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Getting Started With The Rich Contractor

How To Make $100,000 A Year

Welcome to the Rich Contractor, the ultimate business resource for contractors, service professionals, and those who dream of some day dumping their dead-end job in exchange for the wild world of small business ownership.  Consider yourself lucky, because you’ve just found the playbook that I wish had been available to me when I was getting started.

Tight on time and want to skip the introductions?  That’s fine.  Here are links to great content that you can jump into right away:

Just getting started with your business?  Read How To Become A Contractor.

Need more jobs?  Read How To Start A Blog for beginners and learn how to make your phone ring off the hook.

Have plenty of work but still not making the income you desire?  Read How To Price Your Services For Maximum Profit.

Want to learn more about me and my blog?  Read on…


Around the time of my 30th birthday I decided that it was time to rock the boat, so to speak.  My day job was sucking the life out of me, and the idea of breaking free and starting my own business was the only thing that got me through each workday.  Finally, after years of dreaming about it, I got off my butt and did it.  I started my own home services business.  But it wasn’t a walk in the park.  I was tackling an industry in which I had little experience, and I was clueless about how to get started and how to run the operation.  Searching the internet for answers, I realized that there wasn’t much in the way of helpful information on the web for people like me.  I also noticed that many of the other contractors in my city were just as “lost” as I was when it came to running and marketing a business.


Well, I forged ahead with my new business anyway.  I learned a lot during those first few years and devoted myself to consistent improvement whether it came to marketing, customer service skills, or simply running a more streamlined operation.  As time went on my tenacity and willingness to learn began to pay dividends, and I eventually became one of the most highly-regarded professionals in my chosen niche worldwide.

But it still nagged at me that so many of my new-found friends and peers in the contracting industry were having a difficult time with their business.  I realized that many of them were still as lost as they had been years earlier, and would always struggle financially unless they learned a new way.  I knew that it was time for somebody to step up and develop an online resource that was truly helpful and comprehensive, and since I had some basic web publishing knowledge and the work ethic to see it through I decided that person would be me.


So I started RichContractor.com towards the end of 2007, my primary goal being to educate, inspire, and empower other contractors and would-be contractors who were eager to succeed but lacked basic business know-how, just as I did years before.  The rest, as they say, is history.  It’s now one of the most authoritative sites in the world on the subject of starting and running a successful contracting or home improvement business.  So how can it help you?

Well, let me point you toward a few different entry doors:

Door #1:  If you want to become a professional contractor but haven’t started yet, first read my epic post about how to become a contractor.

Door #2:  If you’ve already started your business and need help with marketing or getting new business, I would suggest you begin by reading my posts about starting a blog, getting free construction leads, and choosing construction business cards.  You should also check out how to get projects through realtors, which is a fantastic tutorial by Jonah from Canter Construction in Charleston.

Door #3:  Other popular points of entry include my rant about how to make a lot of money and my comprehensive introduction to nailing contractor leads.

Then just keep working your way through the site.  There’s a mountain of information available to you here, so you’d be wise to bookmark the site for later reference.  Well, that’s all for now, folks.  Now go grab a cup of coffee and start reading…it’s time to turn that dream of entrepreneurship into a reality!


California residents who want to know how to become a general contractor in California must first understand the definitions, exemptions and mandatory requirements. Any business or person who works to construct or alter a building, parking facility, roadway, excavation, railroad property or other structure must be licensed by the CSLB, or Contractors State License Board. This requirement holds for any project where labor and materials cost $500 or more. Reasons to get a contractor’s license in California include:

  • It’s the law.
  • Contractors can sue customers in court when they don’t pay.
  • You can qualify for discounts from suppliers.
  • Licensed contractors can join builders’ associations that offer job postings, group insurance plans and planning rooms.
  • Contractors can legally advertise their services.
  • You can pull building permits.

In California, there are four licensing classifications:

  1. A: General Engineering
  2. B: General Building
  3. C: Specialty Classes
  4. D: Limited Speciality Classes

The mandatory requirements for contractor licensing include being 18-years-old or older, having a valid Social Security number and demonstrating the skills and experience to manage the daily activities of a construction business. Both individuals and business entities can be licensed.

