How to Say No to Prospective Clients for Your Contracting Business

Although landing a client and a new project is a great thing, sometimes it just isn’t going to work. There will be points where you’re too busy to take on the job within the time specified. There will also be clients proposing opportunities that just aren’t the right fit for your contracting business. Learning how to decline these projects is a skill, and it can be difficult to do at first. Here are a few ideas.

Decide If It’s No, or Just Not Right Now
The first thing you should do is qualify the nature of your answer. In some cases, a project simply won’t work for your contracting business. These opportunities could cost you money if you try to make them fit, so it is easier to simply decline. In other cases, the projects may be appropriate under different terms. It’s important to confirm that you know where you’re going with your answer before you give it. That way, if you want to leave the door open to negotiation, you can save the opportunity for a later date. There’s no guarantee that you will be able to secure different terms with the same client, but it may be worth asking.

Decline at a Good Time
As with other types of business communications, there are better times to make tough decisions, and there are worse times. The last thing that you want to do is decline an offer when you are feeling tired, overworked or frustrated. Saying no during a bad moment may make you come off more negatively than you expected. If it’s an existing client or colleague that you’d like to continue working with, you should hold off until you have an opportunity to think clearly and communicate professionally. It’s not necessary to wait days for the chance to decline a project. However, making sure that you’re in the right headspace will help you protect those professional ties.

Be Clear About Why You’re Declining
When you know that you’re going to say no, the best thing that you can do is make it clear and simple to understand. If you are rejecting the offer because you don’t want to work with the client, it’s more practical to say that your business isn’t a good fit for their needs. This sends a clear message to the client that you are unlikely to accept future work from them. On the other hand, if you’re declining because the rate is too low or the timing doesn’t work for you, you can outline these in your rejection. This can give the client the opportunity to change their offer, in the hopes that they can secure your services.

Aim for a Professional Tone
Part of running a contracting business involves learning how to maintain professional communication, even when the news you have to share isn’t good. Clients may take your rejection with grace, or they may react to it with anger. In some cases, their reaction will confirm for you that it was a wise decision not to accept the work. And yet, it’s better not to descend to their level, especially if they start showing obvious signs of frustration. Such behavior rarely leads to good things for your business. Avoid saying anything you wouldn’t want one of your mentors to read aloud to you.

Know When to Continue Negotiation
Although some clients may get irritated when you tell them that you can’t take on the project, others will react by trying to negotiate. Negotiation is another skill that can help support your business, but you need to know the right time to engage in it. If you’ve decided that you are not going to take on the project no matter what the client offers, there’s little point in negotiation. All it would do in that case is waste your time. But if the project is appropriate and interesting to you, negotiating might be the key to getting the terms to a level that you would accept.

When you run a contracting business, learning how to say no is just as important as saying yes. To get started building your construction career, contact CSLS today!

5 Things to Do in Your Construction Vehicle Each Day

As a construction professional, you’ll probably spend more time in your vehicle each day than most people. This is especially true if you spend your day commuting to projects that take only a few hours. Having everything you need in your vehicle is important, but you also need to be able to find it all. And if you practically live in your vehicle during the day, it’s wise to make it livable. Here are five things you can do with your vehicle each day to ensure it stays that way.

Check the Fuel and Other Indicators
You probably know what it feels like to get in your construction vehicle in the morning, only to realize that the tank is running on fumes. When you run a tight schedule and you don’t have a lot of time before you need to get to your next client, having enough fuel to arrive at each destination is crucial. So is the ability to keep your vehicle in excellent working condition. Each night, take a moment to check your fuel gauge and confirm that you don’t see any other indicators. Make sure that all the lights are turned off and the door is locked.

Put Equipment Away
If you use your vehicle for performing certain types of services, not just commuting to a jobsite, you may have equipment that you need to put away before you are done. Keeping equipment in the right spot helps you to identify if anything is missing. It also makes it easier for you to start the day with everything in its place. If the equipment itself is dirty, you can give it a quick wash or wipe it down before you set it aside. This will help to keep your vehicle in a cleaner condition overall, so that you don’t need to deep-clean it as frequently.

