Write a business plan.
A business plan is essential for starting a restoration business. Consider it a road map of how you are going to do things and how you are going to get there. In the beginning, it doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be short and concise, kind of like a checklist! Once you achieve the goals on your checklist and you’re in business, rewrite your plan for the future so you can grow.
Choose your business structure and business name.
Most people in this business choose to form an LLC. Per SBA, A limited liability company (LLC) is “a legal structure that provides the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership”. Once you choose your structure, pick a business name.
Tip: Try to pick a name that is alphabetical & includes your service and service area. For example, a restoration business idea could be: Alpha Bathtub Refinishing New Orleans.
Get an EIN and open your bank account.
Once you incorporate, in order to open a bank account, you will need to get an EIN from the IRS. Once you receive your EIN, open your bank account for the business.
Create an image.
Have a professional logo created and build a website. LogoNerds is a great place to go for a logo: http://www.logonerds.com/. Shop around for someone to build your website, there are many out there willing to build you a low cost quality site. Don’t build your own. Have your vehicle wrapped if possible (it’s one of the best forms of advertisement). Invest in logo apparel. It’s all part of creating a professional image.
Training like the Bathtub Refinishing Training program that Topkote has presents a prime opportunity to learn the essential skills required to be successful; skills such as the effective use of reglazing and refinishing coatings & equipment. Training will exploit possible weaknesses that could hinder you from providing a quality service. Training is important to your overall success, without proper training you are likely to fall into one of the many pitfalls an untrained bathtub refinisher will face and this can be avoided and train with a product and system that has a track record and can perform and conforms to an industry standard. Lastly, train with someone that can give you the tools & support necessary to succeed in the bathtub refinishing industry.
Choose a Bathtub Refinishing Supplier and purchase your equipment.
It’s likely that whomever you received your training from also supplies bathtub coatings and equipment.
Be sure to shop around for liability insurance. Don’t choose the first quote you get. Many people get quoted for 1,000,000 – 2,000,000 in liability but you can go as low as 300,000 which will be a lot lower in cost.
Market your bathtub restoration company.
Here are a few no/low cost ideas to start: Place ads on Craigslist and Backpage. Tip: Open multiple Craigslist & Backpage accounts to make sure your ads are always on top. Otherwise, other bathtub restoration companies will bury you. Place an ad in the local newspaper classified section. Make folders that include a business card, service flier, reference letter and a before & after photo. Take these folders to property management companies and realtors in your area. Don’t be afraid to go knock on doors! It’s all part of marketing yourself and your bathtub restoration business.
Starting a bathtub refinishing business isn’t difficult, there are many free resources around to help; you just need to know where to look.
Here are a few more resources: