After the occurrence of a natural calamity such as a fire, floods, mold issues, or even a burst pipe, the first responder to your home is usually a local restoration company. They will come and access the damage then go ahead to clean up the mess and do repairs to minimize damage to the home and its contents.
The restoration industry is one that is growing significantly and highly rewarding at that. This is one industry that has a lot of challenges to overcome therefore it needs you to be genuinely interested in helping others during difficult times. With a foolproof business plan, the right dedication and investment, you can actualize your dream of owning a restoration company and reap great rewards in the future.
What to consider when starting a restoration company
There are two ways you can go about the startup, that is, you can either choose to purchase a franchise or you can decide to start your business from the zero.
For a franchise, the advantage is that it is quicker to get your business up and running. The downside for this is that it requires a lot of cash to begin and it has little to no flexibility of how you carry out your operations. This is because running a franchise means that you have to follow the laid out rules and procedures since they all have to operate in the same way. This also means that you will undergo training on how to go about the work.
Building your own business is great as it allows you more flexibility. You can run your operations however you see fit. The downside of this is that you have to have adequate knowledge about the business. You can do this by getting a mentor or partnering with someone knowledgeable about the industry. Starting a business from scratch also means that no one knows about you hence you have to do a lot of marketing and find ways to win the people’s trust.
Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. Your situation and preferences will determine the path you choose.
Location is a major determinant of any business. Before starting a business, you need to ascertain that there is a need for the services your company will be offering. To help you figure this out, do your research on the number and nature of natural calamities that occur in your area. Find out how many similar companies are available in your area and how business is for them, that is, are they struggling to stay afloat, or is business booming?
Another aspect of location is that it will help you determine the niche to venture into. For example, if your area mostly experiences floods, then the best restoration company for you to start will be a Water Restoration Company.
There are several niches in the restoration industry. You, therefore, need to determine which one to venture in or if your company is going to be a full- service restoration company. This decision is based on several factors such as your area of expertise, your location, service needs as well as your resources.
In as much as focusing on one niche and being the best at it might give you credibility, it is sometimes not the best option in the long run as it limits your reach and growth. It is for this reason that companies that specialize in one niche often work in partnership with other companies that offer the other services.
Most often than not, clients prefer to hire one company that will handle both mitigation and reconstruction work. It is for this reason that most business owners prefer to start a full-service restoration company.
A restoration business cannot survive without proper and quality equipment and the type of equipment is dependent on your restoration services. However, this does not mean you break the bank trying to purchase all equipment you can think of. There is basic equipment you need to have when starting a restoration company such as air movers, dehumidifiers, power washers, power cords, moisture meters; with hammer probe and thermo-hygrometer, cleaning products, an extraction unit, and a van; this helps with transportation and marketing. Ensure you have your company’s name and contacts written on both sides and at the back of your van professionally.
The point is having a proper set that has a single set of each equipment that you need. Additional equipment can be bought as the company grows.
Tips on buying equipment;
Always buy commercial-grade equipment: They might be a bit expensive but they are made to last hence very reliable.
Always buy in bulk: items such as safety gears will always be needed hence it makes sense buying them in bulk. The advantage of buying in bulk is that it lowers the cost per unit of item.
Be a repeat client: this will help you get discounts from some dealers especially on things you frequently purchase.
Training and Certification
Training and certification are not only important for your business but also mandatory in all states. Certifications may vary from one state to another therefore you must check on the requirements in your location.
There are different certifications for the different services therefore the kind of training and certification you are going to go through will depend on the type of services you will be offering.
A good place to start with this is with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This is an international body that offers different types of certifications both online and in various institutions.
When hiring employees for your business, ensure they all have undergone at least one relevant certification program. Having diverse qualifications is better for your business as your company will have a pool of knowledge in different areas of restoration.
Permits and Licenses
A business cannot be considered a legal business without obtaining the right permits and licenses. The type of permits and licenses required vary from one state to another therefore you might need to look into your local requirements.
However, some are necessary for a restoration business such as a business license to establish your company’s name and activities, a contractor’s license, a construction permit which in most cases is issued per job, and an insurance policy for your business, equipment, and workers against theft, damage, lawsuits, and work-related injuries.
Startup businesses usually have a hard time letting people know they exist and the kind of services they offer. You need to come up with a strategic business plan that will help you land your first job and future jobs. An effective marketing strategy should include;
Business name and logo: this helps to make your business familiar with potential clients. The more people resonate with your brand the higher chances of them choosing your services in times of need.
Networking: Since your services involve working with buildings and homes. You might want to consider networking with realtors, insurance companies, and other restoration companies. Having a good working relationship with such people might land you some good recommendations.
Have an online presence: This can be established by developing a website and creating social media accounts for your business. These days, people rush to the internet to search for anything and everything and you will want your name to come up in their list of suggestions.
Referrals: word of mouth has for a long time been a very effective and long term marketing plan. Satisfied clients are more likely to refer you to others who might need your services.
With the right tools of trade and marketing, your business will be up to a good start off.
The restoration industry is one that is filled with a lot of pressure and emotions especially from homeowners whose homes and possessions have been damaged. Therefore, starting a restoration company will need you to think of it as more than just a business. You need to be genuinely interested in helping people who have just gone through unexpected loss, empathize with them, and assure them that all will be well. Ensure you carry out your work diligently and your business will be successful.