Inventory Supplies
Contractors who are not sure which types of supplies they will need for a particular job may choose to keep an inventory of tools and materials in the vehicle. It might seem like a hassle to take an inventory of these supplies at night when you’re tired, but this is the best time. While the day is still fresh in your mind, you’ll be able to get through the inventory more quickly because you can focus on the tasks you know you were working on. This is a good time to identify supplies that you need to order for replacement the next day.

Clear Out Trash
As a business owner, you may sometimes feel like you live out of your vehicle. Of course, there’s a difference between feeling like you live in your vehicle and actually living in it. When you start to see packaging from supplies, receipts and other things pile up inside your car, you need a better system for handling waste. Keeping waste out of your vehicle helps to act as a deterrent against theft, and you’ll generally feel better about climbing in each day. If you don’t have room for a small wastebasket, consider keeping a roll of small bags in your glove compartment or console so that you can bag up garbage and take it away quickly.

Organize Files and Receipts
When you’re regularly commuting to a jobsite, you often have to bring your work home with you. This is where important documents can get lost. For example, if you complete a job and have a client sign a receipt form, you don’t want to lose that form under the seat. Instead, you should designate a spot in your vehicle where you can put receipts, contracts and other written documents that you need to keep for your business. An envelope or small flexible file can help. That way, when you get out of your vehicle, you can simply take them back to your office.

Keeping your vehicle clean and ready for use is a daily part of running a contracting business. First, you need the foundation. To find out how expert exam preparation can help you get ready for the contractor licensing exam, visit CSLS today!

5 Ways to Avoid Bringing Home Hazards from the Construction Site

When you’re working on a construction site, there’s always a possibility that you could be digging into hazards. While you can manage a lot of your risk while you’re at the site, it’s a different story once you get home. Bringing dust and debris into your home can put you and your family at risk. Here are five ways you can help to minimize it.

Change Clothing
If you’re trying to keep things simple by driving home in your work gear and washing it when you get there, it might be time to rethink your approach. Look at it from a standpoint of contamination. If you know that you are working with chemicals that could be seriously harmful in another environment, you would probably change your clothes before and after working on that particular task. To prevent the spread of toxic metals in your home, make a habit of changing into your work clothes when you get to work. That way, you can change back into your regular clothes before you leave for the day.

Keep Your Vehicle Clean
Working in dirt or mud creates many opportunities to track the mess into other areas, like your vehicle. While you can avoid much of it by changing into your work clothes at work, that doesn’t solve the problem entirely. In fact, your work vehicle might be another source of contamination. If you can, leave your work shoes in another location, and change into a different pair before you go home. If your business has you going from one site to another throughout the day, plan to clean out your vehicle more frequently. Investing in a small, handheld vacuum with a HEPA filter could make a significant difference in keeping your vehicle cleaner and safer.

Leave Gear and Clothing Outside the Home
Eventually, you’re going to need to clean your work clothing and gear. The best solution to this problem is to have cleaning facilities in your workspace, so you don’t even have to take them home. Adding a laundry facility with a sink might not be as difficult as you think, and many industrial workspaces already offer them. If you don’t have a workspace outside the job site, you may need to come up with creative solutions to keep dirty work clothes out of your house. For example, a mudroom or laundry facility in your garage could allow you to clean the clothing without having to bring it inside the house for washing.

Test Soil Samples
Although you could be working with toxins and not realize it, there are a few ways that you can improve your knowledge. It’s common to test soil samples for contaminants before construction. Even if you’re not involved with that directly, you may be able to consult the findings of a soil testing report. You might already know to look out for lead since it can create a variety of health problems in humans and pets. But you may also need to look for other toxins, like arsenic or chromium.

