Don’t wait. Start adopting these things right now BEFORE you are busy.

When a contractor owns a business, it’s only natural that they want to grow it. Maybe they want to grow the size of the company (as measured by employees); maybe they want to grow the revenue and profits; maybe they want to grow the customer base and market area; maybe they want overall growth to become the biggest and best in their area.

However you want to grow your contracting business, make sure you avoid this one pitfall that can actually hold you back…

Waiting until you’re bigger.

This happens a lot among contractors who own their own business, and many don’t realize how badly it actually prevents them from growing.

Does this thinking sound familiar to you?

“I need to invest in a new truck for my team but that may be a big financial stretch. I’m going to wait until I’m a bit bigger before I do.” Or, “I need to invest in additional training but I’m far too busy right now trying to run my business. I’m going to wait until I’m a bit bigger before I do.” Or, “I need to invest in better uniforms for my team but we’re such a small company right now. I’m going to wait until I’m a bit bigger before I do.”

There are, of course, many other similar thoughts that go through a contractor’s mind—thoughts that delay something at the moment for a future time when they are bigger.

On their own, each of these thoughts make sense to wait. But when you add them up, you’ll be surprised at how many things are put off until a later point. There are many, from your brand to your business habits, from your training to your systems.

Don’t wait. Start adopting these things right now BEFORE you are busy.

Here’s Why You Want to do More of These Now

There are a couple of reasons why it’s not good to wait on these, and why it’s better to do them now:

  • Many people think that these items are things that larger companies do so it doesn’t make sense for a smaller company to do them. But that’s wrong thinking: it’s precisely when smaller companies do these things that they become larger companies
  • Moreover, it’s easier to adopt a habit now as a small company and adjust later, than to adopt a habit later as a larger company.
    Let’s take these two items as a simple example: let’s say you’re a contractor running two other guys. So, it’s just the three of you and you think: “I’d love to have a team meeting, and I’d love to have uniforms, but we’re so small right now that it doesn’t matter. I’ll wait until we’re larger to do those things. Besides, we already have informal team meetings when we’re all together at the beginning of the day.”

My argument is: formal team meetings and uniforms are two aspects that can actually help you grow, so doing them now creates a strong foundation. Plus, it’s easier to start doing team meetings and building a system around your uniforms now while you are small versus trying to do it when you have 20 people.

So, the better action is to hold a team meeting regularly (make it formal, with an agenda, etc.); and, get uniforms now (and build a system to manage them and keep them clean, etc.). Do it now, while you are small.

Where You Should Start

Not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions:

These are all things that even a small 1-person contractor should have in place even though many might be tempted to wait until they have a team.

  • A strong brand: Build a brand that looks like a Fortune 100 company, even if you’re just one or two guys in a truck. Your brand will actually make you look bigger!
  • Core Values: Core values are the non-negotiables that you live by, and they’re not just for big companies. Your company will look strong and stable with Core Values.
  • Systems: Create systems for everything, even if it’s just you! Systems help you run more efficiently with fewer mistakes, which creates more profit, which helps to fund more growth.
  • Company meetings: Yes, even if it’s just a couple of people, hold formal company meetings regularly. These will build a great habit as you grow.
  • Training: Get trained to be a better business owner and learn how to run a business well (rather than just being an expert in your trade).
  • Uniforms: You don’t have to have fancy expensive uniforms. Start simple and get your uniform strategy and systems down first, and then as you grow you can get better uniforms.
  • Membership plans: Create a simple membership plan for your customers and offer it right away; don’t wait until you’re bigger to do what the big companies do.

Of course there are more, but start with these. They’re simple and effective, and you’ll be surprised at the effect they’ll have on you, your employees, and your customers.


Adopting these things now, when you are smaller, is not a “fake it ‘til you make it” approach. Rather, it’s about building the strongest foundation right now and then adjusting course. Because if you keep delaying something until later you end up kicking that can farther down the road as you wait until your team is 10… or 50… or 100. And by then it’s too difficult to start.

Start now. Build these pieces into your business now while it’s easy to do. They’ll help you grow.

See full article on ContractorMag here

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