Fencing doesn’t just involve the white picket fence in town or the barbed wire fence on the plains. It has become a million dollar business providing for the security, beauty, and unique looks a property demands today. It has become a way for people to not just define their property lines, but also their own personalities.
Because it is such a large and growing business, you may be looking at it and believe that it’s time for you to reach to seek out an opportunity in this field of industry as an independent business owner. To help you get there, here are some tips that can help you create a strong foundation for your business so that you can start your journey on the right foot.
1. Make sure you have the correct licenses, permits, and other needed documentation.
You’ll likely need both a business tax license and a contractor’s license to run a complete fencing business. The tax license allows you to operate your business by local fiscal standards and keep you operating within line with your local jurisdiction’s laws as well. The contractor’s license also makes sure that you are following the standards of your community and verifies that you know the building and safety standards of your city, town, or region. You may also need to have a local and/or state contractor’s license.
2. Obtain the correct insurance for your company.
As a contractor, you’re going to need general liability insurance with specific riders to cover the business, equipment and potential accidents that may occur during a project. You’ll also be in a better position to survive a mistake financially if you secure a surety bond, whether it is mandated or not. These bonds normally come in $6-$12k amounts, but depending on the scope of fencing work that you you do and the size of your company, it can be as high as $50k.
If you have the available capital, then you may assign a bank account and specifically define that account as your surety bond. If you do not have this type of cash or backing from an investor, then with a good business plan you can usually get an insurance company to extend credit for the surety bond that will cover that bond amount for one year. It is usually 10% or less of the total bond amount.
3. Determine what equipment you’ll need.
There are some basic and long term equipment decisions you are going to have to make. You will need to determine how are you going to transport your fencing, which may require a good full size pick-up truck with an extended bed. You may need a larger flatbed or trailer depending on the contracts you are going after. Along with transportation, you’ll need to decide on whether or not you need a forklift to help load fencing materials and set posts.
Other equipment that will be absolutely necessary will be post drivers, fence stretchers, saws, drills, air compressors, augers, concrete mixers. Whether building residential, agricultural, or security fences most of the tools are going to be necessities.
4. Know your materials.
Fences come in as many options and types as it seems possible for humans to design. For the people living in urban environments, the fences may need to promote safety and security while still being able to fit in with home owner association bylaws and regulations.
These fences can be made from recycled plastics, chain link, wood, pressure treated woods, stone, brick, formatted rubber of aluminum, and tin. The same applies for agricultural fencing and security. It is also important to understand how to use electrically charged fencing or barbed wire.
5. Promoting your business.
To build a competitive fencing business, you’ll need to be an aggressive self-promoter and use every form of marketing that is available to you. It will be very important to network yourself so you become part of the local Chamber of Commerce. This will give you networking opportunities to speak with realtors and home owners associations and make sure your card or flyer goes out with their prospectus. Consider joining the farming and ranching cooperative and trade organizations as well.
You can use traditional methods by putting ads in the local newspaper’s service directory and running targeted ads on radio.A good internet presence with your own website is also important, as well as a social media presence. Individuals needing new or restored fences come from all walks of life and you need to be spread out to reach all of your potential clients.
6. Anyone with a property is a potential customer.
Whenever you see a new housing development going in, you are looking at potential clients. That’s because good fences make for good neighbors and by building good fences, you’ll be adding value to the community. Every house that is built also requires schools and parks and these are always contracted out to independent contractors for fencing needs as well.
Contacting all local customer sources is one of the best ways to make sure you are always building business opportunities for the future. You will have a few slow times in the year is to attend city and county planning meetings or at least read their agenda to see what kind of building is going on
7. The location of a fencing business is extremely important.
Unlike many businesses, a fencing company naturally calls for a central location. You’ll need to be able to store your equipment safely and have a place to store several different materials. One of the good things though about having a central location is that you can use supplies on hand to help boost sales.
Customers are often hands on and will want to touch and feel different fence types before contracting with you. By having a location that has both storage and office space, you can show off the best in fencing styles and materials.
Everyone likes the secure feeling of a good fence. This makes it the perfect business opportunity for you to think about starting today. Use these tips to get started and you may just find a wonderful way to build profits while doing something you love.
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