Journey-Level Experience

Contractor licensing applicants must have four years of journey-level experience within the last 10 years. Journey-level experience includes work as a journeyman, foreman, contractor, builder/owner or supervising employee of a general contractor. You can also receive credit in the following ways:

  • Up to 1.5 years credit for receiving an Associate of Arts degree from an accredited institution.
  • Up to two years credit for receiving a four-year degree in economics, business, math, physics or degrees related to trades or crafts related to construction.
  • Up to three years credit for a Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship in a contacting-related field.

The Application Process for Becoming a General Contractor

Individuals, partnerships, LLCs and corporations must complete and submit “An Application for Original Contractor License.” If you were already licensed within the past five years and remain in good standing or work with a qualifying individual, you must also complete and submit “An Application for Original Contractor License,” but the exam requirement is waived. A processing fee, licensing fee and classification fee are required when you apply. The classifications are general contractor, building contractor and specialty contractor. There are many specialty classifications, which can be found at www.cslb.ca.gov.

You can also qualify for licensing by entering an apprenticeship in California. These are run by trade unions and local employers and last between three and five years. It also helps your employment prospects if you earn optional certifications from the Construction Management Association of America or The American Institute of Constructors. These certifications include Certified Construction Manager, or CCM, Associate Constructor, or AC, and Certified Professional Constructor, or CPC. You could also enter an apprenticeship, which are administered by trade associations, trade unions and local employers.

Passing the California Exam for Becoming a General Contractor

Contractors can qualify with related work experience or education, but there are no requirement for continuing education. The state’s contractor’s exam has 100 questions that must be answered within 2.5 hours. A score of 72 percent is required to pass the exam. You can access study guides at www.cslb.ca.gov. These guides include general contracting and specialty guides for all kinds of building and designing issues such as landscaping and working with sheet metal, ornamental metal and structural steel.

New applicants must first pass an open-book exam on dealing with asbestos. Passing this exam doesn’t qualify you to work with asbestos but simply shows that you’re aware of the problems that asbestos creates. Those who want to qualify to remove or install underground storage containers must be certified in this work. You may only apply for one license at a time, and you must have the required work experience before you can take the exam.

Other requirements for licensing include putting up a $15,000 bound or leaving a cash deposit with the CSLB. This bond can be used to satisfy claims of defective construction or to pay employees who weren’t paid for their work. A license can also be denied for certain criminal convictions.

Exemptions to Contractor Licensing

There are exemptions to mandatory licensing in California, and these include the following situations:

  • Minor Work – Work and repairs that cost less than $500 for both materials and labor are exempt from licensing.
  • Public Employees – Those public employees who work on projects are exempt from licensing.
  • Owner Builders – People who own property can work on it without a license.
  • Business Employees – Employees can work on projects where they are wholly directed by others. Those who can direct this work include licensed contractors and property owners.
  • Structural Improvements – Owners can repair or improve their property without a license if they don’t intend to sell the property within a year.
  • Manufacturer Exemption – Manufacturers that produce or install finished products that don’t become a part of a finished structure care are exempt from licensing.

Online Assistance

You can find information, study guides and online forms that are easy to fill out at the CSLB’s interactive website. Downloadable forms are also available at Uslegalforms.com.


Attending carpentry trade school prepares you for a potentially lucrative career in a growing industry. I’d like to provide you with an overview of what to expect from trade school, how to find a good program and why taking this route is a smart choice for learning a hands-on vocation.

In a society where service industries dominate, carpentry remains an essential trade. When you go to carpentry school, you develop skills in high demand and differentiate yourself from a large part of the workforce. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Why Choose Carpentry Trade School?

I know how frustrating it can be to wade through two years of prep courses in a college program before delving into the subject you want to study. Trade schools, however, get right down to business. If you’re there to learn carpentry, you start right away with relevant academic courses and practical application. Classes are taught by people with experience in the field, so you spend your time learning from the best.

