If you love nothing more to go over furniture catalogs and look at HGTV, you might want to consider turning your talent and passion for remodeling into a lucrative career. However, opening a thriving renovation business requires more than just good will and money! You need to find your niche, get permits and form various connections. So, before you step out on the market, here are a few things to know about starting your home reno business.
FIND YOUR SPECIALTY
Biting off more than you can chew will eventually land you various bad situations with clients. It’s always better to find your specialty field where you can deliver what you promise. Ask yourself how many things are you willing to take on yourself, how large your jobs will be and what type of renovations will you perform( period house reno, lux house reno, apartment renovation…)What can you actually offer to the market? While many contractors know how to do a lot of things, it doesn’t mean they should do all of them. Find something you truly excel in, something that separates you from the competition, and concentrate on putting that skill on the market.
FORM A BUSINESS
Before you start seeing clients, you must choose a particular business structure that will suit your needs. There are four main types of businesses: Sole proprietorship (ideal for solo workers or couples), general partnership (ideal for two people in business), Limited Liability Corporations (for one or several parties) and C Corporations (if you want to grow and go public). Learn more closely about each type, but be sure to choose the right one, since changing your business structure later can be hard.
GET LICENSES AND INSURANCE
Having all the necessary licenses and insurance is the key to successful business. You’ll need all required contractor’s licenses and necessary certificates for your special niche, as well as business licenses for the city.
Also, don’t start working until you’re insured. Good general liability insurance will come in handy if someone gets injured at the site or someone damages a piece of property. These are both required by law, especially worker compensation should they get hurt. It’s also good to have commercial property insurance that covers your property (equipment and furniture) and cyber insurance to protect all your sensitive customer data.
PURCHASE A VEHICLE
There’s no way you’ll be able to be a successful contractor without a truck. You don’t have to go super big, but a medium-size trick will help you haul lumber, brick, kitchen counters and even appliances. And you might be worried about the price, sure. Luckily, there are many affordable dealerships that have quality trucks for sale and offer great prices. You can even go used and choose from a wide variety of affordable trucks in great condition. And if you decide to sell your vehicle, you’ll surely get a good price, especially if you pick something used (their price depreciates less over the years).
ESTABLISH CONNECTIONS WITH SUPPLIERS
Your contact list should be full of reliable contractors. Having plenty of good people around can make or break a job and make a difference between a profit and a loss. Knowing your materials will arrive on time and that your order will be perfect is crucial to finishing your job on deadline or even ahead of it. A firm relationship with everyone from suppliers and vendors to subcontractors is very important. The finished product will carry your name, so don’t let it be dirtied by unreliable business partners.
PREPARE FOR THE SLOW PERIODS
The home remodeling industry is usually connected very closely to the real estate market and the local economy. But, living in an area with four distinct seasons can also leave a mark on your business. Usually, your summers will be more productive than your winters. This phenomenon is not so visible in places like Australia or Southern USA, but places with cold winters might notice it more. In general, winters are slower, because most people choose to direct money into holidays instead of renovations. But, you can ask customers with a tight budget whether they are willing to postpone their old house renovation until winter. Offer them better prices and you’ll stay busy during this uneventful period of the year.
Of course, you are expected to make a profit but don’t cut too many corners or you will end up with bad reviews and zero customers. All in all, as long as you offer reliable, affordable and effective services, your home renovation business will provide you with a steady income and plenty of customers looking to get a taste of your product.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid blogger and content writer with a focus in real estate, home improvement, and the construction industry.
Guest Contributor: Mike Johnston
Image Credit to Trusty Joe