Opening your own business is something that many experienced tradies have their sights set on, and making the decision to invest in yourself is the first of many important steps to success. After completing a Diploma of Building and Construction, many professionals are prepared to make this next career leap. Once you’ve secured your builder’s registration in Australia and set up your business, you’re almost ready to jump in the deep end.
The next step is attracting new work that will help you to flourish into the business you want to be. You’ve likely got extensive trades networks fostered over decades of industry experience. So how can you best leverage them, translating experience into paying work? You’ve got to work out how to get construction contracts that will pay the bills and help you thrive.
Let’s look at five key ways that you can get construction contracts, begin marketing your services, and your first clients.
1. Word of Mouth
When you’re just starting out in particular, your reputation is everything—and a word-of-mouth referrals is the best way to get construction leads, acting as a personal recommendation of your high-quality work. Map out your networks and make a plan of attack as to how you can empower them to become advocates for your work.
You’ll have past colleagues, long-term clients that know your work, people you’ve done personal development with or studied your Diploma of Building and Construction with who know your work ethic and aspirations, other trades that you’ve worked jobs with—the list goes on. You may even choose to study building and construction courses online, with the goal of fostering new network connections.
Let them all know that you’ve secured your builder’s registration in Australia and are opening your own business, and would appreciate them mentioning your name at the right opportunity. Perhaps you could also arrange a referral swapping agreement, or some kind of discount or commission incentive to get those first clients on the books.
2. Industry Associations
Industry associations and professional contractors are fantastic avenues through which to gain new work. This list is a great place to start researching which associations might be best for you. By joining, not only will you have access to some worthwhile networks, you’ll also gain an accreditation that helps to build your business reputation and give your new clients’ peace of mind.
Further, industry associations are one of your go-to support resources that can help fill in any gaps or answer any questions. For example, they can help you secure a builder’s registration in Australia. This is a necessary step to being able to offer your services. They’re also a great place to investigate the many building and construction courses online, like a Diploma of Building and Construction that can help you upskill.
3. Bidding on Projects
While not the most exciting part of running your own business, tender writing is an incredibly important. Succeed, and you’ll have upgraded from one-off jobs to major contracts. It’s the best way to get construction contracts that are significant. Particularly with government projects, once you jump through the hoops and win your first tendered contract, it opens plenty more doors for future opportunities.
You’ll need to know your unique service offering, be able to plan and cost a project, and pitch why you’re the best choice for the job. You can think of the first part as being like an in-depth cover letter. So the more building and construction courses online you have under your belt, the better placed you’ll be.
Once you’ve secured your builder’s registration in Australia, you can register your interest with your State Government’s site, attend sessions as they become available, and be willing to invest time, effort and resources to prepare a stand-out proposal. If you’ve not had experience in preparing tenders before, seek assistance to get to know the process.
4. Search, Website and Contact Us Page
If this area of expertise, then you’ll want to work closely with an agency or web expert who can help build your digital foundations. A website is more than just an addition on your business card to make you look more professional—it’s a key part of your sales funnel.
Make sure it’s engaging to draw people in, with well-written copy that explains your unique point of difference. You’ll also need strong calls to action. These help interested prospective clients can take the next step, including a well considered contact page.
You can also list:
- Diploma of Building and Construction qualification or any other building and construction courses online
- industry association memberships and accreditations
- testimonials from satisfied clients
You’ll also want to do some digging on how people search for and interact with companies in your industry. What do they type into Google to find you? How does your site rank? Do you have relevant keywords dotted throughout, and are you directing visitors to the right pages?
5. Social Media
The final step of building your basic marketing foundations is to schedule time to focus on your social media. So often, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are brushed off by business owners,. However, they can be incredibly valuable tools for landing new work, both through organic posts as well as paid and targeted advertising.
You may like to work with a social media specialist to map out your tone, your branding, and your core pillars that you post about. If you want to do it yourself, ensure you are posting good-quality images and quick, insightful videos of the projects you’re currently working on.
You might also consider blogging to educate your growing audience about the work that you do. Anticipating and answering their questions helps to break down barriers for them to make that first contact.
Looking to take the next step in your career in building and construction by taking on a Certificate IV or Diploma? Contact our team at 1300 LEGEND (1300 534 363) or request a callback and we will get back to you with all the information you need.