What to Know Before Starting as a Roofing Contractor
What to Know Before Starting as a Roofing
The roofing career offers a lot of variety. You will work on roofs made of different materials, including metal, rubber, and asphalt. You will work on flat, sloped, or roof tops with steeper degrees. Also, you will face all types of weather since you will carry out the job outdoors.
Advantages of Being a Roofer
One of the most important things to consider when starting a new career is to think if the job will be steady. Working as a roofing contractor will offer you steadiness.
You will work all year round on commercial, residential and industrial buildings.
Also, roofing services have a positive outlook. As the population grows, people build new buildings to cope with the demand, so there is a need to hire roofing specialists. Also, roofs wear faster than other areas of the building, hence the greater need for a building restoration company to replace and repair them.
Almost three-quarters of the work of roofing contractors involves replacing and repairing existing roofs. Apart from the normal wear and tear, roofs can also be damaged by extreme weather, necessitating the need for quick repairs, creating a lot of work for roofers.
Essential Checklist for Starting a Roofing Contractor Business
Do thorough research on your market. Find out all you can about the level of demand for roofing services around your area and how much competition there is. Knowing the strength or the weakness of your competitor will help you build your business to profitability quickly.
Also, consider the type of housing in the area. Are houses large or small? Are they new or old? Do they look run down or well kept? What types of roofs do the buildings have? Are the buildings rented or owner-occupied? Who owns the building?
In addition, find out about the local planning requirements. Are there rules specifying the types of roofing materials used or prohibiting a particular kind of roofing?
You need to invest some money in specific tools. These include a truck, ladder, safety equipment, a wheelbarrow, handheld tools, a nail gun, a website, business card, and more. To get the best deals on tools, you need to check out various construction equipment for sale pages to choose from a range of options. Also, you need to hire staff or make contracts.
Decide on the Niche
Choosing a niche to focus on will set you apart from other roofers in your locality. Being focused will help bring your first customer and referrals. Also, focusing on a niche helps clients trust you more, since they know what you can do and how well you can do your work. You can choose to specialize in:
-Flat roof installation/ repair
-Asphalt shingle installation/repair
-Snow Guard installation
-Metal roof installation/ repair
-Wood shakes installation/repair
-Chimney flashing installation/repair
-Leak repair specialist
Also, in specializing, you can opt to do commercial roofing or residential roofing services.
Added Value Services
Offer clients added value services to stay relevant and competitive in the industry. These might include:
-Free estimates and quotes
-Getting membership into a recognized trade association.
-Free phone line
-Warranty on all new jobs
Know the Possible Threats or Challenges
The roofing company is diverse, bringing together a range of job sites, skill sets, and entrepreneurs. As much as it is a lucrative business, it has its fair share of challenges. Some challenges you might encounter as a first-time contractor include:
-Promoting your business
-Having a hobbyist mentality
-Having the wrong attitude
-Improving business skills
-Being afraid of seeking expert help
-Understanding what your responsibilities are as a business owner.
Whether to Start From Scratch or Buy a Franchise
If you have a creative mind together with an entrepreneurial spirit, opening a roofing company is the way to go. However, buying a franchise gives you an excellent opportunity to turn your creativity into a business, rather than if you start from scratch.
With proper research, you will find a suitable franchising opportunity near you. Buying a franchise involves a significant investment. Although you may need to cough up a few thousand dollars, you may find the investment worthwhile.
A good franchise will offer you brand recognition, which might be hard to establish if you start your own homegrown business. If you do not have a business management background, a franchise will give you the supplies you need to get started and the training you need to handle your new business.
Choosing a Catchy Business Name
The name aspect of your business is an important fact to consider before starting. Choose an attractive name. The name will help customers find you, talk about you and recommend your business. Also, the name should define your business, the services you offer, and impress investors.
Forming a Legal Entity
A legal entity for your business prevents you from becoming liable if someone sues your roofing company. It will also help you maximize financial opportunities and operational success. Examples of legal entities for a roofing company include:
LLC- The LLC business structure protects your personal assets from your roofing company liabilities. All the losses and profits in this entity will be taxed as loss or income to the business owner. It forms the best legal entity for a roofing company.
Sole proprietorship- In this type of entity, you operate a business without a specific business structure. In short, your company, personal assets, and liability are not separated.
s-corp- It is also known as a subchapter. These corporations are closed corporations with a limit on the maximum number of members. It provides small businesses with a tax advantage by offering waivers on corporate taxes.
Registering With IRS
By registering with the IRS, you get an Employer Identification Number. The number serves as a Social Security Identification number for your roofing company and you can use this number to file your business taxes.
