Independent contractors are the lifeblood of the construction industry, and without them it would be difficult to have either major projects or smaller ones get completed on time and on budget. They usually have a special focus in the building business, and that means they’re the best qualified to get the job done right and quickly, which is a big reason why they are always in demand. If you have a contracting business, or if you’re looking to start one, here are ten tips which can really make your business take off. Organizational assessment Before attempting to grow your contracting business significantly, you should conduct an organizational assessment to see if you’re actually ready for that growth. For instance, is your business really stable from a financial standpoint, and is it highly rated by customers who use your services? Personal availability To really impress customers and help with contractor brand building, it’s important that you make yourself personally available on phone calls, answering website inquiries, and responding to emails or letters. In this age of automatic responses, it’s important to make yourself stand out as a real person. Become an industry Association member This is a good idea not only for networking, but for bolstering your own business skills, and for acquiring fresh information about industry trends and emerging markets. Don’t shy away from marketing Having an online presence is of course an absolute must today, but don’t just put something out there for the stake of establishing a website. Make that website work for you as your window for communication with potential clients. Take advantage of the power of social media to reach vast numbers of people, and make sure your company blog portrays you as an authority in the field. Supplementary funding If you’re like most contractors, at some point you’ll develop cash flow problems. This means it’s important for you to establish a secondary line of credit that can help you survive during lean times. Investigate lines of credit, small business loans, and other means of securing additional income. Go the extra mile Most contractors do an adequate job, and some even do a very good job in their area of specialty. For you to stand out from all these others, go the extra mile with your customers. When you give them something more, they’ll have something more to remember you by. The value of mentoring Unless you’re a seasoned veteran in the business, a mentor can be invaluable to you in terms of guiding you through aspects of the business which you may not be familiar with. Make all new hires count Don’t just fill positions when you need more help – hire people whom you think have even greater potential than yourself in the business. When you surround yourself with really good employees, you’ll have that many more people striving to make your business a success. Outsource if necessary If you recognize that you’re beginning to get overwhelmed by your workload, don’t be afraid to outsource some of that work to take the pressure off. You’ll still sustain growth, and you won’t be so bogged down by nonstop activities. What’s wrong with being small? If you’re at the point where you realize you’ve taken on lots more business, and you have lots more employees, but your profits don’t reflect that, you may need to reevaluate. Sometimes it’s easier to remain a small contractor, to simply reduce the stress and maintain steady cash flow.