Do you have an uncanny ability for understanding how things work around the house and fixing them when they need fixing? Are you always the one who friends, family, and neighbours call for help when something around the house needs repairing? If so, then you may have a promising future as the owner and operator of your own gutter business.
It’s one thing to be a competent fixer and finisher of assorted household handyman chores. But to turn that talent into a successful gutter small business requires a whole other set of skills. Because as any gutter business owner knows all too well, starting a gutter business or growing a gutter cleaning business can be hard work.
However, if you find the idea of being your own boss too good to refuse, read on to find out how to successfully set up and grow a gutter small business in Australia.
Have a plan for your new gutter business
Prior planning prevents poor performance, which means that your brand new gutter small business can benefit from having a strategic and well-considered business plan to set it off on the right foot.
As the owner of a shiny new gutter small business, it’s in your interest to create a comprehensive business plan that considers all of the different elements that your gutter business will comprise. Some of the key questions to answer in your business plan include:
- How will you fund the business?
- What is your company description?
- What is your customer acquisition strategy?
- What is your marketing strategy?
- What gutter services will your business provide?
- What will the organisational structure look like?
- What are your financial projections?
- What are your realistically achievable goals?
Risk management for gutter professionals
Given the working at heights risks involved in many gutter jobs, your business plan may also include a risk management strategy to reduce your risks via roofing insurance. The importance of roofing insurance becomes clear when you consider that many handymen operate as sole traders, meaning they are personally responsible, both legally and financially, for their business.
Three types of business insurance that may help gutter business owners reduce their risk include:
Public Liability Insurance
Cover for legal fees and compensation costs if a customer, member of the public or a supplier claims against you for injury or damage to their property as a result of your alleged negligent business activities. Find out more about Public Liability Insurance.
An insurance package designed to provide cover for your business contents, stock, tools and commercial premises when an insured event occurs. A Business Insurance package can also cover portable equipment, glass, and for loss of revenue due to business interruption in specified circumstances.
Personal Accident and Illness insurance
Provides cover for loss of income, permanent disablement and even death if you are unable to work as a result of an injury or illness (even if it occurs outside your work).
Choose your business structure
There are four distinct business structure types in available to Australian business owners: Sole Trader, Company, Partnership, and Trust. For those starting their own gutter small business, the Sole Trader structure is considered the simplest business structure because it is relatively easy and cost-effective to set up.
As a sole trader of your own gutter business you are legally responsible for all aspects of your business, including debts, losses, and day-to-day business decisions. The benefits of the sole trader business structure are:
- it’s easy to set up because there is less red tape involved;
- it gives you full control of your assets and business decisions;
- it requires fewer reporting requirements and is a low-cost structure; and
- it enables you to use your individual tax file number (TFN) to lodge tax returns.
Seek out strategic partnership opportunities
Strategic, mutually beneficial working relationships can help elevate your new gutter business and raise awareness about your brand and gutter services.
As you build your network and connections, keep an eye out for opportunities to develop strategic partnerships with businesses that provide complementary services.
For example, developing working relationships with local roofing contractors can benefit your business and theirs. The two businesses complement each other, and both can refer clients back and forth to create a win-win relationship for both parties. This can be a very effective way for quickly growing your gutter business.
Deliver a great customer experience for every single client
Delighting customers by delivering a stellar customer experience may just be the most direct way to grow your gutter business. Customers will be lightning quick to spread word of bad service they’ve received, but if you go out of your way to delight your customers with peerless service, they will remember it. Word of your consummate customer service will invariably spread like wildfire.
So, avoid skimping on the details when serving your gutter customers – and be sure to take care of all the little things, such as showing up at jobs five minutes early ready to work, promptly respond to customer enquiries, and meet all critical deadlines. And it doesn’t hurt to email or put in a quick phone call to existing clients to see if there’s anything you can help them with. Never forget that one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to find new customer for your gutter small business is to treat your existing customers well.
Open a business bank account
While it’s not required by law that sole traders keep a separate business bank account, it is considered a smart way to keep your business funds and personal funds separate. Otherwise you may be at risk of confusing the two, which can make it tricky to gain a true indication of how your business is tracking financially.
Make time to work on your business
Sometimes it can be tricky for busy sole traders and small business owners to square away time to work on their business – because they are too busy working in their business. Working on your business isn’t about the day to day of your business; rather, it’s about planning ahead to improve the long-term prospects for your business. It’s also about how you market a gutter business and how you grow your branding for gutter business.
This is an important exercise because as a small business owner it encourages you to step back and consider where your gutter small business is going and where you want it to go. This may involve revisiting the strategic plan for your gutter business, and perhaps gaining some new perspective on your business in the process.
Working ‘on your business’ is what will sustain your sole trader business long-term – and even grow it beyond sole trader status, if that is your long-term vision.
While you are hard at work establishing your new gutter business, let BizCover help you make light work of securing your business insurance*.
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