Author Archives: CSLS

About CSLS

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.

5 Organizational Skills You Need to Run a Contracting Business

Running a business requires you to know or learn a lot of things that you might not expect. Business owners wear a lot of hats, and being able to keep them organized is key. Here are five organizational skills you should work on, to help make your business more efficient.

Time Management
No one enjoys working with people who can’t seem to finish a task in the time they said they would, or who always arrive late to a meeting. Time management is one of the most important skills that you can pick up as a business owner because your use of time is so important. Time management is a struggle for a lot of people, especially those who are overbooked or overworked. It’s common to find it difficult to be consistent with:

  • Setting an accurate amount of time in which to complete a task
  • Transitioning to another task quickly
  • Ending the workday and closing the workspace
  • Getting to meetings or the job site on time
  • Identify the problems that you have and make a plan to address these issues. It may take months to see real improvement.

Calendar Management
If you are the kind of person who struggles to balance a lot of things at the same time, a good calendar is going to be paramount. But in order for your calendar to save you from missing consultations or overcommitting yourself, you need to know how to use it. Book out time for work and meetings with stakeholders. Don’t set your hours based on the time you’d hope to spend. Instead, look back on experiences you’ve had in the past and devote the amount of time that they usually take. Use an app that allows you to collaborate with other members of your team so that they know when you are available.

Workflow Efficiency
Being organized isn’t just a state of mind. Your workspace can make even the most organized person slower and less efficient. If you have to walk from one side of the workspace to the other several times just to complete one task, you’re going to end up wasting more time than you need to. Instead, try to design the workspace for each task to prioritize efficiency. For example, you might choose to keep tools for one specific task near that part of the site. You may opt to do the same for some of your inventory or supplies. Cutting down on the time that people have to invest just to get started on a task can lower the time commitment of each project.

Record-Keeping
Any business owner worries about the possibility that they may have to find a document that they have misplaced. Record-keeping is one of the most important organizational skills, and it may literally save your business at times. Develop a method for keeping records that allows you to get to things like invoices or contracts in a very short period of time. If you keep most of your records in a digital format, make sure that everyone on your team knows how to use it. It won’t help if your system is arbitrary and confusing to someone else who works for you.

Delegation
Once you have more work than you can reasonably manage, you’re going to need to learn how to delegate. Delegation isn’t just a matter of handing a task to someone who happens to be nearby. You have to invest the time to determine which tasks each person can reasonably manage, without requiring constant support from you. Even if it seems like delegation is more trouble than it’s worth, it is an important thing to work on as you build your construction team. The more your employees get used to your delegation, the easier they will be able to do the work.

Staying organized as a contractor is an important part of building a successful business. So is getting your contractor license. To learn more about getting ready for the contractor licensing exam, visit CSLS today!

Inexpensive Ways to Reward Your Contracting Business Employees

In the early years of your business, you might want to reward your employees without much funding in which to do it. Employees like to feel valued, and although raises are often the best way to show it, there are other things you can do. Here are a few tips to help you recognize your employees for their great work, without breaking the bank.

Gift Cards
Rewards don’t have to be big in order to have an impact on your business. It could be as simple as a gift card with a note of thanks, or a good lunch on the company’s dime. When you consider options like this, make sure that the gift is something that your employees would like to receive. As much as you may want to make it a surprise, it’s better to get input and feedback before you make a decision. That way, a gift card will be more than just a token of appreciation. It can help your employees to see that you respect their opinions and preferences.

Time Off
These days, compensation comes in a variety of ways. Ideally, you can offer your employees a pool of paid time off that they can use each year to attend to family matters, take a vacation, or work on projects at home. If you have the option, additional time off is a simple way to promote a work-life balance without having to spend more money. You might not always be able to offer time off as an incentive, particularly when you are busy with projects. Just make sure to manage your project timelines effectively, especially around holidays. That way, your employees can plan to take time off with the certainty that it will come to pass.

Bonuses
While bonuses aren’t always inexpensive, they can be an effective way to reward your employees when you have the funds to do so. For many contracting businesses, it’s common to operate with variable income depending on the season. You might have more work than you can manage during the summer, with a few light months in the winter. Bonuses allow you to add to your overall employee compensation, without having to shoulder additional expenses when you have fewer projects to do. It’s also a great way to show appreciation for your employees at the conclusion of a busy season.