Opening a Bank Account
Opening a business account legitimizes your roofing business. The bank account will also help when filing your taxes. Also, you will keep track of your expenses, deposit and receive payments, plan the company budget and manage salaries efficiently. You also need to get a:
Bank card- It will help you purchase or make payments without relying on credit or carrying cash. You can also use a bank card to withdraw money from your bank account.
Get checks- You need to get checks since most customers prefer to write checks.
Credit line- a credit line serves as a financial safety net. It allows your business to have extra funds when you need them. It eliminates the need to vet potential lenders or complete lengthy applications to get additional funds.
As soon as your business starts, you will be exposed to several risks. One lawsuit can wipe out your entire business before it even begins. You need a broker to get the best insurance for the best price. Types of insurance you need for your company include:
General liability insurance-You have to pay a lump sum of money if a client sues your business for property damage or injury. This cover will protect you from lawsuits arising from damages damage to a customer’s property, injuries, and related cases.
Sub-contractor liability insurance- As a roofing company, you will complete all the roofing projects you partake in. The subcontractors you contract to perform these jobs will be liable to you, hence the need for subcontractor insurance.
Vehicle insurance-You need vehicle insurance to cover all accident-related costs in case of an accident if you use a vehicle to transport equipment and employees to job sites.
Worker’s compensation- This insurance covers your part-time and full-time employees if they get injured or fall ill after suffering a work-related accident.
Professional liability insurance- Since the roofing business niche involves consulting with clients and recommending specific roofing treatments and products, the cover will protect your company if you are sued for offering advice that leads a customer to suffer a loss.
Umbrella insurance- In case you get a disastrous accident or lawsuit that may deplete your primary coverage, the umbrella cover protects your business from paying out of pocket to pay for the damages.
Getting a Bookkeeper
The law requires businesses to maintain accurate books and records. A bookkeeper will help you maintain accurate records. They will help you keep the books clean by avoiding mistakes such as data entry errors, double entries, missing entries, and interchanging types of expenses.
Getting the Necessary Licenses and Permits
These documents help you operate a legal business. You can get business permits from the town hall. Roofing contractor’s realty needs the following licenses and permits:
Local business permit- the government may need to do zoning, planning, and conduct safety inspections before giving you the permit.
State contracting license- the license allows you to hire subcontractors and gains you respect among colleagues and clients. However, before you get the state license, you need to meet specific requirements as you proceed.
Professionals thrive because they have a variety of ideas that help them deliver a project. As an upcoming roofer, you need to value diversity and seize any opportunity to hire professionals who will add a fresh perspective and bring new ideas to your business. Consider hiring professional agents for accounting, legal, marketing, and insurance. They will offer you the market tricks and secrets that may take you ages to learn on your own.
Hiring or Subcontracting Roofing Work
To ease the stress and time constraint of working alone, you need to consider hiring or outsourcing some of your work. Outsourcing some tasks to companies specializing in some aspects of your roofing business will provide relief when you work within a limited time.
You need to find a supplier for the materials depending on the demand and the niche you specialize in. Factors to consider include:
After identifying the brand you prefer for roofing, confirm from several suppliers in your area if they charge for delivery. Also, find out if you can buy the materials on credit. Look for rebates or promotions from manufacturers. Choose a supplier that offers the best pricing and quality goods.
Choose a supplier that gives you a good credit line. This will help you deliver even when facing financial challenges. Also important to note is that credit lines for a residential roofing construction company differ from a commercial roofer.
Hiring a marketing agency will help you get good conversions. The agencies have vast knowledge of marketing. Some might have worked with different roofers, which gives them an upper hand in skills and experience to deliver the results you desire.
Creating a solid brand image is essential in winning customers’ loyalty. Use the following strategies to boost your brand awareness.
-Logo and Colors
-Business cards, brochures, letterheads, vehicle graphics, and uniform
-Create a unique presence on social media
-Share your social media storie
-Submit your photos and press release to magazines
-Create Google Alerts for your business
-Promoting Your Business
-For your roofing business to grow, you need to carry out exhaustive promotions. The following tools can help promote your roofing company.
-SEO-SEO offers your business a platform to provide valuable roofing content for your potential clients and lead to conversions, thus boosting your company.
-Door hangers-You can use this to reach the target neighborhood by placing the ads in noticeable locations.
Direct mail- email beautifully designed postcards and leaflets to prospective customers.
-Google search ads-If you do your ads correctly, you can have them up and running in less than a week. Ad search has almost immediate results.
As a professional roofer, it might be time to set up your own roofing business. Starting your own roofing company is an excellent way of turning your professionalism into a business that can sustain your family and employees. Apart from knowing how to install, repair, and replace roofs, you need to be patient, organized, knowledgeable, have people skills, and persevere to establish a good roofing company.