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Working as a general contractor can be a rewarding career if you enjoy hands-on construction and project management. However, it also comes with unique challenges and regulations that are important to consider. These are some of the top tips for becoming a professional contractor.

Prioritize Good Business Practices

To keep up with projects and operations in a small business, it’s critical to develop a solid system built on sound business practices. Find systems that work for managing finances, scheduling, and task management and stick to them to ensure you have essential documentation organized and clients can receive critical information in a timely manner.

Research Local Licensing Procedures

Working as a contractor requires licensing, which might vary depending on your location. Take the time to research local procedures and ensure you protect yourself and your business. Operating without a license not only can incur hefty fines and damage your reputation but also prevent you from pursuing legal action if a client doesn’t pay you for your services.

Know Industry Regulations

Similarly, know industry regulations and ensure you are operating correctly. As a contractor, you will likely hire additional employees and other professionals, and you must ensure you classify and pay them correctly. Additionally, ensure you comply with OSHA regulations on health and safety matters.

Don’t Neglect Marketing

Even if marketing isn’t your strong suit, it’s crucial to have an online presence and perform some basic marketing. Otherwise, potential clients won’t be able to find you. Share photos of your work, customer reviews, and more to help paint a picture of your qualifications and encourage people to reach out for a quote on their own projects.

Build a Network of Professionals

While contractors often have a lot of general knowledge, they often need to bring in specialists to complete portions of some projects. If you aren’t a licensed electrician, you will likely need to find someone willing to partner with you on projects. Be intentional about building your network and fostering positive professional relationships when you need additional skills or input.


With these tips in mind, you will be well-equipped to pursue a career in contracting. It can be challenging to get started and navigate the legal requirements, but once your business is up and running and you build a strong network of clients, you’ll start to line up plenty of projects to keep you busy.