plenty about the supply chain, especially the ways that it affects the construction industry. It can put your contracting business in difficult positions, so you should know what the risks are. Here are a few things you’ll need to know, and some ideas to help you solve them.

Increased Costs
The most obvious example of the supply chain problems in action are the increased costs for supplies. You’ve probably noticed that common construction materials like lumber or steel have been quite volatile over the last couple of years. It makes sense if you think about it. When supply is down, but demand remains the same, people who are in great need of the supplies may be willing to pay more to get them. Until the supply side regulates or increases to meet the demand, access and pricing are at a premium. That’s why lumber skyrocketed in the middle of 2020 and gradually dropped as supply improved.

Project Delays
For many years, experts in construction have said that project delays are the norm, not the exception. But the supply chain problems make it worse. If it takes you much longer to source the materials that you need, you’ll need longer to complete the project. Once you factor in the long-term labor shortage, you might fall significantly behind your original estimates. This can be a source of tension between contractors and clients, even those who understand the situation. It’s forcing a lot of contracting businesses to reevaluate the way that they budget their time, and requiring them to estimate a bigger cushion for unexpected delays.

Concerns With Material Substitutions
With the supply chain issues, there have been delays and there have been shortages. For some materials, you can wait a little longer, but you’ll still be able to get access to them. For others, you might not be able to get them for a specific project at all. Of course, whenever you have to deviate from the original plan, you put yourself at risk for claims that you failed to meet specifications. In addition, even clients who are understanding of the need for substitutions may be more likely to raise a dispute, especially if those substitutions don’t turn out to work as well or last as long as the original.

Breach of Contract Claims
Of course, all of these problems can lead to clients or other construction firms claiming that contractors are in breach of contract for their failure to deliver according to the specifications. Dealing with these claims can be a complicated and expensive process, particularly as it takes time away from other paid projects you could be working on. As such, contractors are better off if they do what they can to be realistic about what they can deliver and clear about their needs and expectations in contract language.

How to Minimize Problems
Ultimately, contractors should make sure that they are accommodating issues like the labor shortage and the supply chain into their contract language. When clients claim that a contractor has breached contract, they may cite a lack of clarity that shows that the contractor could delay project completion due to unforeseen circumstances. Being clear about this language, and the exceptions that may come up can help contractors and clients better understand what is expected for the duration of the project.

The supply chain is likely to be a problem for some time, so contracting businesses need to prepare. For more information about what you’ll need to succeed as a contractor, visit CSLS today!

How Your Contracting Business Can Avoid Disputes

Construction disputes can be a nightmare. No one enjoys getting stuck in the middle of one, especially if you don’t think you did anything wrong. The best path is to avoid it in the first place With these tips, you can minimize your risk.

Review Your Contracts
Many people start out by building contracts using boilerplates that they can find online. But in a lot of cases, those boilerplates don’t provide the clarity that you need for the type of projects you do. They may also be outdated, failing to address current issues in the construction industry, like the labor shortage or supply chain issues. Take the time to review all of your contract language. Break it up into pieces so that you don’t start to skim. Underline passages that don’t make sense or seem too vague. That will give you a jumping-off point to improve them.

Hire a Professional to Clarify Language
If you ever end up in a dispute, you’re probably going to need a lawyer to help you negotiate it. You may be able to save yourself a lot of time and hassle by hiring a lawyer to review your contract language, as well. Lawyers with experience in contract disputes in construction may be able to tell you which terms are more likely to become an issue in a dispute, as well as better alternatives. It can be a significant investment of funds. But the comfort and assurance of knowing that your contracts are legal and specific could go a long way toward helping you negotiate with new clients with confidence.

Update Your Business Practices
Although contract disputes often involve some issue with the contract language, there are plenty of other problems that can trigger a dispute. If your business practices are inconsistent with your contract language, you could easily end up with a dispute. Despite the fact that many construction firms consider overspending and delivering late to be the standard, you don’t have to assume that for your own business. Take the time to examine your business practices and see which areas could be improved. Getting better at estimating costs or delivery time might be the difference between a satisfied client and an angry one.

Resolve Issues Early
As with most aspects of construction, the sooner you find a problem, the better off you are. It’s easy to assume that early issues will resolve themselves in time, but it doesn’t always work out that way. If you seem to have problems communicating with the client or reaching consensus from the outset, you should pause on progress to negotiate them. After all, someone who is unhappy with the approach you are taking during design or planning is more likely to raise issues with the results of those stages. Investing the time to make sure everyone is on the same page gives you a better assurance of a satisfactory end result.

