Nov 23, 2022 | 8 min read

The ultimate business plan for general contractors

How to Draft a General Contractor Business Plan

If you’re starting out on your own as a general contractor, you likely have skills and knowledge in many specialized areas related to your trade. But crafting a general contractor business plan might still feel challenging. So, why do you need one—and where should you start?

In 2021, 5.4 million businesses launched in the U.S. A strong business plan can help you develop a strategy for business success, attract investors, create successful relationships with potential clients in your target market, and begin to make your dream a reality. Best of all, writing one can prove simpler than you think once you learn the purpose of a general contractor business plan—and how to break it down into simple, manageable steps. 

With an effective business plan at your side, your general contractor business could be one of many success stories. 

Advantages of having a business plan as a general contractor

Creating a general contractor business plan can help you clarify your strategy for your business, as well as help you explain your plan to others. 

More specifically, the benefits of having a general contractor business plan include:

  • Internal planning – When crafting their business plan, many general contractors consult with other teammates and partners, such as their accountant. Creating a business plan together can provide a natural opportunity to brainstorm, clarify, and make sure everyone’s on the same page as you launch your company.
  • Financial planning – A business plan can help keep you on track when it comes time to make important financial decisions and evaluate what makes the most sense for your business in both the long and short term.
  • Persuading potential funders – New businesses often need funding in the form of loans or investors to help them get started. A business plan can help you win over potential funders and clearly explain your vision for your business.


What to include in a general contractor business plan

Your business plan may vary depending on your specific vision for your general contracting business. But as you begin shaping that plan, your business plan should focus on these key sections:

  • Cover page – Including a cover page with your contact info can make it easier for potential funders to contact you if they like your business or marketing plan. 
  • Executive summary – This section quickly and simply describes what your business will do (general contracting), what problem you’ll solve for customers in your community, and five reasons your business will succeed. You can also include how much funding you’re hoping to acquire and your high-level financial projects for your company.
  • Company overview – In this section, describe your company location and your legal classification—individual, partnership, or corporation. You can also highlight any successes you’ve achieved or other aspects that will help people better understand—and believe in—your company.
  • Analysis of your industry, customers, and competitive advantage – In these three sections, you can break down information about the market you’re competing in, the customers you hope to reach, and why you’ll have a competitive advantage over any other businesses offering similar services. For example, do you have more experience? More existing customer connections? A more cost-effective approach? A higher quality of service? This section lets you show off how well you know your business and how you can improve your customers’ lives.
  • Management team – A strong management team with in-depth business planning experience can help guide a business through the first few years. In this section, you can show off your existing team, along with noting any other roles you’re hoping to fill soon. 
  • Operations and financial plan – An operations plan focuses on the day-to-day work and goals of your contractor business, along with some important milestones you plan to accomplish in the next few years. The financial plan gives you an opportunity to dive into the numbers, showing your funding goals, your revenue goals, and your expected costs. You can also include an appendix with more detailed financial projections, such as balance sheets, cash flow statements, and income statements.
  • Marketing strategy – This section can explain how you’ll present your company and services to customers, and any contractor marketing strategies you plan on using to reach new and existing customers.

If you’re finding a particular section challenging, it might be a sign for you to take a step back and do some more planning or research before trying to write that portion of your contractor plan. You can also consult an expert like small business accountant Amanecer Accounting in New Jersey, or a digital marketing consultant at Agency Partner Interactive in Texas.

Lastly, consider joining a local small business owners group. It’s often a useful and energizing opportunity to receive advice and forge connections with others in your city’s small business community. 


Strategies to launch your business plan from paper to prosperity

Once you’ve crafted a business plan, the next step is to act on it. And if you’re just starting out, one of the most important steps you can take is to make your business known in the community. 

Many years ago, people often found out about new businesses through ads in magazines, newspapers, and the radio, or through word of mouth in the community. Businesses often connected with a customer through the mail or through an in-person conversation. 

Today, many potential customers discover, connect, and talk about customers online. About 3.8 million Google searches happen every minute, and that’s not including all the searches that happen on other search engines. When a potential customer needs a contractor for a home repair or renovation, there’s a good chance they’ll type “General contractor + [City name]” into a search bar. When that happens, you want your business to be one they find. Creating a strategy for how you’ll build an online presence can help improve the odds of customers finding you online. 

Here are some key ways to help your general contractor business stand out from the crowd using your online presence.


Make your business searchable

Some of the factors that can help your web content appear higher in search engine results include: 

  • High quality content, including reliable and accurate business information
  • Keywords, meta data, complete links, and other internal details that improve search engine optimization (also known as SEO)
  • Backlinks, aka other websites that share links to yours
  • Easily navigable websites optimized for both abled and disabled users
  • A fast loading speed
  • Responsive web design, or a website that displays well on both cell phones and desktops

Create a well-rounded digital presence

A digital presence often starts with a website, but it can also include much more. To reach customers through a well-rounded digital presence, consider the following options: 

  • Website – A website can help potential customers learn what services you offer, as well as learn about successful work you’ve done in the past and how to contact you. You can build your own website using a template model like Wix or Squarespace, or you can hire a local web design company like Oregon-based business Gray’s Web Design for a more personalized touch.
  • Social media – Social media can provide another opportunity to connect with customers, but that doesn’t mean you have to produce content for every possible platform. Instead, try to focus on building a presence on platforms where your customers already hang out, and on platforms that make sense for the type of content you want to produce. For example, if you want to show off “Before and After” photos of completed jobs, you probably want to pick a social media platform where people like to share photos and talk about home and business renovations. 
  • Paid advertising campaigns – You can also reach potential customers by running a paid digital advertising campaign. This might involve running digital banner ads on a specific website, social media platform, or simple text ads for specific search engine results. Depending on where you’re advertising, you can often target your ad to a specific geographic location so that you’re not wasting resources advertising to someone on the other side of the country. 
  • Nextdoor business account – Nextdoor lets businesses connect specifically with potential customers in the geographic area your general contractor business serves. Through Nextdoor, you can create a free Business Page to connect with customers and establish an online presence. You can also gather recommendations from members to build your reputation as a trustworthy, competent business. Lastly, you can use Nextdoor Ads to promote deals and interact individually with potential customers.

Build your community presence with Nextdoor

Ultimately, you want to ensure that your general contractor business plan includes not just the vision for what your business may one day be—but also the steps you will take to get there. By outlining your funding needs, laying out your key steps, and spreading the word with marketing components, you can build vital connections and gain support within the community you plan to serve.

But you don’t have to do all of this without help. Used by nearly 1 in 3 households across the U.S., Nextdoor helps connect neighbors, organizations, and businesses to build a better community. 

Nextdoor offers key features to help local businesses connect with the customers in their neighborhoods. Creating a free Business Page can make it easier for your customers to find you and for you to build an online presence. Business Posts can help you share information about your services, as well as start conversations with potential customers. Nextdoor Ads can help you run promotions and provide additional exposure for your business. 

Whether you’re taking the first steps toward founding your business or looking for a way to take an established business to the next level, we offer a way for small businesses to connect with their customers. 


NPR. New businesses soared to record highs in 2021. Here's a taste of one of them.'s%20the%20takeaway%20from%20new,in%202020%20of%204.4%20million

National Funding. Why a Construction Business Plan Is Essential and How to Build One.

Forbes. Business Plan Template: What To Include. 

Forbes. Building A Brand: Why A Strong Digital Presence Matters. 

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Author image Nextdoor Editorial Team At Nextdoor, we love local. The Nextdoor Editorial Team is dedicated to telling stories of local businesses, providing product education, and sharing marketing best practices to help businesses grow.