Roofing is booming in the United States.
Indeed, it’s expected to become a $5.3 billion industry in the next year or so.
With statistics like that in mind, you may well be tempted to get in on the action. Starting your own business in the roofing industry may be an appealing idea.
But starting any business is a daunting prospect too. After all, any new venture demands a serious investment of time, money and effort. Not to mention the risks involved!
It pays to do your research first. Prior preparation will stand you in good stead for when the time comes to take action.
Looking for some insight and advice on how to start your own roofing business?
Keep reading for 10 top tips on how to do it properly.
1. Begin With a Plan
All successful businesses start out on a piece of paper.
By that, we mean there was a well thought out, comprehensive business plan in place.
This essential step in business creation and development lays the foundation for what’s to come. It should be your very first step in the process of starting your roofing company.
It doesn’t have to be complex. In reality, it’s just your blueprint for the progress of your business over time. Look to the future and set clear, realistic and measurable goals for its development. Then, with the goals set out, think about how you’ll meet them. Write it all out in as much detail as you can.
State how much capital you need to get started and expand. Consider the financial returns you expect and when you’ll get them. Then work out your expenses along the way.
This is about growth prediction: have a solid idea of cash flow in and out of your business. It will allow you to predict growth more accurately.
Other useful considerations include the challenges you’ll face along the way. Look ahead to the obstacles that might arise. For instance, winter season is typically off-season for roofers. How will you pay the bills and expenses with fewer jobs coming in?
2. Research the Business
Research often goes hand in hand with business planning.
However, in truth, market research comes in handy before, during and after this vital step.
That’s particularly true if you lack insight into the roofing industry. Regardless of your expertise, it pays to have an explicit idea of the marketplace you’re entering. This will give you a solid understanding of how to succeed.
Here are some key questions to help start your research:
- How much competition is there?
- What’s their financial situation like?
- How much demand is there for roofing?
- Is there enough work to go around?
- What’s the potential income available with the work on offer?
- What type of roofs are there?
- Do you have the expertise for repair work of this type of roof?
- How old are the houses in general?
- Where are the suppliers located? And what are their prices?
Be sure to have solid answers for these sorts of questions. Not only will this give you an accurate understanding of the market, but you’ll be able to plan your business accordingly.
3. Decide the Best Location
That market research serves an additional purpose:
It will help you decide where to base your roofing business.
For instance, you might find that your local area is already saturated with similar companies. There isn’t enough work available to sustain another one.
Equally, the age of the houses and the type of roofing may be unsuited to your interests and expertise. You want to enjoy your work, after all! It makes sense to find somewhere with opportunities that match your desires.
You also need to figure out whether there are adequate buildings in which to base your business. Now, you might start out by working from home. But as you grow you’ll want actual office space. Are there such spaces available? And how much do they cost?
More research may be required before you decide the best place to base your business.
4. Pick a Name
Naming a business is a bit like naming a baby.
It isn’t necessarily easy (here’s a handy guide on how to choose).
But it’s a central part of starting a business. You want to settle upon a name that matches its personality, and the values you want it to uphold. It should be the perfect fit for the brand you want to develop.
Equally, it should be novel, catchy and memorable. The right name can make a significant difference to the success of a company. Here are some essential tips.
Don’t pick anything too long or confusing. Make sure it’s easy to spell. Have it relate somehow to the business. Make sure it hasn’t already been taken and trademarked. Write it out on paper and watch out for potential embarrassments (no-one needs the attention from a “Pen Island” style business name).
Then seek an opinion from friends, family, and associates in the industry. Give them a list of options and ask what they think.
You could also run tests online. Set up a facebook advertisement with a survey. Send it out to people in the roofing industry and ask them to vote for the best one (or the one they’d be most likely to hire based on the name alone).
Doing this will give you a genuine idea of the appeal of your business name.
5. Get Online
With your name decided, the next step is to get online.
By that, we mean buying your website domain name and setting up your social media accounts. Doing this early will mean no-one else can take your name before you get started.
You don’t actually have to develop anything yet. It’s just about securing the name.
Buy a domain name that’s an exact match for your business name. For example, “Rob’s Roofing Company” might purchase “robsroofing.com.” Do the same with social media. Set up a Rob’s Roofing Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram account and so on.
Secure the names on as many as you can, even if you never plan on using them.
It’s worth mentioning the importance of having an online presence.
In today’s world, your business can’t afford to not have one. Set up a website at the bare minimum. Seriously consider setting up on social media platforms, too.
Facebook and Instagram, in collaboration with a website, are two options that can significantly improve your chances of business success. You don’t need to be everywhere.
6. Register the Company
Registering the company is a vital part of this process.
In the United States, more often than not, you’ll register with the government as a Limited Liability Company (LLC for short).
This crucial step helps protect you from potential legal action down the line. Rather than suing you, as an individual (where your personal assets are on the line), the corporate structure that is your company is at risk.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of this protection. Having a company set up means the financial welfare of you and your family is at less risk.
7. Figure Out the Tax and Legal Side
Tax and legal issues are important.
They’re also tedious, confusing, and time-consuming. It’s easy to get bogged down in it all and lose all enthusiasm for the task at hand.
Essentially, each state has its own requirements for permits, training and so on. Tax requirements vary, as well. You need to get up to speed with what you need to do on both fronts.
It’s all too easy to make mistakes that can bite you in the future.
If you’re at all unsure, then speak with a legal professional to help you through the process.
8. Seek Investment
Now the fun stuff starts.
It’s time to make active headway with your business and seek investment.
Business loans may come in handy. Private investors can be equally important. Friends and family may also be sources of investment. Online, crowdfunding-style investment may be another idea to pursue.
Whichever route you take, you need to get the money together to get started. Your business plan will come in handy here. Take it with you into meetings and pitches to demonstrate how and when you expect to get a return on investment.
9. Invest in Necessary Equipment
Let’s imagine the money’s there.
You need to accrue the necessary equipment for the business. Figure out exactly what you need and invest accordingly. Remember, sometimes it’s better to pay more upfront. A bargain can be appealing for new business owners. But cheap equipment is rarely a good investment.
Breaks and necessary repair work can render it impossible to work. That means you can’t bring in the money required to repay loans, pay wages, and so on.
10. Find Clients and Get Cracking
You now have everything you need to get started on the actual work!
It’s time to start looking for your first customers. This can be tough at the start. But there’s a snowball effect. The first few clients recommend you to new ones, and so on. Start with your local network. Ask friends and family to see if they know anyone who requires roof repairs or replacements.
For more insight into this process, here’s how to get roofing leads for your business.
Time to Start Your Own Roofing Business
There you have it: 10 top tips explaining how to start your own roofing business.
The roofing industry is thriving in the US. That means it’s as good a time as any to start your own roofing business. However, it’s crucial to spend time learning how to do it first.
Hopefully, the information above has provided insight into how to get started!
Like this article? Be sure to read the rest of the housing (and roof) related posts on the blog.