If you want to take your roofing business from a one-man show to a company with multiple trucks and technicians working all over the city, it’s going to take some hard work, dedication, and time. In this article I will go over how I went from being a one-man operation to having four employees servicing the entire state of Louisiana. As well as give tips on how to find great deals on tools and equipment that have helped me out along the way. Let’s get started!
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What You’ll Need
Starting a roofing business is not cheap or easy. Before I got into roofing I had about $15,000 saved up from my previous job so that should tell you how much you’ll need to start this kind of business.
Tools are the biggest investment for any roofer, if you don’t have the right tools it will be hard for you to get new jobs or even finish existing ones.
1st – Truck/Trailer
This is especially important if you want to work in different cities. If I had my own trailer with a pneumatic lift coming off of it then that would make life a lot easier when dealing with more than one house at a time. A truck and trailer combo will run about $30,000.
2nd – Tools For The Job
You’ll need ladders, vent boots, gloves, buckets, flashlights, etc… You can buy these items at different second hand stores or online on websites like eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon. You should be able to find good deals buying equipment on the internet but you have to be very selective and know what it is you’re looking for.
I can’t stress enough how important your tools are when doing this kind of work. If you don’t start with a full set and constantly need to go and buy or rent more then you will never get anywhere. Make sure that before starting any job to always ask yourself “Do I have all my stuff?” One last thing about tools… Before working at any jobsite make sure you clean your equipment well! You don’t want to be carrying around old paint or nails from another job in your pockets which could later cause issues for your customers.
3rd – The Clients
This is arguably the most important part of starting any business. The customer base is what will determine how much you make, whether or not people are willing to pay you, and how many roofs you’ll be able to do each year. And it all starts with getting out there and knocking on doors. Sometimes this can take weeks or even months before someone lets you in their house but if you keep trying eventually it will happen.
4th – How To Manage Clients & Jobsite Schedules
The first tip that I would give in regards to managing clients and scheduling them in a timely manner would be to use a program called QuickBooks. It is a very simple program to use and it will keep you organized so that you are able to keep track of the things that need done at each house. It’s also good for tracking mileage, materials, equipment rentals, etc…
The second tip would be talk to your customers before doing any work on their property. Not only will this show them that you’re knowledgeable about roofing but it can also help with billing since some jobs might take more or less time than expected. The last thing you want is for one job to take two weeks because the customer has 10 other “little” projects they want done too.
5th – Financing & Marketing
I’m not going to go into detail about financing because there are tons of. It’s a very useful tool for entrepreneurs to help them get startup or expansion money. Here is a link to an article I found about the Top 5 Business Financing Options For Roofing Contractors .
The marketing is also very important when starting any business… Money can be made in many different ways but if you’re not getting it then how are you going to keep your business running? You should take some time at the beginning of your roofing career and figure out what works best for you. Here are some links that might help: How To Find Customers When There’s No Money To Spend On Marketing But Don’t use these tips as your only source of information because there could still be other things out there that work even better than these do.
Final Tips & Advice
The key to starting and running a successful business is through the following: “Hard times will show what you’re made of.” – This means that there’s going to be many obstacles along the way but if you push forward because you know in your heart this is what you want then it will all turn out okay.
“If at first, you don’t succeed… try, try again!” – If something doesn’t work one time then don’t give up because maybe next time it could happen. The problem might just be that once piece of the puzzle that was missing which wasn’t discovered until later on.
Network with other people who do similar things as yourself and ask them how they got started or for any advice. You can find them through the National Federation of Roofing Contractors. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things! There could be a better way out there that you have not seen yet. Also, check out our Hail Damage Roofing Leads guide and Average Profit Margin For Roofing Companies article!
Now it’s up to you to go out there and do what you can to make your dream come true. If you’re ready then I know that success will follow. Good luck!