Be Transparent About Expectations
Transparency is the best path to ensuring that your client understands your obligations and confirming that you can meet their expectations. A lack of communication or delays in the delivery of things like project plans can put people in the position of rushing through important review and negotiation stages. It can be annoying to deal with a client who constantly wants to change the scope, but the solution is not to keep everything under wraps until you’re ready to start construction. Work on hammering out the issues as they come up, and you’ll be more likely to solve them before it’s too late.

Avoiding disputes isn’t always possible, but you can reduce the likelihood. To learn more about starting your career in construction, contact CSLS today!

5 Business Management Tips Your Contracting Business Can Use

If you have never run your own business, you might not be sure how to get started. Although there are tons of guides online designed to help you get your business off the ground, it’s not as obvious how to make success easier to achieve. Here are five things you can do.

Don’t Make Hasty Decisions
If you talk to anyone who has run a successful business for many years, they may tell you that there were certain points where the success of the business hung on a single important decision. When you are first running a business, you may not know which decisions will make the difference between success and failure. That’s why you should invest the time to think through all your options, and avoid deciding on a whim. Give yourself at least a few hours, if not a day or two to make a big choice. Even if you feel like none of your options are good, the investment will help you to feel that you have done everything you can.

Do Your Homework
Learning your trade requires a lot of practice and a decent amount of homework. You’ll find that it is just the beginning of the work that you will do for your contracting business. Every aspect of your business requires research, and you’ll make better decisions if you put in the time before you determine:

  • How to hire reliable employees
  • The best suppliers in the area
  • Quality business services to outsource marketing, payroll and more
  • Which products and equipment to buy

Being a well-rounded business consumer sets you up to avoid pitfalls and get the most for your money.

Grow Sustainable
In the first couple of years of your business, you may have periods of time when you have too many work opportunities to complete with the time you have. This can be a great time for business growth, but you need to make sure that you can do it sustainably. Growing too quickly may make it harder to run your business, requiring you to expand administrative services in order to accommodate new employees, complicated equipment inventory and more. You need to make sure that you can keep up with it. Adding layers of complication to your business gradually allows you to make changes as needed and avoid increasing costs too rapidly.

Work With People You Trust
Life is too short to spend your time surrounded by people that you do not trust or respect. While you might not always have the best choices for employees, subcontractors or suppliers, there’s definitely something to be said for being selective. Spend time searching for people who do good work and are easy to work with, then focus on cultivating those relationships. Listen to your instincts when you get the feeling that someone isn’t on the level. And don’t forget to invest in building these relationships from your end, as well. Work hard to establish yourself as a business owner worthy of trust and respect.

Outsource When Necessary
As a business owner, you will probably have more work that has to be done than time you have available to do it. You might be able to get on for a short time by doing most of it yourself, but you may need to consider outsourcing services on occasion. Outsourcing can be expensive, which is difficult to justify when your income isn’t predictable. But there’s a lot of benefit to be had in knowing that the work will be done, even if you don’t have the time to do it. Making a judicious choice to outsource something like accounting could help keep your business’s finances going from day to day.

Running a business is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but there are ways to make it better. For more tips on what you’ll need to become a licensed contractor, contact CSLS today!

5 Reasons a Healthy Lifestyle Makes You a Better Contracting Business Owner

Living a healthy lifestyle is its own reward. When you’re a business owner, it’s even more important. Check out these five reasons that being healthy will make it easier for you to run a business.

You Have More Energy
Running your own business requires more energy than it takes to work for someone else. You have to manage all the various aspects of the running of the business, not just engage in work that brings income. Even if you are able to hire employees to handle administrative tasks, you still have to manage them. If you want to keep a steady pace, you must start with a sufficient amount of energy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the easiest way to ensure that your energy level is high enough to meet your ambitions.

You Sleep Better
To even reach that level of energy, you need enough rest to recharge yourself. Of course, eating right and exercising can help you there as well. Experts estimate that adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night, and most American adults don’t get enough. Even if you get a sufficient amount of sleep, low sleep quality can make it feel like you don’t. It’s not surprising that bad sleep leads to bad health, and vice versa. A healthy lifestyle improves your sleep quality, which makes it easier to achieve your health goals.

It’s Easier to Manage Your Mood
You’ve probably seen health experts tout the benefits of exercise as a way of managing your mood. And if you’ve ever encountered people at work who always seems to be in a bad mood, you can understand how important that is for your ability to run a business. People create an atmosphere around them that is affected by a variety of factors, especially the way they approach it. Exercise burns off excess energy and can help you avoid getting stuck thinking about things that frustrate you. In turn, you’ll be more likely to come to work with a positive outlook. All of these things make you an easier person to work with, which makes your work environment a happier one.

