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How to make a contracting business in Virginia with no previous schooling or experience- how we did it- learn how to run a business - small business resources

Creating a successful home renovation business in Virginia without prior schooling or experience can be challenging, but it's definitely possible with the right resources and determination.

And we know- because in 2020- the non profit we were working on shut down- leaving us unemployed and very well- educated. What does someone do during the pandemic with no other skills? Learn how to start a business of course.

Here are some steps in order to get your license to be a contractor in Virginia:

To obtain your Virginia contractor's license, you'll need to navigate through a series of steps and meet specific requirements set by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). Here's a step-by-step guide on how to obtain your Virginia contractor's license:

  1. Determine Your License Classification: Virginia offers different classifications of contractor's licenses based on the type and scope of work you plan to perform. Common classifications include Residential Building Contractor, Commercial Building Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Plumbing Contractor, HVAC Contractor, and more. Determine which classification suits your business scope.

  2. Meet Minimum Requirements: The DPOR has certain minimum requirements that applicants must meet. These typically include being at least 18 years old, having a high school diploma or equivalent, and demonstrating a certain level of experience or education in the trade for which you're seeking licensure.

  3. Complete Pre-License Education: Depending on the classification of your license, you may be required to complete a certain number of hours of pre-license education from an approved provider. This education covers relevant laws, regulations, and best practices in the construction industry.

  4. Pass the Contractor License Exam: Most license classifications require passing a state-administered exam. The exam tests your knowledge of the trade, as well as relevant laws and regulations. Be sure to study thoroughly and consider taking exam prep courses or using study materials to increase your chances of success.

  5. Submit Your License Application: Once you've met the education and exam requirements, you can submit your license application to the DPOR. The application will require information about your education, experience, and any criminal history.

  6. Obtain Insurance and Bonding: Contractors in Virginia are typically required to carry liability insurance and, in some cases, surety bonds. These provide financial protection for you and your clients in case of accidents, property damage, or other liabilities.

  7. Pay Application Fees: There are fees associated with applying for a contractor's license in Virginia. Make sure to include the required fees with your application submission.

  8. Wait for Approval: After submitting your application, the DPOR will review it to ensure that you meet all requirements. This process can take several weeks to months, so be patient during this waiting period.

  9. Receive Your License: Once your application is approved and all fees are paid, you will receive your Virginia contractor's license. Make sure to display it prominently at your place of business and on any advertising materials.

  10. Renew Your License Periodically: Contractor licenses in Virginia typically need to be renewed every one to three years, depending on the classification. Be sure to keep your license current by renewing it before the expiration date.

Running a successful home renovation business requires not only excellent craftsmanship but also effective marketing strategies to find leads and attract clients. Here are some marketing tips specifically tailored to finding leads for your home renovation business:

Build a Professional Website: Your website is often the first impression potential clients will have of your business. Make sure it's professional, easy to navigate, and showcases your past projects, services offered, and contact information prominently. - we were fortunate that our website designer was

Optimize for Local SEO: Optimize your website for local search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure it ranks well in local search results. Include keywords related to your services and location in your website content, meta tags, and URLs. Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing as well.

Utilize Social Media: Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are great for showcasing your work and engaging with potential clients. Share photos and videos of your completed projects, before-and-after transformations, and client testimonials to attract attention and build credibility. was able to do weekly media content creation- helping us reach 4 million views on one video on tik tok and instagram!

Network with Local Businesses: Build relationships with other local businesses that complement yours, such as real estate agents, interior designers, and home inspectors. They can refer clients to you and vice versa, helping you expand your client base.- This is huge for us since we are constantly meeting people in the community!

Collect and Showcase Testimonials: Ask satisfied clients for testimonials or reviews that you can feature on your website and social media channels. Positive feedback from past clients can help build trust and credibility with new leads.

Invest in Paid Advertising: Consider investing in paid advertising channels such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads to reach a larger audience of potential clients. Target your ads based on location, demographics, and interests to maximize their effectiveness.

Create Engaging Content: Produce valuable content that educates and informs your target audience about home renovation topics. This could include blog posts, how-to guides, or videos showcasing your expertise. Share this content on your website and social media channels to attract leads organically.

Offer Referral Incentives: Encourage satisfied clients to refer their friends and family to your business by offering referral incentives such as discounts on future projects or gift cards. Word-of-mouth referrals can be one of the most effective ways to find new leads.

By implementing these marketing tips, you can effectively find leads and grow your home renovation business. Remember to track your marketing efforts and adjust your strategies as needed to maximize your results.

Ready to transform your home? Follow us on Instagram for inspiration and behind-the-scenes glimpses of our projects: @handyandyfixes. Or, take the first step toward your dream renovation by calling us for a free estimate at 757-404-2933. Let's make your vision a reality together!

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