If flooring is your passion, why sweat it for a boss?
Starting your own flooring business will bring you satisfaction. It’ll give you the freedom to run the business better; your way.
For advice on how best to start your flooring business in this $22bn industry, read on!
The Flooring Industry
Flooring contractors install custom-cut flooring into their customers’ business or residential property. Tile, laminate, linoleum, marble, wood, and carpet are the most common products to install. You might want to specialize in one or two of these materials, to segment the market.
Each material has differences in cost and quality, bringing opportunity for specialization. Do you want to target the high-end vinyl tile market with this product, work with Italian marble market, or offer low-cost linoleum?
Skills You Need
To go out on your own, you need to be sure you’ve got the trade skills to measure and lay new flooring and to remove the old one. You need to be able to lay down and level subfloors.
The job calls for strong communication skills, which can surprise those that expected it to be a clear-cut trade job. Strong customer reviews depend upon your ability to understand what they want in order to provide it.
This requires trade skills in the doing and strong communication in understanding.
To open your own business, it is a big plus to be a previous flooring contractor. It means you will already have the technical experience in installation. If you hire well, you can still get around lacking this experience.
As a manager, you will also need to be able to receive requests, quote on projects, and watch budgets. You will need to plan business promotion, oversee staff, and communicate with subcontractors.
Flooring Business Market Trends
Flooring installation has a strong connection to the housing construction market. The housing recession pulled flooring businesses down with it. But since 2015 the market is on the rise.
The flooring industry saw annual growth of 4.6% from 2012 to 2017. It steadily outgrew the post-GFC market slump.
Industry watchers predict further gains over the next four-year period. This means bigger profits for those flooring businesses that scraped through the recession.
It’s also great news for anyone considering their own flooring business.
Starting Your Own Business
There are some key considerations to take on board to be successful in starting your own flooring business. Check out our list below to get a better idea of what you need to think about.
Clarify Your Service Offering
Before you enter the market, you need to define what you offer. First, work out what product or service you know the most about, or most enjoy working with.
Consider if your preferred jobs are with big developers, mum-and-dad businesses, schools, government contracts, or subcontracts.
The bigger jobs sometimes ask that you enter a contract bidding contest. You need to consider whether the proposed effort is worth it. For a small business, it generally isn’t, unless you are confident you’ll win the contract.
Cross-Check with Market Demand
You now know what you want to sell. The next step involves online and face-to-face research to check if there is a market for what you want to offer. There is no point being the best Italian-marble installer in town if no one is buying!
You can get this sort of information online, and from local small business support operators. You can also conduct casual research by talking to your contacts in the construction industry about trends.
Check Out the Competition
Who else is offering the type of flooring you intend to, and is there business enough for you both? Best of all, what are their customers saying about them?
Analyze customer reviews of your competitors to position yourself as the flooring contractor that goes above-and-beyond. For example, if reviews complain about the post-installation mess, promise to leave the place cleaner then you found it!
It pays to do some profit projections before you get started. In the flooring business, this has a lot to do with the materials you settle on. Hardwood, carpet and tile floors generally make the best profits.
Importing high-end foreign material might mean import and shipping costs eat up your profit margin. There is only so much of this cost you can pass on to clients who are already paying top dollar for their new floor.
Plan to Succeed
There are many aspects of a successful flooring business that have little to do with flooring. If you plan to employ office staff, you need to think about ways to create a productive work environment. If you work with large quantities, it is warehouse and shipping improvements you’ll need to research.
As a manager, you’ll need to polish up your emotional intelligence to improve your recruitment and performance management skills. All this, in turn, means better staff, high productivity, and more profits.
Iron Out Common Startup Problems
There are some common startup problems that small business owners fall into, that you can avoid by knowing.
- Start small – instead of spending a lot on marketing to win big business, work your connections for smaller jobs and grow by positive word-of-mouth
- Employ sales staff – so you can focus on the trade and on management
- Don’t over capitalize – only take our loans for repayment amounts and repay periods you can realistically meet, from competitive lenders
Do your best to avoid common missteps.
Time to Get Started
If you want to take your passion for flooring to the next level, it’s time to start your own flooring business. You’ve now got all the startup advice you need to get going.
Use the know-how you’ve learned from years in the business – but for your profit instead of to boost the earnings of your boss.
Increase your earnings, gain freedom, and feel the satisfaction that comes from being your own boss.
The market is on the increase and needs experienced professionals like you. Use our advice to manage the business planning to guarantee success.
What are you waiting for?! You can get all the information you need to get the business started right here, so get to it today!