Do you want to start a fencing company? If YES, here is a 19-step guide on how to start a profitable fencing company with no money and no experience. The fencing business is one of the sub sections of the construction industry. This is a business that is focused on building fences for various uses. There are different types of fences each of which is distinct based on the type of materials used, the level of difficulty in developing it and the number of manpower needed.
Types of Fences
Some examples are the wooden fence, concrete fence, barbed wire fence, chain link wired fence etc. Others are for decorative purposes or put together just to keep pets within the compound; these are picket fences, hedge fences and so on.
A typical day in fence installation will include building fences, repairing fences, conducting interviews to hire laborers, marketing, obtaining licenses, obtaining permits, preparing bids and estimates. People who will need fences are farmers, home owners, businesses and lots more.
In order to run a fencing business successfully, one would need physical strength first of all, except you don’t intend to do the direct labor yourself. But if you intend to do the work yourself, even with the help of others, you need to have dexterity when it comes to manual labor, because it involves the lifting of heavy equipment and working long hours even in harsh weather.
You will need to have knowledge of building and construction to be able to run this type of business well. This is why it is suggested to join the American Fence Association; they offer various incentives to those who intend to start a fencing company. One of those things is a course in fencing.
In as much as it is possible to run this kind of business by yourself, but when it comes to growing your business, you will need to hire a team. The type of business entity that is best for this type of business is the Limited Liability Company, which gives you the possibility of growth and exempts you from any personal liability should there be complaints about your work.
You could actually contract some of your jobs, but hiring permanent staff and crew will guarantee more consistency in quality. This will in turn help your brand as a fence installation company.
The average cost of a fence is above $2,500, where you can charge a fee of $7-$12 per lenear foot, this will all add up and be calculated as the entire area of fence built. The different materials you want to use for building the fence will also affect how much you charge. Such factors as fence materials whether Vinyl, Wood, Wrought Iron or some other materials will affect the general budget for the project and the fee you will ask the clients to pay.
19 Steps to Starting a Fencing Company
1. Understand the Industry
Fence installation is part of the building and construction industry; however our focus in this article is the business of fence installation. Due to the growth experienced in the housing market, we are seeing an increase in the demand for fence installation.
Since 2012 till 2017 the fence installation market has grown above 6% and signs show that this will continue to be the case because of rising service demand. The strong recovery in both the residential and non-residential construction markets have caused this industry to expand; this is also helped by the increase in home improvement expenses.
The rise in income and home prices have impacted this industry in a positive way, not to mention renovation and remodeling of homes. All of these factors assist in the constant growth in the industry. Revenue in this industry has been recorded to be above $7.5bn, while the number of folks employed in this particular segment of the construction industry have been put above 77,600 with more than 48,000 businesses that focus on this work in the united states alone.
It is safe to say that this is a very promising business to get into, but it will definitely require much work to be able to get above your competitors and to achieve this; you will need a fencing company business plan. In a business like this that has to do with very particular desires of clients, one needs to ensure customer satisfaction every time. There is a lot of competition in the industry, but the American Fence Association can help startup fence installation professionals find their way into the market.
Another factor that affects the industry is the various legal issues surrounding fence installation. These laws could change from time to time, making a fence built in the time of a particular law to become illegal when a new bill is passed.
The legal side of fencing is a strong factor as various states have their different permits to be able to do your fence installation work there. So should you want to do your fence installation business properly, it would be good to check with the state department for whatever licenses are needed.
Due to various factors, industry participation has reduced in recent times, and low borrowing costs, falling unemployment and rising income stand to be very strong industry determiners for both positive and negative effects. Home owners and developers stand to increase their demand for fence installation showing great promise for those wanting to go into this business.
Everyone who wants to have a progressive career in fence installation must register with the American Fence Association. They organize training and offer various channels for those who want to do the business to be well trained and equipped for service.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
As long as people are erecting buildings, there would be need for fences, especially in this day and age where crime is on the rise. When thinking about going into the fence installation business, one must begin to see those who will need the services he wants to provide.
The first set of people who will require the services of fence installers would be the construction company. One can seek for a full construction company to outsource all their fence installation to them. This will give opportunity for the construction company to focus on other aspects of the structure. It helps them save time, effort and manpower as every business is already looking for a way to ease their work load.