Collaboration
Although pay is the main reason that you have employees, it’s not the only one. In order to feel fulfilled, many employees want to know that they are a part of a group that values collaboration. You might as well encourage it, particularly for workers who could benefit from it. If you have a new employee who has been proving their skills to you since they arrived, see what you can do to give them a bigger seat at the table. For example, you might invite them to participate in planning meetings. You could also grant them more decision-making power over the tasks that they need to do. It may translate into greater ownership over the work they do, and a better long-term result.

Training Opportunities
Just like you, your employees have career goals that they would like to achieve. In many cases, they will need additional training in order to get it. Although some employers worry about training causing employees to leave, it can be an important retention tool. People are less likely to stay with a job if they feel like they’re not going anywhere, even if they make good money. Training opportunities aren’t usually free or low-cost, but they can be a great investment for your employees and your business. By providing the ability for your employees to improve their skills, you can help them get better at their jobs, without having to compromise their leisure time.

Letting your employees know that you appreciate them is one of the best things you can do for your contracting business. Becoming a licensed contractor is another. For more information on the skills, you will need to pass the contractor licensing exam, contact CSLS today!

Is Natural Gas On Its Way Out of Construction?

Natural gas has been an important energy source used in construction for decades. Nowadays, you might notice that many new builds aren’t allowing gas hookups. It’s an issue with many important players and a lot of debate between them. Here are a few things you should know about natural gas and its future in construction.

Sustainability
Although there have been many efforts to make natural gas clean-burning and produce fewer emissions, it is not a renewable resource. Natural gas is a fossil fuel, which means that it comes from a rapidly-depleting source of petroleum. While prices for natural gas tend to be significantly lower than the current local rate for electricity, costs may change over time as the supply continues to drop. Many proponents of the switch from natural gas to electricity say that it’s better to get in the habit of using renewable energy because eventually, natural gas will cease to be a resource.

Health Effects
Natural gas usage in a building requires ventilation, as a way of preventing a deadly accumulation of carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, most buildings aren’t designed to provide that level of ventilation. It’s common to have a furnace with a sealed combustion chamber, one that safely directs all the exhaust to a vent pipe leading directly outside. But in the kitchen, concentrations of harmful toxins like nitrogen dioxide or carbon monoxide might be much higher in homes that run on natural gas. Ventilation isn’t complete and if people don’t use it effectively, the concentrations continue to build. These toxins can cause headaches, nausea, asthma-related symptoms, and even death in high concentrations.

Efficiency
The efficiency of natural gas compared to electricity is a matter of hot debate. On the one hand, someone who uses natural gas to heat a home or to run appliances for cooking will need less energy for the process than they would for electricity. Someone who uses electricity will ultimately use more energy for every task. However, for pure efficiency comparisons on similar appliances, electricity is generally better. An electric furnace might have efficiency at or around 100, compared to 80 to 90 for one that runs on natural gas. On a larger scale, the debate between natural gas and electricity depends on the efficiency of the mechanism used to produce electricity. Natural gas may not be as efficient at the end of the process, but it could be much more efficient at the beginning.

Government Bans on New Installation
Municipal and state governments have mixed opinions on the best way to move forward on this issue. Many cities in California have passed bans on natural gas for new construction, although property owners may decide to retrofit those systems after the fact. New York City has also passed a ban, starting with smaller buildings in 2024 and expanding the ban to taller buildings in 2027.

On the opposite side of the debate, about 20 states have signed into law guidelines preventing cities from passing bans on natural gas in new construction. Although these states tend to lean more conservative and the cities passing bans are generally more liberal, it’s not simply a partisan issue. The preference for cooking with natural gas is strong, and many organizations are unwilling to back bans that pass extra costs along to the consumer. This weighs against the concerns about sustainability and long-term health effects.

Is natural gas on its way out of the construction industry? Probably, although it may be decades before the switch is complete. For more guidance on the best way to start your contracting business, contact CSLS today.

