Good tradesman go out of business every day because they fail to shift gears and adapt a new model. Every facet of the business must be managed with an eye to the bottom-line.

Know your Trade
It’s essential you have a strong skill-set and understand every process and service you will be providing. You can’t run a specialty contract business without possessing hands-on experience. You will need to train and lead employees to produce quality workmanship on budget and on schedule.

Focus on Business Administration
Once you hire workers and begin to build your business, you are first a businessperson, second a tradesperson. Finances, personnel, estimating and marketing should be your main focus. Products like Acculynx Construction Management Software can help you manage every aspect of your business by organizing and streamlining key functions.

Determine Your Overhead
Know what it costs to run your business. Without an accurate assessment, you have no basis for developing a solid pricing structure or earning consistent profits. Account for depreciation of equipment and costs for labor and materials.

Communication is Crucial
Document communications to minimize confusion and conflict. Keep lines of communication open so that progress, problems and solutions are on the table. You bring more value to the job and to your business when you are a team player, and communicate clearly and professionally with customers, vendors, suppliers and employees. Not communicating clearly can cause mistakes that you may have to fix later which can cost you more money. If the mistake is bad enough, you may even lose money on that job and even worse, a repeat customer.

Be Reliable and Responsive
Take the time to review and understand project requirements and specifications. Don’t overcommit to a job you can’t handle or because you don’t want to turn away work. Follow through on your word and on your contract. Place and track orders methodically. Submit bids promptly and quickly process change orders.

Promote your Experience
Effective promotion of your business will help you bring in more customers which is all the more reason for you and your employees to make sure that the job is done right and done well. Customers want to know about your knowledge and solid background experience. Develop a portfolio of positive reviews and references. Seek out cost effective strategies for building your brand and growing your business. You should also note that if you customers really like the work that you do, they are more likely to refer you to other potential customers.

Offer Niche Services
Identify an area in your market that is not overwhelmed by competition. All contractors offer similar services, but you can stand out with a specialty niche, for example, a painting company specializing in historic restorations. Customers generally expect to pay more for niche work, too.

Incorporating solid business practices into your company demonstrates integrity and pride and poises it for growth and success. In a market flooded with unprofessional and unreliable contractors, those who run a solid operation stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.