How to Start a Roofing Company in 2020

The residential roofing market is currently valued at $47.1 billion dollars. How can you take advantage of this thriving industry and start a roofing company of your own? This guide will take you step-by-step through everything you need to know about starting a roofing company.

Steps for starting a roofing company

Step 1: Plan ahead for a successful roofing business
Setting yourself up for success with a business plan and gaining a robust understanding of your market

Step 2: Find resources to help you get started
Ways to find the right employees and take advantage of small business resources

Step 3: Pick a name for your roofing company
How to select the right name for your company

Step 4: Make sure your roofing company can legally operate
The permits and licenses you need to legally run a roofing business

Step 5: Insure your roofing business
Choosing the right insurance to protect your roofing business

Step 6: Choose the right roofing software
Selecting the business management tools that will help your company run smoothly

Step 7: Reach the right people
How to market your roofing company, acquire positive customer reviews, and encourage word of mouth referrals

How to start a roofing company checklistStep 1: Plan ahead for a successful roofing business

Create a roofing business plan

When starting a roofing company, a strong business plan will help you make informed decisions and evaluate your performance from the very beginning. It’s important to set realistic, specific objectives for your roofing business—then map out how you will achieve those objectives.

Key components to creating an actionable roofing business plan include:

  • Understanding how roofing companies make money. Many roofing contractors make their money by doing roof repairs and replacements. Some contractors will also charge a fee for inspections, evaluations, or roof removal. In addition, many roofing businesses earn money from work across other trades, such as gutters or windows.
  • Establishing your target market. While many roofing contractors target a particular geographic region, other contractors target specific types of jobs (like insurance restoration work) or particular kinds of roofs (such as steep slope roofs).
  • Determining your starting and ongoing costs. These costs include continuing expenses, such as rent on an office space and technology like business management software; one-time expenses, such as the cost of obtaining a business license; and variable expenses, such as marketing materials.

Step 2: Find resources to help you get started

Once you have a business plan in place, it’s time to find the people, organizations and resources that will help you start a successful roofing company.

Resources for how to start a roofing companyFind small business resources

In many areas, the local chamber of commerce or small business association will have resources geared towards helping new businesses, including roofing companies. There may also be trade associations in your area you can join. All these organizations offer a variety of services that can benefit your business, from business advising and continuing education, to networking and marketing resources.

There are many online resources you can take advantage of as well. For instance, consider joining a Facebook group for roofing contractors. Many contractors regularly share resources and advice in Facebook groups. They can also be a great place to ask questions.

In addition, many industry vendors, from publications like Roofing Contractor Magazine to roofing software companies like AccuLynx, offer blogs, ebooks, and other informative resources to help new business owners.

Accounting when starting a roofing company

Hire an accountant

When you start a new roofing company, having an accountant on board from the beginning will help ensure your business is financially healthy. Your accountant should review your business plan to make sure it is financially viable and help you create a budget.

Hiring when starting a roofing business

Partner with the right team

Start with a small team that covers the most essential aspects of a successful roofing business:

  • Foreman/crew leader
  • Production/general manager
  • Roofing crew
  • Administrative/office staff
  • Sales representatives

Use resources such as job boards, local trade associations, and recommendations from friends to build a strong team. You’ll want to hire people who are committed to the goals of your roofing business, excited about the industry, and willing to work hard.

Step 3: Pick a name for your roofing company

Your roofing company name should help you stand out from your competitors and give potential customers a strong first impression of your business. Here are a few key tips to consider as you select a name.

Don’t involve too many people

If your list of possible names is too long, it will be difficult to narrow it down and find the right one. During the brainstorming process, keep it simple by involving no more than two other people.

Avoid names that are too hard to spell

The easier your name is to spell, the easier it will be for your roofing business to get found online. And with 74% of people using voice search on their smartphones to find local businesses, an unusual or difficult spelling can easily get misinterpreted by the voice search tool. Stick to simple spellings to make sure homeowners can find you easily.

Check the names of competitors

Before you select a name, research other roofing companies in the area to make sure your name is unique. If the name of your business is the same as or similar to other roofing businesses in your area, homeowners may confuse you with your competitors.

Consider SEO value

Besides spelling, there are other factors to consider when selecting a company name that will be easily found in search. A roofing business name with high search engine optimization (SEO) value is:

  • Unique to your geographic area
  • Easy to remember
  • Related to your industry (e.g. may incorporate the word “roofing” or “contractor”)

As you evaluate possible names for your new roofing company, make sure they meet these criteria, and search your top contenders to see which ones perform the best in search.

