How to Start a Roofing Company in 9 Steps
The roofing sector of the construction industry is full of business opportunities, especially since more and more areas are being developed, and more buildings are popping up.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at how to start a successful roofing business. We will cover the benefits of starting this kind of business before we break down the process into nine actionable steps.
Are you ready to learn how to start a roofing company of your own? Let’s get started.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
Why Start a Roofing Company?
Roofing is a very lucrative industry that is not going anywhere any time soon. As long as there are buildings, there will be a demand for roofing services.
- High demand: The development of new areas is increasing this demand even more, which means new roofing businesses should have no trouble finding work, as long as they offer valuable and effective services. Even on a relatively small-scale, you can look at taking home around 6 figures a year.
- Longevity: Aside from the nice paycheck, the longevity of a business in the roofing field is great for entrepreneurs who want to build a legacy. If you structure your business right, and position yourself as a leader in the local market, you could build something that could be passed down to your kids and grandkids.
As you go into this field, it is important to keep in mind that there is off-season in places that experience winter in full force. This means that there are slow months, but you can rest assured that business will return to normal each year when spring rolls around.
Can I Start a Roofing Company With No Experience?
Roofing is a specific trade that requires a bit of experience. However, you can start a roofing company with no experience if you hire contractors to carry out the projects.
That said, it will be easier for you to get started with at least some experience because you’ll generally be more familiar with the services that you’re going to sell. That makes it easier to build your business model and hire accordingly as you build your roofing company.
Types of Roofing Businesses
There are two main types of roofing businesses: Residential and commercial. However, many roofers specialize even further to focus on one main type of roofing.
These specializations vary based on materials used for the service and the style. Which type of roofing people chose comes down to personal preference preferences and functionality.
Here are a few different types of roofing businesses you could start:
- Roof replacement
- Water damage and leak repair
- Roofing for new constructions
- Gutter cleaning
- Gutter replacement
- Roof inspections
These are simply ideas, so you can certainly combine several of these services for your specific roofing company.
Do I Need to Choose a Niche?
Many roofing companies are somewhat general in terms of the services that they provide. You do not need to choose a niche for your new business, but it could help you with your marketing and branding since it will allow you to focus on a very specific audience.
Generally, roofing companies go either the route of residential and commercial, and what specific services you offer from there is really up to you.
How to Start a Roofing Business in 9 Steps
The process of starting a roofing company is very straightforward. Due to the nature of your services, you’ll have some extra hoops to jump through for legalities, but other than that, it should not be complicated.
Here’s how to start a roofing business in nine steps.
1. Create a Business Plan
The term “business plan” may sound overwhelming to an aspiring business owner. But realistically, it is a document that puts together all of the ideas you have for your new project, and helps you realize where you need to fill in the gaps to bring your business to life.
Unless you’re presenting your business plan to investors, or including it as part of an application for state funding, your business plan can be quite simple.
You’ll want to include information on the exact service you’re providing and who you’re helping. This is where you can hash out what type of roofing services you’re going to offer in your business.
Identify the geographic limits of the community that you’re going to serve, and where the most central location is for your storage and office space. Do a deep dive into any information on direct and indirect competitors in the area. Take a look at other successful roofing companies, and make note of what they are doing right.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
As part of your roofing business plan development, you identified who you want to serve. At this stage, you need to really dissect who your ideal client is so that you can further develop your services to fit their needs.
First, you’re going to have to identify whether you’re going to target homeowners or business owners with your roofing company. If you go the route of commercial, you should decide how large of buildings you’re willing and able to serve.
You’ll also want to identify whether your ideal client can afford to pay in cash or if they will need a financing plan.
As you narrow down your audience, you can go even further to identify what they do for a living, their age, income and other personal characteristics.
Create a report with all of this information, because it will come in handy in the future as you build your business.
3. Take Care of the Legalities
Once you decide on a name for your new roofing business, you need to make it a legal entity. This could be an limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. After you’ve registered your business for that status through your state, you’ll need to obtain a tax identification number. This is as simple as going to the IRS website and filling out a quick application.
You’ll use that identification number to open bank accounts, apply for loans and pay taxes for your business.
Since your roofing business offers a service that can pose risks to your workers’ safety, you’re going to need additional licensing and general liability insurance to protect you, your employees and your customers.
Please contact a lawyer or mentor in your local roofing industry to find out specific rules and regulations for the area where you are operating your business.
