Do you want to start a hardwood flooring installation business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a hardwood flooring installation business with NO money and no experience. If you per – chance studied building engineering or any related course and you are keen to own a business that you can successfully manage, then you should consider starting a hardwood flooring installation business.
This is one business that you can start on a small scale and if you good with what you do, it won’t be too long before you become a household name in your city and perhaps your country. In the united states of America and in most countries in Europe, you will notice that a good percentage of homes have wood flooring. This goes to show that there is indeed a large market for hardwood flooring installation business. Hardwood flooring installation howbeit technical is a business that can be learnt within few months.
It is important to state that no matter the type of business you choose to start, before launching the business, you should ensure that you carry out your due diligence as it relates to market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies. If you get things right before launching your hardwood flooring installation company, it will not take you long before you secure enough corporate clients, breakeven and start smiling to the bank.
If indeed you want to start your own hardwood flooring installation company, all you need do is to read this article and you will be well informed and equipped. You can start your hardwood flooring installation company from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand especially if you choose to work for clients all across the United States of America.
17 Steps to Starting a Hardwood Flooring Installation Business
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
The Flooring Installers Industry that hardwood flooring installation line of business is sub-set of is indeed one of the many industries that are a major contributor to the growth of the economy of many nations of the world.
Players in the Flooring Installers Industry primarily engage in installing resilient flooring, carpeting, linoleum and wood or other alternatives, and prepare surfaces for the installation of flooring and floor coverings; they install a variety of different materials as floors for residential, commercial, institutional and industrial building markets.
The scope of jobs carried out by flooring installation companies includes new work, additions, alterations, maintenance and repairs. It is important to highlight that contractors that are engaged in installation of concrete flooring and ‘Germán floors’ are not part of the flooring installers industry.
In recent time, establishments in the industry have experienced a variation of conditions as the US economy has recovered from the recession and housing values have begun to rebound. So also, with the recent resurgence of residential construction markets, flooring installers are benefiting from new investments in housing.
In the same way, non – residential construction returned to growth during the stated period as increasing consumer spending revived corporate profit margins. Going forward, players in the industry are forecast to experience more favorable conditions. Robust residential growth during the period, especially in the next two years, will aid flooring contractors increase profitability and enlarge revenue.
The Flooring Installers industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in countries such as United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Australia and Canada et al. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 133,286 registered and licensed flooring installation companies (hardwood flooring installations companies inclusive) scattered all across the United States responsible for employing about 191,158 and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $23 billion annually. The industry is projected to grow at 5.1 percent annual growth within 2012 and 2017. It is important to state that there are no establishments in this industry that has a lion market share.
A recent report published by IBISWORLD shows that the majority of the revenue generated in the flooring installers industry is derived from work on privately funded projects. The report also stated that the industry generates about half of its annual revenue from work on new construction projects, 40.0 percent from improvements on existing buildings and 10.0 percent from repair and maintenance work on existing flooring.
The report further stated that over 2011, demand for all industry products fell considerably as the US real estate market crashed and demand for construction weakened dramatically. However, demand for flooring installation begun rising in 2012 and is expected to continue rising in 2017.
The flooring installers industry is highly regulated in the United States of America and anyone who aspires to start a hardwood flooring installation company must apply and obtain a license before they can legally operate in the industry.
Lastly, as a hardwood flooring installation professional, it is very important to be creative, to be able to use your ideas to meet the rapidly changing needs of the society when it comes to aesthetics and trends in the environment where you work.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who hire the services of hardwood flooring installation companies cut across all households and players in the real estate and construction industry; hence the demographic composition for a hardwood flooring installation company is all encompassing.
The truth is that when it comes to hardwood flooring installation business, there is indeed a wide range of available customers. In essence, your target market can’t be restricted to just households within your location, but to all players in the real estate and construction industry around the city where you have your business presence.
So, if you are thinking of starting your own hardwood flooring installation company, then you should make your target demographics all encompassing. It should include families who are interested in acquiring a decent and well renovated home, corporate organizations who are interested in renovating their properties, home owners who are interested in remodeling and selling off their homes, properties owners who are interested in remodeling and selling off their properties, foreign investors who are interested in owning properties in the United States of America and remodeling the property, the government of the United States of America (Government contracts), and managers of public facilities who would want to engage hardwood flooring installation companies to help them remodel properties under their care.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
It is safe to say that there is no niche area in the hardwood flooring installation line of business because the hardwood flooring installation business is a subset in the flooring installer industry, every hardwood flooring installation company primarily engages in the installation of hardwood flooring for residential, commercial, institutional and industrial building markets.
So, if you are looking towards starting your own hardwood flooring installation company, then you should clearly define your market so that you will be able to know how to get to them.
