Starting a small home improvement business could be perfect for you if you’ve previously worked as a general contractor or subcontractor or if you’ve gained experience in home remodeling through personal projects.
After working in the construction industry for several years, it’s not uncommon for people to try to strike out on their own. They’ve established business and customer relationships during this time, and they’re armed with practical knowledge. To be successful in this sector, you need skill and experience in both construction and project management.
The good news is that home repair businesses usually have no problem finding customers. Regardless of what’s going on in the real estate market, people still want to make improvements to their homes. When houses are in high demand, many will want to spruce up their homes to increase their value. Even people who have no intention of selling their homes will want to do some upgrades simply to make them more comfortable.
And in contrast with modern desk jobs, remodeling allows you to work both with your mind and your body. Plus, the startup costs are fairly low.
Having said that, starting a business of any kind can be problematic if you don’t know what you’re doing. Let’s look at some of the things you should know about starting a small home renovation business, as well as some helpful tips.
Knowledge and Experience
As we’ve already mentioned, you will need some knowledge and experience in home remodeling and project management. You can either pursue a formal education related to construction and interior design, which will help with your credentials, or study on your own and look for opportunities to gain practical knowledge.
You can start by doing home projects and helping out friends and family with home repairs. The next step is to try to get a job doing home remodeling. If you want to keep your current job, you can look for contractors that allow you to work part-time or project-based.
There’s a common misconception that if you want to start a business like this, you need to know how to do everything and have a ton of experience. That’s not true. You choose what services you offer, so you can begin with a few things you know you’re good at and expand your skillset with time.
To operate your business in a legal capacity, some initial groundwork is necessary. You’ll need to create a comprehensive business plan that includes aspects such as management structure, initial business financing, revenue projections, expected breakeven date, competitive market analysis, regulatory requirements, and applicable insurance.
Many people find this step intimidating, but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Just take it one step at a time. First, think about what you want to name your company – it should be something eye-catching and memorable. Then think about what you want to get out of your business and the sort of services you’ll be offering. Home improvement is a broad term that encompasses a variety of specialties and services.
You’ll also want to want to decide if you want to operate as a sole proprietor or incorporate using a Limited Liability Company or LLC. The second option is generally recommended because your company will operate in a similar way to sole proprietorship, but you’ll have the same protections as a corporation.
Licenses and Insurance
Before you start operating your business, you need to make sure you are properly licensed and insured. You’re required to have a license to do business. This means a contractor’s license, but there are other types of licenses depending on the areas you specialize in. You’ll also be required to have a business license for the city you operate in.
Then you need insurance for when things go wrong. Let’s say you or one of your employees damages the client’s property or someone gets injured on the job site. Then you need general liability insurance and property damage coverage. Having worker’s compensation is a legal requirement, and it covers employee medical expenses if they are injured on the job.
To protect your property, such as your equipment, you’ll need commercial property insurance.
For company vehicles, you’ll need a business vehicle and commercial auto insurance, and you’ll also want to learn more about other types of insurance that may apply, such as bobtail insurance, non-trucking liability insurance, and trucker’s liability insurance.
These days, it’s also recommended to get cyber/data breach insurance since almost half of cyber-attacks target small businesses. You need to be covered if a breach affects the data you store on your customers.
Marketing and Networking
Digital marketing gives you a lot of options on how to reach customers online. Google and Facebook ads are great for low-cost advertising since both companies have been stepping up their efforts and focusing on how to best serve small local businesses.
You’ll need to have a professional website because it will give you credibility and make it easier to build trust with potential customers. Since content marketing has become such a powerful tool in recent years, you’ll also want to make a blog in which you write posts related to your area of business.
When internet users search for specific information on home improvement, the search engine may direct them to your blog, where you can direct them to your homepage through a call-to-action (CTA). This strategy will also increase your traffic and improve your ranking on search results.
Networking with suppliers and other professionals in your sector can be an excellent source for referrals in the early days of running your business. Invest in these relationships because they are just as important as the ones you have with your customers.