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Do you dream of owning your own business? If you’re in the building industry there’s no doubt going out on your own has crossed your mind once or twice. We get it. Owning your own business drastically changes the opportunities you have in life, starting with your earning capacity!

Add to that flexible hours, a sense of personal success and achievement, and a better quality of life for you and your family, and there’s no wonder why being a business owner is part of the Australian dream.

There’s no doubt being a business owner isn’t all long lunches and extended holidays. For the majority of start-up’s the first few years is a lot of hard work, personal sacrifice and financial insecurity. It can be a daunting prospect but the pay off can be more than worth it if you’re ready. Here are a few key aspects to consider when deciding if starting your own business is for you:

You have enough experience in the industry

There’s a significant difference between running a building business and turning up as an employed member of a crew, following instructions and calling it a day. While you don’t necessarily need to have been a site manager or supervisor, having exposure to different facets of the building process - from estimating, client service, project management etc. will go a long way in helping you be prepared from coordinating and executing successful projects from enquiry to sign off.

You have the qualifications, licences and permits you need

Each state and territory in Australia requires you to have specific building licences to operate. The requirements for licencing vary in each state. For example, in NSW you need two years of relevant supervised work experience as an employee or subcontractor to get your building licence. It’s vital you both have the right qualifications and licences and understand your legal obligations before you start.

Learn more about how to get your building licence with RPL.

On top of building licences, you’ll most likely need permits such as zoning permits, building with energy, carrying out high-risk work. Make sure you know what permits your business will need before you get the tools out.

You have a business plan

It may sound obvious but plenty of people launch into working for themselves without having a solid business plan to guide them. The merits of a well thought out and reviewed business plan are many. They provide you with a road map of how you’ll be generating revenue, promoting your business, running your administration and financing your operations.

You have capital or access to it to cover your start-up costs

Starting up can be a costly exercise, so you’ll need financing. During the process of writing your business plan, you’ll inevitably get a feel for all of the expenses you’ll need to cover to not only get off the ground but to stay operational. Consider things like:

  • Renting or buying equipment
  • Renting or buying vehicles
  • Insurance
  • Marketing & promotions
  • Licences
  • Outsourcing admin, payroll or additional support
  • Construction and estimate software


You’re confident in your leadership and management skills

The reality of running a business can be very different from working as a builder. There’s a huge range of tasks and responsibilities that go beyond needing building skills. Being able to effectively manage and lead staff, manage client relationships and build rapport and trust with your suppliers and contractors is a big part of running a successful building operation.

You understand the risks and responsibilities of owning your own business

There is an inherent risk in being a business owner and it’s essential to understand what those risks and sacrifices are before you take the plunge. Some standard risks and sacrifices that may impact you and your family can include:

  • No super
  • No paid leave
  • No paid parental leave
  • No guaranteed paycheck
  • Legally accountable for your work and employees

If you are aware of the risks and your responsibilities, you’ve made plans to mitigate them and you’re feeling prepared to take the plunge, you likely have the confidence and motivation it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

If you need help with the qualifications required for your building licence talk to our team about getting your existing skills and experience certified through recognised prior learning. Our team know the process inside and out and can walk you through step by step.

Complete our free 60 second skills test to get started or leave your details on our enquiry form and our team will get back to you shortly.

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