Solo Success: Going It Alone In Construction

There have been many new startup companies coming from the construction industry. Due to the economic crisis in 2008, lots of workers found themselves without a job – so they started out by themselves. Most failed, but there have been plenty of success stories – including plenty of people working by themselves. The big question for today is, how did they do it? And is it possible to become a success in the building industry when you are a one-person band? Let’s take a closer look.

What you are up against

First of all, it’s vital to understand what you are up against when you work alone. Big companies will have enormous advertising budgets and years of bedding into your local market. You will need to do a lot of competitor research to see what they do well, and what they get wrong. Understanding this will enable you to offer improved services to your customers. You also need to ask your clients for referrals. Being nice to clients costs nothing, but it can bring big rewards. Word of mouth is still the most effective method of marketing – but you need to be good enough for people to recommend your services.

You will need help

It just won’t be possible to run your business alone. You will end up spending too little time being productive and too much time doing everything else you need to run a business. There are a few solutions, however. First of all, hire an apprentice. You can teach them the ropes and once you trust them to do a good job you can leave them onsite with clients. Secondly, outsource all tasks that are taking up too much of your time. Think about your marketing, payroll, and look into any other area of business that is slowing you down. Look into quote creation services offered by the likes of My Build Estimate, as well. You could even hire your partner to help out with admin. Who knows, there might be some tax breaks in there somewhere for you, too?


Don’t forget to network with other solo contractors in your area. You might consider forming a loose association with other people, to strengthen your offers. Get to know tilers, electricians, plumbers and roofers. You will meet a lot of these folks on the job anyway – so always take time out for a chat. Having these people a phone call away could help you offer a lot more services than building alone.

Invest in new technology

Technology can help you cut a lot of corners. But it’s only in recent years that it has truly started to benefit the construction industry. There are apps out there that can help you measure accurately and create blueprints. Some help you manage entire projects. And there are plenty of apps that you can use to look after your finances and plan your budgets. Take a look around and there is an app for everything – so invest wisely and reap the rewards!

With a little luck and a lot of hard work, success is achievable in construction. Good luck!

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