Trade school programs are often shorter and cheaper than four-year degree options and offer impressive career opportunities. Many people who attend trade school make just as much as or even more than college graduates without the additional burden of excessive student loans. Getting into carpentry gives you the added advantage of having skills not likely to be taken over by machines and with applications in a variety of industries.

What to Expect in Carpenter School

It’s not an exaggeration to say learning carpentry is hard work. If you’re not ready to apply yourself to a hands-on program requiring attention to detail and a head for numbers, my advice is to find another trade. However, for those who love working with their hands and being productive on the job every day, training to be a carpenter should be a delight.

As you go through a carpentry program, you’ll attend a combination of courses involving both book learning and actual building projects. Master craftsmen will show you how to avoid small errors with the potential to cause big problems in real-world situations, and you’ll become comfortable working with a variety of tools and materials.

If possible, I recommend attending a trade school offering an associate degree. This gives you the option of pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the future, and degrees can make your resume stand out to potential employers.

What are Carpentry Classes Like?

Although it’s not as diverse as a traditional college program, carpentry school packs a lot of information into just a couple of years. You can expect to take classes covering subjects like:

• Math and science, including algebra, geometry and physics

• Tool selection, use and care

• Understanding principles and procedures of construction

• Architectural drawing

• Blueprint design and reading

• Building codes

• Choosing and measuring materials

• Framing and roofing

• Interior and exterior finishing, including siding and molding

• Door and window placement

• Machine woodworking

• Project management

• Making accurate estimates

• Technology and mechanical systems

Each of these courses provides you with some of the tools you need to become a skilled carpenter. The best way to put it all together is to seek out an apprenticeship where you can see how what you learn in school works when you’re out on the job.

The Benefits of Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships have been around since the Middle Ages when young people learned trades from masters in local craft guilds. This practical method of on-the-job training has endured for so long because it plunges participants right into the careers they want to pursue while providing skilled guidance every step of the way.

To become an apprentice carpenter in the U.S., you must be 18 years old and have at least a high school diploma. Coming out of trade school and into an apprenticeship or overlapping your apprentice work with classes gives you a chance to become much more familiar with the trade. It also provides the experience employers look for when hiring carpenters, giving you an advantage over those who opt to go straight into the industry. Your transition to a career will be smoother, and you’ll feel confident in the skills you were able to refine as an apprentice.

Taking part in an apprenticeship can also serve as guidance for your future job. In my experience, the longer you work at something, the more you realize what activities you like and what you’d rather avoid. Fortunately for aspiring carpenters, there are plenty of interesting niches in which to specialize. Your time as an apprentice can point you toward your particular specialty and simplify your career path.

After You Graduate

Upon graduating from trade school or finishing your apprenticeship, it’s time to decide how to use the skills you’ve learned. Prospects are good for those who have attended carpenter school. The industry is expected to grow 6 percent between 2014 and 2024, and the median annual salary in 2015 was $42,090. Many carpentry jobs also include benefits, such as health insurance and retirement savings plans, and careers in the field are fairly secure.

Other options after graduation include:

• Framing and residential construction

• Commercial construction

• Industrial construction

• Crafting wood products

• Restoring furniture

• Assisting other carpenters

• Working from home

You can also take what you learn in carpentry classes and apply it to a different type of job requiring the same skills. Any career in which pattern recognition, keen visualization, precise calculations and an understanding of how to translate drawings into physical objects is a possibility for students of carpentry.

As you consider carpentry classes, I advise you to look into several trade schools and apprenticeships. Talk with people already working in the industry for their opinions on the available opportunities, and carefully review the course materials for the programs you’re considering. When you find the right trade school, be ready to work hard and apply yourself to learning the craft so that you have access to the best career opportunities after graduation.


Some time ago I was approached to do an interview by a major online publication, but for whatever reason they never actually used the material.  I spent a good deal of time putting together my answers for the questions, and have decided that instead of the whole thing being a complete waste of time that I would instead publish it here at Rich Contractor.  Have a read…maybe you’ll actually pick up something helpful:

What is your top advice for a beginning contractor to get his or her business started on the right foot?

