New construction projects and home renovations are growing in many parts of the country. Reliable contractors might do well to start their own drywall businesses to help meet the demand. Your knowledge and skill help buildings take shape, providing functional homes, schools, and businesses to thousands of Americans.
But just because your services are in demand doesn’t mean your drywall repair business will be an instant success. Planning and preparation are necessary to make your small business dream a profitable reality.
Here are nine steps to help you start a drywall business in the United States, from research that will help your business take shape to why you may want to consider drywall business insurance.
1. Do your research
Understanding your local market can be useful as you start to shape your business idea. Research can help you make key decisions, like what services you’ll provide, how much to charge, and how you’ll advertise your drywall business.
Your research should focus on areas like:
- The need for drywall services in your area – Is there a strong demand for drywall installation where you live or plan to work?
- Local competitors – What services do they provide? How much do they charge? How are they advertising?
- Risks that contracting/drywall businesses face – What types of events could harm your business or hinder operations (i.e., lawsuits, workplace injuries, broken equipment, etc.)?
2. Write a business plan
With research in hand, it’s time to write a business plan. This document is a roadmap for your business, helping you make strategic decisions about how to run your company.
A drywall business plan may include information such as:
- Proposed business structure – i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.
- Market and competitor research
- Sales forecasts
- Budgets – Both planned operating and marketing spending.
Many small business owners get help from an accountant to draft their business plans.
3. Apply for licenses and permits
Licenses and permits may be required to work and run a business in your area. At a minimum, you may need a general or drywall contractor license and a business license to operate legally. However, there may be additional permits required for individual projects.
Check with your state and local governments to understand the license and permit requirements in your area.
4. Find funding
Outside money is often needed to get an installation and drywall repair business off the ground. You may need extra cash to buy essential equipment, hire staff, or cover operating costs until your drywall business is profitable.
Common sources of funding for small businesses are:
- Business loans – Banks will typically ask to see your business plan when you apply for a loan.
- Small business grants – Grants may be offered by state and local governments or by private institutions.
- Investors – Individuals or other businesses may invest in promising small businesses.
5. Hire experienced staff
Many small businesses start as one-person startups. However, to start a drywall business, you will probably want some help. Experienced staff can help you deliver quality work that helps build your business’ reputation.
You may consider hiring:
- Drywall contractors
- An office manager or admin assistant
- Customer service reps
- Marketing assistant
Many small businesses hire part-time or freelance help until they can afford full-time employees.
6. Develop strong supplier relationships
The construction industry is built on strong friendships and partnerships. Developing relationships with your suppliers could benefit your customers, your business, and your bottom line. You could get inside knowledge to help you overcome supply chain challenges or simply negotiate discounts and free delivery that increase your profits.
7. Create a marketing plan
Finding customers is an ongoing challenge for many small businesses. A solid marketing plan can help you line up drywalling projects consistently and keep money flowing into your business.
Marketing plans often include:
- Traditional and online advertising
- Social media posts and promotions
- Website updates for SEO optimization
- Collecting online reviews and customer testimonials
8. Make customer service a priority
You might be the most skilled drywall contractor in town, but you may struggle to find work if you offer poor customer service. Creating happy and loyal customers starts the first time someone contacts your business and continues right up until the end of a job.
Quality customer service often means:
- Responding promptly – To calls, emails, and messages from current and potential customers.
- Providing accurate quotes and estimates – You may consider a drywall estimating course to help you learn this skill.
- Remaining professional on the job – Wearing a clean uniform or clothing, minimizing cell phone use while working, and cleaning up before you leave a work site.
- Following up with customers – Check that they are happy with your work and correct any mistakes or flaws.
9. Consider drywall business insurance
Starting a drywall business takes time and effort. Business insurance can help protect what you’re building, so it can continue to grow and thrive. Some drywall business insurance may be required for your business, while other policies may be optional (but nice to have).
Drywall contractors consider different types of drywall business insurance policies, including:
- General Liability – Also referred to as Commercial General Liability (CGL) or “slip and fall coverage”, this insurance can protect your business against bodily injury or property damage lawsuits from outside parties. A General Liability policy may be required to work with certain clients or lease commercial space for your business.
- Workers’ Compensation – Protects you against medical expenses and lawsuits that can arise from employee workplace injuries and illnesses. It could also pay lost wages as a result of the work injuries that an employee sustains. A Workers’ Compensation policy is required for most businesses in every state except Texas.
- Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) – This is a convenient and affordable way for small business owners to protect against several of their most common exposures. These policies combine General Liability insurance with other types of coverage, such as business interruption and business property damage.
Building your way to success
Starting a drywall business is a big step in your career as a contractor. It will take hard work to get your business running and make it a success. We hope the steps above help you create a solid foundation to build upon.
Considering drywall business insurance? BizInsure has got you covered.
We understand small businesses and offer insurance options tailored to your unique needs. Finding and buying insurance online is simple, with an easy-to-use comparison platform and instant coverage. Our licensed agents can even help you choose policies that suit your business needs.
Start comparing drywall business insurance quotes today and save!