Another set of people needing this type of service are real estate developers. Seeking these companies to contract their fence installation to your business would be an excellent idea.
Corporate organizations seeking for more secure fences will need the services of a fencing business. Of course the level of security with the fence varies; it depends on the level of valuable assets in the building or compound. Some fences you build for these organizations may be very tight on security, requiring a key card or even facial recognition to be able to gain access beyond the fence.
Home owners looking to be more secure may need the services of a fence installer or maybe they are seeking just a hedge fence or a picket fence for the purpose of beautifying or keeping pets within the compound. Land owners who want to show the limits of the land they own, may want to build a fence for that specific purpose.
Another way of looking for those who may need your fence installation business is to look for areas with low level of security. Building fences in these areas will surely build a sense of security and calmness in the hearts of those who reside there.
Farms need fences to keep the animals in their various sections or even to keep intruders from breaking into the farm to steal farm animals or crops. Zoos also need fences as there could be some very dangerous animal that may not be too friendly with humans. These animals would have to be put within fenced confinements to keep those who come to view them safe.
3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
There are different types of fences, in fact the numbers a too numerous to list here, you could pick a few and specialize in those kinds as your niche. That way whenever anyone in the market is looking for those who are reliable in setting up the list of the types of fences you specialize in, your name would definitely come up.
On the other hand, you could choose to provide fencing services to a particular set of clients. It could be fences for high security establishment, or residential fences for home owners. Whichever way you choose to go, you would be known in that particular field as the go to guy for fence installation.
Another way to develop a niche in this industry is to focus on supplying fencing materials. So when fencing companies need materials, you would be the go to guy. In spite of all these interesting niche ideas, the best way to establish yourself in this industry is to be known for productivity.
Those in the construction industry generally have an issue with finishing projects at the timeline promised. The fence installation aspect is no different. But if you are known to be consistent with your timeline, your clients will continue to refer you with confidence. But being so in a hurry to meet up with your completion date that you falter on quality will not sit well with clients, be sure to always under promise but over deliver.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The level of competition in this kind of business is high, however if you build a reputation for yourself in the areas of excellence in service delivery, then you would stand out from the crowd. Being in the know about new industry standards would help you rise above the competition.
Every business has its own share of battles to fight with competition, but the competition should not discourage you. If anything, it should give you more zeal to put your work out there. The fact that there are so many people doing this business in the US means that there is a lot of money to be made and one of the ways to get in on the action is to be ahead of the new trends and innovation.
4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry
Well, when it comes to well-known brands in the fencing industry, one cannot fully say these are the best brands in the entire country. Every state in the US has its own declaration of the best fencing company and it would surprise you that every state in the US has its own list of fencing companies.
Well known fencing businesses in the US are listed below;
- Long Fence Company, Inc
- Ply Gem Holdings, Inc
- Beta Fence NV
- Ameristar Fence Products Inc
- Allied Tube and Conduit
- Jerith Manufacturing Company, Inc
- Gregory Industries, Inc
- Associated Material LLC
- Poly Vinyl Creations
To start a fencing company will cost you anything from $2,500 to $9,800 and there are a few things you would want to take into account when choosing to start this business. The first things of course are the usual registrations and licenses you would need to apply for.
However you would need to join the American Fence Association, they also provide training in case you’ve never had such training before. The training they provide comes with certification, so you can add that to your list of things that makes you credible.
However the courses are not free and would need to be accounted for in your planning. Plus you would need to purchase a truck, or factor in hiring one to carry your equipment and manpower to the various places of work. It will also be good to get an office with proper space for your equipment.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
In this industry, there are lots of businesses willing to dole out franchise rights to those who are interested. This is an exciting opportunity to leverage off of another person’s hard work and sweat. The construction of fences require more than just knowledge of how to do it, you also need experience in this field. Buying a franchise offers you the opportunity to build upon the experiences that have been developed by others.
Plus you have direct access to mentors who can actually consult with you for free, since it is their brand name on the line. It will be much easier to buy a franchise and build up on the name they have already created for themselves. That way you would not have to go through the rigorous process of trying to break into the market.
But if you choose to start the business from scratch, there are lots of things you would have to learn on the job. Even if you may have gotten some kind of training before, nothing beats personal experience. If you are given a contract you feel is a bit above what you can do as a young company, you don’t have to decline the offer.
