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First Steps to Becoming a Commercial Contractor

Greg here from DYB coach. Today, I wanted to share with everyone what some steps are to take when you want to transition into commercial construction or maybe you are just looking to get started.

One of the things you want to really get to know is the local contractors, maybe as you drive by in your area, as you do an estimate, you can see some construction going on, you want to familiarize yourself with the people that are doing a lot of jobs out there and you can tell generally by them, who is doing a good job.

So, make sure you take your time to do your leg work and research before you start diving in.

There are a couple different options that you can do to start to view this projects on the web, and I am going to give you a couple of examples of websites.

One of them is, and what that is, is an online plan room, where projects that are going on in your area are going to be listed, with the specific contractors that are going to be bidding it.

This is a place where you can obtain the drawing sets and the specifications for the job, so you can create an online profile there.

Building Connected is another one that we use a lot, and high square foot.

Now, all of these companies I have listed do have services that you can pay for, where they will send you these information, but as you are getting started I would not recommend doing so.

It’s better for you to just get on there and see what projects are going on first, and then individually contacting the specific contractors that you want to be working with.

So, once you get through that, I would highly recommend you go on to these websites, browse around, one of the first things that you are going to want to do is create a specific email address for your bids.

So, for our company, we use, you can use estimating, whatever you feel comfortable with there, definitely create a separate email where you can keep track of all the documents that are going to come through.

Once you get set up on these websites, create your online profile there, and they are going to ask you some basic company questions that you can easily answer.

But, the more information that you provide there, the better it is going to be.So, for starters, they are going to ask you, where you work, and what type of work that you do.

And for painting, they use division codes, which is going to be 9,900 which is finishes.

So, you are going to want to put what type of work that you do, you are going to select that individually on there.

They are going to ask you what your company size is, so that’s field employees, typically when they are asking that question, and maybe you have access to more employees that you typically bring on board, you might want to list those on there.

They are going to ask you for your insurance limitation, so when you are getting started with commercial work, you need to have your Workman’s Comp. and your liability insurances in place.

So, it varies from job to job, the larger the job size is, the more insurance that you are going to have to carry, but that’s something that would be discussed at a later time when you start getting awarded projects.

They are going to also ask you for your license and that is basically state regulated, it’s not federal.

So, it varies from state to state, you are going to want to check with your local license board and see what the requirements are.

For us here in South Carolina, we had to obtain a general contractor’s license for the size of jobs that we do, and it was a written test, and it was very basic information.

It was open book, very easy to accomplish, and it’s something that you are definitely going to need to do and consider if you are going to be diving into commercial work.

They are also going to ask you for your contact information, and this is an area that I encourage you to be very transparent in.

Give them as much details as possible, because companies that are on these platforms are generally very professional, and they want to be able to get in contact with who they need to.

So depending on how your company is set up, you may want to put your estimator, your accounts payable information, anything that you guys can get on there.

I would encourage you to put as much as possible; fax number, emails, people’s names, whatever they allow you to put, make sure you put it there.

And also, when you start diving into this, I would recommend that you spend some time looking at the different projects, reading through what they entail.
They are going to give you brief descriptions on the website, to tell you the type of facilities being built, it could be a storage facility, a hospital, or fast food/restaurant.

And as you are starting to dive into this type of work, I would really encourage you to take the time and start off with something small, and a great area to start diving in is with small fast food chains.

Although these jobs are usually demanding on time, they are very easy to accomplish, and they don’t cost a lot to carry out.

So, you might only have maybe a couple thousand dollars in labor, and maybe $15 in material, and that could vary from wherever your demographic is, you could work on McDonald’s restaurant, Chipotle, Taco bell, Chick-fil-A.

Generally, they are $10,000 and below jobs, but if you are transitioning from residential to commercial, this is a great area that you guys can get your feet wet.

Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for more videos and future webinars.

About the Author

As a newly single father of two from MI, he struggled to start over as a paint contractor in FL, going door to door. His situation was so bad, even the IRS had mercy on him.

 Feeling completely hopeless, he remembered the story of King Solomon praying for wisdom. Could it be so easy? 

He felt he had absolutely nothing to lose. So, as a bankrupt, divorced, high school dropout, single father of 2 young kids, now living 1250 miles away from all friends and family, started to pray for wisdom.
 And while he continues to wait for the wisdom to arrive, what did come was an insatiable desire to learn and read books… 
Thanks to God for giving him the burning passion to read books, and attend seminars, (oh and winning the wife lottery) he not only cracks the success code and overcomes the struggle, but also streamlines his painting business in less than 3 years, published a how to book, then sold the company. Now he leads a business coaching company for painting contractors so he can help other businesses, like yours, to do the same. Hear more... Or


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