Do you want to start a roofing company? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a roofing company business with NO money and no experience.
Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample roofing company business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample roofing company marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for roofing companies. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a roofing company. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.
Why Start a Roofing Company?
It is one thing to work in a profession you enjoy and another thing entirely to turn that profession into a lucrative business that supports you, your family and your employees. Starting a roofing company is one of those opportunities to turn your hobby into a business.
If you plan to start a roofing company, you must understand that starting a lucrative roofing business is a lot more than knowing how to find a leak or replace a roof. Building a successful roofing business needs first hand organization, knowledge, patience, perseverance, people-skills and a number of other traits.
You need to have it in mind that the bigger your roofing company, the more creative you need to be as a business owner as the responsibility will be greater. Indeed, is not a crime to dream big, but if you are a new business owner, we advise that you start small and work your way up the ladder. The capital and equipment you need to start a roofing company will differ according to the type of roofing work you will offer.
Building a roofing business entails many of the same procedures as any business, but your legal licensing needs are specific to the roofing contracting requirements in your state.
Starting a Roofing Company – A Complete Guide
- Industry Overview
A roof is simply seen as the upper structure of a building which is designed to give protection against heat, cold, rain and other environmental elements. Asphalt shingles, wood, tile, slate and metals represent conventional roofing materials that are commonly used in most constructions. Analysis has shown that urban sprawl caused by the migration of population from rural to urban areas and the resulting pressure on housing infrastructure is aiding increased demand in the roofing Industry.
If you look around, you can attest to the fact that cities are increasingly being built to accommodate the growing population, with about 7 out of 10 people in the world projected to live in cities by 2050. Also the industry is expected to benefit from technological innovations targeted at improving energy efficiency and eco-friendly attributes of roofing products in the world.
The Global market for roofing is expected to reach US$90 billion by 2020, moved by rapid urbanization and growing focus on energy efficient construction. The increase on standard of living, especially in developing countries, is motivating the building renovation projects and triggering the need to replace old roofs with newer advanced roofing solutions.
Analysis has shown that all of these factors bode well for market growth in the medium-term. Also due to the world trying to ensure sustainability, green building certifications are spurring the need for eco-friendly roofing, given that the building sector accounts for about 40% of total energy consumption worldwide.
Also increase in air pollution, loss of biodiversity and urban heat island effect are moving governments across the world to put a lot of energy into Green roofs as a means to stop environmental degradation. It has been proven that Green roofs aid in reduction of solar heat absorption, removal of pollutants from the air and provides superior acoustic insulation.
Starting a Roofing Company – Market Feasibility and Research
- Demographics and Psychographics
Most entrepreneurs due to the risk factors and necessities tend to start a company part time without quitting their day jobs. This is completely achievable with a roofing company since you can start small and operate out of your house. Being conversant with the industry facts and trends is a critical element to being successful in this business.
You don’t need to be a pro to know what sells – or even to be successful in this field; once you have the skills and a little business acumen, then you are good to go. Households in all socioeconomic groups across the United States will at least once need the services of a roofing company.
It is important to note that revenue in the industry are distributed in line with regional population. A lot of people tend to use roofing firms closest to them out of convenience. So remember that when an area is under-served, more firms move into that area to stake a claim in the market.
List of Niche ideas in the Roofing Business
Choosing or focusing on a niche or specialty can set you apart from other roofers in the industry or in your business location. Being focused will surely help bring not only first-time customers, but also referrals. Remember that being able to focus in a particular aspect of roofing will surely make your prospective customers know what you can do and how well you can do it. Niches in this line of business may include;
- Flat Roof Repair/Installation
- Slate Repair/Installation
- Tile Repair/Installation
- Copper Specialist
- Synthetic Slate/tile Installation
- Asphalt Shingle Repair/Installation
- Wood Shake Repair/Installation
- Metal Roof Repair/Installation
- Roof Cleaning
- Snow Guard Installation
- Leak Repair Specialist
- Chimney Flashing Repair/Installation
- Gutter Specialist
The Level of Competition in the Roofing Business
Just like you already know, one of the crucial things that have to be done in a new house when construction is still under way is the roofing. The roofing of a house is very important because without it the house in question becomes useless and prone to a lot of mishaps.
Roofs in houses are very important because they shield occupants from many environmental hazards. The sun, rain, amongst many others are some of the environmental hazards that a roof shields. No house is deemed complete without a roof. But have it mind that you are not the only one who sees how necessary this industry is. This goes to say that the industry is competitive but not saturated.
