how to start a construction consulting business

Self-Made Entrepreneurs

How to Start a Construction Consulting Business

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Entrepreneur, educator, small business owner, blogger, product creator, business strategist, Amazon seller, wife and mama. My legacy in the making is encouraging and equipping you in building yours. 
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Navigating the construction world can be challenging, especially in a bustling city like New York. With endless paperwork, city codes to comply with, and many other challenges, it’s easy to get lost. But where some see obstacles, others see opportunity. One such individual is Jeffrey Calderon, the founder of Permits In No Time, a leader in the complex world of construction consulting services in NYC.

Since 2007, his company has specialized in obtaining approvals and permits for construction projects that extend beyond the property line, offering relief to contractors, developers, property managers, and homeowners from the demanding complexities of city regulations.

Today, we delve deep into Jeffrey’s journey, shedding light on his entrepreneurial spirit, strategies, and invaluable advice for those interested in joining the construction consulting business. In our detailed interview, Calderon opens up about how he transformed a mere consulting job into a full-blown industry player, his emphasis on automation and business systems, and the essential resources that shaped his success in the world of construction consulting.

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a professional in the construction industry, or someone merely interested in understanding the behind-the-scenes process of construction projects in the city, this insightful interview will provide you with a fresh perspective of knowledge and actionable strategies.

Understanding the Basics of Construction Consulting

It takes work to find your way through the construction industry. From the conception of an idea to its ultimate execution, there are many steps that require the utmost precision and skill. This is where the significant role of a construction consulting business comes into play. So, what exactly is construction consulting, and why is it becoming increasingly important?

Construction consulting includes a wide range of support and management services for construction companies, contractors, developers, and even homeowners. The main objective is to offer expert advice and guidance to ensure projects are executed efficiently, cost-effectively, and within the stipulated time frame.

Consultants in this field ensure seamless communication between all involved parties, thereby driving projects to success. Diverse and crucial roles include ensuring a construction project remains within budget and ensuring contractors have the necessary permits. There are many critical tasks, ranging from ensuring construction project costs stay within budget to ensuring contractors have the necessary permits.

A construction consulting business such as Permits In No Time becomes indispensable, especially in bustling environments like NYC, where regulations and infrastructure can be stringent and multifaceted. They specialize in navigating the bureaucratic intricacies, ensuring projects move forward without unnecessary delays.

Areas of Expertise

The field of construction consulting is vast, with specialists often focusing on specific niches to offer more targeted and expert services:

  • DOT Permits – With the increasing complexity of urban infrastructures, obtaining Department of Transportation (DOT) permits can be a meticulous task. Consultants specializing in this ensure that construction projects have the necessary permits, especially for operations beyond property lines.
  • Project Management – This involves comprehensive oversight of construction projects from start to finish. Experts in project management ensure resources are allocated efficiently, schedules are adhered to, and the project progresses as per the blueprint.
  • Feasibility Studies  Before the commencement of any construction project, it’s essential to determine its viability. Consultants conduct in-depth analyses to consider budget, materials, and market demand.

Other areas of expertise include cost estimation, sustainability consulting, and quality assurance. The demand for such specialized construction services is rising, with more construction companies seeking consultants to ensure their projects’ success.

Key Steps to Setting Up Your Construction Consulting Business

Market Research

Before diving into the construction consulting world, it’s essential to understand the local market. Identify potential clients, gauge the demand for construction services in your area, and understand the unique challenges construction companies might face. By doing so, you’ll position your business to cater directly to the needs of your target audience.

Business Planning

A business plan acts as the blueprint for your construction consulting business. It should include your business goals, strategies to attract clients, a deep dive into your competitors in the construction industry, and a clear path to operational excellence. Remember, a well-articulated plan guides your steps and can be instrumental when seeking financing.

Legal Requirements

Making sure your small business is also compliant is crucial. Depending on your state and county and the services you offer, you might need specific licenses or certifications. Familiarize yourself with the regulations for construction consultants and get the necessary approvals. Talking to other construction consultants or industry experts is always a good idea.

Financing Your Business

Even the most cost-effective business strategies require capital. Whether you’re considering taking out a loan, reaching out to investors, or using personal funds to create it, have a straightforward finance strategy. A well-researched business plan can be instrumental when pitching to investors or securing loans.

Setting Up Operations

While establishing a physical office can add credibility to your construction consulting services, today’s entrepreneurial landscape has shifted. Many successful consultants now operate efficiently from the comfort of their homes, leveraging technology and virtual tools. 

A user-friendly website acts as your office front and sales tool in the virtual world. Integrating a blog allows you to drive more organic traffic, share industry insights as an expert, and engage more effectively with potential clients. 

Active participation on social media channels further amplifies this online presence, keeping your audience informed and engaged.

Developing Expertise in DOT Permits and Approvals

DOT permits are pivotal in the construction industry, ensuring projects meet safety and regulatory standards.

