Wondering how to start a roofing business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
The Rough & Tumble World of Roofing
Roofing offers an easy access point for semi-skilled tradesmen interested in small business ownership. For new business owners, that can be both a blessing and a curse. Although a roofing startup won't require gobs of startup capital, there are plenty of roofing contractors already in the marketplace, so it's important to understand your target market before you make the leap to business ownership.
For many new roofing entrepreneurs, the allure of business ownership quickly fades when they discover how difficult it can be to spend all day on a roof and then come home to a long list of tasks that are associated with managing the business. Since profitability is tied directly to the number of roofs your crew is able to complete in a week, you will constantly be put in the unenviable position of driving your team to work harder, faster and longer.
But with the right combination of skills and perseverance, it's possible to make a very good living as a roofing entrepreneur. The key is to adopt an owner's mentality, learning how to think as a business owner rather than as a roofer or project supervisor.
Business Ownership Tips for Roofers
As a business owner, there are several leadership strategies and skills you will need to incorporate into your operation. Years of experience in roofing are helpful, but the success of your business will hinge on your ability to grow your company. Here's how to get started . . .
- Hiring. Experienced roofing entrepreneurs will tell you that good hiring separates the winners from the losers in the roofing trade. Finding people willing to earn a buck by working on a roof isn't difficult. But finding reliable workers who are committed to showing up on time and doing their jobs to the best of their ability can be challenging. Our advice: Spend a little more to hire workers who have proven themselves to be true roofing professionals.
- Marketing. While your workers are focused on today's job, you need to be focused on the jobs your company will perform tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and next week. Effective marketing is a hallmark of successful roofing companies. If you aren't sure how to market your business, it's critical to educate yourself about marketing strategies ASAP.
- Insurance. Everything you have worked for can disappear in the blink of an eye unless your business is properly insured. Before you set foot on your first roof, meet with your insurance agent to make sure your roofing company has adequate liability insurance, workers' comp and other forms of coverage.
For additional information about the roofing industry, check out the resources provided by the National Roofing Contractors' Association.
Essential Features of Business Plans for Roofing Businesses
Your roofing company's business plan needs to be tailored to your personal and professional goals while at the same time maintaining a consistency with other business plans, particularly in the critical business plan components that most business experts consider to be essential.
If your plan lacks required elements like an executive summary or marketing plan, it could jeopardize its potential to deliver real benefits to your startup.
Although it will need to be incorporated into the flow of your plan, we strongly recommend considering a PEST (Political, Economic, Social & Technological) analysis for inclusion in your roofing company's business plan.
Long before you open a roofing business within your community, it's a smart move to find out how you will fit in the competitive landscape. We've provided the link below to help you generate a list of competitors near you. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of roofing businesses in your area.
Before you open up shop, make sure you know what you will offer to your customers that provides a significant advantage over your competition's offering.
Learning More About the Industry
Once you've finished assessing the competion, it's a smart move to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
But, a person who owns a roofing business outside of your community may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, given that you don't compete with them in their area. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
So, what can you do to find a roofing business manager in a different locale who can assist you?
It's not that hard. Just use the handy link below and enter in a random city/state or zipcode.
Advice for Acquiring a Roofing Business
Many entrepreneurs elect to acquire a profitable roofing business instead of navigating the challenges of a business startup.
Yet for many entrepreneurs, financing represents a major hurdle to buying a roofing business. If you're prepared to deal with lender requirements, you'll find that lenders are more open to financing established operations than they are to take a chance on a startup.
Even so, before you approach lenders, we strongly recommend you dedicate a few minutes to reviewing our resource on Business Acquisition Financing Tips.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
Buying a franchise makes it a certainty that you are exposed to proven ideas that come from seasoned and successful entrepreneurs.
Prior to starting a roofing business, you would be wise to investigate whether franchise opportunities in your space might be the right move for you.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you came here to learn about selling to roofing businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.