The $100 billion home services market is still growing rapidly, as more consumers embrace the convenience and expertise offered by these businesses.
In these busy times, homeowners rely heavily on contractors to take care of the home maintenance issues they don’t have time for. These include home cleaning, plumbing, electrical, home organizing, and HVAC services, among others.
These are our top tips for starting a professional home services business to take advantage of this trend.
1. Compile a Comprehensive Business Plan
Composing a business plan isn’t as much fun as designing a logo and website, but it’s a vital step in starting a business. Your business plan provides a road map for the future of your business, and everything else depends on it.
Although there’s a lot to cover in this area, it’s simple enough to set up a great business plan if you break it down into manageable steps. These are the main things to cover in a business plan:
Define Your Offering
When you run a service business, you’re selling your time and expertise instead of tangible goods.
Make a list of everything you intend to offer your customers and the corresponding charges for each. It’s helpful to carry out some competitor research in this area to get an idea of acceptable prices in your area.
Lay Out Your Marketing Plan
No business can survive without a clear marketing plan. Without a plan, you’re bound to lose sight of your goals.
A good marketing plan centers around actionable steps to attract your first customer as well as those that come afterward.
Start by describing your perfect customer, and then figure out ways to reach out to them effectively and affordably. Remember to include your marketing costs in the financial portion of your business plan.
Do the Math
Everyone starts a business to make money, so it’s important to keep cash flow in mind from the outset. Otherwise, you could end up being one of the many businesses that fail within the first five years.
The major things to consider include:
- Start-up costs
- Overhead costs, like rent
- Other costs, like marketing
- Making enough money to cover these costs
Your level of projected sales must always cover these predicted costs, although you can expect slim profits at the outset.
Build a Business Strategy
You can’t focus on your long-term goals unless you know where you’re going from the start. It’s extremely difficult to figure out your strategy as you go along.
Spending time fine-tuning your strategy will help you stay focused and cope with any setbacks more effectively.
What to Include in Your Business Plan
Every solid business plan has six areas of focus. These are:
- Executive summary or overview of the business
- Statement of the customer’s problem and your solution, including your USP
- Description of your target market and potential customer numbers
- Marketing and sales strategies
- An outline of your ideal team
- Financial forecast and plan
When you have these things in place, you can start working on the finer details of running your service business.
2. Don’t Skimp on the Paperwork
In most states, you’ll require a license to run your home services business. Make sure you know what’s required in your area, this is your passport to bigger jobs and better customers.
Joining an industry association and gaining accreditation from them is another way to enhance your reputation and build credibility.
Insurance is a must for any business. Some types of insurance you’ll need for your business include:
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance
- Vehicle insurance
- Equipment insurance
- Building insurance
- Third-Party Liability insurance
Some insurers offer tailor-made products to cover specific service industries.
Most customers prefer to work with businesses that have the correct insurance policies in place, so this can affect your reputation as well as protect you from unforeseen financial disasters.
Consider whether you want to run your business from home. While this is a much cheaper way to do things, you must find out whether your municipality allows you to keep the necessary equipment and vehicles on your property.
Finally, make sure you have secure and clear-cut employee guidelines and contracts in place. Your workers need to know what’s expected of them in line with your company culture.
If you intend to hire subcontractors, be sure to vet them carefully and set up comprehensive, legally-compliant agreements with them.
3. Get the Professional Home Services Basics Right
Ongoing marketing is the lifeblood of any business. Be sure to cover word-of-mouth, online, and social media marketing. Consider signing up with popular review sites and the Better Business Bureau to help you build a good reputation in the industry.
Another important aspect of running a services business is using the right technology to keep track of your jobs, finances, customers, and human resources aspects.
It’s important to keep track of your marketing successes and failures as well as every measurable aspect of every job. There are many technologies available today to help you do this at the click of a mouse, or by pressing on a touch screen.
According to the field service management software BuildOps website, better data can help you make better decisions. You can’t improve your business if you don’t know what’s working as well as what isn’t.
You’ll need to find premises that offer the desired electrical, plumbing, storage, parking, and internet facilities for you to run your business effectively.
Working Toward Success in Business
Whether you’re running a professional home services business or one that sells products, it’s vital to keep refining your tactics as time progresses.
Nowadays, new technologies and innovations spring up all the time. Many of these can offer ways to improve your offering.
Browse some more of our blog articles for more information on how to manage and grow your business.