You Feel Better
You can probably tell the difference between waking up in the morning feeling good and waking up in the morning feeling awful. The former sets you up for a great, productive day. The latter sets you up to feel uncomfortable and frustrated. It’s probably obvious which one you would choose because feeling better is an important part of having a good day. By focusing on your health, you’re less likely to get sick or feel the effects of chronic health problems. That can give you more good days, which make it easier to get more work done and finish the week on a high note.

You’re Less Likely to Get Hurt
Although almost anyone can get injured by an accident on the job site, repetitive stress injuries are a different matter. People who work in construction have a higher risk of injuries related to repetitive movements. Although there are a number of factors that contribute to your personal risk for these injuries, your level of physical fitness is an important one. Building and maintaining strong muscles help to support your joints. As a result, you are less likely to sustain injuries related to repetitive stress, and you will find it easier to recover from injuries as a whole.

Maintaining your health is a vital part of running your contracting business. For more tips on the things, you’ll need to start, visit CSLS today!

5 Tips to Reduce Your Personal Expenses While Running a Contracting Business

Starting a contracting business involves lots of expenses. If you aren’t careful enough, you might end up overspending on your personal accounts as well as your business ones. With these tips, you can cut down on your overall expenses and make it easier to stay ahead.

Follow a Budget
In order to figure out ways to reduce your expenses, you have to figure out what they are in the first place. Even if you follow a budget regularly, there’s a high likelihood that you need to check in to confirm that it’s still working for you. If you don’t want to build one from the ground up, it’s pretty easy to find sample budgets online that you can tailor to fit your personal finances. The key is to make a budget that you can follow. Setting ambitious goals that are far beyond your reach may have the opposite effect of leading you to ignore the budget you just created. If you’re not used to sticking to a budget, start small and build up from there.

Look for Easy Cuts
Making a list of your regular expenses may help you identify things that you could cut without a lot of trouble. For example, lots of people have a gym membership that they pay more for the sake of vanity than actual use. It’s also common to subscribe to a service that you don’t use very often, if at all. Several subscriptions can add up to hundreds of dollars per month. Take a moment to evaluate your expenses and make sure that you are getting the most for your money. Canceling a service can be a hassle, but the savings is often worth it.

Plan for Emergencies
Emergencies are expensive, especially if you have no plan in place for them. You never know when you’re going to unexpectedly have to replace a tire on your car or fix the damage at your house. Additionally, there are a lot of regular expenses that can turn into emergencies if you don’t have the funds set aside to pay for them. One of the easiest solutions to this problem is to build an emergency fund to help. Even if it’s just a few hundred dollars in a savings account that you don’t touch outside of emergencies, it’s better than nothing. Having even a little set aside can help you cut down on the expenses that you incur when an emergency starts creating problems for your work or other aspects of your life.

Minimize Debt
It’s not always possible to stay completely out of debt, but you can minimize it. Debt comes with repayment obligations and interest that you have to pay on top of the principal. Debt servicing can cost you thousands or more each year, depending on how much debt you have. Be conscious about your decisions, especially if you are determining what to pay for in cash and what you can buy on credit. Even a handful of decisions to wait on small purchases could save you hundreds by the end of the year.

Track Mileage
When you run a contracting business, it’s easy to shoulder some of your business expenses with your own money. Mileage is a great example. If you use your personal vehicle to drive to a client site, you could be tracking that mileage as a personal deduction for your business. In the short term, you’re paying more for fuel to run the vehicle. In the long term, you’re putting more miles and wear on the vehicle. Deciding to make that an expense for your business helps you to separate those costs and ensure that your business doesn’t cost you more than you bring in.

Managing your expenses will help you to build a contracting business that can last for years. To find out how you can prepare for the contractor licensing exam, visit CSLS today!

How Long Can Construction’s Labor Shortage Last?

If you’ve been watching the construction industry for a while, you might think that the labor shortage is going to last forever. When experts say that construction demand is going to decrease, it often seems that demand grows even more. The shortage is tied closely to demand, but it’s not exactly the same. Here are a few ways you can look at the state of the labor shortage, and what it means for working in construction in the future.

Demand Is High
Evaluating the current state of demand for construction is more complicated than it seems. You can look at reports of new construction starts over the past few months, and that will give you some information but not a complete picture. Part of the problem with construction’s labor shortage is that demand is currently high. The pressure to complete projects relates somewhat to existing demand for housing and commercial spaces, as well as a resurgence after drops in demand during 2020 due to the pandemic. In essence, there are still a lot of projects that property owners would like to start, regardless of when they actually decide to do so.

