A business plan is a detailed roadmap outlining the goals and objectives of a business, as well as providing strategies for achieving these goals. Here’s how to create one, even if it’s your first.
Starting any kind of company requires a solid business plan, and roofing companies are certainly no exception. Without a business plan, you’re flying blind. That’s not a great way to ensure profitability.
But if you’ve never put together a business plan, it can seem daunting. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide.
In this article, we’ll explain what a business plan is and why you need one. Then we’ll outline a 5-step process for creating a business plan. And last but not least, we’ll suggest a few specific things you can do right now, today, to get started.
Let’s jump right in.
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a detailed roadmap outlining the goals and objectives of a business, as well as providing strategies for achieving these goals.
Business plans typically include things like:
- An executive summary
- An industry overview
- Market analysis
- Competitive analysis
- An operational plan
- Financial forecasts
- Descriptions of products and services
- Your organizational structure
- Management team information
If that sounds like a lot, don’t worry. You don’t necessarily have to include everything on that list in your roofing company business plan. (We’ll walk you through the essentials later in this article.)
For now, it’s enough to understand what a business plan is at a high level. Think of it as a GPS system for your business. Your plan will help you reach your destination, turn by turn.
A well-designed business plan will almost certainly increase your chances of success.
It provides a clear roadmap for your business. It will highlight potential challenges and opportunities. And it will guide you as you move through the pivotal early stages of establishing and growing your business.
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Why You Need a Business Plan for Your Roofing Company
A roofing company business plan is essential for several reasons. Let’s start with some industry-level basics.
The Roofing Industry
The roofing industry is valued at $104.2 billion. What’s more, that figure is expected to grow.
That’s great news in terms of your potential customer base. But it also means there will be plenty of competition. Roofing companies of all sizes, small and large, will go after the same customers you’re trying to win over.
If you want to stay relevant and competitive as the industry expands, you need a plan.
Your business plan can help you stand out from all that competition. A solid business plan will outline what you offer and how your offers are a superior choice for your target clients.
It can also help you identify and target specific niches within the market. That will make it easier and more strategic to offer specialized products and services.
The roofing industry can be unpredictable. Changes in weather and economic conditions can affect the demand for services.
Your business is a key ingredient in creating efficient, effective, recession-proof business operations. After all, it’s a lot easier to maintain profitability when you’re already streamlined.
A business plan will provide the following:
Marketing Your Roofing Company
Finally, your business plan will guide your initial marketing efforts.
Using your business plan as a guide, you’ll be able to determine your target audience, set your marketing budget, identify the best venues for marketing campaigns, and fine-tune your focus on the most profitable services you offer.
Create a Roofing Company Business Plan in 5 Steps
Writing a roofing company business plan may seem overwhelming. It certainly can be challenging if you’ve never written one before. But it’s a critical investment in your future.
That’s why we’ve simplified the process, outlining the key steps.
If you work your way through the 5 steps below, you’ll have the foundation of a solid, results-oriented business plan for your roofing business.
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Step 1: Write an Executive Summary
The executive summary is a brief overview of your business plan. It outlines your goals, including what you hope to achieve with your roofing company. It can be short-, medium-, or long-term.
It should include the following:
- Your target market – The group of potential customers you’re most focused on winning over.
- Services provided – The primary services you plan to offer to your target market.
- Competitive advantage – Why you’re a better option than the competition for your target market when it comes to the services you provide.
Those three core pieces of information are the foundation of all your sales and marketing efforts. These are the basics you absolutely have to know before you start trying to win over customers.
If you (and your salespeople) can clearly articulate your services and competitive advantage to your target marketing, you’re set up for success.
Step 2: Create a Company Overview
In the company overview section, you’ll provide detailed information about your roofing company.
- A brief history of your business
- Detailed descriptions of your services
- Share unique features or offerings that set you apart from your local competition
- Details about your staff
- Certifications or accreditations you (or your company) holds
As you can see, there’s some overlap here with the information in your executive summary. Your company overview will go into greater detail, providing even more specifics.
Step 3: Complete Market Analysis
Market analysis is the process of researching the current and potential size of a specific market. In this case, you’ll be focused on your target market.
For example, if you’re focused on upper-middle-class homeowners in your zip code, you’ll want to do some research to answer questions like:
- How many potential customers fall in this demographic?
- How old are these potential customers?
- What kinds of services are these customers most interested in?
- What do these customers focus on when making buying decisions?
Market analysis helps you understand the demand for your products or services. It will also shed light on how you can make your offerings stand out from your competitors.
Here are some common target markets for roofing customers. You might want to consider these when doing market research.
Homeowners are often a primary target market for roofing companies. It makes sense. They’re responsible for the maintenance and repair of their own homes, including their roofs.
Be sure to consider single-family homes, as well as multi-family dwellings such as townhomes and condominiums.
Property managers may also be a target market for roofing companies. They oversee the maintenance and repair of rental properties.
Like homeowners, they’ll need help when it comes to roof repairs. But unlike homeowners, these can easily be bigger jobs.
Property managers are often responsible for apartments, commercial properties, office buildings, and shopping centers.
Commercial Property Owners
Commercial property owners may also need roofing services for their properties. As a bonus, a single property company may own multiple properties. One closed deal could mean a lot of potential business.
Commercial property companies own all kinds of properties—everything from single-family dwellings to large commercial facilities.
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Need-Based Target Markets
Roofing companies may also target specific demographics based on services needed.
For example, some roofing companies focus on customers who own heritage properties. These properties are more likely to need roof repairs or replacements due to the roof’s age.
