How Do Contractors Get Clients? Guide To Getting More Work

A contractor’s success rests on the shoulders of others and the work clients supply is the fuel that drives your progress. Without clients, life is tough. With them, you are an unstoppable titan of industry.

But how do you get this titan-creating work? 

Contractors are often responsible for seeking out opportunities and forging their own path. In this guide to getting work as a contractor, we’ll look at how you can get clients for your business and carve out a space for your contractor services. 

Getting Contracts Through Networking

One of the best ways to get contracts is to learn where your potential clients are advertising them. The easiest way to do this is through networking.

Identify potential clients — organisations that often manage appropriately-sized projects for your business — and arrange meetings or make contact. Outline your available services and try to expand your contact network by getting familiar with these organisations. 

Note that you can also identify potential clients by asking your subcontractors — if you have any — who else they work for, currently and historically. 

Through your networking, you’ll be able to find out where your prospective clients are advertising their project contracts. There is no perfect place or platform to get these contracts, as they vary by sector and location. So the best way is to go directly to the source and learn where your potential clients are placing their tenders. 

Many client organisations will also build a list of potential contractors and then invite them to bid on projects when they come up. This is why your network is so important because by being on a client’s radar, you can get those essential invitations to bid on projects. 

We recommend you invest as much time and energy as possible into building relationships with potential clients. Connecting on social media is a great start, but going the extra mile to arrange face-to-face meetings and attending events — when possible — will go a long way to securing the best opportunities. 

Remember, you’re only building networks, networks that are opening up opportunities. Networking is rarely a straight path to winning tenders; the next step is making a bidding offer too good to refuse. You can learn all about that in our champions guide to winning contracts

Getting Contracts Through Referrals 

There is another way to get contract work through networking. You could also get yourself invited to even more contract bidding processes through referrals from clients within your network. 

If members of your contact list have partners or members of their network looking for contractors, they can recommend you for tender invitations.

By building strong relationships within your industry, you’re more likely to work up the credibility and familiarity required to gain the confidence from clients required to have them put you forward as recommendations for tenders. Remember, it’s okay to ask for referrals, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Requesting referrals may be your only way to get them, so don’t simply rely on others to put you forward if an opportunity should arise. Be proactive and ask for help and support. 

Referrals are a great method of getting reliable and consistent work, providing you’ve spent enough time developing your network. The more extensive your contact list and the better your reputation, the more likely you are to garner referrals. 

Of course, there is little value in building a referral network for your contractor business if your actual work does not reflect the high standards of quality and safety that clients expect within the industry. Nobody wants to recommend a liability and risk damaging their own reputation. A commitment to standards of excellence are essential for developing a robust referral network that can help you get more construction contracts. Having relevant and up-to-date health and safety accreditation can be a major asset here, as it allows you to demonstrate your dedication to high standards even amongst network contracts with whom you’ve had no practice work experience. 

Sourcing Contacts And Contracts With CHAS

Networking may be beneficial, but it’s not the only way to secure bidding opportunities. Online platforms can help you find more open opportunities, such as through the CHAS contractor portal. 

CHAS partners with over 3000 clients across the UK. When these organisations are looking for contractors, they’ll post their project as a job advert on the CHAS portal. 

From here, you can view projects and put forward your bid. This is a powerful tool for accessing contracts, particularly when combined with networking. If you can apply for a project with a client you have links to through the CHAS portal, you will definitely increase your odds of winning the contract. You can also gain prequalification for these jobs through CHAS — another great way to find work, which we’ll discuss below. 

Instead of going out and building contact networks or searching high and low for opportunities, CHAS helps you go directly to the source of work projects. 

Sign up today for a CHAS contractor package and discover the benefits of the CHAS portal. Access new opportunities and gain accreditations that prequalify your business for thousands of contract jobs. 

How To Get Contracts With Lead Generation Techniques

Getting contractor clients is often about searching for opportunities, but sometimes you need to let clients come to you. Project management teams are hunting for the best contractors for their jobs, which means they will occasionally put effort into searching for you themselves. 

To secure these kinds of clients, those actively looking for you, you need to make sure:

  1. They can find you if they look for you
  2. When they discover you, they know you’re worth contacting.

Building your digital profile is important for helping clients find you. Your website, web ads and social media platforms help ensure you’re visible online. Using these platforms also enables you to display your valuable qualities, such as brand message and vision, accreditations and certifications, history and experiences and any other benefits to working with you. 

Through digital marketing strategies, including social media development, display advertising and search engine optimisation, you can direct a flow of client traffic to your website. On your website, you can showcase your business and invite lead generation activities by giving clients the option to send you tender invitations or make contact to discuss opportunities.

If you’re not managing an online profile, you’re not visible to clients hunting for contractors. You cannot get these kinds of jobs because clients cannot find you.  

Prequalifying For Contracts

Prequalifications for contracts are not direct sources of work, but they do make it easier to get the right projects for you.  If you can prequalify for jobs, then you can start hunting down work you know will be worth bidding on. 

Prequalification is a strong indicator that you’re looking for work in the right places. It is also a signal to clients that you’re a trustworthy and quality-driven contractor, as you’ve taken extra steps to secure your viability as a project candidate before you’ve even applied for work.

To get work through prequalifications, you first need to become a prequalified candidate. Prequalification means different things to different clients, making it difficult to gain the right kind of prequalification.

Fortunately, there is a new kind of prequalification known as the Common Assessment Standard. This gold standard of accreditation covers 12 areas of risk assessment and regulatory compliance. Gaining the Common Assessment Standard is key to prequalifying for thousands of contractor jobs across the UK, as more and more clients start to use this accreditation as the basis of the contractor hiring criteria. 

CHAS is one of the only professional accreditation bodies capable of awarding the Common Assessment Standard to contractor businesses. Obtain your industry-wide prequalification and start applying for contract tenders today. 

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