How to Find Employees with the Right Attitude for Your Contracting Business

One of the best things about going into construction is that you can hire employees with a wide range of knowledge and experiences for the job. But when you increase the field of potential candidates, you have to know what to look for. Here are a few ways you can find employees with the right attitude, to help your contracting business grow and thrive.

Identify the Attitudes You Need
The first thing that you will need to do is make a list of the kinds of attitudes that you would like your employees to have. Sometimes it seems like every employee should have a certain set of skills and beliefs that make them ideally suited to the job. But given that jobs are so different within the same company, it’s important to distinguish the perspectives that work best with each job. For example, in a job where employees are expected to work together to achieve a task, you might look for people who do well in a collaborative setting. By comparison, employees who do most of their work alone might need to be ambitious or comfortable self-starting projects.

Learn How to Appeal to the Right Employees
Once you have a list of the skills and attitudes that you are looking for, you need to find out how to appeal to the employees who have them. Most of the time, employees are looking for similar things, regardless of the attitudes that they need to have for the job. These might include:

  • Competitive pay
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Training opportunities
  • Future growth

Take a look at what other companies are offering employees in similar jobs, and make sure that your business can meet those terms. Otherwise, you might consider talking about the benefits that the people with the right attitudes will get at your business. For example, someone who wants more decision-making power might be more likely to apply for jobs that specifically mention it.

Find Employees in the Right Places
If you’re not sure where to look for employees, start out by casting a wide net. Talk to people in your network and let them know that you are looking for employees to fill particular positions. If you attend construction conferences, look for people just getting into the industry and hand out your business card. Post job listings on the popular job search aggregate sites. Use your social media as a tool to make it easy for people to share job listings with others. Over time, you will develop a better understanding of which sources are most likely to provide you with the best candidates.

Make Your Job Descriptions Clear
These days, people might expect to complete dozens of job applications before they settle on one in particular. If you want to set yourself apart from other businesses, you can do so by making your job descriptions clear and informative. Take a look at job descriptions in your field and see if you can figure out what the job includes and what it pays, simply from the description. Sometimes employers put too much generic detail into the description, which makes it more difficult for employees to figure out which jobs are best for them. Keep your description relatively short, but full of valuable information.

Praise Employees for Maintaining Good Attitudes Over Time
Hiring employees with the right attitudes is one thing. Keeping them is another matter. It’s not enough to look for people to hire who have certain qualities. If you’re not willing to reward them for using those attitudes to better your business, you’re going to end up back at square one. When you see examples of your employees demonstrating a self-starting, collaborative or customer-oriented attitude, let them know that you appreciate it. That validation will give them the incentive they need to keep doing it.

Finding great employees is tricky, and all contracting business owners have to learn it. To get started on your contracting career, visit CSLS today!

How to Manage Batteries for Your Contracting Business

These days, it’s common to run a lot of your business by battery. Batteries can be a great way to operate tools and other equipment in any workspace, especially when you don’t have electricity available. But if you don’t pay attention to them, those batteries might run out or break down when you need them most. Here are a few tips to manage your batteries, and improve their lifespan and output.

Track Batteries by Age
Batteries tend to lose their ability to recharge the older they get. You may still get practical use out of them, but you will need to plug them in more frequently. When you buy a new battery, label it with the date that you started using it. Research the typical lifespan of the battery. You can also label batteries by number and keep an electronic inventory of the dates that you purchased them. That way, you’ll have a sense of the overall age of your batteries, as well as when you might need to replace them.

Label Batteries by Tool
Although you might be able to standardize your batteries for a variety of tools, this isn’t always an option. Organize your batteries based on the tools that they go with. Put a label on the battery to identify which tools use it. If possible, keep the batteries close to the appropriate tools. For a larger workspace, creating a station with a battery bank can make it easier to grab the battery you need and take it to the workstation. That way, you spend less time tracking down the battery in order to use the tool.

Standardize Your Batteries
When you first start a contracting business, you may have a handful of tools from various manufacturers. Tools that run on batteries are often proprietary, meaning that you can’t use a single battery to work with all of them. Many manufacturers standardize their tools to work with a handful of proprietary batteries, which means that you could use one battery to operate many different tools from the same manufacturer. In the beginning, it’s a good idea to research the tools that are best for your field and the services you intend to perform. Read reviews of brands and choose one that seems like the best fit. This investment at the beginning will make it easier to minimize the number of batteries that you need to purchase in the future.