Step 4: Make sure your roofing company can legally operate

Before you can start any roofing work, you’ll need to fulfill all the legal requirements for operating a roofing business in your area.

Register your business with the government

While most roofing businesses don’t need to register with the federal government, you will likely need to register with the state government in order to conduct business activities within a given state. The type of registration you need to file will depend on your business structure (e.g. LLC, partnership, or corporation), as well as on the laws of the state.

Obtain permits and licenses

Permitting and licensing requirements can vary between states, counties, and even cities or towns. In most states, you will need a general contractor’s license; in some areas, you may also need special licenses for roofing or the other trades your business offers. Your local chamber of commerce or small business association can help you identify the permits and licenses your roofing company needs before starting.

Step 5: Insure your roofing business

Starting a new roofing company represents a major investment of your time and money. Insuring your roofing business will help you protect your investment and prepare for unforeseen circumstances. Here are a few different types of insurance your roofing company might need:

Types of insurance when starting a roofing company

  • General liability insurance: This insurance covers property damage, personal injury, and bodily injury that is the fault of your company. If your roofing business damages a homeowner’s property or someone is hurt on your premises, general liability insurance will cover the cost.
  • Worker’s compensation: Depending on the number of employees at your roofing company, your state may require you to have a worker’s compensation policy. This policy will provide financial assistance to your employees if they are injured on the job.
  • Professional liability insurance: Having professional liability insurance will protect your roofing business against lawsuits and claims of negligence. Professional liability insurance is especially helpful for roofing businesses who recommend specific products or treatments, as it will protect your business from fallout if these products fail to perform as expected.
  • Vehicle insurance: If your roofing company plans to own or lease any vehicles, you’ll need this insurance to provide coverage for them and protect against financial burden if your vehicles are involved in an accident.
  • Equipment insurance: If you’ve invested in expensive roofing equipment, use this insurance to protect your investment and provide coverage in case of damage or loss. Some general liability insurance plans will allow you to add extra coverage for equipment.

Some states require that businesses carry specific types of insurance. You can verify what insurance you will be required to carry with a local business association.

Step 6: Choose the right roofing software

The technology you use to manage your roofing contractor business can have a big impact on your company’s ability to grow. Thousands of roofing contractors use business management software or a roofing contractor CRM to streamline their everyday tasks and manage their work.

Here are a few of the reasons why you should consider implementing a roofing contractor CRM for business management when starting a roofing company.

Software for starting a roofing business

Efficient Workflows

Inefficient or disorganized processes can hold your employees and your company back. Since roofing contractor CRMs are designed to streamline every part of your workflow, using it right from the beginning will help establish efficient processes from the get-go.

How to start a roofing business

Clear communication

It’s important for everyone to be on the same page when coordinating roof repairs. With a roofing contractor CRM, all your teams are working from the same system so they have access to the same information. Team members can see job details and make updates in real time from anywhere, keeping everyone in the loop and improving communication between the office and the field.

How to start a roofing business and track jobs

Easy job tracking and management

In order to compete in a crowded market, your roofing company needs to follow up with leads promptly and keep jobs moving forward. Roofing contractor software with robust job/project management capabilities will help you track leads and stay updated on the status of your jobs so nothing falls through the cracks. Once your jobs are in production, your roofing CRM will enable you to manage schedules in real time and keep work progressing efficiently.

Customer service when starting a roofing company

Better customer service

Great customer service will help you build a positive reputation for your new roofing business. One way to serve your customers well is to keep them informed at every step of the process and reach out to them promptly if schedules change. Roofing business management software can help you automate customer communications so you can consistently deliver timely updates.

Money and time saved

Some roofing companies use lots of different software applications to manage their businesses and stay organized. The cost of all those tools can quickly add up, and so can the time spent on finding each tool and incorporating it into your business processes. Roofing companies that rely on a single system to run their business save time and money in the long run.

It’s common for new roofing companies to have growing pains as they figure out how best to do business. Implementing a roofing contractor CRM as a key part of your strategy can help you ensure your processes run smoothly right from the start.

Step 7: Reach the right people

Once your new roofing company is ready to start work, you’ll want to start connecting with homeowners in your target market and building your customer base.