When venturing into this business, you would need to know who your competitors are. The importance of this information is so that you can know their strengths as well as their weaknesses. Having this unique information is capable of helping you build your business to profitability within a short space of time.
List of Well Known Brands in the Roofing Industry
There are big roofing businesses scattered all over the country. These companies have come a long way and have paid their dues in making sure that they maintain top positions over the years. Here are some well-known roofing companies that you have to know;
- CentiMark Corporation
- Tecta America Corporation
- Baker Roofing Company
- North American Roofing Services Inc.
- Nations Roof LLC
- Roof/Able Roof
- Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal
- Beldon Group of Companies
- American Dream Home Improvement Inc.
- Saratoga Roofing and Construction
- Aspen Contracting Inc.
- Simon Roofing
- Advance Roofing Inc.
The roofing contractors industry to a very large extent depends on demand from building construction activities in residential and non-residential markets, both of which have been rising over the past five years. With accurate profit margin expansion, businesses in this industry have risen the scope of their work to meet accelerating demand due to the housing recovery, causing employee and operator numbers to increase.
Just like we stated in the industry overview above, the industry is expecting a solid growth in revenue over the next five years, underpinned by increased investment in housing and commercial building. We also believe that increase in home valuations and higher per capita disposable income will also boost consumer spending on home improvements.
Analysis also shows that this lucrative industry has a low level of market share concentration, with the top four enterprises accounting for less than 5.0% of total industry revenue. The two largest companies in the industry, CentiMark Corporation and Tecta America Corporation, both have a market share of less than 2.0%. Almost more than three-quarters of industry companies are nonemployers, and of those that do have employees, 78.5% have fewer than 10 workers.
We believe that the industry has become more fragmented during the past five years. This is because growth in construction activities brings a large number of nonemployers and individual workmen; the number of enterprises in the five years to 2021 is expected to heighten at an annualized rate of 2.4% reaching 195,712.
Starting your Roofing Company from the Scratch or Buying a Franchise
Buying a roofing company franchise aids you with an excellent opportunity to turn your creative talent into a lucrative business more than what you can achieve if you start on your own. But we believe that if you have a creative streak coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit, then opening a roofing company is the best decision you should make.
Remember there are plenty of franchising opportunities available, with proper research and consideration you will find one suitable for you. It is important you know that buying a franchise involves significant investment. The initial expense may range from a thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars, and many people find that the investment is worthwhile. A suitable franchise in this industry will offer you brand recognition that can be very challenging to obtain on your own as a home grown business.
Note that deciding to go the franchising route does have its advantages. A franchise sure offers you a turnkey system to work with, which reduces the need for costly trial and error. If you lack a business management background, a franchise can give you not only the supplies you need to get started, but also the training you need to handle the business end of the franchise.
Possible Threats and Challenges of Starting a Roofing Company
We would be lying to you if we do not state that the roofing industry is exceptionally diverse, bringing together a wide range of entrepreneurs, skill sets and job sites. Indeed some roofers are eager to offer all kinds of roofing styles, but majority of roofing entrepreneurs are hobbyists interested in translating their passion into a full-time career opportunity. Here are the few early challenges of starting roofing company;
- Having the wrong attitude
- Having a hobby mentality
- Improving business skills
- Promoting your business
- Understanding your responsibilities as a business owner
- Being afraid of getting expert help
Starting a Roofing Company – Legal Aspect
- Best legal entity for a roofing Company
You have two legal entities available when trying to open a roofing company – sole proprietorship and the LLC. A sole proprietor business structure is, as the name suggests, a company with a single owner. Indeed this structure is used by three-quarters of all businesses and it ensures that the owner has absolute control of the company and has the simplest initial setup. While a limited liability Corporation, or LLC, is often formed for partnerships when the business has grown significantly. The advantage of an LLC is that it has more options for growth and tax advantages.
A lot of entrepreneurs will prefer to start an LLC than a sole proprietorship because of liability issues, but it takes money to prepare the articles of incorporation. You need to have it in mind that payment options need to be considered, a bookkeeping system has to be in place, and these all take additional money and as such digs into your startup capital.
Catchy Business Name ideas for a Roofing Company
One of the aspects that you need to look into before you start your own roofing business is that name aspect. You have to look at choosing a name that is attractive. Here are some sample names that you can work with;
- Kings Roofing
- American Construction
- Salem Roofing
- Advanced Roofing Solutions & Repair
- High Roofing & Remodelling
- Capital Roofing Corporation
- Summer Roofing & Solar
- American Eagle Exteriors LLC
- Family Roofing
- Bellaire Roofing Co.