Store Batteries Correctly
When you look at the anticipated lifespan of a battery, you should keep in mind that the lifespan depends heavily on the way that you use it. As a general rule, the battery should be kept in a cool, dry place. You won’t want to leave them outside, particularly during hot or humid weather. These conditions don’t just shorten the lifespan of the battery. They can also cause damage that leads to problems like leaking. If you plan to leave the batteries in a charging bank at the end of the day, determine if the battery bank has trickle charging capability. Trickle charging means that the charger brings the battery up to a full charge slowly. Older batteries and chargers may not have this capability, which can lead to lower output over time.

Test Batteries Regularly
If you have several batteries and you’re not using them all the time, you need to test them to confirm that they still work. Grabbing a battery from the bank is easy, but you may end up using some batteries more than others. Cycling your batteries is a better approach because each one gets worn at a similar rate. Batteries that don’t get used very often may lose the ability to keep a charge, especially if you leave them completely drained for long periods of time. Make a plan to test each battery at least once a month to confirm that it works. Batteries that aren’t working appropriately should be taken out of the rotation.

You might be surprised how easy it is to manage batteries, in a way that makes it more effective for your business. To learn more things you’ll need to know as a contracting business owner, visit CSLS today!

Can Playing Games Help You Build Skills for Your Contracting Business?

If you’re like many people, playing games is a great way to enjoy leisure time. But games can also help you build skills. That’s why early childhood education is full of games, to provide learning in a fun atmosphere. It works for adults, too. Here are a few reasons that playing games can help you build the skills you’ll need to run a contracting business.

Get Better at Math
When you run a contracting business, you may need to be able to do simple math figures on the fly. A lot of people didn’t do very well at math in school. Part of the problem is that math can seem intimidating, which disincentivizes people from getting better at it. Playing games can help. Buy a couple of board games that require quick thinking or money handling. Give yourself enough time to practice, and you may notice that you are getting in the habit of figuring out the numbers more quickly.

Try Out New Strategies
Most games require a strategy in order to win. Repetitive games that take only a few minutes to play give you an opportunity to test out new strategies. When you run a business, you need to be willing to develop a strategy and make changes over time. If you’re worried about making a mistake, you may end up with a bad plan that you don’t dare to change. Games can help to expand the number of approaches you are able to take in order to achieve a goal, and lower your fear about the risks. You may have a few failures along the way, but you’ll have more opportunities to learn from them.

Plan Your Decisions a Few Moves Ahead
Games that focus on strategy often require you to think first, if you want to win. In essence, you can’t just think about what you are going to do right now. You have to plan ahead at least a few moves, to make sure that your approach will help you make progress toward your goal. If you have to balance multiple projects at the same time, this is a great experience. You’ll learn how to meet the demands of the short-term without compromising your needs a few days or even a few years in the future.

Practice Conflict Resolution
Competitive games tend to bring out moods and reactions in people that they didn’t expect. If you are a particularly competitive or aggressive player, these attitudes can present themselves in a variety of possible situations. Although wanting to win, and being able to do what it takes to succeed, are helpful attitudes when you’re running a business, they can have disadvantages. People who act like this when they are dealing with a conflict can create more stress for clients, other contractors, and employees. If you struggle to cope with disagreements without getting flustered or angry, playing games can help you work on it.

Learn How to Lose With Grace
As a contracting business owner, you’ll have instances where you don’t get the project. It can be difficult to manage because it feels like losing. The good news is that when you play games regularly, you get the opportunity to lose on a regular basis. You can practice how you cope with the loss, and ensure that you avoid alienating people around you. Similarly, games help you learn how to be a gracious winner. That way, when you earn the contract against lots of competitors, you remain humble.

Playing games can give you a nice distraction from life‘s complications, but they can also give you some handy skills for your contracting business. To learn more about how you can become a licensed contractor, visit CSLS today!

Feeling Stuck? Here Are 5 Ways to Progress Toward Your Contracting Business Goals

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!

