Construction companies provide a necessary service to businesses and individuals who need structures, repairs and renovations. The construction industry is competitive and can be very high stress when things go awry. If you are competent and skilled in dealing with both materials and people, you can make a very good living as the owner of a construction firm.
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Your first decision when starting a construction company is to determine what form it will take on paper. It could be a company owned solely by you, a partnership between you and one or several other people, or a corporation with multiple shareholders. Most small construction firms are one of the first two, as they tend not to be large enough to warrant the infrastructure of a large corporation.
Waste can be the downfall of a poorly run construction company, so the best time to institute an awareness and policy of efficiency is right at the beginning. Efficiency means working smarter, not harder. It means having a spacious, well-organised warehouse where construction materials can be stored. This will allow you to buy large quantities at great savings and to store and reuse all manner of both new materials that are leftover from previous jobs, and salvaged materials from demolitions and renovations. Construction waste constitutes a large percentage of the world's waste stream, and much of it is material that could have been saved and reused.
Potential clients need to know who you are if they are going to give you their business. Put up advertisements at local building-supply stores, advertise in local newspapers and magazines and put your business in the Yellow Pages. Make yard signs with your company's name on them and put them on the property at any jobs you are doing. With all of this, your best advertising will be word of mouth. Do excellent work, treat your customers well, and new customers will begin to hear about you. Most construction firms work in a fairly small geographic area, so an excellent local reputation is critical to the success of your business.
Unless your business stays extremely small, you will eventually be hiring employees. Finding employees who have both excellent building skills and excellent personal habits can be a challenge, but you need both if your business is going to thrive. Ask potential employees for references, and contact the references. Pay your employees well and express your appreciation of their work. If you try to save money by undervaluing your employees, you will create an alienated work force that won't be giving you its best.
Builders have a responsibility to practice their trade in an environmentally sound manner. This means disposing of all hazardous waste, such as old asbestos, in a legal way, using the best and most benign materials available for new construction, and advising clients on saving energy and using the latest innovations in efficiency.
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