If you’ve been working in the roofing industry for some time, you might be ready to strike out on your own. Becoming a small business owner is a big step, but one that could give you greater freedom and control of your work schedule. But how do you start a roofing company?
This article gives an overview of the requirements to start a roofing business in Australia, including protecting it with roofing insurance.
Why start a roofing company?
Roofing services are an essential part of the construction and home maintenance industries. As long as there are buildings, roofing services will be in demand.
Though there are slow periods in the roofing industry (particularly winter or rainy seasons), starting your own business could be a high-paying and long-term plan for success. If you structure and manage your roofing business well, you could build something that can be passed down to your children or grandchildren.
How to start a roofing business in Australia
A strong foundation is important if you want to start and grow a roofing business. Consider starting with these steps to help make your business-owning dreams a reality:
1. Write your business plan
Many small business owners don’t write a business plan, but it could make a huge difference to your future success. A business plan is a document that outlines your goals and helps guide your decision-making.
Your roofing business plan may include sections such as:
- Your short- and long-term business goals
- The local market (the need for roofing services in your area)
- Your ideal customers
- The competition and how they market themselves
- Annual budgets and revenue forecast
A business plan can help make your roofing business profitable. It helps you measure your success and make changes to how you work so you can meet the goals you have set. A roofing business plan may also be necessary to get a business loan or other early funding.
Recommended reading: The ultimate guide to create business continuity plan
2. Make it legal
When you start a roofing company, there are steps you must take to make it legal, just like any other business. These may vary depending on your state or territory, but in general, you may need to:
- Get a roofing contractor license and Construction Induction Card or White Card
- Choose a business structure (i.e., sole trader, partnership, company, etc.)
- Apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and Tax File Number (TFN)
- Register your business name with ASIC and trademarks (if you wish)
- Set up business bank accounts
These steps and others help keep your business on the right side of the law and may make filing taxes simpler. They can also help protect your brand name from others who might try to use your name and logo in their own business.
3. Invest in tools & equipment
Proper equipment helps you deliver excellent roofing services to your customers. Basic tools and equipment (like ladders, measuring tools, cutting tools, a nail gun, and hammers) are a good place to start. Depending on the roofing services you provide, you may need special tools to get the job done.
Investing in protective gear is also important. Helmets, safety goggles, gloves, and other personal protective equipment help you work safely and avoid injuries. Finally, don’t forget about cleaning up! You’ll likely want tarps, buckets, a rake, and a broom to help leave worksites clean for customers.
Recommended reading: Top 5 Tech Tools Every Tradie Needs
4. Protect your business
Insurance is a crucial consideration for many roofing contractors. Roofing insurance (policies designed with roofers in mind) helps shield your small business against everyday hazards that can be expensive to fix.
Contractors often consider the following types of roofing insurance:
- Public Liability* – Coverage for third-party claims that your negligent business activities caused them injury or property damage. This includes defence costs cover.
- Business Insurance* – An insurance package designed to provide cover for your business contents, stock, tools and commercial premises when an insured event occurs. You might opt to include Portable Equipment*, Building*, and Contents* coverage, depending on how your business is structured.
Without insurance, expensive bills could be your responsibility when something goes wrong. This could make it harder for you to work and grow your roofing business. In some cases, it might even mean closing your business forever.
5. Hire a reliable team
Many small business owners do everything themselves, especially when they are first starting out. That means taking on tasks like keeping the books, returning customer calls, and setting up advertising on top of your normal roofing work. It can be a lot to handle, which is why you may want to hire some help (if you can).
Hiring a reliable team might mean more than bringing on an apprentice for roofing jobs. You may also consider getting part-time or freelance help with admin tasks. A bookkeeper, office administrator, or marketing specialist can assist in areas of your business where you are not an expert. This way, you can focus on what you do best while ensuring that everything else is running as efficiently as possible.
Launching a successful roofing business
Once you’ve set up your new business, the real work begins! Making a roofing business profitable takes dedication, but it’s well worth the effort for many roofing contractors. A solid roofing business plan can help create a strong foundation, and roofing insurance could help you protect what you’ve built.