For those just starting out, it’s imperative that they have all their legal and administrative ducks in a row before they even think about swinging a hammer on somebody else’s property.  This protects both the contractor and the consumer.  Specifically, he or she should register with their state as an LLC or S corporation, they should secure a license if required, and they should be fully insured and bonded.  It’s surprising how many aspiring contractors skip one or more of these very basic steps in the beginning, but those who do are playing with fire in my opinion.

Is there a fast track to success for contractors? If so, how does one get on it?

In order to ramp up quickly you absolutely must have a presence on the internet.  Consumers continue to move away from more traditional forms of marketing (like the phone book) and are instead looking online for service providers.  A good-looking business website is critically important, and it should also have a built-in blog that is routinely updated.  Smart contractors also leverage Google My Business, the Google Pay-Per-Click program, and social sites like Facebook to completely flesh out a web presence that will pull in leads over and over again.  Many new contractors are reluctant to take this route and would rather just bang on doors, but marketing online is the way things are headed.  Those who embrace this reality will leap over their competitors in a relatively short period of time.  I’ve done it myself and I’ve seen it done by others countless times.

What is the best way to distinguish yourself as a contractor in the eyes of a potential customer?

The most common trait I’ve noticed with the contractors who find success is that they excel in communication with their team and with their clients.  They articulate well during the bidding process, they return calls and emails right away during the work phase, and they follow-up after completion to ensure that their customers are thrilled with the final product.  Homeowners love this kind of attention, and it tends to result in repeat work and lots of free referrals for the contractor.  Most service providers aren’t very good with this aspect of their business, but that opens up huge opportunities for the ones who are.  For those who have amazing construction skills but simply aren’t good with people, I would advise that they partner with someone who IS – perhaps a spouse, friend, or trusted associate.

What are the most common mistakes that beginning contractors make?

Aside from not communicating well and not leveraging the power of the internet, perhaps the most common rookie mistakes are wasteful equipment spending and under-pricing work.  It’s a double whammy that can doom a business from the very beginning.  For example, the new contractor who runs out and buys a brand new $40,000 work truck on credit is kneecapping himself from day one.  The $1000 monthly payments will seriously hamper his ability to buy other necessary tools and products, and he’ll be scrambling to stay afloat from the get-go.  A perfectly good, no-frills, used F-150 can be purchased for under $10,000, and this can free up all kinds of cash on a month-to-month basis.  Perhaps unexpectedly, this is quite often the same kind of contractor who will lowball his estimates in a desperate attempt to get work so that he can keep up with his bills.  It becomes a slippery slope where he makes less and less money for his time but his costs continue to climb.  It’s just a matter of time before he has to throw in the towel and call it quits.  This can all be avoided by keeping costs as low as possible while charging a fair market rate in the beginning.  As the business proves itself and becomes larger then increased spending on better equipment becomes a more viable option.

Success story?

Just in a general sense, what I’ve discovered is that my efforts to improve my businesses have had the unexpected side-effect of improving myself.  The occasional issues that have arisen with customers and vendors have forced me to get better when it comes to conflict resolution, communicating effectively, and negotiating.  I feel it’s made me a better all-around person, and these are improvements I’m not sure would have happened otherwise.  So it’s been a story both of financial and personal success.

Horror story?

One of the first jobs we had seemed like a horror story as we experienced it, but in retrospect I see that it taught us some valuable lessons and forced us to get better.  What was supposed to be a one-week project turned into three weeks of misery.  The homeowner questioned every single thing we were doing, she watched over our shoulder almost the entire time, and she complained about everything from dust in the air to the noise of our tools.  To cap it off, she accidentally sideswiped my truck in the driveway one day, causing thousands of dollars of damage.  We couldn’t wait to finish it up and get out of there.  Yes, the customer was kind of nuts, but I see now that we did a lot to fuel the problems.  The difficult clients are the ones who make you better, oddly enough.

