Starting a roofing business might seem easy, but you can shutter your doors if you don’t start on the right footing. Considering that some roofing contractors make over $100,000 annually, it’s no surprise many folks are jumping into the business without putting a solid plan down. Well, now you have the opportunity to toe a different path.
Here’s how to kickstart your roofing business successfully, avoid the mistakes many roofers make and find out they can’t go above earning $19,000 in revenues annually.
This might seem costly at first, but this move will pay you ten times over. And if you don’t have the budget to afford one in the early days, find a friend who’s an accountant or ask your trusted friends to refer you to a great one that can get involved with your books from day one. Managing and planning your finances properly is the secret of every great business, and roofing is no different.
Before you invest in equipment or staff, work with the accountant to create a business plan that states your financial goals and the steps you’ll be taking to achieve them. Next, determine your costs – recurrent, fixed, and overhead costs. It’s tempting to overlook your administrative and marketing expenses, but make sure you plan for these line items. Doing so gives you a sense of how much revenue you need to make to break even or make a profit.
Next, you need to gather all the details about the regulatory approvals you need to operate your roofing business. Roofing licenses vary for each state or jurisdiction. For example, in Denver, metal roofing and other roofing contractors aren’t required to obtain a state license, but they need to get a state business license. If you aren’t sure what the rules are in your county or state, speak to your state authorities.
The city hall is the best place to get such information, and probably the fastest asides from the state’s website. Ask if there are any other permits you need, such as safety inspection and planning permits.
Once you have clarified all the permits and licenses you need and register your business, you need to get insurance. Insurance policies are a sure-fire way to protect your investment. Roofing is a challenging industry, and many can go wrong — such as injuries or fatal accidents. Signing up for insurance protects your company, employees, yourself, and your clients against the financial impact of any damages, loss of life, destruction of property, and lawsuits.
You can always start with general liability insurance. However, speak to your insurance agent about the different insurance policies available. Also, note that states and provinces have different rules regarding insurance requirements for roofing businesses, so make sure to determine what you are mandated to cover by law.
Your suppliers can make or break you. Decide on the type of roofing you want to focus on — metal roofing, asphalt shingles, or slate roofing — and find the best possible suppliers around your location. Quality materials will cost more, but it also means you’ll quickly build a reputation as a reliable roofing business. This, in turn, guarantees increased revenue and profits for your business. Quality suppliers also allow you to grant a more extended warranty to your customers, a perk that can help you build a trusted roofing brand.
Starting a business is tough, but it can be worth it. You can be in control and create something you are truly proud of, but you have to ensure you follow the correct procedures for the safety of your employees and for the satisfaction of your customers.