I want to start this first chapter by asking you a simple question — What is your main reason for being a contractor?
I have asked many contractors that question and I have received many different answers. Some like being their own boss. Others like the freedom of deciding their own hours and the jobs they will take on.
Whatever other reasons they gave, however, there was one they all had in common: TO MAKE MONEY.
I believe that this is a very good reason. In fact, I believe it is the most important reason. The main purpose of this book is to show you how TO MAKE MONEY as a contractor. If you want to make money, perhaps a lot of money, then this book is for you. Of course, you will need to do more than just read a book; you are going to have to work hard. Nobody is going to simply hand you a lot of money. But, if you read this book and apply its basic principles, you have a very good chance of doing well as a contractor.
This book has been designed to communicate in the easiest possible way the basic actions that are necessary to succeed as a contractor. Because a certain piece of information might be fully stated in only one sentence or in a single paragraph does not mean that the information is not important or even vital to running a successful contracting business. If it isn’t important, it was left out of this book.
THE BASIC ACTIONS OF A SUCCESSFUL CONTRACTOR
There are certain basic actions that every contractor must do if he is going to be successful. They apply to all contractors, all of the time. Most contractors are aware of what these basic actions are in a general sort of way, but they often haven’t spelled them out to themselves in so many words.
A contractor may be better at some of these actions than at others, but if he wants to become really successful, he must identify each of these actions and learn how to do all of them well.
Here is the list of the exact actions that a person needs to do well in order to make money as a contractor:
- FIND A CUSTOMER
- FIND OUT WHAT WORK THE CUSTOMER NEEDS AND WANTS
- AGREE WITH THE CUSTOMER THAT YOU CAN DO THE JOB
- DO THE JOB
- COLLECT THE MONEY
- MAKE A PROFIT
No matter how large or how small the job, these are the steps you will need to take if you want the job to be smooth and profitable. And if you want a smooth and profitable company, you will need to perform these actions over and over again. It’s as simple as that. Or, sometimes, as hard as that.
The purpose of this book is to help you learn successful ways to do these actions, while avoiding many of the common mistakes that contractors make. After many years and thousands of customers, I have had ample opportunity to discover the successful ways and the unsuccessful ways.
By the way, some of the unsuccessful things I have done as a contractor has cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars, while doing the same things successfully has made me millions.
NOTE: Throughout this book I refer to both customers and contractors as “he.” Many customers and contractors, of course, are not “he’s.” However, to avoid the awkward “he and/or she,” I have kept it simple.