In addition to their core operations of laying, scraping, finishing or refinishing parquet and other hardwood flooring, some hardwood flooring installation companies may decide to add any of the under listed as part of their business offering;
- Installing and removing carpet, including sewing, binding and cutting
- Installing and removing asphalt tile, linoleum and resilient flooring
- Installing wood flooring
- Installing resilient sheet tiles
- Resurfacing flooring using epoxy resins
- Sanding and finishing wooden floors
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in this line of business goes beyond competition amongst hardwood flooring installation companies in your location; you are expected to compete with other businesses in the flooring installers industry that are also into installation of hardwood flooring.
In actual sense, no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure your workforce can carry out neat and thorough hardwood flooring installation, you can deliver excellent customer care services and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
But over and above, there are several hardwood flooring installation companies and other players in the flooring installer industry that also carry out hardwood flooring installation scattered all around the United States. So, if you choose to start your own hardwood flooring installation company in the United States of America, you will definitely meet stiff competition amongst these companies. Besides, there are larger hardwood flooring installation companies that determine the trends in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for customers.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Irrespective of the industry you choose to start a business, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than the others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading hardwood flooring installation companies/flooring installation companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- American Hardwood Floor Company
- Wood Flooring USA
- PK’s Floor USA
- Harris Flooring America
- Y D Hardwood Floors USA Inc
- Flaherty’s Flooring America
- Foothill Carpet Flooring America
- Junckers Hardwood
- Texas Hardwood Flooring Inc.
- Tri County Flooring
- Western Design Flooring America
- Forbo Flooring Systems
- My Dad’s Flooring America
- Flooring America of Champaign
- Dillabaugh’s Flooring America
- Roppe Corporation USA
- Riteway Flooring America
- Karndean Designflooring Dallas USA
- USA Flooring Outlet Inc.
- Kiefer USA – Specialty Flooring
If you are planning towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
Hardwood flooring installation business is not a Green business as you will come across several hardwood flooring installation companies and other players in the flooring installers industry that also carry out hardwood flooring installation when you drive through town, search through directories and browse through the internet.
So, if you are mapping out your economic and cost analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the amount required for renting a space where you are expected to open your hardwood flooring installation company, the required working tools and equipment and also the running cost to successfully run the business.
Over and above, if you are considering starting a hardwood flooring installation company, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of renting an office space, securing your license, and purchasing the needed working tools and equipment et al but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
If you are looking towards starting a hardwood flooring installation company, you would have to start from the scratch simple because you can hardly get a franchise of a hardwood flooring installation company to buy. It is a business that is open to all and sundry as long as you have successfully acquired the required technical skills.
Besides starting a hardwood flooring installation company from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other related businesses in the construction industry. With a hardwood flooring installation company, you should just try as much as possible to get the right employees, build business relationship with key stakeholders and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to market your services.
Please note that most of the big and successful hardwood flooring installation companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own hardwood flooring installation company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established hardwood flooring installation companies and other players in the flooring installers industry that also carry out hardwood flooring installation scattered. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face are economic downturn and unfavorable government. There is nothing you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
Generally, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability company, or even a sole proprietorship for a hardwood flooring installation business. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale hardwood flooring installation company especially if you are just starting out with a moderate start – up capital in a small neighborhood and carrying out selected hardwood flooring installation services.
But if your intention is to grow the business and have offices and corporate clients all across key cities in the United States of America and other countries of the world via franchising, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
For example, Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your hardwood flooring installation company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your hardwood flooring installation company with the ability to sell franchise and having offices and corporate clients all across the United States of America, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
When it comes to Choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own hardwood flooring installation company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Golden Flooring® Hardwood Flooring Installation Company
- Allen Township® Hardwood Flooring Installation, LLC
- Brick Floor© Hardwood Flooring Installation, Inc.
- Kings Court® Hardwood Flooring Installation, Inc.
- Nathan Levi and Sons™ Flooring Installation Company, Inc.
- Dalman Damien & Co ™ Flooring Installation Company, Inc.
- Vintage Wood© Hardwood Flooring Installation Company, Inc.
- Heritage Linage® Hardwood Flooring Installation Company, LLC
- Pally Davidson© Hardwood Flooring Installation Company, Inc.
- Barnie Kennedy & Sons© Hardwood Flooring Installation Company, Inc.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your hardwood flooring installation company.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own hardwood flooring installation company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health/Medical insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Property/Building Insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own hardwood flooring installation company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection / trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Aside from the results you produce as it relates to hardwood flooring installation, professional certification is one of the main reasons why most hardwood flooring installation companies stands out. If you want to make impact in the flooring installer industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.