You can hire a consultant to help you fine tune your understanding of the project so you can deliver. Starting this kind of company from scratch is just as rigorous as starting any other kind of company from scratch. So do you personal research to find out which is best for you.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
One of the major threats in this kind of business is the increase in the do-it-yourself practice in America. There are lots of options on how home owners or even corporations can build their fences themselves. These days with the increase of self-help ideas, certain potential clients might choose to simply build their fences themselves.
Another challenge one might face is simply going against the competition and finding out a niche for you. Looking for your own client base, and developing something like a portfolio of jobs you have done, not just by pictures but also by having samples of the fences placed in front of your office for display.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
For a business like this where the possibility of things going wrong is high, a Limited Liability Company is best all the times. At least this way if there are any legal issues, the damages would be payable by the assets the company owns. The only thing that would be lost by the founder is the money he invested in the business in the first place.
It is always advisable to separate the business operations from your person, so that if something unpleasant happens and you are being sued, you don’t have to use your own personal property to pay off the damages.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below
You basically want to choose a business name that is easy to locate on the internet. When something is very difficult to pronounce or spell, it makes it difficult to retain in the mind. So think about something people would say easily and it would be easy to find once you put it in front of a “.com”. Also secure the “.net” and “.biz”, so that your competitors will not confuse your clients.
Another way to develop a catchy name for your business is to put a creative spin on what you are doing, and then come up with a name that describes it creatively. A few examples are written below;
- Stideswall, Inc
- VinylWorld, Inc
- Built LLC
- Barriers Solutions
- Security Ventures
- SkyVeil, Inc
9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
Insurance helps to keep you and all your endeavors in the business secure in case of an unforeseen challenge that may happen when building the fence or even after the fences are built. Although there are some insurance that is mandatory for you to have as a fence installation company.
Some of these insurance policies are listed below;
- General Insurance
- Fence Contractor Insurance
- Fence Installer Insurance
- Fence Installation Business Insurance
- Overhead expense disability Insurance
- Liability Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
Because of brand identity, it is important to make sure your trademark is registered and that you are the only business with it. Your trademark logo is what clients use to recognize your brand and your brand speaks for more than a name.
It speaks of your excellent service, the quality materials you use, good customer relations and so on. These are the things people think about when they see your trademark logo. So it would be very wise to have that registered and protected for use.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
The American Fence Association offers fencing courses for those who want to get into the business. It is important to get training for such a business as this, because it is about crafting, working with your hands for the security or satisfaction of others.
If you do not know what you are doing, or you do not understand the value you are adding to people’s lives by your venture, then you will not produce excellence. In as much as this training is not mandatory, it will help you secure a progressive career in fence installation.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
Businesses cannot run without being in line with the law of the country or state. When it comes to getting legal documents for fence installation, apart from the regular documents to apply for, one would need to go to the regulatory body of that state to obtain the required permits and documents.
The way it is in the States is that just one permit may not be able to grant permission in all States. One would need to look at the law of the State they want to operate from and get the accompanying documents and permits. Some of the documents needed are listed below;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Operating Agreements
- Business License and Certification
- Business Plan
- Insurance Policy
- Employment Agreement
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Consulting contract documents
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
You must have a clear cut way of financing your business. Every business needs that initial capital to get it up on its feet. When thinking of getting into fence installation, you would want to think of where the initial finances are going to come from.
Finding creative ways of raising money for a business is a skill on its own, but if one thinks through or even talks to a consultant, one can get excellent ideas on how to raise money for their business. Below are a few ideas;
- Hopefully you practice a good saving and investment habit, you should have some money in the bank or in stocks to use in starting the business.
- Sometimes personal property like cars, major appliances, landed properties, equipment from other businesses could come in handy. Where you sell them for your capital investment.
- Investors are always looking for places to make their money work for them; you could sell the shares of your company to a few.
- The first set of people to support your dream are family and friends, you could get little loans from them.
- Another way is to go directly to the bank and apply for a loan.
- This time around the investors or partners may not own part of the company with you, but they can make the money available to receive a onetime pay out when you start making money.
