Starting a new business in any industry is both exciting and stressful—at Roofr, we understand that to start a roofing company off on the right foot can feel overwhelming at times. But with a solid business plan and a methodical execution of it, everything will eventually fall into place.
There are some specific elements that make a roofing business a little different than other models. You’ll need to take the following things into account as part of your strategy.
Registering your business
Becoming an official business entity not only keeps you and your employees safe, but it also safeguards your customers.
Acquire licenses and insurance
Though not all states have licensing laws, it’s best to have as many credentials as possible, from local business permits to all types of insurance. Insurance and bonding are critical as these keep your business and customers safe in the case something goes awry.
Hire good people
Find people with good resumes for their respective roles and take former employer recommendations to heart. For both admins and laborers, those who possess solid soft skills will be the best equipped to collaborate and grow with the company.
Get yourself out there
Don’t underestimate the power of great marketing, especially in the beginning. Build a website, get on social media, and document everything you do.
Create a legal business.
Before you begin any roofing jobs, you’ll need to have all your ducks in a row. The first step of this is to become a bona fide business owner. Resist the urge to take on any pending jobs until this process is complete—not only does this add credibility to your brand, it allows you to operate by the book, which keeps everyone safe.
Hopefully, this task was item number one on your business plan. If you don’t have one just yet, make sure to get your ideas organized now before making any big decisions. Not only will it keep you on track, but a well-developed plan can also help map out alternative solutions when matters don’t go exactly as planned.
You’ll need to decide what type of business entity (limited liability company, S Corp, Inc., etc.) is best for your business in the state you’re registering in. See what each has to offer, as everyone’s tax and liability protection needs are different. Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll be able to follow the next steps to become a registered business with an official Employer Identification Number.
Being a formally registered business makes your relationship with the IRS or CRA much easier—remember to stick to ethical operations, and you’ll be fine! Becoming an official entity has other advantages too, like if you require funding or merely need a line of credit for tools and supplies.
You may want to expand down the road and need help from investors or banks. Many businesses also opt to finance materials and tools early on—just remember to be responsible when borrowing!
Obtain the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.
Even though some states don't require (or offer) a permit, there are usually municipal regulations to follow in different townships or counties. Touch base with local government agencies to find out what steps are necessary to perform work on residential and commercial properties. Some localities have digitized the process, but a lot of areas still require that you pay a visit to a local office to pull a permit.
Keep in mind, some jobs will require more than one license, depending on the specific location within the state. There are also certain rules and regulations about materials that should be considered before beginning any job. For example, homes or businesses in some historic locations require a permit (or at least a blessing) from preservation committees that regulate the area. Without the permit (or blessing) no work can be done.
Perhaps one of the most important elements for roofing contractors to have in place is insurance and bonding—we’ve stressed it before and have no intention of stopping! Having insurance protects your business from losses due to personal injury, weather-related damages, property damage, and more. A roofing bond allows you to protect your business as well as give customers peace of mind. If a job isn’t performed to satisfaction or is incomplete, customers can file a claim with the bonding company to recoup costs. They will also be protected from liability.
Make sure you have the right equipment.
Having the right equipment at your disposal is key to delivering high-quality work. Several general tools will be necessary for just about every job, while some specialty tools will be needed when working with certain materials. Make sure to get the basics first, then worry about highly-specific tools when they’re required. Do your research on power tools, such as roofing nailers, to make sure you get the best one for the job.
Good tools might be important, but without the correct safety equipment, you’re creating an unneeded liability. Make sure everyone has the proper equipment to protect themselves while working. Everyone should be properly trained to use it, too—don’t just rely on built-in safety features! This includes ensuring certain people are licensed and certified, such as those who will drive a forklift or operate a boom lift.
Hire industry experts and experienced workers.
In your business plan, you should have defined needs and correlating costs for those who will work on the administrative end as well as for laborers. In the beginning, employees may wear many hats, so it’s essential to hire the most dynamic people in your talent pool who also are experts in their core role. Over time, you should continually adapt your workflow process as the business grows and roles become more precise.
Experienced people who are great team players will help the business grow; make sure to learn as much about each prospect’s personality and communication style to create the most collaborative environment possible.
Marketing and taking your first job.
Roofing is a competitive industry that makes marketing a challenge, especially in the beginning. Your first goal should include becoming as visible as possible on online platforms—this includes starting a business page on social media, claiming your business on Google, and building an SEO-optimized website. Become active on review sites as well as populate your own site with testimonials to allow consumers to educate themselves. Roofr is an excellent platform for finding leads to get you started and grow your business.
Most consumers research before selecting a roofing expert, so it’s critical to get testimonials from happy customers. Ask your customers to write a review on your behalf—don’t be afraid to sweeten the deal with some incentive! You can even implement a referral program for those who actively advocate for your services with a “finder’s fee” should their recommendation convert into a customer.
Connect with industry experts!
Starting a roofing business takes a lot of work, but with dedication and a solid business plan, it can come to fruition. By making your business official, onboarding great staff, selecting high-quality tools, and launching a great marketing campaign, you’ll become a viable competitor in the game.
Roofr can help you grow your business by matching you with qualified job leads. Our innovative app and marketplace match customers with contractors, making it easy to find vetted job leads in your area. Sign up and get started!