Find out how to start a gutter cleaning business and make it succeed. Contact CraftJack to learn more about how we can help your business grow.
For entrepreneurs looking for a business venture that requires a low starting investment but offers high earning potential, gutter cleaning is an often-overlooked opportunity. If you’ve never researched how to start a gutter cleaning business, the ease of the process might surprise you. In fact, most of the steps involved are necessary for any business, making a gutter cleaning company low-risk in terms of time and money invested. Learn more about what this business involves, how to get it started, and what steps you can take to build a successful gutter cleaning company.
CraftJack has the tools you need to connect with homeowners and build your client list. Contact us today to find out how you can maximize our lead generation services.
What Is a Gutter Cleaning Business?
Gutter cleaning businesses sound self-explanatory, but there's actually a wide range of services that can be provided. Gutter cleaning, on its own, is an important part of home maintenance. Gutters are responsible for directing water away from the foundation when it rains, collecting all the water that cascades down the roof, and funneling it to a corner of the home where it can be distributed to drain in a less damaging area. Over time, leaves, twigs, and other forms of debris can get caught in the trough of the gutters, blocking the pathway for water to flow, and causing it to spill out along the edge of the home. Keeping the troughs and downspouts clear helps protect the foundation of the house from erosion and water damage.
Many gutter cleaning businesses will offer adjacent services, such as gutter installations, exterior power washing, roof maintenance, or landscaping. This adds income potential to the business and creates an opportunity for work during the off-season. Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall. That leaves a lot of time in between to focus on other areas of the business.
Benefits of Starting a Gutter Cleaning Business
Gutter businesses often find success because many homeowners find the task dirty and dangerous. Having the right tools to get the job done efficiently makes the project less labor intensive and safer, so professional gutter cleaners can mitigate the unpleasant aspects of the job to earn rich rewards. Because gutter cleaning is necessary twice per year but is the kind of job that can easily slip a homeowner’s mind unless there’s a problem, it’s an easy sell to set up automatic reminders that ensure repeat business with current customers.
A gutter cleaning business also takes very little investment to start. Although there are necessary tools of the trade that must be purchased and it’s helpful to have a team at your side, you can start with as little as a few thousand dollars. Then, as your success grows, you can add new services and hire employees to help you complete more projects for homeowners.
The seasonal nature of gutter cleaning also makes this an excellent side opportunity if you have other professional obligations throughout the year. The heaviest workload will appear in the spring and fall, leaving plenty of time the rest of the year to pursue other ventures or spend time doing the things you enjoy. If the gutter cleaning business is meant to be your sole source of income, choose additional services that will keep you busy during the slow seasons to fill in your work calendar as needed.
Although less tangible than the profit you bring in, cleaning gutters is also an important part of maintaining the beauty and value of your community. Every job you complete is ensuring one more home in the area is provided with protection against foundation damage, increasing its life span before major repairs are necessary. It also helps add curb appeal to homes, preventing sheets of water from eroding lawn edges or destroying flowers that might be crushed by the heavy water flow.
How to Start a Gutter Cleaning Business
If all this sounds like a good match for your ambitions, your next step is learning how to start a gutter cleaning business. Like any other business, this is going to begin with some brainstorming and research. You’ll need to have an idea of what you want your business to be and benefit from studying your competition.
Start with the fun part and come up with a name for your future business. Shorter names are often best, and make sure you choose something that's easy for potential customers to remember. Before settling on a company name, check to make sure it isn’t already registered to another company in your state. Also check to see if the domain name is available. This is also a good time to start thinking about your logo. You can have one created by a professional or see if the artist in your family wants to help. Just remember to keep the image simple for printing purposes, and make sure it can’t be confused with logos from established companies.
Once you’ve found the right name for your company, reserve the corresponding domain name for your future website. Also choose any social media platforms you want to use professionally and set up accounts under your company’s name. You’ll need these things for marketing later.
Check Your Competitors
Take the time to see what other companies in your area are offering and the prices they've set for their services. You can determine services you can include to fill the year and get an idea of the profit potential by pricing competitively. You need to have a clear idea of what your business will be before you start the next steps.
Start Your Business Plan
Now's a good time to get started on your business plan. Business plans can seem overwhelming initially, but they're a critical tool for most successful businesses. Your business plan will provide an overview of all the products and services you’ll offer, establish your professional and financial goals, explain the vision and mission of your business, and clearly define the roles of anyone involved in the company. You’ll need to make adjustments as you work through establishing your new business, but your business plan will consistently provide you with a road map to your success.
When creating your business plan, there are a variety of sections you can choose to add. Most successful business plans include at least the following:
- Executive Summary
- Company Overview
- Market Analysis
- Organization and Management
- Services or Products
- Marketing and Sales
- Financial Projections
Your business plan is the most important document in your company, and it'll need to be assessed and updated frequently to keep it relevant to your business’s evolving needs. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional if you need help creating your first business plan.
