Guide to Starting a Home Improvement Business

Opening a home improvement business is often a profitable endeavour. No matter the housing market’s climate, there’s always demand for home improvement services. From big renovations to minor repairs, people are always looking to renovate their homes, making this a resilient sector full of opportunity. If this sounds like the right fit for you, take a look at our guide to learn how to get started on the right foot.

1. Get Motivated

Starting a home improvement business requires more than just technical skills. Knowing business basics and crafting a solid business plan is pivotal for success. But it also takes motivation and passion to navigate challenges, especially when starting out.

Motivation creates the will needed to get things done. It also makes you enjoy your work and get hands-on with your business. Here are some things to keep in mind to sustain your motivation:

  • Ask yourself why? – Knowing why you want to start this business and having a clear purpose will help you stay determined when facing challenges.
  • Set goals – Create some short- and long-term goals for your business. Having direction will help keep you on track.
  • Cultivate your passion – Remind yourself why you love this type of work in the first place. Perhaps it’s the satisfaction of seeing a space transformed or the joy of tapping into your creativity.

2. Have a Reasonable Financial Outlook

Ensure you have enough funds set aside to cover the expenses of starting your business. Being a home improvement contractor sometimes requires you to tighten your belt for several months to drive profits and succeed.

Even the most profitable businesses can need help meeting financial obligations. For assistance with financial planning, check out our video, Cash Flow Planning for Small Businesses, or our Business Plan Template And Cash Flow Forecasting checklist.

3. Determine What Services You’ll Offer

Offering services that you enjoy and are most profitable is essential. While some contractors offer comprehensive home remodelling services, others focus on particular rooms. Decide what sounds most appealing, and build your business around those services.

4. Obtain Licensing and Insurance

Getting licensed and insured is crucial before starting out. All businesses require a license to operate, which the local government issues. You may also need different permits to renovate particular areas or for specific projects. You should also obtain a contractor license and other necessary certifications. Find out what permits and licenses you need using BizPal.

You’ll also need general liability insurance to cover such expenses in case of accidents on the job or home damages caused by your employees. Commercial and cyber insurance is also essential for this kind of business.

5. Build Relationships with Suppliers and Subcontractors

When doing business, try fostering relationships with home material suppliers. This way, you may obtain discounts that could reduce your business expenses. It’s also possible that they’ll prioritize you when it comes to the delivery of materials, which means that you’ll get your work done faster.

6. Market Your Services

You’ll also have to prioritize marketing your business so potential customers can see the variety of services you offer. You should focus on this in the first few months of your business. Here are some marketing ideas to consider trying out:

  • Build a website and optimize it so it appears in local searches in your region.
  • Use social media like Meta (Facebook), YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and so on.
  • Hand out flyers or branded merchandise at local community events.
  • Brand your company vehicles and machinery.

There are many ways to market your business. Think about where you’ll be able to find your target audience and hone in on those marketing techniques. 

Small Business BC is Here to Help

SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our business articles.