Hoots says the best piece of advice he gives those starting out in the industry is to know thyself. “You have to know yourself and what you're expecting,” he says. Are you better at being your own boss, or do you want to work for someone else? “There's really no wrong answer,” he says.
He suggests starting with a trade you are passionate about. For those who want to become a general contractor, work for one first before starting your own business so you will be better prepared when you do, he advises. “The lessons that you can learn with them, it's on their dime,” he says. Once you're comfortable going on your own, it's pretty easy to start your own company as long as you have the right construction and business management tools, he says.
Using business management software makes it easier to run a company more efficiently, he says. He prefers Houzz Pro. “All the tools that you need if you're getting started, are there,” he says.
“You can save time and save money,” he says. “Obviously, you have to sell and if you are spending 30% of your time selling, 70% doing, that's pretty good, but if you're spending the inverse, then you're spending a lot of wasted time,” he says.
A management software helps you create a repeatable process so you are not staring at a blank document every time you make an estimate or draw up a contract. “If you do one estimate, say, for doing a deck or a garage and you've already estimated it in Houzz, well guess what? That could be cloned, that could be copied. You can update the pricing and you're just making a few modifications,” he says. “You know what the takeoffs are because you've already done the work.”