Many tradespeople have a dream of starting their own business, whether they are a plumber, an electrician, a bricklayer, or other. And whilst many of these tradespeople do start their own small business, not many succeed; and some fail dramatically because of not having adequate general liability insurance for independent contractors. If you have a particular skill and have decided to begin a business as a contractor, you need to know what your clients expect in order to succeed – and what you can do to fulfill those expectations.
Clients expect you to understand – and mitigate – the risks in your industry
The problem with the contractor industry is that it is laden with risks. Risks are there at every turn, whether it’s not finishing the job on time, making major (or even minor) mistakes, natural disasters or extreme weather disturbances, or the acquisition of resources, etc. Your clients know this, and you should know this as well. The key is finding ways to mitigate these risks and continuing to perform to the best of your ability. One surefire way of reducing risk which your clients will appreciate is by having general liability insurance. This is not just about protecting your business – it’s also about satisfying your clients’ expectations that you are a serious and legitimate contractor.
Clients expect you to have good communication
Managing a project involves a keen eye for detail and good organizational skills, but it’s also about making sure that you communicate well – not just with other workers, but also with your clients. Clients expect you to have effective communication skills, and they expect you to be able to explain a project or task in detail, especially if it’s a complicated or time-consuming endeavor. By effectively communicating and being open with your clients, you ensure the building of trust as well.
Clients expect you to have good planning skills
Planning is not just about creating or developing a good schedule for a task or project – it also involves making decisions on what methods you can and should use, what resources you can organize, and what materials you need and when. Making a good plan starts even before a task or project begins, and it continues throughout the task, on a weekly or a daily basis. Additionally, things will not always go according to plan, as your clients may already know – but it’s how you tackle changes in your planning that will make you stand out as a good contractor.
Being a good contractor is also about being financially responsible – you need to invoice your customers properly, and you need to keep accurate and updated financial records, particularly when it comes to your cash flow. Understand your contract and all its details from top to bottom – this isn’t just for your clients’ protection, but for your protection as well.