Roofing can be challenging work, but roof construction and repair jobs are hired out year-round. Many contractors do not enjoy doing roofing projects, so there is a business opportunity for those of who do.
Owning your own roofing business involves more than just constructing roofs. You need to know how to advertise to get clients, how to bid work, invoice customers, hire workers, handle bookkeeping, taxes, get the proper licensing and insurance, etc…
Starting a roofing business can seem overwhelming at first, but learning how the whole business management process works will eliminate many of the questions and frustrations that you have.
First things first. As a roofing business, you’ll need to have a contractor’s license. You can check requirements and procedures by state at the Contractor’s License Reference Site (www.contractors-license.org).
You don’t need a college degree to run a roofing business, but online education programs can help you learn additional skills with minimal cost. You have the convenience of learning on your own schedule. You can take basic courses or more specialized courses like green roofing methods, which can give your roofing business a leg up on the competition. The National Roofing Contractors Association offers several training courses at their site (www.ncra.net).
A roofing business may need several types of insurance, depending on whether you hire employees, drive a vehicle for business, etc. Online insurance networks are a good way to get an idea of the type of insurance you’ll need and how much it will cost. Use the box to the right. You can compare coverage from several different providers and be able to get answers from some quick research before contacting an insurance agent or stepping foot in an insurance office.
Supplies and Equipment
You’ll need a company vehicle to get to jobs. Other supplies for roofing work include items like ladders, roofing nailers, hammer tackers, roofing shingle removers, knives, adjustable roofing brackets, pneumatic air hoses, chalk line reels and of course safety gear.
It’s a good idea to set aside some of your business budget for office equipment also. A computer, printer and an internet connection will enable you to manage accounting records, create and print proposals and invoices for customers, build a website to help market your business and more.
You have the option to outsource these tasks to others rather than doing the work yourself – but if you are starting a business and trying to cut expenses, doing at least some of the work yourself can save you lots of money.
ROOFING BUSINESS QUICK-START GUIDE
David Deschaine has worked in the trade since the 1980’s, and has literally completed thousands of roofing jobs. Now, he helps other roofers start and operate successful roofing businesses.
He has put everything he has learned over the years into easy-to-follow start-up manuals that answer all roofer’s questions and give them a blueprint to follow.
He knows the importance of sales training, building a business portfolio and advertising. Completing roofing jobs is only half of the work.
Getting customers and making the sale is what will make you the money. Getting this aspect of your business right is crucial to your company’s success.
He also shares some great time-saving tips. The faster you can complete quality work, the more jobs you can take on (and the happier your customers will be). Speed is definitely an important factor, as long as you can maintain a high level of quality. He shows you how.
Use vehicle signs, decals and yard signs to advertise people who drive by your job sites. List your company in local online directories where people search for services. Sign up to receive customer leads through online merchant networks where you pay only per lead. You can find information on these resources and more marketing tips on this page.
Roofing Business Associations
- National Roofing Contractors Association (www.ncra.net)
NRCA is a roofing trade association and authority in the roofing industry for information, education, technology and advocacy.