What does the contractor industry look like today versus 20, 30 years ago? Any big changes?

I think the big thing is how technology and the advent of the internet has forced contractors to evolve and to work more on managing their reputation.  It used to be that hiring a contractor was a roll of the dice.  Now, prospective clients can go online and get a more transparent look at your company from the likes of Angie’s List, Google reviews, and the BBB.  It’s great in the sense that truly great services and companies tend to be rewarded for their efforts.  There’s never been a better time to be a contractor if you’re honest, competent, and professional.


I recently had the opportunity to interview a contractor who has grown his business from $500,000 to $2.5 million a year in sales over the span of four years, largely because he began to reach out to mentors. Check it out:

1 – How exactly has having a mentor(s) been beneficial in growing your business at such a rapid clip?

Goal setting was the biggest thing.  My mentor had me envision where i wanted to be in 12, 36, and 60 months. I answered with a very conservative number, he then had me rethink the numbers without any possibility of failure, and my figures or “goals” instantly increased. My next step was to share these goals with my staff and keep a score card (white board) in the office which I saw every day but my employees also saw, keeping me accountable for the target sales. The data was updated regularly, and this allowed me to make the proper decision every day on how to distribute my time. I wanted to go to the jobs and put my nail bags on, but if my sales weren’t where they needed to be I would focus more on finding more work. This also allowed me to rely more on my employees which in turn gave them more ownership of the projects.

2 – For those who have never approached a potential mentor before, what are some best practices for how to go about it? Any big do’s or do not’s?

The most important thing about utilizing a mentor is to be humble and to listen. When they give you advice write it down. Implement their advice; my mentors were multi-millionaires in their fields, and I would listen intently and take notes.  When I had questions regarding a specific topic I would always start by referring to something they had told me prior and how I implemented that advice into a specific scenario I had encountered and whether or not it had worked for me. Mentors are willing to give you their time but not if you don’t listen or they feel you are looking for the easy answer. Every mentor I have has worked very hard for their success – respect that and you will learn from every discussion.

When approaching a new mentor, do so in a way that is very specific – do not generalize. One of my mentors is in the restaurant business, and he became my mentor due to asking specific questions about retaining employees.  This grew and developed into an ongoing mentorship that I continue to utilize. Most of my major decisions do not happen until I have gotten input from this person.

Be able to share your results from the mentor’s advice, and let them know you’re listening and trying to utilize their input.

3 – What kind of help should one realistically expect from a mentor in the industry, and what can you do to make it a win-win for both parties instead of just using the mentor and giving nothing back?

First of all, the mentor does not need to be from the same industry.  In fact some of the best advice I’ve received is from mentors that have nothing to do with construction, which is one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned. To be a good contractor you don’t have to be good at building but rather a good businessman.

The amount of help you receive is directly accountable to how you implement the advice. If you are willing to accept the help and forego any ego you may have, you will benefit.  That is why you seek out mentors that are already where you see yourself headed to.

In order to make a win win scenario for you and the mentor, update them with results you’ve achieved from their advice. When I’ve mentored young contractors, the most rewarding moment is when they call me and tell me how successful their last project was due to utilizing something I had shared with them. Regardless the size of the success for them, it always puts a smile on my face that they listened to my advice and it paid out for them.

4 – Other than reaching out to mentors, are there any other pieces of advice you’d like to offer up to those who are trying to make a go of it in remodeling / building? Something you wish you had known when you first started?

I think the biggest thing I wish I had known going into business for myself at the age of 19, was that no matter how skilled I was at building, there is so much more to running a business.

Anyone that is thinking of starting a contractor business should read the book “the E myth”.  It will change your life. Most people start out in the trades and once they have achieved a level of skills they feel is beyond that of their employer they feel they should be ready to start their own business. If you were to look at most of the top construction companies, not one of the people running the business could build a dog house, yet they run companies building some the greatest architectural achievements of our time.

One of the biggest points I would suggest is to invest in self growth: books, CDs, anything to motivate you is worth it. Before any sales meeting I always listen to Donald Trump’s “think big” CDs.  He is not my favorite person, but he thinks big and motivates me to do the same.

