Starting a home improvement business can be a great way to make some extra money, or even turn it into your full-time job. Whether you’re looking for a side gig or want to start your own company, the first thing you’ll need to do is set up your business. The second step will be deciding which services and niches are right for you. Once you know what niche market you’re focusing on, it’s time to start marketing!
This blog post will walk through everything that’s involved in starting a home improvement business – from setting up the legal aspects of the company all the way down to practical tips for long-term success.
Why start a home improvement business?
There are many reasons as to why someone might want to start their own home improvement business. I’m not sure if one reason is better than the other, but there are plenty of factors that should be considered before taking on this endeavor. Setting up and running a successful home improvement business is no easy task.
It’s not just about the physical side of things, either. There are many other factors to consider such as marketing plans and keeping up with regulatory requirements in certain states like California that mandate all construction jobs be posted for at least four weeks before any work can commence on site.
How to start a home improvement business from scratch
As with any business endeavor, the first step is to learn as much about it as possible. The internet is filled with resources that will help you get started in this industry - everything from how-to books to videos and even podcasts.
If anyone tells you they know what's best for your home improvement company without asking what type of services you offer, or what you're looking to do in the industry - run!
It is also important that you know your competition. Find out who they are and how they might be better than you before moving forward with a business plan of this nature. This will help guide decisions about marketing and pricing so that customers understand why yours is the best choice.
Also, be realistic about what you want to do in this industry and the level of experience that will be required. More often than not, it's best for people to start out with a side business - even if they're passionate about home improvement work - before making a major investment (time or money) into getting started on their own.
Finding a niche for your home improvement business
Several factors are involved in finding a niche for your home improvement business:
- Consider your own skills and interests. Do you have any experience with home improvement, or do you just enjoy it?
- Look to see if there are other businesses in the area that offer similar services. If so, what is their niche? Which one has the best reviews or ratings on social media channels like Yelp/Facebook?
- Do you have any family or friends who are willing to give you a referral?
- Review the top home improvement websites – sites like Houzz, Pinterest and Zillow. Do these services match your skillset and interests? Which one has the best reviews on social media channels like Yelp/Facebook?
- Keep up with what’s trending in your area by reading a local newspaper, or better yet, buying one.
- What are the most popular magazines and newspapers that cater to homeowners in this area?
- Look at what’s going on with home improvement TV shows – which ones have been cancelled recently? What new programs might be coming out soon? Which reality show stars are the most popular?
- Find out who is in charge of home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s.
A business license is not required in order to start a home improvement company. You may need one if you are planning on working with clients who live outside of your area, or plan on hiring employees and/or subcontractors to work for your company.
There’s no set cost for starting up as an independent contractor; prices vary depending on the services you provide and how much equipment you will be using.
You should register your company with your local Chamber of Commerce, even if it is a sole proprietorship; this can help to build credibility for future contracts or potential clients.
If you have plans on hiring employees (which would also entail registering as an employer in each state you will be operating), you will need to complete an I-129 form (for a specialty occupation worker) and submit it with the Department of Labor.
Establishing your company as an LLC or corporation is optional, but can offer more legal protection for your business assets.
If you plan on working in construction, make sure that all of your employees are trained to work in these environments.
You will also need a business license from the Department of Licensing or equivalent local department, which may require an application fee and background check.
It is important to make sure you have enough liability insurance for any potential accidents that could happen on job sites; this can range anywhere between $500,000 to $750,000 depending on the nature of your work.
In order to be able to make a profit (or even just break even) with this business model you will need at least three years worth of business expenses saved up.
This is not an easy road and it does come with some risk but if done properly it can be a very lucrative business.
Why is it important to have a specialty?
It is important to have a specialty because it will allow you to be more knowledgeable about that particular type of home improvement. For example, if someone wants to fix their roof then they would want an expert roofer who knows how the process and can do things like size up a job for them or give advice on what kind of materials might be best.
If you are faced with a situation where the customer wants to know if they need an exterminator, or someone who specializes in windows and doors, then you should be able to answer that question for them.
This is also important as it will help your business grow because people might find out about what services you offer by word of mouth or by you simply advertising on the side of your truck.
What is the difference between home improvement and home repair?
Home improvement is a category of projects that are typically done to improve the overall value and comfort level of your home. This often includes much bigger jobs such as installing new windows, adding insulation or finishing off basements.
Home improvement means investing in bigger changes that will make your home more comfortable or attractive for you and your family – it’s the difference between installing new curtains or knocking down walls to create an open plan living area. It’ll cost more money upfront but it will make your home more valuable in the long run.
Home repair is simple maintenance work on an existing system in need of some TLC – it fixes small things like leaking faucets, loose floorboards and broken door handles.
Home repair is usually cheaper and quicker than home improvement, but it’s often not a permanent fix.
This is because when you start making repairs on one thing, there’ll be something else that needs repairing soon after – which means more money spent. Home improvements are usually more expensive in the short term as well, but they’re worth it in the long- term. They often last a lot longer than repairs, and they’re easier to keep up with.
Tips for long-term success as a home improvement business
Following are some tips on ensuring your home improvement business is a long-term success:
- Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. This is a really important one: word of mouth recommendations are the best way to get new customers in your business, so make sure you do it right! Give them your card and offer something like “Consider us if you need anything else.”
- Stay on top of deadlines; being punctual is a great way to start an excellent reputation.
- Offer discounts and deals at certain times of the year or give customers who come in for inspections a freebie like, say, a can of paint. This will make them feel valued and help you build up your customer list more quickly!
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to other businesses. Networking is an awesome way to grow your customer base and it’ll make you feel better about yourself too!
- Stay up on new technology; if there’s something that will help you do your job more efficiently, then invest in it or hire someone who can do so for you. It’s a good idea to get the latest equipment to be prepared for whatever may come your way.
- Don’t forget about Google Alerts! Set up an alert with this service if you want updates on any new legislation that could affect your business so you can stay ahead of it and save yourself potential headaches down the road.”
Can a home improvement business be started for $10,000 or less?
Yes! You can start your home improvement business for as little as $100 if you have the necessary tools and equipment on hand. It’s a good idea to spend some time researching what it’ll take to get started, though, because not all services cost the same amount of money.
For more ideas on businesses you can launch with $10,000 or less, check out I Buy I Review’s comprehensive guide here. The opportunities in the list are ideal for the business owner-to-be who has a little bit of cash saved up in their business bank account or has managed to start a small business loan with their local bank.
The best time to start your business was yesterday. Timing is everything in business.
I buy and review courses so you don’t have to. Sometimes, I even find courses that are legitimate and worthwhile; and that’s how I accidentally came across one that led me to building a 6-figure business in a little under 5 years. Now, I still review courses because it’s my favorite hobby. 🙂 Learn more about me here.