Posted by: nedpelger | January 12, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Pursue a Career in Construction: #6

#6 You Can Start a Business with just Gumption and a Pick-up Truck

Economists call this phenomenon “Low barriers of entry to the market”. Competitors say with derision, “He just put a sign on his truck and now he’s a Contractor.”

Of course, some of those people that jump into owning their own little construction business stumble right back out, having learned some hard lessons. Others, though, persevere and create first rate firms and lots of wealth.

Most general contracting and trade contractor firms I know were started by an individual (or a few partners) with limited resources and big dreams. Many of these firms have survived generations and changed scores of lives.

Certainly every Construction Superintendent doesn’t have the goal of starting their own firm. It’s nice, though, that the real possibility exists.

Most businesses that have the upside potential of a construction company require tremendous assets and difficulty to enter the market as a viable firm. To begin a manufacturing firm, for example, requires office and shop space, approvals for your product from whatever body regulates or inspects, complicated bookkeeping and customers.

A new construction firm, on the other hand, really just needs customers. And since the primary method people decide on their contractor is from word of mouth, satisfied customers begat more work. It’s a wonderful cycle and a great industry.



  1. When I got married, I bought a 40′ ladder and a 5 way step/extension ladder with WEDDING MONEY! Did not go over well with my in-laws but we bought a 2-1/2 story house and I needed to paint it. I had a station wagon, nail bag and an aluminum brake which the customer bought me and deducted off my bill.
    Wish I had a picture of the ladder tied to the front and back bumpers. 25 years later and still excited. Thanks ned for these posts.

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