Experts Are Retiring
Of course, in order to complete those projects, there needs to be a moderate pool of experts available to do highly-specialized tasks. The trouble is that there isn’t, and the problem continues to get worse. For the past few years, many people in construction have been retiring after careers of 30 to 40 years or more. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough people coming in with the skills needed to replace them. This aspect is where the labor shortage can get perplexing. Even if hundreds of thousands of people flooded the industry, it wouldn’t solve the problem immediately. The industry needs people to fill roles that are high in demand.

Skills Take Time
The construction industry has spent the last few years trying to figure out how to motivate more people to join, and part of that is enticing people to build the experience that they will need in order to meet the demands. Although you may not need a ton of experience to work in a variety of construction jobs, the ones with the highest salaries and the greatest job security may take a few years to establish. As such, when you read about construction businesses trying to appeal to workers, you should keep in mind that it’s a long game. They’re hoping to create a future pool of construction workers and contracting business owners.

Delays Will Continue
Right now, the experience of many contracting business owners is a bit of a struggle. People have to fight to get subcontractors in certain fields, which can lead to delays in completing projects. In some cases, property owners even decide to put a project on the backburner because they can’t find the professionals needed to do the work. In the short term, this can drive innovation because businesses will have to get more creative and efficient with their processes. In the long term, the industry has to plan to minimize the extent of the shortage, even if it can’t be eliminated entirely.

Now’s the Time
All this means that now is a great time to start in construction. Businesses are bordering on desperate for workers, which can be a great opportunity for someone looking for better employment and a stronger career path. Starting now isn’t likely to hurt your future prospects, because demand is set to continue for years into the future.

Solving construction’s labor shortage starts with the decision to join the industry. For more information about your future in construction, contact CSLS today!

What Employees Expect From Your Contracting Business, and How You Can Deliver It

You probably haven’t missed the changing environment for employees in industries of all kinds. The labor shortage that construction has been dealing with for years is now gaining a lot of attention on the national stage. If you want to hire workers, you’re going to have to get them in the door with more than a smile. Here’s what you can do.

Higher Pay
It’s no mistake that if you want to get the broadest range of applicants and a higher likelihood that employees will stay once you hire them, you need to pay more. You don’t have to read the news often to know that the entire country is going through a labor shortage, and construction has been dealing with it for a decade. Right now, your ability to secure contracts and complete work is dependent on your success in getting and retaining employees. There are other factors that people look for in a work environment, but the pay is usually the first one on the list.

Benefits
Next on the list for a lot of people is benefits. When most people are dependent on their workplace for things like healthcare and retirement planning, you can expect prospective employees to ask you about it. Even if you can’t offer all the benefits of a larger business, it’s worth doing your research to see what you can offer in these categories at a minimum:

  • Healthcare
  • Paid vacation and sick leave
  • Retirement

The ultimate goal here is for employees to feel like working with you is a benefit, not something that takes away from their ability to take care of themselves, their families and their retirement. That way, any job change they make has to improve upon what they are already getting from your company.

Training/Education Reimbursement
Virtually everyone is on some kind of career path, and your business could be an attractive option to help employees on their way. When you hire people, you may be looking for evidence of education or certain credentials. You can encourage them to keep achieving. It’s tempting to believe that training employees only prepares them to leave, but in reality, the opposite is often true. Employees usually prefer to stay with a company that supports their growth, and providing training or education reimbursement is a good example of that. By comparison, employees are more likely to leave companies when they feel like they are being intentionally kept at the entry-level.

Sustainable Work Schedules
If you have ever had to work long hours just to pay the bills, you understand how unsustainable it can be. You’ve probably had at least one boss who took advantage of your willingness to please to make you come in on your day off or work hours past quitting time. Right now, employees are much less likely to tolerate these kinds of practices. They want to know that they have a defined time that they can expect for work, with the knowledge that the other hours belong to them. Offering a work schedule that they can manage and plan for makes it easier for them to make a commitment to you for the long term.

Remote Work Opportunities
Although the economy tends to swing back and forth between favoring businesses and favoring employees, the pandemic brought a particular aspect of work into the light. Many employees prefer to do at least some of their work in an office or workspace environment, but there are a growing number of people who want the option to work from home as well. Of course, as a contracting business owner, you may do most of your work at the job site. But your employees may appreciate the ability to handle online training or other administrative tasks from home.

Getting over construction’s labor shortage takes businesses that are willing to go the extra mile for their employees. To learn more about how to start a contracting business, visit CSLS today!