How to Take Advice When You’re Starting a Contracting Business

When you first start talking about opening a contracting business, you’re going to get lots of advice. Some of it might be very useful, coming from people with decades of experience in the industry. On the other hand, you might get tips from people who wouldn’t know success if it ran over them. Here are five tips you can use to help you accept advice and determine if it will work for you.

Take It In
The first thing that you want to do when you get some business advice is to make it relatively easy to accept. It’s tempting to reassure people that you have all the experience you need and that their advice is unwarranted. But sometimes, you turn out to be wrong. In order to decide which advice is useful and which parts don’t apply to you, you need to listen to it and take a few mental notes. This doesn’t mean that you need to pay attention with a rapt expression to anyone who feels like you’ve got it all wrong and they need to set you straight. But if you can allow the information to sink in, you’ll have a higher chance of being able to use the relevant bits.

Consider the Source
Of course, not everyone has good business advice to share. And that does not necessarily stop them from trying to share with you. This is why you should consider the source along with their advice. Someone who has started five businesses and had all of them fail within a year may be a great source of learning what went wrong. They might not be the best person to tell you what to do to succeed, however. Sometimes, people who don’t have the facts can share something that would be practical for you to apply to your business. It’s relatively unlikely, so you can take this advice with a grain of salt.

Question Your Gut
There is a lot out there in self-help circles that tells you to trust your gut. The problem is that when you’re debating whether or not to follow your gut instincts, you still need to consider the source. If your gut instinct comes from 5-10 years of experience in this field, you might be on the right track. On the other hand, if your gut instinct is based on what you found by searching Google for five minutes, your conclusions might be suspicious. It’s important not to disregard your own opinions. You should just make sure to scrutinize them as much as you would anyone else’s.

Evaluate Information
Once you get some advice, you have some work to do. In some cases, people make claims that are so unlikely or outdated that you can handily dismiss them as irrelevant. What worked for someone’s retail business might not apply to yours. In other cases, you need to determine how right they are. This calls for research. It’s tempting to trust the advice of someone who’s been working in your industry for decades, especially if they’ve acted as a mentor to you. It’s still good to follow up on their claims, so that you understand it better than you did.

Decide After Consideration
When it comes to big decisions about your business or the best way to run it, you need to make decisions after consideration. It is so easy to jump the gun when someone with business experience tells you to absolutely do one thing or completely avoid another thing. Unfortunately, taking this kind of a hard line position eliminates your flexibility, which you may need most in the early years of your business. With every piece of advice you get, take the time to consider it and determine whether or not you want to follow it. Keep in mind that most people advise you because they want to help. But if it doesn’t help, then it’s probably not worth following.

When you first start your contracting business, you’re going to get a lot of advice. Learning how to interpret it is part of surviving. To learn more about building a successful contracting business, visit CSLS today!

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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 and tuned for more informative posts.