5 tips to help grow your independent contractor business

 March 18, 2020     UFG Insurance    Business   Surety 

Independent contractors help build America.

From carpentry to drywall, electrical and in-home kitchen installations, handyman contractors work on projects big and small while meeting the needs of their neighbors. And like many independent business owners, growth is always on their mind.

Here are five effective tips to help grow your independent contractor business.

1. Surround yourself with an amazing team.

If you’re not at the point where you have a team, keep grinding. Keep your head down, put in the work and be self-aware about how your business is growing.

But if you have a consistent workload, you know how important it is to build a great team. These need to be people you can trust who work hard and also care about their work. If you notice that certain team members are not dependable, skilled employees after they’re on the job, it may be worth pulling them aside for a conversation of whether or not your business is a place they want to be long term. 

Remember: Manage your business, but lead your team. 

Here are three positions you may not be thinking about when it comes to building a great construction team. 

2. Define your area of expertise.

As with nearly any business, you can’t be everything to everyone. Narrow your focus, define your area of expertise and make sure you communicate what you’re good at and what you’re not. Sometimes new business isn’t the best business. Your new accounts or clients have to be profitable in order to keep growing your business the right way. For example, if you’re really good at electrical work, there’s no need to waste time on carpentry projects when they may not be as profitable and you don’t have a defined process. 

Narrow your focus and do more of what you’re good at.  

3. Be adaptable but subcontract when/if necessary. 

Only you know what you can do well, and only you know what you should subcontract. If you finish kitchens but don’t have the electrical aspect down yet, there’s no shame in partnering with an electrician. Building and fostering partnerships of that kind can help you get more jobs because you now have an electrician you work with, but also that electrician now has a kitchen remodeling expert. It’s a two-way street.

There’s no shame in outsourcing work—and for some it’s a common practice. 

4. Give your customers peace of mind with the backing of a surety bond

It’s easy to think about the risk associated with running your own independent contractor business, but your customers are also taking a risk when you consider the expense of a big construction project. A surety bond helps make your customers feel secure by giving them peace of mind that the project will either be completed or the guarantor of the bond, such as UFG Surety, will find someone who can complete the project. Bonding with a surety provider may also help protect your business from the peaks and valleys of running a business—just in case something goes awry. 

Make sure you educate yourself on the topic and avoid these three mistakes when purchasing a surety bond. 

5. Find easy ways to get the word out 

As a contractor, you may not be an expert marketer—and that’s okay! Here are a few free or inexpensive ways to get the word out and help market your independent contractor business: 

  • Utilize social media
    • Put your personality to use on behalf of your business on social media. If you’re not well-versed on social, maybe you want to source help from a young person or take some free social media courses online. 
  • Buy local advertising spots
    • Although newspapers are still relevant, let’s think past that. Think about local magazines, ball parks, church flyers, etc. There’s a wealth of advertising spots available in your local area—you just need to think beyond the newspaper.   
  • Networking 
    • You don’t have to shake hands and kiss babies, but showing your face and becoming more involved in community events—when you have time—will help promote your business more than you know. Consider attending professional networking events at economic centers and chambers where the first question is always “So what do you do for a living?” Pro tip: Make sure you bring your business cards. 
  • Develop a referral program 
    • If you’re reading this bullet, it’s time to turn happy customers into business advocates. First you must establish the goals of your program and then think about referral sources. This may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be as elaborate as you think. Here’s an article on how you can build a customer referral program in seven easy steps. 
We hope these tips help you grow your independent contractor business. 

Please be sure to contact us if you have any questions regarding UFG Surety or finding an insurance agent today. 

The information provided is for informational purposes only. Every attempt is made to ensure that the information is accurate; however, it is not intended to replace professional advice. For more information, see Disclaimers & Other Legal Documents.