Social media for starting a roofing company

How to market a roofing company

Here are a few proven marketing tactics to help your roofing company get started with marketing:

  • Company website: Most homeowners do their research online, and a strong website will give them a positive impression of your roofing company. On your website, make sure your contact information is easy to find, describe what sets your roofing company apart, and prominently display any special offers or deals.
  • Social media: Creating a social media account for your roofing company, such as a Facebook page, helps you connect with potential customers on a platform they frequent and showcase your work. You can also purchase ads on social media to reach a local audience.
  • Google listing: Creating a Google My Business profile allows you to promote your business in Google Search and Google Maps. When homeowners search for roofing companies in your area, they’ll see your business name, website, and other company information.
  • Door knocking: Canvassing a neighborhood can be the best way to reach homeowners in areas that have been hit by storm damage. Be prepared to pitch your business in a few sentences and leave behind a flyer or card to remind the homeowner of your services.
  • Truck wraps: Turn your company vehicles into advertisements for your services with truck wraps. Be sure your name, phone number, and website address are clearly visible on all sides of the truck.

Whatever your marketing strategy includes, be sure to allocate time and budget to executing it, and adjust it if it doesn’t work. A successful marketing strategy will pay for itself by generating qualified leads that you can turn into satisfied customers.

How to set up a profile on a review site

Many homeowners rely on review sites, such as HomeAdvisor and Yelp, to help them make a decision about which roofing company to use. Setting up a profile on a review site will give customers a place to rate their experiences, which in turn will give potential new customers reasons why they should choose your roofing company.

Here’s how to set up a profile so your customers can start reviewing you:

  1. Choose your review site. Search your competitors and see which review sites they’ve chosen—having a profile on the same site will help you reach people who may be looking for your competitors.
  2. Add your business information. Fill out your business details, such as location and name, so the review site can verify your business and add you to their network.
  3. Customize your profile. Many review sites allow you to add details like photos, links to your website, and a custom description of what you offer. Take advantage of these details to present a compelling image of your roofing company.

Be sure to check your profiles on a regular basis to keep all the information up to date and respond to reviews left by customers. If a customer leaves you a positive review, be sure to thank them; if a customer leaves you a negative review, respond professionally by addressing their concerns and expressing your determination to improve in the future.

Marketing when starting a roofing business

How to Encourage Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of mouth marketing is a powerful tool for gaining new customers and establishing a reputation as a trustworthy roofing company. These strategies can help you gain referrals, encourage word of mouth marketing, and grow your customer base.

  • Put up yard signs. Ask your customers if you can put a simple sign with your company name in their front yard. These signs help promote your roofing company to the neighborhood and turn your current project into an advertisement for your services.
  • Offer incentives for referrals. Offer a reward or discount to your customers for referring someone they know to your roofing company. This is a great way to generate new customers from the networks of your current customers.
  • Encourage reviews. Include language on your website, in your emails to customers, and on your sales materials that reminds customers to leave a review of your roofing company. You can also offer an incentive, like a gift card, to any customer who leaves a review.
  • Follow up with past customers. Get in touch with past customers periodically to see if they need any repairs or have any questions you could answer. Checking back in with former customers reminds them of the great work you did, making it more likely that they will use your services again and recommend them to others.

Working to deliver great customer service while encouraging reviews and referrals will help you reach more potential customers and take advantage of existing networks.

The software to help your new roofing company grow

Starting a roofing company can seem like a daunting challenge. But with the right tools and strategies, you can build a thriving business.

AccuLynx is an all-in-one business management software platform created specifically for roofing contractors. As a leader in the roofing industry, we’ve helped thousands of companies grow their profits and scale their businesses. By bringing together every aspect of your business in a single cloud-based system, AccuLynx helps you stay organized, work more efficiently and reduce repetitive tasks.

Our software contains all the tools you’ll need to effectively run a roofing company, including:

Checklist for starting a roofing company

A dashboard to show you the status of your leads and jobs at a glance

Emails and texts when starting a roofing business

Automated emails, texts and tasks to simplify communication

Files for how to start a roofing business

Digital job files so you can view and update job information from anywhere

Communication when starting a roofing business

Two-way texting capabilities so you can reach your contacts more easily

Mobile apps for starting a roofing company

Mobile apps to help you stay in touch with crews and take the power of our software anywhere

Mobile apps for starting a roofing company

Production management tools to help you keep track of deliveries and labor orders

How to take payments when starting a roofing business

Electronic payment processing to help you get paid faster

Reporting for how to start a roofing business

Real-time reporting to give you greater insights into your business performance

Paperwork when starting a roofing business

Electronic estimates, contracts and more to reduce time spent on paperwork

Accounting when starting a roofing company

Financing to help you overcome pricing objections

To see these features and others in action and to learn more about how AccuLynx can benefit your new roofing company, schedule a demo with us today.

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