- Apple Roofing Co Inc.
- Peoples Roofing
- Star Roofing LLC
- Fox Roofing LLC
- Lunar Roofing Inc.
- Extreme Roofing LLC
- Forever Shingle Roofing Company
- Hope Roofing Company Inc.
- Beginners Roofing & Landscaping
- Five Stars Roofing
- Unique construction
- Freetown Roofing LLC
- Grand Roofing & Waterproofing Co.
- Nine Roofing
- Hallmark Roofing
- Patch Roof & Gutter
- Home Solutions
- Innovation Construction Co.
- Beverly Roofing Co.
- North Diversified Inc.
- Southern Roofing Services Inc.
- Kirk Remodeling
- New face Roofing
- Simple Roofing
- Union Roofing
Insurance comes in various forms, and the specific coverage you will need rests on the nature of your business, whether you hire staff or subcontractors, and whether you work year-round. Always remember that your business is unique and the combination of coverage that makes up your insurance policy is for the protection of your life and business. Insurance for roofers is complex and it is important to get the guidance of a knowledgeable agent to make the right choices for your business. Here are some policies you may need.
- Business Owner’s Policy
- General Liability Insurance
- Professional Liability
- Workers compensation insurance
- Commercial vehicle policy
- Products liability insurance
- Tools and equipment floaters
- Inland Marine Insurance
Protecting Intellectual Property
Indeed making a product is hard work when factoring in the training, experience and the creative process. After striving so much to bring your ideas to life, it is annoying to find out that your ideas, roofing secrets or promotional copy have been stolen. It is advisable that you understand this sector very well and understand how to protect your trademark and patents. It is advisable you get an attorney to see you through this stage of building your business.
Is Professional Certification Needed to Run a Roofing Company?
Getting a certification is a good way to prove to your customers that you are experienced and knowledgeable in your field or rather in what you do. The certification training and education will surely make you more confident and professional in your work, and having a certification can make you more appealing to potential customers. There are no national certification programs for this industry as each state sets its own guidelines and operates their own certification programs, but many of the requirements are similar from state to state.
List of Legal Documents Needed for a Roofing Company
Just like insurance, permits and licenses needed for the roofing business depend on the city and state. The reason or purpose of these licenses and permits is to let you run and operate your business legally in the United States. It is advisable that you get your local business permits from your town or city hall.
They may also ask that you obtain zoning, planning, and safety inspection approvals in certain areas. Then for the State Contracting License, you will have to apply for more than once depending on the type of work you plan on doing. You should also know that requirements and regulations vary regionally.
Financing your Roofing Company
The amount of capital you will require rests on the business model you plan to use, and whether you are using subcontractors or employees. But it is advisable that you start with a very low overheard; most roofing business owners in the industry leveraged on slow initial growth. Be patient and allow your equipment to pay for itself before going off to buy more. Same goes with the hiring processes; learn to hire slowly and fire quickly. Ways of financing your roofing company may include;
- Personal savings
- Credit card caveats
- Family and friends
Choosing a Suitable Location for your Roofing Company
Indeed one of the most notable reasons people shy away from the roofing business is that they think they need a huge garage or office for the business. But you should know that you can successfully set up a small office in any space, even in an apartment. With a little planning and adjustments, you will surely feel comfortable in it. First and foremost, you need to be much more thoughtful about your tool selection. A 14-inch band saw? In your dreams. When starting small, you will need to make use of easy and handheld tools. Another thing to consider is safety and clean up: Proper ventilation and dust collection.
Getting a suitable location in this business is very important to the success of your business, but this can prove quite difficult because one of the challenges of starting a business successfully is getting a good business site. For you to be able to get a location that will make you a formidable opponent to your competitors, you need to consider the ideas listed below;
- Demographics and Psychographics
- Good road network
- Let your location boost your brand awareness
Starting a Roofing Company – Technical and Manpower Requirements
Indeed at the very first stage of starting this business, you will have to be involved in all aspects of the business. You will have to manage the sales, do the office work, get your sub-contractors and hire some employees. We advise that you should at least hire one or two key guys that you can go back with to install the roof, but if you hire sub-contractors, you can use them as the production manager or quality control specialist for your business.