Before I started reaching out to mentors, I hired a business coach at 200.00 per hour.  That seems crazy and I agree, but the things I learned from him increased my bottom line multiple times more than what I paid him.

Strive to improve yourself daily, set goals and post them somewhere you see them everyday.

No matter what you want to do, someone has done it and most likely written a book about how to do it. Learn to ask the questions that give you the information you need to succeed.


This is a guest contribution from Jonah Canter of Canter Construction.

The title sums up this article perfectly. I had my website up and running for about six months at the time and was sending all of my clients and realtors to look at pictures of my work. We were strictly referral based and got no organic traffic from the Internet and I was fine with that. We had plenty of work coming in through our realtors and I primarily used my website as a glorified photo studio.

It was on one day that I received two phone calls where the people said they searched for my website but it looked like an older man owned it in another state. This confused me, so I searched my company name and realized that the top result was displaying this other construction company with almost my same domain name. Naturally, being the optimist, I thought the easy course of action would be to purchase the domain from these individuals as it seemed that it was an older website and they didn’t update it often. So thus, I set off on a friendly phone call to gauge the interest. In doing so, I learned we were somehow fifth cousin related and when I asked about the option of purchasing the domain I was completely shut down with an answer of “absolutely not” and click. They didn’t even wait to hear what I was about to offer them.

So this got me a bit jaded at first and then frustrated that my clients were being sent to someone else’s site. And hence the title, hell hath no fury like me scorned. I went about trying to figure out how to bury their website in the search results and to promote my own. Little did I know at the time that in doing so I was essentially going to launch my construction company from being just another name and into being a top search result for contractors in my area.

Multiple Listings

I set off in search of as many sites to list my company’s information on. I created a Google Business and Bing page and added as many keywords, tags and photos of my work as possible. I then went to searching from contractor specific sites and listed my company and services on the likes of BuildZoom, Porch, Houzz, Manta and others in an attempt to cast the widest net of keywords and pictures. I did not pay one fee to list on all of these sites, though companies offer services to post on multiple sites for a set fee…for those of you who are lazy. Over the period of about one month I had put all of my information on the major sites and then sat back and waited.

Initial Findings

For the first two months nothing much happened in the search results. The other company was still listed ahead of me in a keyword search by name but I did start to realize that the 8th and 9th spots on Google were populated with two of the contractor specific sites info on my company. So Google had started to index these findings and at least they were coming up from a relevance perspective. This still wasn’t good enough so I decided to dig a little deeper.

 Phase Two: Review, Review, Review

Porch, initially offered you the ability to list on their page for free and allow customers to find you through project photos and your area of expertise. They had a specific relationship with Lowes that had kiosks in their stores that would help homeowners find contractors for projects while they were in the store. Their initial plan was that you could pay a fee to be one of the preferred contractors for certain zip codes and they would promote you in the kiosks. I did not bite on this originally but thought they had the best website for displaying content that was slick and intuitive so I started sending clients (who did not find me on Porch) to that website to review our services. I ended up having around 16 five star reviews and started getting a couple of calls from people who had said they found me on the site and the reviews of our services were excellent. Now, back to the Google search and now Porch started showing up as the third result when I did a keyword search of my company name and it included the highly rated reviews from the Porch website.

This was great and still permeates today in a search of my company even though I don’t use Porch any longer and they have changed their business model. I also started to send more clients to Houzz to spread the reviews out and this also started to help the search results percolate.

Update your site monthly

Google picks up on new pictures, text and other items related to your site and will start to index those. I choose to add new pictures on a monthly basis not only to keep the site fresh and show new work but also for help in the search process for potential clients. I watched my Google analytics and tried to understand my clients behavioral patterns. Most of my clients pop into my site, click on projects and pop out. So knowing that is the behavior I tried to accommodate that in my website and am actually in the process of adding a completely new theme to influence activity which again can help out with search results. I also made the contact portion a one click option and our number is easy to get at from the first page. It is important to try and capitalize on as many hits to your site as possible in the form of a call or email from a perspective client.

