Your contracting business may have started small, but as you’ve taken on more work, you’ve realized your pressing need to scale and hire on other contractors, or even become a contracting agency. While growing your business is an exciting prospect, it can also be a daunting task to learn how to scale appropriately as you grow. If you’re looking to scale your contracting business, we’ve compiled some basic tips to help you get started so you can grow with confidence.
Assess Your Business
In order to successfully scale your business, you need to know where you stand now. Evaluate your company’s reputation and reviews, whether you have repeat customers, whether you’re meeting your business KPIs, if you’re cashflow positive, and whether you’re ready to scale yourself into the mindset of working on your business instead of working in your business.
You also need to evaluate your current workload and create a strategy to increase your sales by creating a plan centered on what the growth would look like. Is your goal to double or triple your sales? If so, plan for growth accordingly. You don’t want to deliver subpar results because of your sales outgrew your ability to maintain quality.
Outline Your Plan
Once you’ve determined what your growth strategy looks like, take some time to sit down and really plan out a detailed sales growth forecast. Consider how both income and expenses will change as you grow, considering the people, systems, technology, and infrastructure you’ll need to manage that growth.
Review your current P&L and evaluate the impact your growth will have. Even though things don’t always go according to plan, having an outline and idea of how your business will be impacted will help you anticipate challenges and will allow you to modify your plan as you scale.
Create a Professional Appearance
Another important consideration when scaling your business is understanding how customers and potential customers perceive you. If you’re scaling from a small, one or two man contracting operation to a larger company, you need to look the part. Creating a professional appearance helps set customer expectations. Start adjusting your image by creating a professional website, updating company information online, and perhaps investing in an office location.
Hire for Excellence
The people you hire makes all the difference when it comes to scaling your business. The better you hire, the less you have to worry about managing your team’s reputation and the quality of finished projects. Invest in training manuals for contractors to help ensure your team is properly trained for the job they are doing and are up to date on company procedures and processes.
You should also look to hire people who are smarter and better at their job than you are. Consider that some of the first people you hire may be your managers in the future and you can use their expertise to help grow your team. Considering that fewer and fewer people are entering the construction labor force, training employees and treating them well can help you bring in and keep your top workers.
Improve Your Marketing
Scaling a business also means scaling your marketing to match. Set aside a marketing budget to fund paid advertising for your business to gain traction and help promote and grow your business. You might want to consider organic marketing with SEO, social media advertisement, and paid ads to help boost company revenue and expand your business.
Get Those Sales
Any business owner knows that sales are the lifeblood of any successful business but scaling effectively means having an established sales plan in place so you can bring in more money on a regular schedule. Ask yourself whether you generate the number of leads you need and review your current sales process and timeline, how you track and follow up on leads, and what your billing system looks like so you can handle more sales as you make them.
Invest in Future Growth
While you may have been able to do a lot of your work manually when you first started your business, as you scale and grow, investing in technology and automation will save you money and time. What worked for small-scale project management likely won’t work for larger projects that have more moving parts, managers, and employees involved.
In order to effectively implement time-saving technology you’ll need to evaluate how your business functions and consider how systems and process will need to change and adapt for future growth. You don’t need the latest and greatest (and most expensive) technology to achieve this either. Instead, evaluate your current and future needs and find software that suits your situation. Look for scalable solutions that allow you to pay for the services you need—this way you can adjust and scale payments with your business.
Take Your Time Scaling
Our final tip is to take your time when scaling your business. Maintaining steady and sustainable growth that is cash-flow positive will always be better than speeding ahead with unsustainable growth. As you scale you should track your growth and set realistic goals as you progress.
Scaling your small contracting business into a full-time contracting agency is exciting and scary at the same time. Hiring new employees and creating training manuals for contractors, investing in your company, increasing sales, and creating a plan will help you scale the right way. By expanding your company you’re taking on more responsibility and risk, but also reaping more rewards and building a legacy for years to come.