Handle the Paperwork
Now, it’s time to make your company official. Your business will need to be registered with your state’s attorney general’s office, and you’ll have to decide what business structure you want to work under. For smaller businesses, sole proprietorships, and limited liability companies (LLCs) are often the best choice due to the reduced compliance requirements and protection offered for your personal assets if a claim is made against your company. Pay close attention to the requirements you must follow to keep these protections in place. They often involve keeping your personal and professional finances separate but may include other expectations depending on your state.
Depending on the organization of your business, you may need to file for an employer identification number (EIN) through the IRS. This is like your company’s Social Security number. Once you have this, it’s time to set up your company’s financial accounts. Consider opening a rented mailbox for your business so you don’t have to use your home address on company communications. Next, open a business checking account under the name of your new business. All financial transactions for the company must go through this account and be careful not to mix personal funds with business money. Doing so could cancel the asset protection from your business organization type.
Once that’s complete, look into opening a liability insurance policy. Gutter cleaning involves significant time on the roof or a ladder, so there's potential for injury to you or your employees. Liability insurance will cover you if this should happen and will cover any property damage caused by your company while performing work. This protects you and your customers financially and is a great selling point when you’re trying to land new clients to add to your roster.
Obtain Funding If Needed
The monetary investment for this type of business is relatively low, but you'll still need some seed money to cover the cost of the tools and supplies required to do your job effectively. If you already have money saved or have access to a credit line to cover these things, great. If not, you may need to seek financing. This can be done by opening a business credit card in your company’s name or through a professional loan at your bank. You could consider a personal loan as well, but you’ll lose some of your protection if you default. Business loans are held against the business, so banks may be limited in their collection options if you happen to default. If you choose to seek a business loan, your bank will need to see your completed business plan to help it determine approval.
Get Your Tools
Before you take on your first client, you need to make sure you have the right tools for the job. If gutter cleaning is your sole focus, some of the items you’ll need include:
- Assortment of ladders
- Ladder stabilizer
- Buckets and tarps
- Personal protective equipment (puncture-resistant gloves, helmets, eye protection, rubber shoes, etc.)
- Pressure washer and hoses for spraying out the downspout
- Gutter scoops
- Hose extender wand
- A work truck (if your current vehicle is unable to transport your equipment to job sites)
If you plan to include other services, there may be other tools and equipment you need to provide them. Make a list of everything you think you need and estimate the cost before making your funding request. If you prefer to purchase everything on your own but don’t have the money on hand, you can always take the first job and get just what you need to complete it. Then, use the money you earn to start building your tool and equipment collection. It's also helpful to consider incorporating customer relationship management (CRM) software to help you maintain your relationship with current and former clients. This can help you generate repeat business in the future.
How to Market a Gutter Cleaning Business
Now that you’ve completed all the steps for creating your new business, it’s time to start taking client projects and earning a living, right? Well, yes, but that isn’t always easy to do in the beginning. You’ll need to create a solid marketing plan to help your potential customers find you. Your first step should always be alerting your friends and family that you’ve started a new business and asking them to share your information with anyone they know who might need your services. Word-of-mouth marketing is free and makes a big impact. Do the same with any satisfied customers.
Good marketing requires knowing your target market and finding the best ways to connect with these customers at their level. In today’s markets, having a company website is expected so homeowners can find out more information about you and the services you provide. Make this your priority and remember to utilize the many tools and templates available to keep the process simple. You can always improve it later. When posting information to your website and social media pages, remember to investigate search engine optimization (SEO) and incorporate this into your posts. The use of popular keywords and phrases will help drive traffic to your sites. To keep visitors around, keep your pages active and responsive. Also remember to list your company with the search engines by creating free company profiles on sites like Google and Bing. This will ensure you appear on their maps when someone in your area is looking for the services you provide.
If you’re willing to invest some money into your marketing, Google Ads and social media advertising campaigns are affordable options to help bring more online engagement. You can also utilize more traditional tactics like taking out newspaper ads or printing out flyers to hand out to people in the community.
To get the most bang for your buck, consider signing up for a lead generation service like CraftJack to help get you in front of your first potential customers. With CraftJack, you only pay for the leads you receive, and the competition is limited to just three other competitors to give you the best chance of winning the bid for the job. CraftJack also has a variety of supportive tools to help you manage your leads, like the CraftJack Pro App, and you’ll have access to a dedicated account manager to assist you with making the most out of your leads investment.
Is a Gutter Cleaning Business Right for You?
Now that you know how to start a gutter cleaning business, you need to ask yourself if this is the right opportunity for you. Although a successful gutter cleaning business will provide you with greater flexibility for personal time and has the potential to become a lucrative source of income, building the business can take a lot of time and dedication in the beginning. If you’re up for the initial workload to get your business off the ground, starting a gutter cleaning company could offer you the financial security you’re looking for while giving you a boost in confidence when you look back and see how far your business has come.
Once you’ve finished the initial setup and you’re ready to find your first client, check out everything CraftJack has to offer your business. We can help you land that first job and build your reputation as a trusted professional for homeowners who need assistance with their gutter maintenance. Sign up for a risk-free account today and speak with your dedicated account manager about all the perks CraftJack provides our hard-working professionals.
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