Watch for Unexplained Illness
Many toxins cause problems based on accumulation, not necessarily immediate exposure. This means that you might have long-term health problems as a result of long-term exposure, even if you didn’t know about it at the time. For example, lead dust is associated with various health problems, including developmental delays in children, organ damage, and certain types of cancer. These often have multiple causes, but it’s important to pay attention when they start to appear. If one or more members of your family seem to be sick all the time without an obvious explanation, it may be time to change your practices.

Working in construction can be risky, but there are lots of ways that you can reduce it. To learn more about running a contracting business, contact CSLS today!

Is Spring the Best Time to Prepare for the Contractor Licensing Exam?

Spring is a wonderful season of renewal for a lot of people. The clocks change, the days get longer, and you may feel as if the world is full of opportunity. Although many people set resolutions for a new year, it’s a great idea to think about what you can do in the spring. Here are a few reasons that this spring could be a great time for you to prepare for the contractor licensing exam.

Use the Longer Days
For many people, the shorter days of winter take a toll on the body and mind. Even though you have lived your entire life with access to technology like artificial lighting, your body may still operate as it would have thousands of years ago. You’re more likely to sleep more and do less during the winter. But once spring arrives, you have longer days and more energy in which to make use of them. It’s great to take that extra boost of energy and put it toward something productive, like your studies. Because of the nature of the season, you may be able to get more done with less stress.

Take Advantage of Good Weather
Anyone who has ever had to study in adulthood knows that you don’t always get to choose the location. When the weather is bad, you have fewer good choices. You might be fine setting up in a den or even a walk-in closet for a little extra focus, but that doesn’t work as well for everyone. Spring offers you a wonderful advantage in the form of better weather. If you like to study outside, you’ll have the opportunity. If you prefer to get some work done from the convenience of a local library or coffee shop, you won’t have to worry about rushing to and from your vehicle in a snowstorm.

Get Ready for the Busy Season
Sometimes, you’re so close to achieving your goal, and you just need a little push to get there. For many people, passing the contractor licensing exam is the last step in a process that they have been following for years. As you probably know, summer is the busy season for the construction industry. If you were hoping to start your business in 2022, you should make sure that you have your license ready to go as soon as possible. Taking the spring to prepare for the exam helps to ensure a better result so that you can get your license and start building a client base when there’s lots of work available.

Build New Ambitions
When you think about it, the beginning of the year is not always the best time to set resolutions. You might be full and exhausted from the holidays, coping with short days and overexcited family members. It isn’t exactly the most conducive moment to reflect on what you have and make a plan for the things you want. By comparison, spring is an excellent opportunity to take stock of where you are going and determine how well it’s working for you. You’re less likely to be overburdened by commitments that pull you in the direction of work, family, or school. With a little time to breathe, you might have just the chance you need to come up with new goals.

Make Plans for the Future
Ultimately, spring is a season of potential. While winter represents the closing of many doors, spring arrives to open them. If you’ve been looking for an opportunity that allows you to pursue your ambitions in a way you haven’t before, spring is a great time to start. Let the benefits of the season fill you with positivity, and make plans to close the door on the disappointments of the past. You might be a few years away from the place you want to be for your career. But you’ll get there so much faster if you stop debating over the possibilities and start walking the path today.

Spring is a great time to get started in the construction industry. If you’ve been waiting for the chance to take the contractor licensing exam, now might be it. To learn more about our expert exam preparation, visit CSLS today!

 

5 Ways Your Contracting Business Can Handle Unpredictability

Right now, it seems that the only constant in the construction industry is change. When you bid on a project, it’s hard to tell if you’ll be able to get the supplies and labor you need to finish, at the price you bid. Although it may feel like an impossible situation, it’s not uncommon to have to deal with unpredictability in construction. You have options to make it easier. Here are five ways that you can handle it.

