How to succeed as a contractor

Rising demand for housing on Nairobi outskirts drives prices

Rising demand for housing on Nairobi outskirts drives prices

Are you one of those people who are passionate about the construction industry, especially being a contractor? Then this piece is for you. A contractor is someone or an entity that has been engaged to undertake some work on site, and most importantly, for a profit. On qualifications, a contractor will be expected to undertake these works on site with skill, discipline and tact.

They will therefore hire labourers, provide materials and supervise the works. In other words, a contractor should not only have technical skills and knowhow of construction works, but also have management skills of men, money, materials and work for efficiency in the project. And just like any businessperson, contractors must ensure a client is happy at the end of the day.

So if you are interested in being a contractor, you should ask yourself if you have the wherewithal and means to execute a project. Do you have the traits required to drive a project to completion? The determination to ensure that a project is delivered as designed or are you the kind who likes shortcuts?

Talking of shortcuts, this is one disease that has consumed most of the contractor fraternity in this country. And while you may get away with it in the short run, in the end you taint your reputation and be known as the not so professional contractor. I tell you no one will want to be associated with you.

Now, you don’t want that, do you? Needless to say, there are many types of work typically contracted on a site. These include and not limited to plumbing and electrical works and even the typical building works. The opportunity available may be for the complete delivery of the whole components such as plumbing works or just to supply labour for installation of client-supplied materials.

Now, this will depend on not only your capacity, but also the preference of the client. Your experience and reputation on previous jobs will also be factored in. How do you then get these jobs? Typically, most jobs are got through tendering. This means you not only need to be competitive in your pricing, but also be known well enough to be invited for these tenders.

And this just means one thing, that being a contractor can never be side hustle. It has to be your main focus if at all you will grow to be the NK Brothers of this town. The writer is managing director, Anka Consultants Ltd, quantity surveyors and project managers.





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