Recent trends show the decking industry is busy. People are looking to build new decks or expand on the ones they already have. Homeowners are seeing the value of a deck and wanting that for their home. With this news, you might be considering your own decking business. After all, becoming your own boss is a great thing!
However, before you print those business cards, there are a few things you should know about starting your own company. For the decking industry, it involves some training and ensuring you have the right insurance. Here’s what you need to know before starting a decking business.
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Choose A Name
What’s in a name? Well, a lot if you’re a business owner. The name of your company will be the first thing people see, so it leaves a lasting impression. Your business name should clearly express what you do, but still also be memorable. You can get creative here! You may even want to ask some trusted friends what they think of a few you’ve selected. You’ll need this going forward to include on documents, business cards, and more.
Make A Business Plan
All great endeavors start with a thoughtful plan. This is true for your new decking business as well. This doesn’t have to be a long document, but it should outline who you are and where you want your business to go. Your business plan should include the following:
- Mission Statement: What does your business stand for?
- Summary: Who are you and what goals do you want to achieve?
- Goals: Outline your goals and how you will achieve them.
- Marketing: How will you tell others about your business?
- Financial Info: Include need-to-know financial information and goals.
Create A Brand
If you plan on getting the word out about your business, you’ll need to create a brand that’s memorable. While some choose to reach out to a branding expert, it’s not a must. You can create a logo and brand all your own. Tools such as Canva or LogoScopic can help you design unique image for your company to use on business cards, documents, t-shirts and more.
Be sure to stay consistent with color choices, fonts and other small details. The customer should know exactly what business it is when they see your brand.
Learn About Local Permits & Licensure
In the decking industry, it’s likely you’ll need permits for the projects you’ll be working on. Get familiar with the permits needed in your area so you’re prepared for every job.
Additionally, some contractors need a builder’s license before they do any type of work. This can vary based on what state you live in. Research to see what’s required in your state.
While it’s not a requirement in every state, it’s a good idea to find decking pro insurance that’s right for you and your business. Decking pros face many risks in the work that you do. Insurance protects you, your employees and your companies if an accident occurs or if a customer has an issue with your work.
As a business owner, it’s a good idea to look into general liability insurance. It’s a great place to start and most insurance companies have various options to customize your plan for what your business needs.
Even if your state doesn’t require it, insurance reassures the customer that they can trust you and your work. And if something should go wrong, you won’t have to worry!
Hire & Train Employees
If you see your business expanding, you’ll need to hire employees. Hiring and interviewing can be challenging if you’ve never done so before. Review resumes and ask the right questions. While their resume may demonstrate their knowledge of the skill set, you’ll also want to learn about their interpersonal skills. Here are a few questions to ask:
- “Can you tell me about a time you handled a difficult situation with a customer?”
- “Can you describe a few of your recent decking projects?”
- “In what ways have you provided excellent customer service in the past?”
- “Do you work best independently or a part of a team?”
These questions will help you get to know your interviewee a little better and decide if they are a good fit for your company. When you’re ready to hire, be sure to fill out all the necessary paperwork so they can get paid properly. The U.S. Small Business Association provides a helpful list of everything you need to know to onboard your employees.
Once you’ve completed all the necessary paperwork, be sure to train them on rules and polices your company has. This could be anything from how to clean up the job site at the end of the day to dress code. The more information you give them about your expectations, the more successful they will be as employees.
Network With Other Decking Contractors
Navigating a new decking business can be difficult to do on your own. Thankfully, there are many ways you can connect with other contractors who may be able to share helpful advice. Decking organizations and associations are a great place to start. They can help connect you to other decking pros as well as provide education on best practices. Plus, your membership can be added to your resume to show customers that you’re going the extra mile to ensure you’re up on the latest in the decking industry.
Starting your new decking business can seem challenging, but there’s never been a better time to get into the industry. Use a few of these tips to get started on registering your business and marketing to local homeowners. You’ll start seeing success in no time!
Looking for more small business tips? Read 7 Productivity Tips For Small Business Owners.
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