The Google Reviews

 Call me dumb but it didn’t occur to me until after getting 16 reviews on Porch that I should have been focusing all my efforts on my Google Business account. Job after job I started asking clients to review my services on Google. This was an easier “ask” than on other sites. Most people have Gmail accounts already and it doesn’t require them to have to sign up for something in order to review you. It’s clean, easy and doesn’t take them much time, which is what you want when you are asking for a favor. Over about a year’s time I was able to pick up twenty, five star reviews from clients with great testimonies. From here, I started to see my keyword search results finally at the top of my search…and then the phone started to ring.

Organic Searches

 I won’t even begin to try and understand the tangled line of code that it takes to bring back search results for you on Google. Many claim to understand it, charge you for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but at the end of the day Google changes its algorithms all the time so you have to be ever evolving to keep up. The one thing I did learn is that if you cast the widest net out there (put your company on as many sites as possible) and you start to get reviews from different sites, Google does start to stack rank those against what a person might be looking for. So for instance, people started to search “General Contractor+James Island, SC” and Google would bring back results for my business, because it was highly rated and within that town. So it took different, ambient data points and tied them together in order to display the relevance of what it thought the person was looking for. The more people that clicked on my site from a search like this the more Google started to think this is what they wanted from that search and so others started to have my company show up in their search results.

I started to get more calls on a weekly basis. Before, every person that called me would say “I got your name from so and so” and it was strictly a referral. Now, I was getting calls where they told me they did a Google search and they loved the reviews and pictures on my website and said I was a the most top rated contractor in the area. They felt very comfortable calling me based on the review they had read.

Magic or Tenacity?

Magic? Maybe or more likely the will and desire to try and promote my business led to unintended yet very positive consequences. Today I see about 40% of my business come from organic Google searches and the rest come from referrals and I could not be happier to have it that way. My business exposure has increased exponentially and people who found me on an organic Google search, and loved the work I did for them, are now referring me to family and colleagues. I have yet to ever cold call or do any advertising and the individuals who reach out to me already have a sense of quality and trust based on reviews and other peoples experiences. So what started out as an endeavor, born out of frustration, ultimately led me to learning how to grow my business.


 TLDR Keys to success:

  • Put your company on as many sites as available. Don’t pay to put your info anywhere.
  • Reviews are crucial and don’t hesitate to spread the wealth to multiple sites. Just make sure that when you send someone to a site that it’s an easy process or they won’t review you.
  • Update your content periodically. I update new pictures once a month on my website and I cannibalize the entire website once a year by changing the theme out to keep it up-to-par, clean and easy to use. This helps with indexing on Google and relevance and is money well spent.
  • Review your Google Analytics and understand your clients behavior patterns and accommodate your site for that. This can directly affect search relevance and behavior from my experience.


I don’t endorse any of the named sites in this article other than my own, Canter Construction! All of the statements and assumption are based on my experience as a guy learning as I go and sharing in the positive results that I see. Results will vary per individual and can even vary on geography because of how Google relevance works. In certain cases, searching my company from another state still populated the other company first while searching my state or city had my company first. As I said before, its not science but these steps can help you obtain desired results. My goal is to help others with their own businesses through my own experiences. We need to start leveraging the community of contractors and not hoarding secrets to success!

Lastly, I do not fault the other construction company for not selling or even entertaining an offer from me of their domain nor do I wish them any ill will. I would not sell anyone my domain name today so I completely understand where they were coming from. I would actually like to thank them for pushing me over the edge, in a good way, to learning how to grow my business and share in my success with you all!

I love questions and comments and will respond to each an every one of you. Also be sure to check out other sections of the Rich Contractor site for other helpful ideas and tips for success.

Jonah CanterJonah Canter is the owner of Canter Construction, a full service contracting and renovation company. For more information on this article or for general questions you can reach him directly:jonahcanter@gmail.com or visit his website http://www.canterconstructionsc.com