They may also target a specific location. Some areas produce higher demands for roofing services as a result of harsh weather conditions.
Step 4: Complete Competitive Analysis
In this section of your business plan, you’ll examine the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.
Competitive analysis will help you identify and analyze your competitors. You’ll want to focus on things like your competitor’s products and services, marketing strategies, pricing models, and overall financial health.
This information can be used to guide your strategic planning and marketing efforts. Below are some specific things to really dig into when doing competitive analysis.
One key factor to consider when analyzing your competitors is their reputation.
While it’s important to consider if they have good reputations, be prepared to push beyond a high-level review. You won’t need to do intense research, though. You just need to ask a few key questions.
- Based on their marketing (their website, social media feeds, and ads), who are they targeting?
- What part(s) of town are they focused on serving?
- What products and services are they known for?
- Do they have a strong online presence?
- Do they have a lot of positive online reviews?
When you have an idea of their strengths and weaknesses, you can design your offerings and marketing efforts to take advantage of opportunities they’re missing.
Another factor to consider is the competition’s level of customer service. While this overlaps a bit with reputation, there are some nuanced differences.
Here are some questions to ask.
- Do they have a dedicated customer service team?
- Are they known for being responsive and helpful?
- What forms of support do they offer? For example, do they provide support by phone, email, or online chat?
- When they get negative customer reviews, how do they respond?
Pricing is always a key decision-making factor. It’s essential to understand how your competitors are pricing their offerings.
However, we will offer a word of caution here. Some new business owners mistakenly think lower prices are the way to go in every situation. Sometimes going lower is a solid strategy, but not always.
And even if your prices are lower, you don’t want to sell on price alone. If you do, someone else can easily undercut you.
Here’s what you should consider.
- Are their prices low, average, or high compared to the cost of supplies and labor?
- Are they selling based on price?
- Are they positioning themselves as a premium provider and charging higher prices?
Your competitors’ pricing strategies can help you determine your own pricing. You want to find the right balance. Stay competitive (so you attract customers) without going lower than necessary (so you’re also profitable).
The competition’s marketing tactics can provide valuable insights. You can learn who their target audience is, how they reach their target audience, and how they’re presenting their company to their target audience.
As you look over their marketing materials, ask the following.
- Are they using traditional (non-digital) marketing methods like print and radio ads?
- Are they more focused on digital marketing techniques like social media and email marketing?
- If they’re investing in digital marketing, what venues are they focused on?
- What tone and personality do they lean into in their marketing materials?
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Step 5: Operations and Management
In this section, you’ll outline the day-to-day operations of your roofing company. Be sure to include the management team and each member’s roles and responsibilities.
If you’re starting with a small operation, it may be tempting to skip this section. However, we recommend that you document your operational and management plans even if your company will launch with only a handful of employees.
Solid operational policies will make your initial period of growth much easier. You might include the following.
Location and facility
You should document the base of operations for your roofing company, including information about vehicles. Think through each of the following questions.
- Will you operate your business from your work vehicle?
- Will you have an office, storefront, or warehouse?
- Are there any unique features of your facility?
- Is your facility easily accessible for your employees and customers?
Equipment includes the tools and machinery (owned by the business) that are needed to complete jobs. Common items include things like ladders, roofing materials, and power tools.
Document the age, condition, and maintenance needs of your equipment. Include any plans you have for upgrading or expanding your equipment in the future.
Policies and Procedures
Your documented policies and procedures are a critical part of your business plan. These will make complicated decisions much easier. They’ll also help ensure you’re consistent in how you handle customers and employees alike.
Consider documenting the following, at a minimum.
- Employee conduct and expectations (including criteria for employee discipline)
- Safety protocols
- Customer service policies (including how complaints will be handled)
- Quality control measures
- Expectations for managers and company leaders
Partnerships and Collaborations
Do you have any partnerships with other home services providers? Are you planning to establish any? Strategic partnerships are a great way to generate leads, so they’re a good idea.
But you never want to establish a partnership without a clear (documented) understanding of how the partnership will work.
Training and Development
Finally, you should outline any training and development opportunities you plan to offer to your employees. This might include on-the-job training, professional development courses, or mentorship programs.
Training and development opportunities can enhance employees’ skills and knowledge. That will help them be successful in their current roles. Plus, it’s a nice incentive to include when hiring.
Training and development shows your company cares about your staff’s future success.
Start Developing Your Roofing Company Business Plan
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include one final note. Your business plan isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing. Instead, you should review it regularly. We recommend reviewing (and possibly updating it) once a year.
Regular, intentional updates ensure your plan remains relevant. As your business grows, its needs will change. Your business plan should reflect that.
While creating a full business plan takes a bit of time, there are some things you can do today to jumpstart your efforts. Here are a few ways you can get started right away.
- Write a vision statement for your company. A vision statement is a sentence that outlines an organization’s long-term goals and objectives. It should be aspirational but also achievable. Writing a vision statement will set you up to craft your business plan.
- Outline some 1-year, 5-year, 10-year, and legacy goals. Where would you like to be a year from now? 5 or 10 years from now? And what sort of legacy do you want to leave? Again, these high-level questions will set you up to align your business plan with your values.
- Define your target market. What kind of customers are you most interested in working with? What customers do you think will be the most profitable for your business? What customers will be the most satisfying to serve?
- Take a quick inventory of what you already have. Collect any policy documentation you already have in hand. Make a list of the equipment your company already owns. List out all the marketing efforts you already have going. Each of these will give you a jumping-off point for your complete business plan.