Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone: How to Determine if You Are Ready to Expand Your Offerings

There are many times in life where being comfortable is a really great feeling. But, in business, it can lead to a stagnant lead pool and result in your prosperity drying up. Contractors Reporting Services has been around for over 50 years and we know what it takes to succeed as a Florida general contractor. We specialize in helping you to meet your Florida contractors license requirements, renewal requirements, corporation structure and much more, but we also want to see your business grow and thrive. Many times, we see folks that work very hard to obtain their Fl contractors license, and practice within the industry for a few years, only have their business fizzle out due to a dwindling customer base.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with finding an area of interest and developing a specialty. There will always be a need for specialty contractors and having a niche can be comfortable, however there is something to be said about diversifying your skill set and expanding the services you can offer. The broader your service offerings are, the greater the demand will be, as many customers like having a contractor that is able to handle the comprehensive scope of a job. Any business gains an advantage when they strive to increase their potential customer base and decrease the risk of work fading away. So how do you determine if you are ready to branch out? Here are a few key points to consider.

Establish a Direction

Before you begin a journey, you need to know where you want to go. Is there a direction that makes practical sense for you? If you have focused your efforts in small, commercial properties, there are multiple opportunities for crossover into residential clients, as well as larger commercial customers like hotels or apartments. As you contemplate growth opportunities, consider your current market and then evaluate options based on your interest and how an expansion could positively impact your bottom line.

Evaluate the Process

Can you do it? As in, literally, “Can you make it work right now?” In many cases, there may only be minor differences in your current scope and the broader options you are considering and it is simply a matter of stepping outside of your comfort zone. But there may be more to it and you need to be sure that you can really deliver when you step into unfamiliar territory. If you need special certifications or trainings to work with new materials or other requirements like additional insurance, you will obviously need to get those nailed down before you start working on the new jobs.

Appraise Your Needs

Never underestimate the power of planning and don’t let your excitement about a new opportunity cause you to leap too soon. Make sure that you accurately assess what it will take to get the job done well. Do you have enough crew members? Are there subcontractors you will need for expanded work scope? Do you have enough materials in storage or are there specialty supplies you will need to purchase? These points should be worked out early, before you even start thinking about your first bid, as every item you need and every crew member or subcontractor you have to pick up will have a direct impact on your final bid for the job. Proper pre-panning will help to avoid frustrations and shortcomings once a job has begun, but conversely, not spending enough time analyzing it could cause you to bust your budget.

Take Your Time

Where you may be anxious to get your expansion moving, it is critically important that you allow yourself the necessary time to consider everything that goes into your transition.  Every new venture presents a learning curve, and if you don’t build in the time to account for it, it could cost you time, money and even your reputation. Spending the extra time to work up and double check a bid for a job in the new and less familiar arena will help to ensure that you allow yourself enough leeway to get the job done without running over your budget. Likewise, even if you’ve got plenty of money and a crew to get the job done, you could still run into trouble if you haven’t allotted yourself enough time to actually complete the job. In the past, you may have been able to rush things where you were experienced and proficient in the environment, but trying to speed things up when you’re in unfamiliar territory tremendously increases the risk for mistakes that you won’t catch until it’s too late.

 The truth is, whether you are content to stay where you are and do what makes you comfortable, or you desire to expand your business into new areas and step outside of your comfort zone, the most important thing is to do all that you do with excellence. Your reputation is of the utmost importance and integrity is the most valuable tool you could have. At Contractors Reporting Services, we are here to help in any way we can, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have.

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