Update Your Contracts
When you start a contracting business, you may invest time and money into creating contract language that you can use more than once. If you haven’t had a chance to update your contracts in the past couple of years, now is a great time. A regular state of unpredictability may make it harder to adhere to contract language that dictates that you follow a certain pricing or timing strategy. You may need to build in new terms that allow you to negotiate with the client when circumstances change outside your control. It’s a good idea to hire a lawyer to review your contracts.

Change Your Estimate Process
There are many ways of estimating costs for a client, and the one that you’ve been using may not be the best one for the industry at present. It’s common to set a flat rate for the cost of materials and labor, especially when the cost of either of these is unlikely to go up. But in this environment, your rate may turn out to be higher than you expected or far too low. If you want to avoid cutting into your profits because the cost of materials went up, you need to take a different approach. For example, some contractors set a markup based on the cost of supplies, which could be useful for projects you won’t be starting right away.

Order Materials First
Many businesses rely on a just-in-time inventory. This means that you order supplies just before you need them so that you don’t have to store them beforehand. Of course, when the price of those materials fluctuates dramatically, you may need to rethink the cost-benefit analysis of that strategy. It may be cheaper and less complicated to order the materials first, because you know what the price will be and you can take advantage of immediate availability. The price could always go down, but you don’t have to worry about sourcing supplies that suddenly become hard to get.

Be Realistic About Timing and Prices
If there ever was a time to give yourself extra room for completion dates and cost estimates, this is it. It’s common in construction to say that you can complete a project in less time and at a lower cost, as a way to secure a bid. Many businesses have done this, only to overrun the project in time and expense. While that can be annoying to clients under any circumstance, it is particularly irritating right now. If you have a habit of over-committing yourself, you should take a hard look at your methods and revise them. You may have to renegotiate a contract with a client, but it’s better not to operate as if you have no choice.

Choose Predictable Projects
There will be times when you can take on a challenge or stretch your business to meet the needs of a client in an unexpected way. If you try to do that now, you’re more likely to end up with obstacles that cause you to delay or even cancel the project. Instead, it’s a smart move to select projects that you know you have a higher likelihood of completion. Similarly, you may prefer to steer clear of projects that limit your options in terms of finding qualified workers or sourcing materials. Giving yourself the most flexibility makes it easier for you to make decisions that provide the best possible result.

The construction industry is fairly unpredictable right now, but that doesn’t have to make it impossible to run a business. To learn more about what you need to be a successful contractor, visit CSLS today!

5 Ways to Avoid Procrastinating Your Contractor Licensing Exam Studies

When you have to study for the licensing exam, sometimes it’s hard to avoid procrastinating. If you’re tired or overworked, it may be difficult to find the energy needed for your studies. But there are ways to get around it. Here are five things you can do to stop wasting time and start being productive.

Take Opportunities to Study
For many people, seizing the opportunity when motivation strikes is the best way to get things done. Sometimes, rigid schedules don’t work out well. You might spend your day dreading all the tasks you have ahead, which makes it easier to put them off. Instead, find a way to lean into your ambitions and follow them wherever they go. For example, if you wake up early one morning, and you feel motivated to study, it’s a good idea to go for it. You’ll make more progress, and it won’t feel as much like work. Try to leave at least a portion of your day available for the following pursuits, whatever they may be.

Avoid Overscheduling Your Day
If you have a lot to do and less time to do it in, it’s tempting to book out your entire day. But then you wake up in the morning and realize that you don’t have 15 minutes to yourself at any point until you go to bed. Scheduling is a good way to stay on-task when you’re busy, but you can definitely take it to the extreme. It can be a good idea to schedule your time in 15-to-30-minute increments throughout the day, but be sure to leave at least a few longer blocks of unplanned time. You may not be able to do that every day, but having good breaks on most days will help to make the others feel less rushed.