How to Supplement Your Savings When Getting Ready to Start a Contracting Business

There’s no doubt that running a business costs a lot of money. While you may take advantage of loans or credit for your business, it’s also good to build up some savings before you start. Here are a few ways you can add to your savings so that you have more working capital when you open for business.

Cut Expenses
One of the best ways to increase the amount of money you have available for savings is to trim back your expenses. These days, you might be paying monthly for a lot of subscriptions that you don’t actually use. Make a list of them, and determine how much they are eating into your budget. It might be easy to cancel a few of them or consider a more comprehensive service that costs less than the total. Be wary of cutting back too much, though. Drastic changes to your budget can often backfire, causing you to panic and overspend. It’s better to make minor changes over a period of months, especially if you’re looking for long-term improvements.

Save a Little at a Time
Saving money to start a business might seem like something you need to do in a grand fashion. However, even saving a little can make a difference. Get in the habit of putting away a few dollars here and there. If you’re in the habit of paying cash for most things, set a jar on your nightstand for the spare change at the end of the day. When you pay bills, drop $10 or $20 into a savings account. It may not seem like much in the beginning, but it will accumulate over time. Once you start to see your savings grow, you may be more motivated to save larger amounts.

Make Savings Automatic
The best way to get in the habit of saving money is to not force yourself to create the habit in the first place. You may have most or all of your bills on an automatic payment schedule for a similar reason. That way, you don’t have to worry about forgetting one of them and dealing with a late fee. When you get paid, set your account to do an automatic withdrawal into a savings account. You’ll get out of the habit of spending that money because it will already be gone. Then all you have to do is make changes to the savings as your income or spending flexibility increases.

Consider a Side Hustle
These days, almost everyone has a side hustle. A side hustle is something that you do beyond your day job that helps you bring in a little extra money. For some people, a side hustle is an occasional thing, something that they can do whenever they have extra time. For others, a side hustle might be a part-time job. In either case, think about ways that you can monetize skills and talents that you already have. For example, if you like doing art or making crafts, you might be able to sell your creations on a site like Etsy. Then you can set your profits aside for your future business.

Learn While You Earn
The best side hustles are those that allow you to earn money while providing you with additional benefits. If your day job isn’t in the construction industry, you might consider a side hustle that helps you build the knowledge and experience you need to qualify for a contractor license. The labor shortage in construction is serious, and people who are interested in joining an in-demand field might have more flexibility than you expect. Look for companies that are hiring entry-level workers in your chosen field, and reach out to a few of them. You might be able to secure a part-time or full-time job that helps you move toward your goal.

Saving for your future contracting business is one of the best decisions that you can make. Getting the right preparation before you take the contractor licensing exam is another. For more information, contact CSLS today!

5 Things to Consider When Changing Careers to Construction

Changing jobs is one thing. Changing to a whole new career is a different matter entirely. If you’ve been thinking about starting a career in construction, there are a few things you should consider. Here are some factors to keep in mind as you make a decision.

Education and Training Requirements
As you start to browse through the types of jobs that you may want to do, take a moment to evaluate the education and training requirements for each position. In most cases, you’ll start out at a lower level and work your way up, but it depends on the field and the current demand. Many careers in construction do not require a college degree, but some of them may be easier to secure if you have one. Others might require a specific license or a certain number of years of experience. Factor these into your plans, and consider creating a career goal that involves a progression if necessary.

Income Expectations Over Time
Before you can choose a job, you’ll need to know if you can make enough money to pay your expenses. While income is highly dependent on the type of job you have, it also relates to your location and other aspects of the field. Do some research into the average salary for various positions, and be sure to factor in years of experience. If you can, search in your target ZIP code or region to get more detailed information. It’s also a good idea to look at how the average pay for the job has changed over time, to get a sense for what you can expect in the future.

Paid Employment or Run a Business
Many people decide to go into construction because they want to be their own boss or run their own business. However, this isn’t necessarily a requirement. There are plenty of licensed contractors who have paid employment in a larger company. There are benefits to both approaches. By starting your own business, you get to have more influence over the type of work you do, as well as how and where you do it. Paid employment in a corporation may offer you more stability and benefits, without all the extra work of running the business as well. It’s possible that you may choose one, and switch to another over time. Just in case, you should scope out your options for both.