All these rest on the volume of work you are going to be doing, and how far you want to get into it. If this is a business you hope to be doing part-time, you can do most of it on your own and then sub out the work as it comes in. But if it is full time, then we advise that you at least employ one in house crew that you can use for cross-training, roofing, siding and to do windows.
Also you need to get safety equipment. This safety equipment are things such as self-retracting lanyards, roof fall protection, first aid kits, gas cans, safety harnesses, ear plugs, hard hats and gas cans. You will also need to get the equipment and supplies that you need to do the repairs.Things like hammers, ladders, caulking guns, loaders and brackets are examples of some of the supplies that you will need.
You should also consider purchasing blowers, paint roofing foam and spraying systems. Also have it in mind that once you have gotten all of your supplies, you will need a truck and trailer, but buying a trailer is actually an optional step in your business, though it will make it easier for you to carry your equipment from one place to another. Winch bars, conveyors and cargo straps are some of the supplies that you will need for your truck.
The Service Process Involved in a Roofing Company
You have to understand that roofing as gone far beyond than just nailing down shingles. In our modern world, roofing is more of using advanced material technology and an integrated system approach aimed at protecting people’s home and structures.
Have it in mind that installing a new shingle roof is a huge commitment, so understanding the entire re-roofing process from start to finish is very important. Below is an outlined process of roofing;
- Roofing materials and trash container is delivered a day prior to installation
- You and your crew attend a pre-job meeting to review the work order and all job details
- You and your crew arrives and matches materials and colour against work order
- You and your crew removes old roofing material in phases so that no large sections are left unprotected
- The decking is inspected and replaced where necessary
- Roofing underlayment is installed over the prepared roof deck
- Shingles are then installed with the proper amount and placement of fasteners
- Any roof penetrations should be reflashed, sealed and painted
- Wall flashings and ventilation are replaced and enhanced to improve performance in accordance with proposal
- During the installation, only proper scaffolding will be used (no walk boards will penetrate the new shingle surface)
- You and your crew will leave the job clean using magnets, rakes and blowers
- Shortly after roof completion, the trash container should be removed
Starting a Roofing Company – The Marketing Plan
- Marketing strategies for a Roofing Company
It is important that you rely on more than your workmanship to bring in a constant flow of new business to maximize profits. If your business always works with construction project managers, it is advisable that you move your marketing strategies to networking and building long-term relationships. When finding residential roofing jobs, you need to make use of a variety of plans that will bring your business to the attention of homeowners.
- Discovering Unique Characteristics
Discovering and understanding the best marketing message begins with letting people know what your business does differently from your competitors, which may include providing patching for free after replacing the roof. Have it in mind that when you are into roofing residences as opposed to commercial roofing, you need to go after residential customers and make them know they are your specialty.
- Know your Target Audience
Knowing who your customers are will go a long way in helping you focus your efforts on a particular segment of the market that needs roofing services. Without appropriate information, you will risk wasting thousands of dollars marketing to a large group of people that hardly need your services when you could spend far less and target homeowners or commercial property managers you know need new roofs.
- Leverage on Effective Strategies
When working with construction project managers, it is advisable that you check in with them regularly to know upcoming projects so you can enter a bid. We advise that you advertise your roofing services by placing an ad in a pack of coupons that gets mailed to residents in a particular zip code. You should also consider giving out or mail flyers in neighbourhoods where you just completed a roofing job to generate leads.
- Make use of Internet Marketing
It is advisable that you consider building a website that shows your creativity and credibility. It is also advisable that you include testimonials, before and after photos of roofing projects and details of the roofing products you use. Also try to make use of search engine optimization on your website to help your site come up high in ranking when someone searches for roofing services. We also suggest that you start a social networking page.
Strategies to Boost your Roofing Company’s Brand Awareness and Creating a Corporate identity
Having a well-known roofing business brand is what all firms in this industry are striving for, but this not something you can fetch from the rivers, it can only be gotten by your hard work and creativity. We advise that you offer interesting angles or hooks, and you can find your way into blogs, onto the TV news and radio talk shows, and into newspapers and magazines. Things to leverage on to boost your brand awareness may include;
- Create a unique presence in Pinterest, Facebook and all other social media
- Always note your business problems and how you are solving them
- Share your social media stories
- Create Google Alerts for the types of crafts or artwork you are selling such as woodworking, knitting, stained glass, etc..
- Submit press releases and photos to the New Products sections of magazines.
- Go after the National Public Radio website for programs that might want you as a guest
- Offer to write a guest blog post for bloggers whose audience are part of your target market.