Give Yourself Choices
You’re probably familiar with the common procrastinating tactic of doing everything on your list short of the items that are most pressing. If this is something that you often do, you may be able to use it to your advantage. Instead of sitting down to do one specific task, give yourself a choice of two. The decision allows you to evaluate which one seems easiest and most practical. In a way, it will feel like you’re taking the easier path. Eventually, you’ll have to get to the second task. But if both of them need to be completed, it’s better to finish one than to pick the harder one and finish none.

Make a Game
There’s a reason that so many companies make games out of tasks that their customers are less likely to do. Games add an element of fun and challenge to something that might otherwise be boring. If you’re struggling to get yourself into your work tasks, consider making it into a game. For example, you might set a strict time limit to finish reading a particular passage, with a reward for yourself if you’re able to achieve it. You can also make a chart of your progress and set prizes for achievements. Just make sure that the goals that you set are reasonable to achieve so that you don’t lose motivation.

Address Burnout
Most methods to combat procrastination don’t really address the fundamental cause, which is often some type of burnout. People can start to feel burned out by work, studies or even family responsibilities. Burnout typically shows up in these ways:

  • Difficulty focusing on important tasks
  • Worry about putting things off, even during breaks and leisure time
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Trouble with self-care tasks like chores or sleeping

If you’re dealing with burnout at the same time as you’re trying to ramp up your studies, you may need to take a different approach. Scale back your expectations, and make your goals easier to achieve within a shorter period of time. Early successes can help to combat burnout.

Procrastinating is a pain, but there are plenty of ways that you can get yourself into a different frame of mind for your contractor licensing exam studies. For more information about what you’ll need to pass the licensing exam, contact CSLS today!

5 Common-Sense Safety Measures for Your Contracting Business

Safety should be one of the most important things you do for your business. And yet, with the rate of accidents and injuries in construction, you might think that it’s not a priority for a lot of people in the industry. Safety is what allows you to go home at the end of the day, instead of the hospital. Try these five common-sense safety tips to minimize accidents and injuries.

Wear PPE
Personal protective equipment is one of the best ways that you can protect yourself and your workers on the job site. PPE includes things like proper clothing for the weather, as well as masks, gloves, and proper headgear. You should plan to keep a supply of PPE in a place that is:

  • Easy to find
  • Easy to keep organized
  • Within reasonable distance of the relevant task

People are more likely to wear PPE if they don’t have to go out of their way to get it. Create a culture of promoting the use of PPE, so that it becomes second nature for each worker to get ready before work.

Make Signs
People often need reminders of important information, which you can do by making signs and putting them in the right places. For example, someone might need to know which types of PPE are necessary for tasks involving noxious solvents. A sign with the checklist next to each station can help people remember which types of gear they will need. For a workplace where there are many tasks happening at the same time, you can make signs identifying the risk so that workers know to look. A simple sign warning people that vehicles move through the area could prevent serious injury.

Stay Alert
People are more likely to injure themselves or others when they are not alert, which makes alertness one of the most important things that you can have on the construction site. Work on establishing a schedule that allows people to have a normal workday, with regular breaks and time to recharge. Long days, or repetitive tasks with no breaks, make it easier for people to check out mentally. The less alert they are, the less aware they are of their surroundings and the people nearby. Encouraging them to stay alert helps them to avoid catastrophic errors with heavy equipment.

Take Training
You might have some sense of the best safety practices for the jobs you do in your contracting business, but you’ll probably need to take some training in order to get that knowledge. Safety practices change over time, particularly as new technologies change the way that you do certain tasks. Give yourself the opportunity to test your skills and refresh your understanding at least once a year. Offer the same service to your employees, especially those who are relatively new to the industry. Regular training sessions help to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Practice Safety Protocols
You might think that if you have the knowledge to do a task safely, that knowledge is enough to keep you out of trouble. Unfortunately, understanding what you read in a book or hear in an instructional setting doesn’t always translate into the correct actions. Some safety protocols require you to follow a very specific set of steps within a short period of time. If you have to go consult the instructions to know what to do, you may be too late. You can minimize wasted time by practicing the safety protocols with your team. Even if you all have the skills, a periodic refresh might be all you need to make it efficient and accurate.

