Top Books for General Contractors

31 October 2018

When it comes to immediate growth and long-term development, general contractor businesses are just like any other. Growth and development require both field knowledge and actionable insight into client behavior and industry trends. You simply cannot build a fortune on trade expertise alone; business savvy is just as important.

If you are a contractor yourself, the following five books are must-reads. They’ll clue you in on industry secrets to help you hone your entrepreneur skills.

1. Freedom from Fear by Mark Matteson

If you’re interested in basing your business decisions on proven techniques, we recommend Freedom from Fear by Mark Matteson. Though it doesn’t tackle the contracting industry itself, it provides helpful advice on how to succeed in any professional arena.

With Freedom from Fear, you’ll learn how to rewire your brain and readjust your attitude. This will enable you to develop the soft skills that are not only necessary for nurturing client relations, but also for staying optimistic and proactive in face of adversity. It’s all about finding a work-life balance

2. Markup & Profit: A Contractor’s Guide, Revisited by Michael C. Stone

As a contractor you not only need to know the “ins and outs” of the construction industry but you also need to know how to properly price your jobs in order to cover all costs and still turn a profit.

Michael C. Stone’s text teaches contractors how to stay in business by reflecting on writing good contracts, managing your crew, and collaborating with trade partners. It’s the ultimate guide to becoming a succesSFul, profitable contractor.

3. Running a SuccesSFul Construction Company (For Pros, by Pros) by David Gerstel

While Stone will teach you how to succesSFully turn a profit in the construction industry, David Gerstel will give you an insight into the day-to-day operations of a contractor. Gerstel discusses everything there is to know about day-to-day contractor operations such as rounding up business, picking the proper jobs to bid on, estimating accurately, and writing confident and strong contracts. Written by a fellow contractor, this book is a must-read.

4. Starting Your Career as a Contractor: How to Build and Run a Construction Business by Claudiu Fatu

Starting a contracting business from the ground up is no easy task. It can be intimidating but Fatu’s book is your perfect start. This text teaches you everything you need to know when you’re just getting started in the industry: how to develop a business strategy & structure, insurance needs, construction branding, legal complications, and of course employee management.

If you’re just getting started, be sure to add Claudiu Fatu’s book to your reading list.

5. Contractor’s Survival Guide: Building your Business in Good Times and Bad by Jason Reid

This text is your ultimate guide to surviving every challenge the construction industry throws your way. From increasing leads to cutting costs in hard times, Jason Reid covers it all. Reid gives tips on marketing your contracting business across social media, identifying weak points within your business, and much, much more. This book is your guide to surviving when others are struggling to stay afloat.

Just like other growth hacks, educating yourself on the trends in the contracting industry can lead to a nice ROI boost. Presuming you apply what you learn, of course.

For a little lighter reading, check out Focus’ blog which is filled with knowledgeable insights into the contracting industry.

Happy reading, everyone!

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