Minority-owned businesses can receive incentives from various government agencies to help them compete against larger companies. This includes construction companies. At least 51 percent of the company must be owned by a minority member.
Minorities that qualify include:
- Black Americans
- Hispanic Americans
- Native Americans
- Asian Americans
Though it isn’t a requirement, business owners can get a certification in most states that confirms and proves that they do qualify. This offers a great deal of confidence to vendors, contractors, purchasing managers and even customers. It provides concrete evidence that the business does qualify as a minority-owned company.
Many government agencies reserve some of their public projects for minority-owned companies. It’s important that every construction company have a fair and equal opportunity to be chosen for a government project. This goes for woman-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises as well.
Federal, state and county agencies offer special programs to these businesses so they can bid on and be considered for construction projects. Though most of these jobs fall in the small to medium size range, there are also some mega-sized projects available to those who qualify.
A Success Story
Dan Moncrief III is the CEO of certified minority commercial contractor McDaniel’s Construction Corp. located in Columbus, Ohio. He knows a few things about how to get into this sector and become successful. He is also the president of the National Association of Minority Contractors.
He comments: “You have to work harder than you’ve ever worked and stay up later than you’ve ever stayed up to get your first job. And once you get your first job, it may be a long time before you get the second one. So, it’s a constant grind. If you don’t have the fortitude for it, you might want to do something else.”
His own success story though is inspiring. McDaniel’s Construction has become a large, very profitable business. Started in 1985, he now has a staff of 20 project managers. The company owns and operates 45 pieces of major earth moving equipment. They frequently work on huge projects like the new children’s hospital in Columbus.
Today, there are so many programs, certifications, regulations and such, that it can be confusing to new people. It can be difficult to know where to even start. These issues are multiplied if you have very little start-up capital. Though the dream may be huge, a construction start-up like this often has multiple obstacles in the way to moving forward. But there are some strategies that can help.
How to Break Into the Construction Business
With just a bit of ingenuity and hard work, you can learn some important keys to becoming more competitive. This will allow you to compete with big established construction companies.
Build relationships: There are so many ways to meet people in this industry and get to know them. All over the country, there are various construction-related trade shows. Be sure to attend as many of those as possible. Talk to people. Pass out your business card. Try to meet decision-makers who can send business your way.
Share your goals & values: In the business world, we all meet a lot of different people each year. The way to stand out from the crowd is simply to be authentic and real. Share your goals and values. Share your story with people. They’ll remember you and think about you next time they need help with a construction project.
Connect online: There are so many ways to connect with people in your industry now. You can connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This allows you to share almost on a daily basis, about what your company is doing. Leave comments on sites of your peers or others working in your industry.
Make a good impression: The way to get noticed is to leave people with a good impression of their last meeting with you. Whether you spoke to someone at a conference or online, make sure your speech is always positive, uplifting and that it reassures others that you’re a professional in every way.
In the end, if you can build an excellent construction business that meets some needs in your community and provides adequate finances for your family, it’s worth it. Though it may require hard work, there’s a lot of satisfaction in owning your own business.