Staying safe is one of the best things that you can do for your contracting business. For more guidance on becoming a licensed contractor, contact CSLS today!

Do You Need Good Credit to Start a Contracting Business?

These days, you need a credit report for lots of things. It’s not surprising that you may be expected to show your credit report when you want to apply for business financing and other things related to starting your company. There’s a difference between business credit and personal credit, and it’s important to keep them distinct. Here are a few things you should know before you start.

Keeping Business and Personal Finances Separate
Financial experts recommend that business owners do their best to keep their personal and business finances separate. There are several reasons for this, and establishing a different credit profile for the business is one of them. In the early years of your business, before you have established credit for the organization, you may occasionally have to rely on your personal credit for certain things. It’s tempting to use a better credit score to apply for personal loans or lines of credit that you can use for your business. But as your business grows, it will be harder to separate them. It’s better to do so from the beginning.

Repairing Personal Credit
You don’t necessarily have to rely on your personal credit in order to get your business running, but there are situations in which it would be good to have a better personal credit score. For example, when you go to establish a bank account for your business, they may check your credit. Business owners who have better credit scores may have more options in the kinds of accounts that they can open. One of the best things that you can do for the future of your business is to make sure that your personal credit report is accurate and as trouble-free as possible. Working to improve your personal credit might not help your business much, but it certainly won’t hurt.

Establishing a Business
Building a credit profile for your business usually starts by establishing a formal business. In most cases, if you want to apply for things like grants or funding, you’ll need to have a formal business with a license and a tax ID. You may be able to do things like open up a bank account or establish relationships with suppliers without it. But as a general rule, officially establishing your business makes it much easier to apply for loans, set up lines of credit, and more.

Applying for Business Credit
When you start applying for different types of credit for your business, it’s important to read the fine print. For new businesses, it is not uncommon for a credit card issuer or bank to require that you accept personal liability if your business is unable to make the payments. You may also see loans or other funding opportunities that do not require you to make that kind of promise. Be sure that you understand how each type of credit affects your business’s cash flow, as well.

Choosing Credit Options Wisely
When you first start a business, it’s tempting to think of credit as a great way to expand your business quickly without requiring you to save up a lot of capital. You should be careful about your use of credit, especially if your business income is unpredictable. Building a reliable credit history for your business starts by making wise decisions about when to use credit and when to look for other ways to fund your business expenses. That way, when you are ready to use credit in a way that benefits your business, you are more likely to have a report that appeals to lenders.

Credit reports and scores aren’t just for individuals. Your business will have them too. For more guidance on what you’ll need to start a contracting business, visit CSLS today!

5 Reasons Your Contracting Business Should Take Incident Investigations Seriously

On occasion, something bad will happen during a project. Afterward, you may consider investigating the incident. People often hesitate to evaluate a situation, to determine if they could or should have acted differently to avoid an accident. They may be afraid of taking responsibility. Investigations are important, however, because they help you prevent the same thing from happening again. Here are five reasons to perform an investigation after each incident you encounter.

Get the Facts
Right after an incident or near miss is the best time to sit down and think through the actions that led to the problem. Once people get a week or two past the fact, they may forget some details or crucial failures that triggered the incident. It’s important for business owners to take a collaborative approach, not a punitive one. In short, if you want to get all the information, you need to have everybody on the same page. Make sure that your employees understand that they won’t be punished for working with you to get more information because they’ll be more likely to come forward to report incidents that way.

Find Problems
As you go through the steps before, during, and after the incident, you may spot some obvious problems. In the moment, it can be really easy to get frustrated or start to point fingers at people who may have made mistakes. Instead, going through the incident investigation helps you to highlight anything that went wrong, as well as the effect that it caused. Sometimes the investigation brings up issues with your workflow that you didn’t even know you had. A lack of clarity on safety practices or industry standards could be relatively easy to correct, but only if you know that what you’re doing right now is insufficient.

