A roof coating business can be a profitable venture for a number of reasons. If you live in or near a city, you will find thousands upon thousands of flat roofs, many of which need to be coated. Cold coatings last approximately 5 years, so the opportunities for repeat business are high. It is also a great part-time business, as you will have low overhead, have minimal equipment to store, and have flexible hours.
There are two basic types of coatings- cold and hot. Cold coatings such as black asphalt and aluminum can easily be purchased at major home improvement stores. Hot asphalt materials can be purchased at most roofing supply warehouses.
If you choose to apply cold coatings such as fibered or non-fibered aluminum roof coatings, or fibered black asphalt roof coatings, you will have very minimal startup costs. A truck, ladder, a trowel to apply roof cement for flashing repairs, and a brush or mop to apply the coating are some of your main tools. Square footage needs to be calculated properly, so you know how many cans to purchase.
Hot tar kettles can range from under $1,000.00 for a small kettle to upwards of $10,000.00 for a kettle on a trailer. Other accessories will drive the costs up more. Dangers of fire, burns, and even death or serious injury are a definite concern.
Since cold coatings are safer, do not require training, and are easily accessible, this article will describe how to start a roof coating business using cold coatings.
1. Roof Coating Business Plan
Before you start any business, you should take time to plan. Writing even a basic business plan can help organize your thoughts and help you make educated decisions as you move forward. Some things to consider when starting a roof coating business are:
- Startup costs- These costs will include a roofing vehicle, ladders, liability insurance, health insurance (if a full-time business)
- Size of the market- Are there enough flat roofs to sustain a roof coating business?
- Competition- Who is the competition? Is there too much competition? Can your roof coating business stand out against the competition?
- Marketing- How will you promote your business? Door to door, website, yard signs, mailers, etc.
2. Register your Roof Coating Business
Even if you are planning to have a part-time roof coating business, you will need to register for tax purposes. In the United States you may also have to register as a contractor in certain states. In order to register as a contractor, many states require that you have liability insurance. Here are some links to help get your business registered: United States; Canada, United Kingdom.
3. Market Your Roof Coating Business
You will need to have some way to advertise your roof coating business. Here are a few low cost ideas:
- Door hangers/flyers- Flyers will be a little less cost than door hangers. Create a flyer advertising your business, find some neighborhoods that mainly consist of flat roofs (this is not hard at all in most cities), and put a flyer in EVERY door.
- Offer a “special”- Offer a promotion such as “15% off of your roof coating for the month of May only”
- Set up a website- Use key words in your website such as flat roof repair, flat roof coatings, roof coatings, and roof repair, to help attract your specific clientele.
Find some additional marketing tips here and here.
4. Grow Your Roof Coating Business
After you start to get a few customers, you need to start taking some steps to grow your business. Make sure you take the opportunity to give your current customers a few business cards to pass out (ask nicely!). You could even offer a small cash gift for any referrals that turn into jobs. Use yard signs if possible, as neighbors may also be interested in your services. As you continue to build a customer base, you will slowly see some jobs come in from referrals. This is the best type of advertising- it’s free, and it’s coming from real customers.
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