You've thought long and hard about how to start your next successful business venture. There are plenty of business possibilities, but the one that has caught your eye is the installation and repair of garage doors.
These vital garage door services can require a lot of planning and structure. Fortunately, the most significant opportunity for growth in this industry, garage door installation on existing homes, is well within reach.
Starting your own business can be risky, so it's important to know that you're not alone. Over the last year, over a million jobs were created in the business services sector, so there's plenty of room for growth. Before you start your commercial garage door business, however, it's vital to have a plan to maximize your profit.
So, how profitable is a garage door business? Let's find out!
As you start setting goals and milestones for your garage door service venture, you may wonder: how profitable is a garage door business? Of course, the answer may vary, as with any new business, but for a successful commercial garage door business, the profits can be anywhere between $125,000-$250,000 a year.
Sounds great, right? To reach that benchmark, however, a lot of careful planning has to take place. Generally, a small business startup takes three to four years to be profitable.
During those first few years, paying expenses, investing, and equipment can take most of your company's profits, so you have to keep a critical eye on your spending and profit margins. There are several costs associated with starting your garage door installation and repair service.
As with any business, a garage door repair business requires a budget, which requires you to consider all your overhead costs. The following are three of the largest areas of cost for your new garage door business.
When you start your own business, you must consider whether you will embark on a one-person operation or have employees. If you decide to hire other people, make sure to factor in the cost.
A part-time employee's salary is usually between $10,000-$14,000 annually, but training and other equipment can add up. So the US Small Business Administration generally recommends that it's safer to account for 1.4 times their annual salary to ensure you have budgeted enough.
Plenty of tools and equipment are necessary for starting your garage door service venture. For installation and repair, you'll need ladders, gloves, safety gear, pliers, clamps, locking bars, and various hand tools like wrenches, drills, and others.
When planning for your budget, it's best to make a comprehensive list of everything you'll need and then price them out thoroughly before you purchase your first piece of equipment.
There isn't one correct answer for how much to spend on marketing for your startup business. However, a B2C business, like garage door services, generally has a recommended budget for marketing of anywhere from 9%-12% of total revenues.
As you make your business plan, check all your numbers and plan accordingly for marketing costs. A good marketing strategy can be the difference between a successful commercial garage door venture and an unsuccessful one.
In addition to outreach marketing, another form of useful digital marketing is maintaining a website and blog. Posting an article regularly and utilizing garage door SEO can help spread your brand and generate new interest.
Now that you know some of the upfront costs associated with starting your business, you want to know how to get the most profit out of your services.
Even though every business is different, you can follow a few consistent points to make your garage door installation and repair venture as profitable as possible.
Before you start your journey, you'll need a road map to help ensure it's a successful one. A proper business plan contains five sections, each detailing aspects of your business:
This is commonly referred to as your "elevator pitch." Create a summary of the business model for your garage door venture. Make sure to include your background and expertise in the area of installation and repair to give your pitch confidence.
Remember that this summary shouldn't take more than five minutes to deliver. It should also leave your audience engaged and wanting to know more about your business model.
Describe the services you provide for your potential clients. For example, consider adding any renovation or repair work you can provide in addition to installation on overhead doors. This can help sell your business model since it puts you in the center of it.
When you center your new garage installation business around your expertise, it helps to tell your story. In addition, giving potential clients an understanding of your mission statement helps solidify a customer base.
It's not enough to know your service. When you're planning for a new small business, you have to make sure to do your research in the field as well. How have other businesses of this type fared in your area? What do successful competitors do that makes them successful? These are just a couple of examples of questions this section should answer.
Before starting your business, you must decide how it will be organized. If you're the head of the organization, you must also choose its legal structure. If you already have other people in mind to help you with your venture, make sure to outline their position and experience in this section as well.
It's time to number-crunch. During this part of your business plan, you must outline budgeting for employees, your annual marketing budget, and any other overhead costs for your garage door services. Additionally, if you require additional funding, you must include a formal funding request for potential investors.
Once you have your plan in place, or even during the forming of your plan, it's essential to speak to other people in the field. Find other companies with installation services and ask some questions! As a business owner, you'll need to learn everything you can about what makes a successful garage door service provider so that you can make a profit.
In addition to talking to other people in the field of garage door repair and installation, consider reaching out to anyone you know who has successfully started a small business. Even though garage door services have their own specific niche of information, there's plenty of overlap with other entrepreneurs. Utilize all your resources to make the most of your business plan.
Potential customers are far more likely to remember an eye-catching logo. Consider the best way to brand your garage door service business, and don't forget to pick a name that's easy to remember. A good name reflects the services you provide as well as your location. Don’t overthink it.
If you get stuck, think about all the brands you use in your day-to-day life, and think about what caught your attention about their name or logo. Customer preference is key here!
If you're uncomfortable creating your own logo or you're having trouble making one that you think looks its best, try outsourcing your logo to a digital designer.
Just don't forget to budget for that too! If you're put off by spending money on a logo, just remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Customers are more likely to remember a company if the logo catches their eye.
Since garage door repair and installation is in the customer service field, you need to get to know your potential customers. Most work in the garage door service industry is done through homeowners. That means you'll mainly work in residential areas for clients who need a garage door system installed in their homes.
That said, you may wish to pursue commercial garage door installation and servicing. The approach is slightly different than working with homeowners. You’ll likely want to build relationships with property managers and business owners.
Positive word-of-mouth is one of your best tools, and the more word gets around about your quality garage door service, the more profitable you'll be.
Even though you have to consider your employees, your demographic, your finances, and your market, don't forget to invest in yourself too!
A good business owner knows that putting profits back into their business is what will keep it moving forward. Upgrading equipment, expanding your market outreach, and promoting yourself are essential aspects of successful business ownership.
Trying to make the most profitable garage door business can leave you with some additional questions. Here are a few common questions to give you more information:
If you're trying to determine how much to charge for the installation or repair of garage doors, you can figure out the markup in a few ways. Most importantly, be sure to set your own price. Do not ask a vendor to price your door for you, as they don't know the costs associated with your purchase and installation.
While determining your price, think about everything that goes into installation: labor, purchase, equipment, time, and anything else.
Ascribing a dollar amount to these features can help determine the absolute lowest you should charge to break even. From there, it's a matter of deciding what profit margin percentage you want to make on each service. Each business has different needs, so make sure to meet yours.
Determining how much to charge for your work can be tricky. Sometimes it may feel like you're overcharging, but you must consider everything you've put into your garage door service business.
Much like determining markup, charging for your labor varies on your experience level and the cost of products needed to complete the work. Don't forget to charge for your time too!
Once you've added together all your factors, you should have an idea of how much you want to charge. The final step in your determination should be to know your market. Look around at competitors' prices. You want what you're charging to be competitive, but you also don't want to undersell your overhead door services!
Whether or not you need special software for your garage door venture depends on your company's needs. If you have employees, you'll need a payroll system.
If you're engaging in your own digital marketing, you might need something that can generate automatic emails for your customer base. There are plenty to choose from, so plan accordingly along with your business model.
From an operations standpoint, you may also wish to have dispatching, timekeeping and review management software.
These are just some of the software options that you may wish to consider implementing when you start your business - or further down the road as your garage door business grows.