A construction book review for aspiring contractors and those already in business who need a handy reference for managing a contractor business.
While there is no shortage of advice these days for contractors, there is a shortage of seasoned advice for starting and running a contracting business. Claudiu Fatu seeks to answer that need with his book “Starting Your Career as a Contractor,” Allworth Press.
Construction Book Review
Fatu promises that as you start and run your contracting business you will encounter most of the things he covers in the book. That’s certainly accurate. With chapters on setting up the business, finding clients, contracts, bidding, bookkeeping, and benefits planning, he covers the bases.
But, there’s much more here than a dry business book. Fatu infuses the pages with a generous helping of down to earth advice beginning with checking your mindset before getting started in contracting. He helps you explore your own motivations and gives you a clear picture of what you’re up against. However, he makes sure you understand the rewards and the benefits that come from being your own boss and doing what you love to do — build things.
The book also gets into the details of working with people, and of managing them. And while there are complete books written about management and leadership, Fatu does an excellent job of bringing out the necessary points on the topic of being the boss and project coordinator. Using readily understandable examples he walks you through some of the stickier aspects of managing people, and leaves a helpful impression of just what mannerisms and thought processes will serve you well.
Perhaps most valuable is the book’s constant focus on the quality of work, and how that forms the cornerstone of a successful contracting business. A contractor’s life blood is the good will and referrals that come from doing the job well and pleasing the customer. Fatu provides a healthy dose of advice on standing out from the crowd, presenting yourself positively, and adopting the right attitude to show you’re a professional. His take on the client being right, and on you being ethical, is an accurate description of best practices for success as a contractor.
Fatu’s final chapter could serve as a source of ideas for simply living life in a conscious manner, regardless of whether you’re a contractor or an accountant. Taking the time to really consider the effects of your decisions, and taking the time to plan, are two activities often in short supply in our fast-paced, always-on world. These reminders of the consequences of not carefully considering things is the kind of advice that make this book worth picking up again and again.