(There are links at the bottom of this article showing how to start a masonry business in your area.)
Starting and running a profitable masonry business is a lot more than knowing about tuckpointing or working with concrete. Being a successful brick and stone mason involves organization, knowledge, patience, perseverance, people-skills, and a number of other traits. Many business owners fail, not because they weren’t skilled in working with brick and stone, but because they were not skilled in running a business.
The larger you want your masonry company to be, the better you need to be as a business owner, as the responsibility will be greater. It is not wrong to dream big, but if you are a new business owner, it is best to start small and work your way up.
3 STEPS TO STARTING A MASONRY BUSINESS
There are three basic steps to starting a masonry company from scratch. First is planning. Second is registering with proper government institutions. Lastly, you will need to promote your business in some way to attract customers.
1. Plan Your Masonry Company
Before diving in to any business, you should develop a business plan. If you want to start a masonry company, you definitely need to start with a business plan! Masonry equipment and vehicles can cost a lot of money. Don’t forget about insurance costs, not only for you, but for any employees. A business plan doesn’t have to be anything complicated, but is something that will help organize your goals and priorities and help you make wise decisions.
Planning properly will help you decide if you are going to specialize in a specific niche such as stone restoration work or tuck pointing repairs, or if you will offer a variety of services.
- Set short and long-term goals – Plan your business before you spend a dime.
- Decide what services you will offer – Decide the scope of your business.
- Find a niche – What will be your specialty? What will set you apart from the competition?
- Choose a business name – Put some thought into deciding a name for your masonry business.
- Decide what you will charge for your services
- Financing – You may need to get a business loan
As soon as you start your masonry business, you will need some sort of organizational structure so you can keep your customer communications and masonry-related paperwork in order. You won’t necessarily need a full office when starting out. An office desk dedicated to your masonry company paperwork would be helpful.
Get a daily planner or use your smartphone to schedule estimates, jobs, and other work-related appointments. An easy way to lose customers is to arrive late or even forget a scheduled appointment. A schedule will help you plan your day, week, and month, so you can make best use of your time and your customer’s time.
- Set up an office
- Business phone
- Estimate forms
- Bill Forms
Equipment needed when starting a masonry company
You can’t start a masonry company without masonry tools and equipment. Equipment will probably account for the largest portion of your startup costs. Starting out, you don’t necessarily need all brand-new tools and equipment. You will save thousands of dollars in startup costs by purchasing a used truck, used ladders and ladder rack, scaffolding, and other misc. tools. Another tip is to only buy tools as jobs require them. This will help keep you from going into debt for tools and equipment you may end up never using.
2. Register Your New Masonry Business
Make it legal
Make sure you are following proper protocol in your region. This means having necessary insurance, following tax codes, getting proper licenses and permits, etc. This applies even to a part-time masonry business.
Some steps to starting your masonry company legally:
- Select your business structure (sole-proprietor, LLC, Corporation, etc.)
- Register your business name
- Register your business entity
- Register as a home improvement contractor with your state (US)
- Open a business bank account
- Taxes- either get an accountant, or do research on filing yourself
- Liability Insurance
- Worker’s Compensation
- City Licenses and Permits
3. Grow Your New Masonry Business
In order to grow your masonry company, you will need to work hard, have people skills, and be patient. You will also need to market your business effectively. Success and profit won’t come overnight.
Beside employees, dealing with customers can cause a great amount of stress. Learning how to communicate well with customers can help boost sales and increase word-of-mouth leads.
- Learn how to sell a masonry job to a potential customer
- Estimate a masonry job properly
- Communicate regularly and clearly with the customer
- Be fair and honest- take responsibility for your mistakes
After you start a masonry business, you need to market it. Some low-cost advertising to get started can include a basic 1 or 2 page website, setting up a free business listing for your masonry company on Google and other online directories, social media accounts, business cards and a few yard signs.
How to Start a Masonry Business in the United States