Long-Term Location Plans
Before you start making plans for your career and training, you need to make sure that you know where you plan to be in 5 to 10 years. Although most people tend to live their whole lives within close range of their hometown, this isn’t true for everyone. If you live in a rural part of California, you might long to move to somewhere with a higher population of prospective clients. Similarly, you might be dreaming of moving to a different state with unique options and a different climate. Both of these choices could dramatically change your career prospects and the steps you need to complete in order to get there. Make sure that you feel confident about your expectations before you commit.

Career Goals
When you’re evaluating a change in a field or industry, you’ll have to consider several things. It’s important to figure out what kind of job you can get in the beginning, but you don’t have to feel like you’re stuck there. Do some brainstorming about what you want your long-term career to look like, even up to the point that you are ready to retire. There may be a few steps that you need to achieve in the middle, and you’ll need to outline those. Determine whether your ambitions are realistic, or if you’ll need to make additional plans to stretch your skills and experience to meet them.

Changing your career to construction is a big deal, but it may be one of the best decisions you ever make. To get started on your career path, contact CSLS today!

Are Zoom Towns the Future of Residential Construction?

At the beginning of the pandemic, millions of people rushed to small towns as a way to get away from large crowds and metropolitan-level restrictions. Now that the country is reaching a new normal, experts aren’t sure if that is going to change. There’s been a huge increase in population in so-called “Zoom towns”–less-populated regions with a labor force focused on remote work. Here are a few things to know about Zoom towns, and how they might affect residential construction.

What Are Zoom Towns?
For centuries, people have been talking about the flight of rural populations into major metropolitan areas. As the country’s production shifted away from the industry, a lot of the factories and manufacturing facilities went with it. People who lived in small rural towns watched as much of the population fled to the cities for better jobs.

But the pandemic changed this dynamic. In fact, experts estimate that as many as 5 million people left major cities in 2020, looking for places where they could spread out. With many of the country’s businesses providing options for remote work, there wasn’t much reason for people to stay in areas with a high cost of living. Especially if they could live somewhere cheaper and collaborate over zoom. A handful of smaller cities have had a significant increase in population as a result.

Why Are People Relocating?
There are a variety of reasons that people might choose to relocate to a smaller city, including:

  • Less traffic
  • Cheaper real estate
  • Larger homes

With the explosion of the real estate market in 2020, the cost of housing is a big deal for a lot of people. Living in a large metropolitan area is often the best opportunity the people have to earn a higher income. But those big cities often have big rent or real estate prices to go along with it. People who had the option to relocate to a city with a lower cost of living while keeping their high-paying city jobs saw a big difference.

How Do Zoom Towns Affect Real Estate Markets?
It’s not surprising that tens of thousands of people relocating to a small city increases the housing prices there. Suburban America has had decades to get used to the idea of bedroom communities–places with cheaper real estate close to a large city. Zoom towns are similar, but proximity isn’t as big of a concern. People aren’t as worried about time spent on the commute if they can work remotely. As such, they are more willing to pay higher prices that they can support by keeping the same income. In the zoom towns, the cost of housing is consistently going up.

Are Zoom Towns Sustainable?
Many experts think that the pandemic has revolutionized the way the people think about working in a traditional office, but it hasn’t got rid of the idea entirely. A lot of businesses still see benefit in having employees located nearby, even if they aren’t necessarily expecting everyone to spend all of their work time at the office. And ultimately, the people who move to smaller cities for cheaper housing may ultimately miss living in a major metropolitan area. Although experts aren’t anticipating the kind of drop seen as part of the housing crisis as some people move back to the bigger cities, growth in zoom towns is likely to slow down.

What Does This Mean for Construction?
People who work in construction have had to learn that they can’t just follow the latest trend, if they want to have a viable business model. Anyone who watched the housing bubble reach the pinnacle and pop should understand the risk of thinking that you can’t lose. Otherwise, if the pandemic leads to a moderate shift in the way the population spreads out over an area, construction businesses can be flexible to work with it.

The pandemic has changed the way people conceive of where they want to live, and construction may have to change with it. To learn more about what you’ll need to run a successful contracting business, contact CSLS today!