One of the toughest parts of managing a roofing business is breaking into the industry. Although start-up costs for a roofer can be relatively low compared to other entrepreneurial ventures, building a company from, say, a three-man crew into a successful enterprise is not for the faint of heart.
Many roofers have already gone through those growing pains and have tweaked their roofing business structure. But for those roofers all over Australia taking their first steps with their new roofing business, here are six handy tips for scaling your roofing business and achieving that much sought after roofing business profit margin.
How to organise a roofing business in six steps
Step 1. Reevaluate your target audience
By this point in your roofing business, you’ve likely gotten past the basics such as hiring apprentices and organising jobs. However, when seeking to grow your roofing operation, some of the basics may need to be revisited. When expanding into the commercial space, you’ll have to adjust your approach because the conversations will be framed differently.
Small, one-off jobs in neighborhoods may have been enough at one point, but now you’ll want to focus on the kinds of customers that can bring recurring opportunities beyond just the one job.
You’ll have to do your own research in your local area to find the most lucrative opportunities for how to grow a roofing company. Here are a few ideas to help get you started. First, one of the most lucrative options is landlords and companies that lease buildings.
Landlords might have dozens of houses or apartment complexes that you could potentially lock in for a job. It’s important to remember that you don’t necessarily have to reach out to people that require a roof immediately.
In the commercial space, costs like replacing roofing and building upgrades are usually budgeted ahead of time, so you can plan for that too. Even if your customer doesn’t require a roof replacement or repair right now, locking in a future date with them can be one of the most lucrative roofing business ideas for recurring business.
Companies that lease buildings are a great option because you can potentially have many jobs to work on for that one company. The buildings they own could be operated by different types of businesses, but that doesn’t change your business approach. Similarly, working out deals with factories could have potential since they may have to replace or upgrade a large amount of roofing at some point.
Step 2. Secure funding
Almost any business looking to scale up will benefit from some sort of outside investment. Profit margins may be so great that you can afford to handle the costs of growth on your own. However, in most cases, additional funds are needed to generate extensive growth. And if you do seek additional funds such as a business loan, lenders will likely want to review the formal structure of your roofing business.
If your roofing business has been trading for a fair while, it may not be too difficult to secure funding. If your business is small and it’s yourself who is going to personally take on the responsibility of funding your business through a business loan, you’ll need to ensure that you meet the approval requirements for a business loan.
Having a higher credit score will qualify you for loans with lower interest rates, ensuring that you are not overpaying in costly interest over time. Whichever way you choose to get funding, make sure that you aren’t borrowing too much or giving away too much equity in your business. Such decisions are up to you as the business owner, so consider how much income you are currently making, as well as how much you expect to make as your roofing business grows.
Step 3. Establish a scalable team
A business is only as successful as the ability of its people. When you have a smaller team it’s easier to keep things running smoothly. Communication is high and your team members know each other well. However, once you grow to the point where you have multiple teams running multiple jobs at any given time, careful organisation becomes vital.
To achieve that, ensure you create a formal team structure that allows you to consistently build as you hire new staff without sacrificing the quality of work. That can be easier said than done, but one skill that can help you as a roofing business owner is delegation. It’s impossible for one person – even yourself – to keep everything organised all the time in a growing company. Getting into the habit of delegating work to your team can be vital for long-term business success.
Building a cohesive team requires the knowledge of how much any given job will cost. The right amount of people should be allocated to each job. If not calculated accurately, estimating job costs could leave you in financial turmoil. As such, it can be worth your while to hire an estimator to avoid undervaluing the cost of your projects. Knowing this will help you to build up your team at scale and finish jobs more efficiency.
Step 4. Create an enviable company culture
There has been a big emphasis on company culture in recent years, and for good reason. If employees don’t feel comfortable talking about their work, a company’s reputation can be at stake. And when that happens it can be harder to find and hire new and reliable employees.
You don’t have to go all out and install adult playgrounds, nap nooks, and bean bags in your office, but your company and your team can benefit if you create the kind of work environment that you’d be proud to tell friends and family about. Creating a great company culture not only helps improve your company’s reputation, but it also promotes job satisfaction and retention.
Step 5. Make customer loyalty easy
When brainstorming how to grow a roofing company, creating customer loyalty is important, especially if you are still in the early days of your roofing business. Years down the line, your customers may need more roofing work done again, and if you delighted them the first time, the odds are they will gladly come back to you.
Your company culture has an effect on customer loyalty as well. Customers can tell what your company is like just by interacting with one or two of your staff. If they had a positive experience with you previously years ago and you made a good impression, they will likely want to work with you again.
Step 6. Don’t expect to grow too fast
While it may sound a little counter-intuitive, growing too fast can actually be a negative for you roofing business if you don’t have the systems, processes, and financial backing in place to keep it going. Instead, target sustainable business growth – the kind of growth that gathers steam progressively over time.
Sure, you are looking for answers to the key question of, “how do roofers make money?”. However growing too fast isn’t always the thing to do for roofing business owners.
Avoid spreading yourself too thin. Lay the foundation for growth without overextending yourself, your team members, and your business. Scaling a business isn’t easy, but if your foundation is solid, you’ll be equipped to overcome the challenges that may lay ahead.
How BizCover helps roofers grow to great heights
As you scale your roofing business, you will likely also be thinking about how you can help it stand the test of time and weather the potential risks it may face. A key part of owning a roofing business is reducing your business risk with roofing business insurance.
At BizCover we make comparing roofing business insurance quotes easy as by making it super fast (10 minutes) and 100 per cent paperwork-free. Compare competitive roofing business insurance quotes online from Australia’s leading insurers, buy insurance for your business online in minutes, and save on business insurance today.
Learn more about insurance for your roofing business online, or give us a bell on 1300 920 875 to chat about your roofing business insurance options.