So you have been the family’s DIY guru, and you want to take advantage of it by starting a home improvement business. Great! Don't forget to learn the basics of running a business. While doing repair jobs for your neighbors is a good start, you will eventually want to expand and advertise. Before going there, you will have to take these into consideration:
- What will be your area of expertise? Home improvement work can cover anything that needs to be done at home: the electrical wiring, plumbing, kitchen and bathroom repair, wall repair, roofing, window repair, repainting – work ranging from carpentry to interior design. You have to focus on one area, whatever your expertise is. It is advisable to be clear on what you will venture into, and it is best to go for what you are already good at.
- What are the requirements to start a home improvement business? Once you have clearly defined your area of expertise, the next step is to make a list of requirements to start your home improvement business. First on the list will be compliances regarding licensing and registering your business with the appropriate government office. You will also be required to submit a business or marketing plan outlining how you intend to operate your business, your potential customers, and a feasibility study showing that there is indeed a need or demand for a home improvement business in the area you intend to operate.
- How much capital do you need? You will need to research on how much capital investment you need to put up before even registering your business name. Aside from materials, tools and manpower, also take note of the fees you need to pay for business registration, licenses and insurance. All these need to be paid even before you get your first client. You may also need administrative tools such as software for bookkeeping and accounting purposes. If your business is bigger, then you may need an office space and a warehouse for your materials, tools and vehicles. If your garage will be used for this purpose, then your garage renovation expenses will form part of your initial capital outlay. Then you will have to put aside a certain amount for your working capital – the money you will use to buy the materials and pay for overhead when you get that first client.
- How will you get clients? Servicing clients is the easy part of the business. The challenge is getting one in the first place. You can start within your neighborhood. The best way to market your home improvement business is to make home improvements in your own home, noticeable enough for your neighbors to ask who worked on that wonderful porch. You can also print and hand out fliers with your contact details and the services you offer.
- How will your business flourish? Once you get a few clients, establish a good relationship with them, and in a few weeks, you will have new clients referred to you by your first ones. It is the best way of advertising, and cheaper too!
Other methods you can use to build your business can be learned through online business schools.