How to Start My Own Successful Home Improvement Business

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Home improvement businesses serve homeowners and real estate investors by providing a range of construction- and renovation-related services. Home improvement contractors can specialize in repairing damage to homes, building new additions to homes or both. Starting your own contracting business requires experience and skill in both construction and project management. Knowing the steps to start your own successful home improvement business can get you off the ground and running quickly.

  • Determine the types of home improvement services you would like to perform. This will affect a range of decisions you make in future steps. Contractors do not have to start by offering a full range of home renovation services. A new home improvement business could start by specializing in deck construction, for example, or electrical work.

  • Select a form of business organization, and register your business in your state. For a small startup business, consider using either the sole proprietorship, partnership or limited liability company (LLC) form of organization. Sole proprietorships and partnerships feature the most managerial liberty, but LLCs provide a layer of liability protection that can be valuable if you plan to perform potentially dangerous activities.

  • Purchase all necessary tools, and obtain enough money to purchase materials for your first job. For each type of work you plan to offer in the start-up stage of your business, list the tools and machinery required to perform the jobs. Purchase enough tools to accommodate your entire crew to maximize the team's efficiency and productivity. Consider taking out a small business loan or opening a business credit card, if needed, to purchase the tools you need. Also, consider buying used rather than new equipment at first to lower your start-up costs.

  • Market your services to the public. Relationship marketing can be a powerful tool for home improvement contractors. Form partnerships with local real estate agents and complementary service providers to gain referrals. List your services in local print publications and online. When you secure your first jobs, ask your clients to allow you to place a small yard sign advertisement in their front yard while you are working, and always ask for personal referrals.

  • Focus on after-job customer service to strengthen relationships with customers and spread word-of-mouth advertising. The most successful home improvement businesses understand that loyal customers are more profitable than first-time customers. Cultivating long-term relationships with satisfied customers can ensure you always have a backlog of job orders.

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