More people are opting to quit their day jobs and become self-employed these days. Even though, the current economic climate isn’t what you’d call “great”! Growing numbers of budding entrepreneurs are turning their hands to running businesses.
The spirit of enterprise is quite high in 2015. Many of us are starting up all kinds of firms. One industry that hasn’t seen much of a lull for small businesses is construction. If you want to set up a new business in construction, have you ever thought of creating a roofing company?
Here are the typical steps needed to set up such an enterprise:
What kinds of things can a roofing company offer?
For the most part, roofing companies install new or repair existing roofs. They work on a variety of roof styles such as flat and pitched ones. They might install traditional or synthetic slates and tiles. On flat roofs, they would fit a waterproof bitumen felt.
Other tasks they might complete including installing new timber and lead flashing around chimneys. Some roofing companies can also offer to replace soffits and guttering too.
Roofing firms usually work on modern houses and buildings. On some occasions, they might get asked to work on old properties, such as Jacobean timber-framed houses. Quite often, roofers will work with other tradesmen like plumbers and joiners. Especially if a property is getting refurbished or rebuilt.
What hours do roofing firms work?
On average, the people that are employed by roofing companies work a 40-hour week. During the summer months, it’s not uncommon for roofers to work longer hours. That’s because of the increased amount of sunlight each day.
If you are becoming a self-employed roofer, there’s no limit to the number of hours you can work. But if you are forming a company and hiring other roofers, you’ll need to comply with the laws surrounding working hours. You’ll also need to offer your workers overtime if they work longer than their contracted hours.
Do you need qualifications to become a roofer?
The good thing about roofing is that you’ll learn most of your skills working “on the job.” Before you set up a roofing business, you should get some practical experience working for other firms first.
That way, you can gain learn about the various roofing techniques and gain a better insight into the sector. You can also gain industry qualifications, such as NVQs. But doing so isn’t essential to forming your new enterprise.
Do you want to work on commercial building projects? If so, you and your workers will need to have a valid Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. It’s an industry-standard ID card that most building contractors have. It proves that they are competent in their work and have the safety skills necessary to work on building sites.
You can also get other industry-recognised qualifications, such as from the Institute of Roofing.
What machinery and equipment will you need for your business?
Roofing firms use all kinds of machinery and equipment during the course of their business. For instance, they will use panel vans to store all the tools and roofing materials they need on each project.
Larger firms will also have a collection of plant machinery for working on major building projects. For example, they might choose to use large trucks to collect all the tiles they need from their suppliers.
Startup roofing companies tend to buy used plant machinery through websites like plant.autotrader.co.uk. That’s because it doesn’t affect their cash flow during those crucial early stages of formation. And they are more cost-effective than buying or leasing brand new plant machinery.
They will also have a collection of power tools at their disposal such as drills and saws. Having access to power tools enables them to get each project completed on time and with minimal hassle.
How should you start your new roofing business?
The first thing you need to do is gain plenty of skills and experience in the sector. That’s because your customers will expect you to be an expert in your field, not a novice! You can gain the skills and experience you need by just working for other firms first.
It also pays to acquire some qualifications in the industry, so that you can be sure you are doing things the right way. Once you have done all that, you are then ready to plan for your new business.
The next stage is to form your new enterprise. You might choose to become self-employed to begin with. But it makes sense to get incorporated for tax-saving purposes. I recommend speaking with an accountant first so that you can establish the right trading entity for your new business.
You’ll also need to tell your local tax authorities of your intentions to set up a new business. Doing so enables them to set you up with new tax IDs. Once the red tape is out of the way, you can start establishing your new concern!
How do you raise money to start the business?
The final point you need to know about is capital (i.e. how to raise or borrow money) to buy the tools and machinery you need. There are many ways to do that. First, you could borrow some money from your bank. Second, you could get people to invest in your business. They’ll usually do so in exchange for a share of your business.
In either case, you will need to prove that you can set up a viable enterprise. The conventional way to do that is to create a business plan. In a nutshell, business plans are documents that detail how you want to start your company and why you wish to do so.
Potential investors will get an insight into the revenue your new business will turnover. If they think you have a solid business plan, they will give you the money you need. That’s what it is crucial you spend some time researching the facts for your plan and making sure all the figures add up, so to speak!