Maybe you are fresh out of school or have been putting your carpentry skills to work for awhile, but not getting paid for them. Do you have a natural skill when it comes to working with your hands and building fences? If so, you might want to consider starting a fence company. Skilled tradespeople are in high demand, but there are some things you might want to consider before you make the decision to start a fence company.
How to Start a Fence Company
What will be the name of your fence company?
Many people name their business something sentimental or meaningful to them, which is great. It is also important to consider how people will search for your company. Think about including some identifying words, so it is clear what services you offer. For example, a name like Smith Super Services doesn’t really give people a clear idea of what you actually do. Try something like “Smith Fence Experts” so there is no confusion.
Does your fence company need be licensed or hold specific certifications in your city and state?
Regulations vary from state to state and city to city for what is required of tradespeople. Make sure you research your municipalities and adhere to their requirements. Nothing good will come out of operating a business without the proper requirements. Make sure your fence company is legally registered with the IRS and protect your trade name through the Secretary of State.
Where will you buy your materials for your fence company?
It’s important to research suppliers and know your pricing before you bid jobs. You’ll want to know the availability of certain products, your cost, the difference in grades that are offered and any specifics about installing each type of fencing. Find a sales representative that you connect with and establish an open line of communication so you can get pricing in an efficient and timely manner. You’ll also want to know how different materials perform in different climates. For example, pressure treated wood does okay in other parts of the country, but is a no-no for use in Colorado. Due to Colorado’s dry climate, pressure treated wood is not recommend for fence materials, because it will warp and crack+ within a few years of installation. Do your research!
Determine which types of fencing your fence company will offer.
Some contractors like to be a jack of all trades, which is great if you have the skills and manpower to offer many different services. However, there’s something to be said about specializing in a certain type of fencing. For example, some contractors stick to privacy fence and won’t work on any other types of fences. They are able to get really good at their craft, streamline the process and offer quality work at competitive prices. Others may choose to specialize in agricultural fencing, while others are known for being experts in split rail fence or post and dowel fence. It’s really up to you, your skill level, and desire to what you want your fence company to look like. Some customers seem to trust a company that does not offer every service imaginable, because there is the perception that they are an expert at those 1-3 services.
How will you find customers for your fence company?
It’s important to know your plan of attack for bringing in customers. Many fence companies rely on word of mouth and referrals to find customers, but there’s more aggressive approaches that can be taken. Create a website clearly outlining the services you offer, the areas you service and anything important that your customers should know about you. Everyone is on social media these days, so create profiles and post regularly to stay in front of your customers. (We recommend Facebook and Instagram!) Join networking groups or associations to get on the list for recommended contractors if you’re targeting specific geographical areas.
Know the competition for your fence company.
It’s always good to know the other players in the game. Be knowledgeable about the services they offer, their general pricing, quality of work and any other details that would help you be more informed. You don’t need to feel intimidated by a fence company that has been in business for 20 years when you are just getting started. Observe and learn from them. See what they do well, what seems to draw people to them and recreate it in your own way.
There are more things to consider when starting a fence company, but we hope this gives you a good starting point. If you would like to speak to a fence specialist about the products we supply for fencing, give us a call!