How to start a Construction Company without a Dime or from ground zero.

We sit on and around wonderful opportunities that can turn our lives around and make us the millionaires we eagerly wish for. Quoting Samson Makinwa chairman Techo Quip Ltd on the Wealth Platform of Vol no 3/09 the headline reads it is easy to make money in Nigeria there is money all over the streets yet most people can not see it, I can’t but agree with this sayings.
The first thing you need to have before dabbling into the construction industry is the will, you need the determination to do it and you must be patient because is unlike the other everyday industries where you may have jobs to do throughout the whole year, though your company could grow up to actually achieve that, but for a beginner business may not come even for some months before the breakthrough.
Number two is to learn the trade, you can make friends with a contractor or a professional in the field but with vast experience that you can understudy and learn from, he may actually be your friend or a pure professional you have to contact and arrange a time to work for him to have an idea about how things are run.
The next step after few months training or understudying your mentor then you should be thinking of registering a company , however since you are starting with no money down ,I’ll advise you liasewith an established and register company to work with and write proposals, this you will make an agreement with the business name owner on profit sharing before you can finally stand on your own with your name and organise your office.
What you should naturally do is to get an office but your home address could be your office address or use a friend’s office temporarily.
Without the job all the facilities you are running after will be a waste of time and resources, so I’ll advise you start writing proposals to different companies that may need your services, look for a brother, a church member and other people that could be of help in making sure your proposals passes through the right offices.
Then begin to strongly think of given yourself a proper packaging. I mean people loves to look at things at face value in this part of the world, so you can also meet their expectations by looking very good and in the right frame of mindwhen you’ll be going for a presentation. Wear a suit or a corporate dress well ironed, if possible rent a car with a driver for that day. A man was able to secure a contract of hundreds of millions of naira because he was wearing a rolex wristwatch he borrowed for a business meeting. Same as car e.t.c
Before the big jobs start coming, be a subcontractor to some major contractors, our dailies are filled with the advertisement for subcontractors everytime from big time contractors, check Tuesday Guardian newspaper and others. The money you make will help to stand as a contractor ultimately later on and you can be quoting for jobs directly.
Be articulate and bold, you need this if you are going to win any contract .
Find out where to source for equipments before bidding for any project, all projects have their own peculiarities, do not bid for a project because you are desperate to get a job else you might bite your fingers at the long run.
Pretend and present yourself exactly the way the client will like to see you and feel about you, the client won’t be happy to know you are a hungry man that needs their money to get out of poverty, he will also not be happy he is given out a job of a big magnitude to somebody that hasn’t handle a job of that size before. Avoid what will make the client to doubt your competencies.
Use professionals as business partners and leverage on their expertise, just agree with them on a percentage sharing formula and you are on.
Source loans from families and friends especially when there are no interest or is very low, but make sure you are working for an organisation that will pay you in time and they have a record of prompt payments to their contractors, unlike the government contracts that you may be owed for several years.
Lastly pray for success of your projects.