6 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Roofing Business
You’re ready to step out on your own and go from a roofing company’s employee to the owner of your own business. While you likely know a great deal about the roof, many of the aspects of running a business are likely new to you. You may not be familiar with some of the most serious mistakes you can make that will limit your business growth down the road. Here are some mistakes you certainly don’t want to make.
1. Buying All New Tools and Equipment
You buy used and rent some of the roofing equipment that you need. Doing so can help you keep your initial costs low, which helps you invest your precious early resources exactly where you need them. While you shouldn’t buy used safety equipment, as you can’t be sure if it is still perfectly functional, you can buy used for most other tools. We also suggest that you don’t buy a tool until you absolutely need it; that way you’re not spending on equipment that you never end up using.
2. Hiring the Wrong People
When you first start out, you don’t have a lot of time or money to train new roofers from scratch or to make up for the mistakes that they are likely to make. While roofing labor pools are small, do your best to hire employees who already have some roofing experience. Even though they are more expensive to hire, you will save by establishing a good reputation for your new business.
This doesn’t just apply to your front line workers. Your back office staff can also make or break a business, especially when it comes to handling new leads, angry customers, and pulling permits.
(pro tip: try a 7 day free trial of our live answering service for roofers to see if outsourcing back office tasks is a good fit for your business.)
3. Spending A Lot On Advertising
You really have no idea which advertising methods will be the most successful for you. So, starting out by paying for huge campaigns is not a wise idea. Invest in smaller and cheaper options and feel out which is the most successful before you move forward. Try to work with marketing companies that will allow you to pay based on lead, as that means you pay only when you have work coming in.
4. Taking Every Job Available
Some jobs aren’t profitable for you at your current size, with your current equipment, or your current staff. In fact, some jobs are hardly profitable at all. Don’t get in over your head by taking on any job that you catch wind of. Make sure that the job will be profitable to you first and, if not, turn it down.
5. Not Knowing Your Costs
What should you estimate for any given job? It depends on your costs. When you start out it is best to be conservative in your estimates, which means assuming your costs are higher than you might think they are. You’ll be working on a small profit, so it is important not to eat into it by underestimating your costs.
6. Failing to Buy Insurance
It won’t matter what kind of business you build if you lose it all to accidents. Business insurance, including workers’ compensation and general liability are very important to protect your company from the worst.