4. Build Your Brand
Once your small business is a legal entity on paper, it is time to bring the brand to life. Start with a logo that can be used on your website, business cards, pamphlets and even your truck. Make it catchy but easy to understand.
Create social media profiles for your business to expand its digital footprint. Develop a brand voice so that the way your business “speaks” is consistent from platform-to-platform.
It’s a good idea to build your brand upon a few core values and a mission statement, so that those values are upheld in everything that you do.
5. Invest in the Proper Equipment
You’re going to need to invest in the proper equipment before you render any services. Here are some things that you’ll need:
- Hard hats and safety gear
- Cleaning tools (rake, broom, etc.)
- Measuring tools
- Nail guns and hammers
- Air compressor
- Cutting tools (saw, blades, utility knives)
- Pry bar and shingle removal gear
Please note that these tools will vary depending on what specific type of roofing company you’re starting. This list is based on roofers who offer shingle-related services.
6. Hire a Reliable Team
It is highly unlikely that you’ll be doing the work on roofs all by yourself. Not only can this be dangerous, but there is absolutely no scalability in this approach. That’s why you’re going to need to plan to hire a reliable team.
For your team of roofers, you’ll want to hire people who come highly recommended. Physical fitness is a must since there is a lot of lifting, climbing and intense labor involved. You’ll want people who have roofing experience, or have worked in construction and are ready to learn how to carry out roofing services.
Depending on the scale of your roofing business, you may also want to hire people to take care of accounting and finances, booking and schedule management, marketing and sales.
The common requirements for all of these positions should be that every individual is honest, trustworthy, reliable, attentive to detail and ready to work.
7. Market Your Roofing Business
Once everything is ready to go, it is time to market your small business and generate leads. By now, you’ve already identified who you’re going to target, so you’ll need to be strategic to get in front of them.
Local search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) is a great way to start. Essentially, this means that you make yourself discoverable to people who are searching for “roofers near me” or “roofers in [your area].” SEO is when you optimize your content for those keywords so that it ranks organically, and SEM is generally when you use paid ads so that your site is listed at the top.
Forming strategic partnerships with HVAC companies, electricians, plumbers and other similar companies that share the same target audience with you is a good idea. You may offer referral bonuses when they send work your way.
You may also send workers out to canvas and go door to door. Essentially, you’ll load them up with flyers and tell them to look for people who could be customers. This can be effective because it puts you in direct contact with potential clients, but it may not be well-received by everybody.
8. Hammer Out Your Sales Strategy
A lot of home and business owners shop around when they need their roof serviced or repaired. This is because it is such a large investment, and they want to get the best deal from the most reliable roofers.
This puts pressure on your small business to fine-tune your sales process. Depending on the size of your operation, you may choose to either handle sales yourself, or hire a team of salespeople to handle this task for you.
If you’re handling sales yourself, you may want to invest some time and money in sharpening your sales skills. You could hit the books and study up on effective sales strategies, or you could invest some money in a few sessions with a sales coach.
Make sure that you make records of sales calls and identify what does and does not work with your target audience. Keep track of all wins and losses for your local business so you can see how your sales strategy progresses over time.
9. Build Trust in the Community
Like in any service-based business, trust is everything. That’s why it is important to show up and deliver as promised, every single time. Approaching your work like that will help you build a reliable network of referrals that will provide you with clients for years to come.
A tangible way to build this trust—and make it easier to sell to new clients who are not referrals—is by collecting reviews and testimonials.
You can create a Facebook Page and Google My Business Profile to provide a space for happy clients to leave reviews for your roofing business. Any time you finish a roof, ask your client to post their feedback.
Furthermore, transformation videos and photosets can also be valuable here. This exemplifies your work in action. These things may be posted on your social media pages and used in proposals for clients.
Launch a Successful Roofing Business
Starting a roofing business takes hard work, determination and a passion for helping clients stay safe and cozy year-round. If you think you have what it takes to start a roofing company of your very own, it’s never too late to get started.
You can use the steps outlined in this guide to help you start your new business, and scale your roofing company to success. Just keep in mind that there is always more than one way to find success in any industry. Tweak your strategy as needed to make the process work for you.
If you take away one thing from this post, let it be that your relationships with customers will determine the success of your roofing business. Producing the quality of work that you promise, and building trust in the community will take you far.