I'm on the verge of breaking off to start my own construction company.
I've never done anything this big before and I'm wondering if you
have any advice to keep me from getting cold feet. - Andrew
Hi Andrew: Sounds like a big, exciting step for you. Starting
a business, as I'm sure you know, is a pretty massive undertaking.
Since you can't predict exactly how it will go, my main advice is
to prepare for everything. Seriously. Because you'll encounter so
many twists and turns in the early going, it's impossible to overprepare.
To get you started, here are a few things to think about.
niche. Since you currently work for a construction company,
you have a pretty good idea of what some of the competition offers.
When you have your own business, what will set you apart? You
don't have to do anything extravagant to become recognizable,
but you need to think about this question so you can have an answer
ready when people ask why yours is the company to go with. Price?
Results? Variety? Speed? You haven't started yet so you don't
necessarily have the answers, but you'll want to get them as soon
2. Initial costs. When people start new companies, it's the
future dollar signs that serve as motivation. While thinking about
the money you'll eventually make, don't lose sight of what you
have to spend up front to make it all happen. If you're truly
on the verge of starting this business, you should have a budget
ready to go that includes every type of fee that might sneak up
on your bank account. You may start getting overwhelmed, but you
need to go through the process and put serious thought into how
costs will get covered if you want to survive the first year.
3. Advertising. You probably have clients that will come with
you when the doors open initially. Then what? Don't go crazy and
start paying for newspaper and radio ads before you have a chance
to get things established, but don't let marketing go unaddressed.
Word of mouth can get you so far, and might even help you cover
all the bills. Eventually, you'll want to use marketing as a way
to establish and promote your brand so you can reel in the types
of clients you prefer to work with.
| Take your time,
plan for everything, and you won't have to worry about getting cold
feet. Good luck!
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