- There are lots of organizations seeking to empower budding entrepreneurs, you can apply for grants or seed money from a number of these organizations.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
You want to look for a location where most of your potential clients frequent from time to time. You may want to set up an office close to a residential area, where most of the home owners may want to contact you for your services. You may also want to locate yourself near a real estate company, so people who are coming to do business with the realtor can get to see that you build excellent fences, they may want to do business with you.
The location for your office should be easily accessible by those who want to inquire. Those who want to do business with you can easily come to your office to see samples of what you do.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
When building certain types of fences, there are a lot of technical pointers to watch out for. If it is a security wired fence, then you have to be sure of the type of metal you are using to create such a fence. You have to think about various elements that may easily cause for a breach.
The very art of installing a fence is a craft with lots of technicalities to consider, one cannot just use common sense to build a fence. The equipment needed is also unique to this kind of business. So when thinking of setting up a fence installation business, one must look into the various tools and equipment needed.
When it comes to manpower, you will need all the help you can get; you could employ your workers permanently or hire them as contractors who show up based on the projects you get. Some of the people you may need include fence technicians, installers, masons and so on.
Of course this has to do with the actual work of putting the fence together. Other people you will need are going to man the administrative side of the business, in order for the entire business to be completely efficient in its operations.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
Potential clients hear about your business from any of the advertising platforms you might have chosen to reach out to a network of people who want your services. Once contact is made, they either make an order digitally or come to your office to see samples of what you already have, discuss what they want and an agreement is made on what it would cost to put the fence together.
Once this is done, a timeline is agreed upon as to when the project will begin and when it will be completed. This is the part where all project based businesses must learn to perform better in. Businesses like this should learn to finish their projects at the estimated time.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
One cannot set up a business without looking into various ways of marketing that business. In fact when the business plan is put together, one must include the budget for marketing with the marketing strategy in place. Most people go into business thinking of just the things it takes to set up the business and get it running, but most times when the business is set, they have no idea as to how to begin to reach out to the market around them.
A list of possible ways to market your fence installation business is written below;
- In spite of the boost in digital marketing, the traditional ways for marketing and advertising still hold power. Get your adverts on Television, Radio and Magazines.
- You could send introductory letters and/or brochures to major corporate organizations, SME’s, Startups and households.
- You could go old school by getting listed in local directories.
- Or even older school by enlisting in the yellow pages.
- Networking by attending seminars and events is a great way to get the word out about your fencing business.
- Employ marketers and business developers.
- Use Digital Marketing.
17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
Focus on your niche and over perform. This is a sure way of creating a buzz around what you do. It could be supplying fence materials, you could be known for making the best quality materials available for those who require it.
Most times people are not looking to cut costs when building their fences; they may be more interested in the quality being made available. Contractors and Developers who know that you are the best guy for quality materials will always come to you.
On the other hand also, you could be a major authority in building security fences or any other type of fences like farm fences, home fences and so on. Basically when you are seen as an authority in your niche, you will stand out from the crowd and gain more edge over your competitors.
18. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
One of the ways to ensure customer retention is to ensure that customers are totally satisfied with the projects you do for them. In this kind of business, customer satisfaction could be a rare commodity if the person doing the work is experienced.
But if you are known to build strong fences that last for years without any kind of damage or deterioration, then you would be the go to guy for fence installation.
Another way to retain customers is to offer discounts for fence maintenance or repairs. Who doesn’t love a discount, so after the fence is built, should there be any issues arising, your company may offer to repair those damages at a discounted rate.
19. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If no one knows about your fencing business, there would be no customer coming in or going out. Every business person needs to develop a plan as to how to create more buzz about what they are doing. People need to see you out there, making noise about your business.
One can employ the thinking minds of experienced marketers to develop marketing strategies. But this part of the business plan is so important because it has to do with generating clients for your business. Below are a few ideas on how to do this;
- Appeal to a certain type of client base by advertising on billboards and banners throughout the City.
- The entire vehicles used for the fencing business and marketing can be fully branded with the company logos or promo designs.
- Ensure that workers and staff, even the ones who set up the fences wear your branded clothes.
- You should have a website and you should advertise on it. This should generate much traffic to your website.
- Use telemarketing to get very direct with households, companies, startups, SME’s and even real estate developers.
- The use of fliers and handbills has not been forgotten; use this strategy within the district where you hope to meet potential clients.
- Word of Mouth is still king, encourage it.
- Utilize the internet for marketing your business.
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