PLANNING TO START A ROOFING COMPANY?
Are you planning to start a roofing company? Already have a roofing company, but aren’t sure if all your bases are covered? Have you taken a look at your operational efficiency and wondered if your expenses are too high? Are you reaping the benefits of technology with tools uniquely designed to start roofing jobs right away?
Since 2012, iRoofing has been working with thousands of contractors across North America. We’ve learned a lot about what new roofing companies might be missing, how to improve their pre-established roofing operations, and what are those secrets to success among the best roofing businesses.
Let’s get started with the basics of starting a Residential Roofing Trophy Club, TX company and establishing yourself as a true expert in this exciting field. After reading this article and researching specific information about your local market, you will find yourself more prepared to manage your new roofing business like the larger competitors it will face.
As the old saying goes, don’t try to take on more than you can! If you’re about to start a roofing company, it’s okay to think big, but don’t expect to strike it rich overnight. Start small and don’t go overboard or spend too much on infrastructure or marketing. By building your business slowly and wisely, and keeping your overhead in check, you can reach your goal very quickly and avoid cash flow problems that will drive you crazy.
Like any business, you will need to invest a certain amount of money upfront, so the business will start with a deficit. By managing your expenses carefully, focusing on having a few projects to work on, and most importantly, doing a great job on those projects, the income will start flowing in as well as new opportunities. You’ll gradually reduce your debt, and over time, you, your partners, and your employees can begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
LICENSES, PERMITS, AND BEING “LEGITIMATE”
One of the initial expenses you will have to deal with is getting licensed as a business and as a roofing contractor. While there is no general requirement for the entire US market, there are some states that have licensing and bond requirements to operate as a roofing specialist. Contractors must have a general contractor’s license in most states and in Canada.
Different types of general contractors often need special licenses. Normally, this is measured based on the value of the works that belong to a specialty. Many states have certification rules and since roofing projects are very high-cost items, they require specific roofing licenses. However, there are also many states that regardless of the type of work you do, do not require any type of license. You will only need to join the State Board of Contractors or the local Department of Labor. To prevent unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of and exploiting individuals, licensing boards set rules and requirements to protect consumers and prevent roofing companies from offering substandard services and/or materials.
Click here for licensing requirements by state.
Click here for instructions on how to obtain a license.
In some places, permits vary by location including counties and cities. Most of the information you need can be searched and found online.
ALIGNING YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS
Starting a roofing company requires having adequate insurance coverage to protect your business and ensure the well-being of your workers and the homeowners you serve. Like the requirements for a contractor’s license, your business’s minimum insurance needs will vary by state. There are two main forms of roofing insurance, general liability and workers’ compensation.
- General commercial insurance for roofing professionals. General commercial roofing insurance covers you for any damage done to property by someone associated with your business.
- Compensation for roofing workers. Roofing workers’ compensation covers your employees in the event that one of them becomes ill or is unable to return to work due to an on-the-job injury.
- Business vehicle insurance. Business vehicle insurance for roofing professionals provides coverage for any vehicle owned or leased by your roofing company. If you have insurance, you won’t have anything to worry about, but if one of your drivers causes an accident or damages property, your company is technically at fault.
- “Joker Card” roofing tools and equipment. This is another level of protection that you can add to your general business insurance. This provides coverage for certain losses and damage to your expensive roofing equipment.
While insurance can be expensive, there are requirements to ensure your business is protected against unexpected accidents that could lead to lawsuits.
However, the best option is to avoid insurance claims. Practice safe roofing and follow the rules regarding roofing safety equipment for steep slope projects.
Drive safely, especially if you’re a high-tech roofer with a mobile app like roofing. Wait until you’re parked to check for updates, and never try to measure a roof with a phone version of the app if you’re driving. Following traffic rules and roofing safety will reduce the additional hassle and expense of increased premiums and claims settlement. Train your team that when working on-site and driving around town in company vehicles, follow precautions closely to show new owners that you care and run a well-ordered team!
DISCOVERING YOUR MARKETING NEEDS
Web page. Today, if you’re going to operate a business, you’d better at least have a website. Visit a site like GoDaddy.com and look for the URL of a website that hasn’t been taken. You can create a website within GoDaddy or choose to have their consultants help you create one and get it online quickly. Wix and SquareSpace are other easy apps for building websites.
Presence in Social Networks. Set up a corporate Facebook page and commit to frequently checking in with any posts people post there. You can also create an Instagram page that showcases your team, trucks, and recent projects. If you have time to juggle a few social networking sites, get into the world of YouTube and Twitter too, but at least get into Facebook!
Digital ads. Now, if you want people to find your website and Facebook page, invest in digital advertising. Try it for yourself by setting up a Google Adwords account and a Facebook advertising account. There are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube to teach you the basics. A few hundred dollars can go a long way in gaining local exposure to prospects searching for roofing contractors on the Internet.
Home service networks. If you don’t have time to manage your own digital campaigns, there are several home service networks like HomeAdvisor, CraftJack, and Roof co that can help you get leads. Visit the roofing blog on this topic for more information.
Direct advertising. Postcards, flyers, and hanging signs are inexpensive and can be effective in building local awareness. Notice a roof that needs fixing? Get the address to then make a quick roof report using your DIY roofing mobile app. Create a flyer based on your professional roofing report, complete with pictures of the property, and place it in the property owner’s mailbox.
Truck wallpaper. Mobile advertising is great. Cool-looking ads for trucks send a positive message that cannot be underestimated…just look at these “ outrageous rooftops!”
Digital Proposal Book. Prepare a good presentation illustrating your company including a team photo, before and after photos of recent jobs, a list of your licenses and certifications, testimonials from past clients, information about the roofing “process”, information about the products you recommend, and its service guarantees. You can present this during a video conference or on location with your client. Click here for more information.
Best pre-season and off-season marketing strategies. We know that a break in the off-season is necessary, but as good businessman and woman, one is always thinking of growth and success. The software allows you to make proactive offers and estimates with such speed, ease, and affordability, that there’s really no reason not to give lead marketing a try. Check out these 10 ways to prepare for roofing season.