To excel in construction consulting, dive into resources and training programs focused on DOT permits. Gain first-hand experience through construction consulting jobs. This background will deepen your understanding and position you as a sought-after expert in the construction world.

Build relationships and connections with DOT officials and other industry insiders. These relationships can streamline the approval of contracts and enhance the success of construction projects for your clients.

Marketing and Client Acquisition

Branding

A solid and cohesive brand image is essential for your construction consulting business. A unique and recognizable brand can set you apart in a marketplace filled with competitors. It’s more than just a logo—it’s about consistently conveying your business or organization’s ethos and value proposition.

Networking

The construction industry thrives on connections. Engaging regularly with contractors, owners, architects, and other industry players can open doors to collaborations and projects. Attend industry events, workshops, and seminars to grow and nurture your network consistently.

Digital Presence

In the digital age, having an online presence is non-negotiable. A user-friendly website serves as your business’s virtual storefront, while an active presence on social media platforms can drive engagement and awareness. Leveraging email marketing and online advertising further amplifies your reach, attracting potential clients to your construction services.

Referrals

One of the most effective marketing tools in the construction industry is word-of-mouth. You can turn satisfied clients into advocates for your business by delivering exceptional service. Encouraging reviews and testimonials can build a trustworthy reputation, driving more clients to seek your expertise.

Challenges and Solutions

In the construction consulting business, consultants often face hurdles like fluctuating market demands, complex project management, and evolving industry regulations.

To navigate these challenges, you should invest in continuous learning, embrace digital tools for efficient project management, and build a strong network within the construction industry for advice and collaboration.

An Interview with a Construction Consulting Business Owner

Introduce yourself – tell us about your business and customers.

I’m Jeffrey Calderon, and I provide construction consulting services in NYC. My business, Permits In No Time Inc., specializes in obtaining approvals and permits for construction operations beyond the property line. We’ve been in business since 2007, and our customers include contractors, developers, property managers, and homeowners. Dealing with the city can be incredibly frustrating for our clients, so we take on that responsibility and make sure their jobs run as smoothly as possible.

What inspired you to start your own business? 

I started consulting as my main job in 2004 and accidentally bumped into a full-blown industry I’d never heard about in any books. Once I realized the potential this world of expediting offered, I started looking at how to incorporate it.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur? 

You have to be willing to learn business systems! Lead generation, accounting software, and CRM software. Make as much automation as possible early on so you’re not bogged down doing everything manually. I learned the best way to get your price point is never to talk about pricing over the phone. Always ask for any supporting documents, plans, and a written out request from the client so you know exactly what they’re asking for. Afterward, send them a quote and wait for their reply. When you write this out, it’s a contract. When you talk about it, it’s a negotiation.

What resources have been helpful in your personal and professional development?

I learned a lot of my craft in the field from various people. If you see someone who is doing better than you, pick their brain! So many people miss out on this; it’s crazy to me. Invite your would-be mentor to lunch, a good one, and talk about their day-to-day operations. 

I also have read: 

  • DOTCOM SECRETS, EXPERT SECRETS, AND TRAFFIC SECRETS by Russel Brunson
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
  • Great Leads by Michael Masterson
  • Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller 
  • The best course I ever took was Blog Growth Engine, hands down. It taught me how to start a blog business. I have taken other courses, such as Legendary Marketer and Freedom Breakthrough.

What platform, software, or tools do you use to run your business?

The Software: 

The Platforms: 

  • The Blue Book 
  • Google

How do you maintain a work-life balance as an entrepreneur?

That’s a myth. You have to give it your all if you want to really succeed. When I was learning and working my 9-5, I woke up at 3:30 am every weekday, studied for 2-3 hours, and then went to work. This meant sleeping early, not hanging out with my wife, or watching TV at night. I followed this schedule for two years. 

These days, I don’t work weekends; I wake up at 6 am to walk my dog, and I prioritize my workouts in the weekday mornings. Afterward, I work for 2 hours attacking my tasks, then take a break for lunch. After lunch, I take calls and take on new projects for another 2 hours. I end the day at 4 pm, then hang with my family.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs who are just starting their journey?

Learn business systems. Take courses to speed up your journey. Don’t listen to anyone; they’ll never understand. Keep yourself accountable and count how many leads, customers, and $$ you make monthly.

Where can people find you?

Website: Permits in No Time

Navigating the complexities of the construction industry, especially in the consulting world, requires dedication, continuous learning, and a strong network. Through this interview with Jeffrey Calderon of Permits In No Time, we’ve gained valuable insights into the world of construction consulting, emphasizing the importance of operational excellence, a digital presence, and the tenacity to adapt and grow. 

As the construction landscape evolves, so does the demand for expert consultants like Jeffrey, who can guide projects to success. Whether you’re an aspiring consultant or a seasoned industry player, embracing these lessons and strategies can propel businesses around you to greater heights in this dynamic construction world.


If you resonate with the inspiring stories you’ve read here and have your own incredible journey as a self-made entrepreneur (or know someone). You could be featured in our next article and make an impact on aspiring entrepreneurs.

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