While starting your own roofing company can take a lot of work, it can be a rewarding experience to do what you love and be your own boss. Creating a successful roofing business takes a bit more than just heavy lifting.
You might be wondering, “How do I start a successful roofing company?” The key to maximizing your roofing business’ profitability is to gain a consistent stream of clients while keeping material and labor costs low. You’ll also need to establish a solid marketing plan to get potential clients aware of your services.
Once you begin gaining a few clients, you must earn a reputation for being a high-quality roofing company. This will allow you to create a competitive advantage with people calling you over the other guys.
This post will briefly walk you through the steps to starting a roofing company and ensuring its success.
Step 1: Create Business Plan
It’s not necessary for you to have an MBA to make an effective and professional business plan. Don’t worry about fancy bar graphs and charts, either. As long as your business plan clearly and concisely defines your business goals, you should be good to go.
Key elements of your business plan should include a business summary, marketing plan, financial projections, and a sales strategy.
Step 2: Connect with Local Small Business Resources
Tap into your community of local business owners for sources of insight and knowledge. This will also help you get the word out about your company and may even lead to hiring your first employee.
Good mentors will give you tips on everything from getting the best insurance to gathering the proper permits. Moreover, you can learn what not to do. Remember – the best teachers are the ones that help you learn from their mistakes.
Step 3: Organize Your Legal Obligations
One of the most stressful parts of opening a new business is all the paperwork and red tape involved. Protecting your investment with the right insurance, deciding on the business structure, getting an EIN, among others, are all parts of this step.
The following are the primary legal obligations for roofing companies:
- Form a legal entity: the most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability (LLC), and corporation.
- Register for taxes: apply for an EIN and determine the state and federal taxes you need for opening a business.
- Open a business account and credit card: setting up a separate business account and business accounting is essential for asset protection. Keep accurate and detailed reports of your expenses and revenue.
- Obtain the necessary permits and licenses: you’ll need these to run your company legally, or you’ll risk being shut down with hefty fines.
- Get business insurance: in a business like roofing, accidents and injuries are a common occurrence. Insurance helps to financially protect you, your company, your employees, and your customers in the event of injury. Insurance will also protect you against possible lawsuits.
Step 4: Establish Your Costs
We recommend you get an accountant to assist you with your finances. Before you start your company, you need at least a rough estimate of how much running it will cost you and how you plan to make a profit.
The main costs associated with a roofing company include:
- Operational expenses (labor wages/salaries)
- Marketing expenses (website, advertising, etc.)
- Promotional material (signage, stationery)
- Accounting services
- Office space (although you can work from home in the beginning)
Consider your equipment carefully as these will be your most important assets, second to your employees. Cheaper equipment may not be the most efficient or even safe. By purchasing higher-quality equipment that maximizes productivity, you can cut down labor costs.
Step 5: Create a Solid Marketing Plan
Creating an effective marketing plan begins with establishing your target market. Who are your customers? What types of roofs will you specialize in? What areas will you be servicing?
No successful business today forgoes a digital marketing plan. Ensure you have a professional website up and running, are registered with Google My Business, and possibly have a social media presence, at least on Facebook. You may even want to take out targeting PPC (pay-per-click) advertisements. This will allow your company to show up on search engines when potential customers search for “roofing services near me.”