Choosing to start a roofing business is a step in the right direction; however, before you quit your current job and start contracting roofing jobs, you must weigh several factors. Knowing how to start a roofing business is just as important as knowing the trade itself and how to carry out the services that the business will provide to its potential customers.
Owning a roofing business can be very rewarding but some entrepreneurs have struggled in the roofing industry for a variety of reasons. One of the most common explanations for roofing startups failing is that the business owner has no idea how to start a roofing company. They lacked the skills needed to get the company off the ground properly, no matter how qualified they were as roofers.
Let’s look at what a future business owner needs to know in order to create and run a successful roofing business:
Planning and Financing Your Roofing Business
Your roofing company’s business plan is critical to its success and it serves as a guide for the startup, funding, and operating procedures of your new company. Business plans are comprehensive documents that describe every aspect of your business. In a business plan, it is common to include a mission statement, an outline of the company’s operational and staffing structure, a price list for different services offered, financial data, marketing strategies, intentions for branding and other organized goal-oriented details. You’ll need a formal business plan if you want to get a loan to fund all or part of your roofing company but if you can fund your company yourself and avoid the loan process, that is a more financially sound way to begin. To assist you with this operation, you may decide to hire a business consultant or get free–and extremely useful–advice from the US Small Business Administration or the Service Corps of Retired Executives websites.
General Business Licensing and Permits
Your town or city hall will issue you a local business license. If you intend to run your roofing business anywhere other than your home, your local government may need zoning, planning, and safety inspection approvals. Your state’s website can be used to apply for state tax registrations, building permits and can also provide information regarding company arrangement paperwork needed for businesses, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Apply for taxpayer and contractor identification numbers on the Internal Revenue Service’s website if your company plans to hire other roofers.
Obtaining Licensing in Your State
Roofing, general, and specialty contractor licenses can be obtained from your state’s department of business regulation or licensing office. Roofing certification procedures and criteria vary by state, so you may need to apply for several licenses depending on the type of roofing work you intend to perform, your prior experience in the trade and whether you plan to service residential homeowners, commercial businesses or both. Licenses will usually require regular yearly renewals and in some specialty contracting disciplines, continuing education may be necessary to apply for each renewal cycle.
Supplies and Equipment
Depending on the type of roofing work you are doing, you’ll need a suitable work vehicle as well as all of the appropriate equipment including but not limited to: ladders, tools, extension cords, scaffolding, and safety gear. Choosing to rent expensive machinery or heavy equipment, such as hydraulic lifts and cranes, will help you save your working capital rather than purchasing them outright. Roof-specific materials such as underlayment and shingles can be purchased on a job-by-job basis depending on the size and complexity of the job. This allows you to avoid storing materials as inventory and save money. You will want to make sure that you order necessary materials ahead of time so they can be picked up from the supplier or delivered to the job site in a timely manner.
Business Liability Insurance
Every state requires business liability insurance and some states also require worker’s compensation insurance. Roofing is a risky business and insurance will help protect you, your company, your staff, and your customers. Surety bonding is a requirement to obtain contractor licenses in certain states and it may be required to obtain broad job contracts. The insurance provider and the state department of insurance or business regulation can answer any insurance questions you may have.
Starting and running a successful roofing company is no walk in the park and requires attention to detail in numerous ways. Not only do you need to legitimize yourself by meeting the correct licensing and insurance requirements of the states you choose to do business in but you also need to provide quality workmanship when performing jobs as a roofing contractor. You need to be dependable and dedicated to your customers and be prepared to answer any questions they may have as well as educate them on the different types of roofing products they can choose from. At Advanced Roofing & Construction, we believe Integrity Comes First in everything we do. We make sure our customers are satisfied every step of the way and that they are well taken care of. We offer free roofing estimates and provide roof repairs and roof replacements in Huntsville AL for both residential and commercial customers. We also offer insulation services, gutter services, roof coatings, and more. If you have a roofing need, give us a call at 256-603-9171, we want to make sure you have a strong roof over your head.
This content is brought to you by Brandon Foote.