As the owner of a contracting business you're looking to get off the ground, there are several ways you may go about the process of making yourself and your company attractive to clients. One consideration that you should give some real thought to, if you don't already possess this skill: Learning a second language.
At Contractors School, we're happy to provide a wide range of assistance to Utah contracting business owners as they start their business, from DOPL application and many business set-up details to simple expertise and advice on how to proceed. How might picking up a second language benefit your business in multiple ways? Here are several.
In a place like Utah, which has a sizable population of non-English speakers, learning a second language may be key to developing your contracting business. By being able to communicate with potential clients in their own language, you're immediately increasing the size of the pool of people you can do business with.
For instance, there's a significant Latinx community in the state of Utah. If you're able to converse with them in Spanish, that's a definite advantage you have over the competition. Some clients will strongly prefer to be able to communicate with their contractor in their first language, and being able to oblige them may give you the edge you need to get hired.
In addition to making your contracting business more accessible, learning a second language also sends a message of goodwill to potential clients. It shows that you're willing to make an effort to connect with them on their level and that you value their business.
This can go a long way in developing trust and rapport with potential clients, which may be essential to getting hired. After all, contracting work often requires a high degree of trust between the contractor and the client. If you can show them from the start that you're someone they can rely on, you're more likely to be the one they call when they need work done.
In any business, but especially in contracting, it's important to find ways to stand out from the competition. Learning a second language can give you that edge.
In Utah, where there are many qualified contractors competing for jobs, anything you can do to make your business more attractive to potential clients is worth considering. Learning a second language may be just the thing that helps you get ahead.
While many of our clients have not yet reached the point of growth where they're hiring employees, there's naturally always a hope that you'll get to this point -- and when you do, knowing a second language may come in handy again.
For example, if you have a Spanish-speaking employee, being able to communicate with them directly in their language can help build trust and rapport, just as it does with potential clients. It can also help you avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications that could lead to problems down the road.
In addition, if you're looking to hire employees who speak a second language, being able to communicate with them in their own language may give you an advantage in recruiting the best talent for your business.
Owning a contracting business means regularly communicating across several different channels -- with potential clients, with current clients, with employees, and with other contractors.
Being bilingual can come in handy in any of these situations. For example, if you're dealing with a client who has difficulty communicating in English, being able to speak to them in their own language can make it much easier to understand their needs and vice versa.
Similarly, if you're dealing with an employee who's more comfortable communicating in their first language, being able to do so can make it easier to resolve any issues that may come up. Having bilingual communication skills can also be helpful in navigating the state and local business landscape. Here in Utah, many government agencies and businesses offer services in both English and Spanish, and being able to take advantage of these resources can be a valuable asset.
Finally, from a personal standpoint, learning a second language can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It can open up new opportunities for travel and cultural exchange, and it can help you become more well-rounded and knowledgeable.
Many people, whether they're in contracting or any other field, simply enjoy expanding their body of knowledge and learning new things. If this describes you, then learning a second language may be something you want to consider for your contracting business -- and for yourself.
If you've decided to learn a second language for any reason, whether to benefit your contracting business, yourself or some combination therein, which language should you consider? As we noted earlier, at least in Utah, the most common candidate is Spanish. This makes sense for a number of reasons.
First, as we mentioned, Utah has a large Latino population, so being able to communicate with potential clients and employees in their own language can be valuable. Second, Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, so it's likely to come in handy no matter where your business takes you.
Of course, there are many other languages to choose from, and ultimately the decision of which one to learn is up to you. Some other popular second languages include French, German, Mandarin Chinese and Italian. Consider your own needs and goals, and choose the language that makes the most sense for you and your business.
For more on the value of learning a second language as a contracting business owner in Utah, or to learn about any of our continuing education or other contractor services, speak to the team at Contractors School today.