You are strongly encouraged to pursue professional certifications; it will go a long way to show your commitment towards the business. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career and up-to-date in this competitive market.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own hardwood flooring installation company;
- Certified Floorcovering Installers (CFI)
- NWFA Certified Professionals
- Professional Home Builder Certifications
Please note that you can successfully run a hardwood flooring installation company in the United States and in most countries of the world without necessarily acquiring professional certifications and business license as long as you have adequate experience cum background in the flooring installers industry.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own hardwood flooring installation company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Tax Payer’s ID/Tax Identification Number
- Business Plan
- Contract Document
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Building License
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a hardwood flooring installation company is not capital intensive if you choose to start on a small scale. Securing a standard office space in a business district, purchasing the needed working tools and equipment and raising working capital et al are part of what will consume a large chunk of your start – up capital.
If you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large – scale hardwood flooring installation company with over a dozen full – time employees under your payroll.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start – up capital for your hardwood flooring installation company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Generally, in business, it cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your business is key to the success of the business; hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where there are high real estate and construction activities and household with the required purchasing power, and lifestyle.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your hardwood flooring installation company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your hardwood flooring installation company;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for the hardwood flooring installation services and real estate and construction activities in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of hardwood flooring installation companies and other players in the flooring installers industry that also carry out hardwood flooring installations in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community
- Traffic, parking and security
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
On the average, there are no special technology or equipment needed to run a hardwood flooring installation company but you will definitely need tools and equipment such as 10″ Miter Saw, Basic cut off saw for narrow strip or plank, Trim cutting saw, Compound Miter Saw Used for wider plank or diagonal installations, Jig Saw, Circular Saw, Table Saw, Jamb Saw, Toe Kick Saw, Routers Glue Adhesives, Edgers, Concrete Demo Hammer, Concrete Grinders, Hygrometers, Knee Pads, Buffers, Floor Leveling Compounds & Tools, Scrapers Manual types used mostly for concrete subfloors before the installation, Flooring Sealers, Moisture Meters, Air Compressors for pneumatic fastening.
Staples or nails, Nailers On Wheels, New adapters making installations quicker and accurate, Nail Guns used for trim and where flooring nailers/staplers cannot reach, Floor Jack, Pull Bars, Strap Clamps, Trowels, Adhesive Removers, Dust Control, Drum Sanders, Square Buff Sander, Flooring Edgers, Scrapers, Finish Applicators Tools for applying the finish and Glue Injection Kits to run a hardwood flooring installation company.
As regards leasing or outright purchase of an office facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location / facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard hardwood flooring installation company with plans to have corporate clients all across major cities in the United States of America, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Project Manager, Hardwood Flooring Installers, Sales and Marketing Officer, Accountant, and Customer Service Executive/Front Desk Officer.
These are some of the key employees that you can work with. On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to run a medium – scale but standard hardwood flooring installation company.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
On the average, the way hardwood flooring installation companies work vary from one company to another company, but ideally, a hardwood flooring installation company is expected to first and foremost build a robust company profile before biding for hardwood flooring installation contracts from top clients/corporate organizations; it will give them edge amongst their competitors.
The services process involved in the flooring installer industry depends on the niches or the services the flooring installer company offers. On the average, the process starts with biding or submitting proposal for a hardwood flooring installation contract, once the contract is won, then it is expected that the entire contract document to be signed and advance payment made as required.
Once the payment has been sorted out, the next step is for the hardwood flooring installation company to deploy workers and equipment and building supplies as required to execute the job.
Over and above, it is the practice for hardwood flooring installation companies to first access the risk involved and the nature of job they are to do before billing the organization that requested for their services.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a hardwood flooring installation company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for the flooring installers industry.
People and organizations will hire your services if they know that you are going to deliver excellent job and they are going to get value for their money.
As a matter of fact, your marketing strategy should center on attention to details, reliability, swiftness, safety, pricing, thoroughness, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers hire your services, they will get excellent service. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet which is why they will do all they can to maximize the internet (videos / YouTube) to market their services. In other words, a larger percentage of your marketing efforts will be directed to internet users.
These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your hardwood flooring installation company;
- Introduce your hardwood flooring installation company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households, estate managers, corporate organizations, small scale businesses, medium scale businesses and other key stake holders throughout the city where your hardwood flooring installation company is located
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your services
- Engage in road shows in targeted business communities from time to time to promote your hardwood flooring installation business
- Join local hardwood flooring installation business associations for industry trends and tips
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry with the aim of marketing your services
- Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If your intention of starting a hardwood flooring installation business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by opening offices all across key cities in the United States and franchising, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Your corporate identity as a lot to do when it comes to building a business that is profitable and last long.
Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your hardwood flooring installation company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and real estate magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your hardwood flooring installation company
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted residential communities to create awareness of your hardwood flooring installation company
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact households, corporate organizations, small scale businesses, medium scale businesses and other key stake holders throughout the city where your hardwood flooring installation company is located informing them about your hardwood flooring installation company and the services you offer
- List your hardwood flooring installation company in local directories
- Advertise your hardwood flooring installation company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your hardwood flooring installation company is located
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles, trucks and vans are well branded with your company logo