Identify Causes
By this point, you’ll probably have a set of circumstances that can help you to identify the causes of the problem. If A led to B, which caused C, the investigation allows you to examine what made A and B more likely to happen. For example, a consistent under-use of PPE in certain high-risk tasks might prompt you to realize that you’re not storing the PPE in the right place. Making it easier to access could increase the rate of use, lowering the risk of injury. At this point, it’s good to brainstorm several possible causes for each failure.

Devise Solutions
If the investigation brings up a variety of causes of the incident, you can use that information to start coming up with solutions. It’s a good idea to get input from your workers, especially those who were related to the incident. They may have important context that you need in order to truly understand the problem and create a solution that is most likely to work. The investigation doesn’t always point to an obvious solution, which means that you may need to try out more than one. Having all the relevant facts will pave the way.

Avoid Future Concerns
Whenever you read about a serious accident in construction, you’ll probably notice that there were a lot of failures that happened before it turned into a catastrophe. If you want to avoid these kinds of problems, you have to be willing to challenge each failure as it happens. Sweeping it under the rug and hoping that it won’t be a problem only creates a culture in which workers are disincentivized to report unsafe behavior or problematic practices. If you invest the time to investigate it honestly from the beginning, you’ll be more likely to prevent the situation from happening again.

No one enjoys handling incidents, but the investigation can help you build a better contracting business. To learn more about the path to becoming a licensed contractor, visit CSLS today!

Want to Start a Contracting Business? Make a Five-Year Plan

Going from your first day in construction to starting your own contracting business takes at least a few years. You’ll spend some time on the job learning skills, more time refining your knowledge and choosing the right field for you, and the last bit getting ready to launch your own business. Here are a few things to consider as you make a five-year plan.

Evaluate Future Job Growth
To start out, you’ll want to pick a field that has growth potential that can sustain you for the length of your career plans. The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps data on the anticipated job growth for most industries and specific jobs within the construction industry. This means that you can do a little research to see where the jobs that you’re interested in doing are likely to go within the next 5 to 10 years. You’ll need to have this information to determine what your competition will be like and how much demand there will be for your services.

Select Ideal Working Locations
As you’re starting to browse through the careers you could have within your chosen fields, you’ll want to select locations that will be the most likely to meet your needs. As a licensed contractor, you will be able to work within the state where you get your license. This means that if you’re planning on moving out-of-state, you may need to consider how getting a license in that state will affect your plans. If you’re planning to stay in California, the good news is that you’ve got a lot of options, from the most rural to extremely urban.

Research On-the-Job and Educational Opportunities
Many people get their start in construction by working under a licensed contractor. You don’t necessarily need to take an educational route, but that’s also an option. Some fields have lengthy apprenticeship programs that you might apply for. Selected candidates can receive an income while they get a thorough, high-quality education within the field. These types of experiences can qualify for at least some of the experience you need in order to take the contractor licensing exam. Research what’s available to you in the area, and don’t hesitate to aim high. You don’t know what you may be able to achieve until you try.

Explore Different Fields
If you’re brand-new to construction, the choices you would make might be quite different then they would be for someone who’s been working in construction for several years. In either case, it’s important to explore different fields and careers you can have within those fields. Research what you can expect from various jobs, including:

  • Income
  • Demand
  • Work environment
  • Clientele

This will help you to make a choice you’re more likely to be content with by the time you get your license.

Keep Learning as You Grow
For most people, becoming a licensed contractor is a step they take on a career path that will continue to change for decades. This means that once you get started, you’ll keep adding onto your knowledge and experience. That can make you a better business owner and someone who is more likely to be able to meet the changing needs of clients in the future. Taking an ambitious, positive attitude about career development is an excellent way to start.

If you’re just starting out on your construction career path, you’ve got a few years to ensure that you do it right. To find out the benefits of becoming a licensed contractor, visit CSLS today!