How To Start a Window Replacement Business From Scratch
The U.S. makes it easier than practically any other country to start a business. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) has done a study for the past 16 years, and its most recent findings showed a record-high number of Americans, 27 million, are starting new businesses. Window replacement is just one area where new companies can thrive. The window business falls within the home improvement category, and this provides many opportunities.
Before you jump into entrepreneurship, however, it is important to do your homework. Two areas are of chief concern: your business acumen and your knowledge about your specific business. The book "E-Myth" explains the three general types of professionals, and not everyone is an entrepreneur. If you are more of a technician, you may want to consider a more entrepreneurial business partner. You also must understand your industry, product, competition, startup costs and more, and you can read about those things next.
Develop a Business Plan
Any new business requires a solid business plan, and the window business is no exception. If you are seeking financing, then it will be a requirement. Even if you have enough startup capital to begin on your own, a solid business plan will provide clarity, outline clear goals and equip you to move forward as successfully as possible in the window replacement business. Your business plan should include these:
- Business management and key players
- Market analysis
- Understanding your customer with a thoroughly developed persona
- Analysis of your competition and what sets you apart
- Clear marketing and sales strategies
Know Your Startup Costs and Breakeven Point
Accurate financials and projections play an important role in establishing a successful window business. It is not enough to know the average cost of window replacement. You must also understand whether your business is cyclical, if there are seasons where you must reserve cash to get you through until peak business time, and ongoing costs of payroll, taxes, insurance, business filings, accounting and legal fees and more. Be able to effectively communicate at what point you or your investors will break even and begin to see a return on the investment. Finally, be sure to have enough personal cash reserves to get you through until the business begins to generate a profit.
Determine What Sets You Apart From the Competition
In order to capture market share, you must determine your differentiator. What sets you apart from the competition? What is the need and how do you meet it better than anyone else? If it is credibility, consider going beyond simple licensure and insurance liability requirements. Obtain additional certifications and make it a goal to be in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.
Execute Well on Marketing and Sales
Another factor that can set your window business apart from the competition is your marketing and sales strategy. You can be the best installer there is, but without an effective marketing and sales strategy to drive business, you may not stay in business for long. For example, always ask customers to provide positive online reviews so that potential customers gain a level of comfort before the first contact even occurs.
Another great approach is to work with a lead generator that provides quality window replacement leads. Entrepreneurship, installation, sales and marketing all require different skill sets, which is why it is often more effective for window contractors to outsource work to a company that specializes in the skills they lack or that would take away from more effective use of their time.
Follow Your Dreams (Wisely)
There are few, if any, real barriers to entry for starting your own window business. You can start taking active steps toward your goal now. Spend time on the front end doing your research and putting together a strong business plan and timely goals. Make sure your finances are solid, set yourself apart from the competition and start generating leads.
Billy.com has a strong track record of working with contractors and consumers to form lead generation and strategic partnerships. Contact Billy.com today to see how we can support your business.