It might not be too crazy to say that there’s never been a better time to start a home improvement business in the UK. Well, yes, it’s true that anyone thinking about starting their own company right now is going to be a bit concerned. Everyone is worried about how much they’re spending because the cost of living keeps going up and up. And that means that all businesses are having to work harder than ever to hit their targets. And it’s worth noting that there have been some chaotic changes in basically every market you can name over the last couple of years. That includes the property market.
But lots of people are thinking about doing up their homes instead of moving into a new one precisely because the property market has been so turbulent. While home improvement has generally been a pretty steady industry, there’s good reason to think that it might see a bit of a boom in the months ahead. So yes, this could be exactly the right time to get your business up and running.
Identify Your Niche
Niching down might seem like a risky step to take when you haven’t even gotten started yet. Why would you want to limit your options when there are so many different areas of home improvement that you could explore? Well, the first thing to remember is that it’s always better to do one thing exceptionally well than it is to do a lot of things to a mediocre standard. The second is that you should remember that most people will be looking to do one job at a time, and there’s a good chance that they will be searching online for that specific thing. It will also help to build your reputation if you can start getting feedback online, which takes us to the next point.
Build Your Web Presence
Word of mouth is going to be invaluable if you’re starting a home improvement business. It’s great if you can start getting some referrals from happy customers. But you’re more likely to find that customers are heading online and doing “near me” searches. You’re going to need a website that makes a great first impression and shows people that you’re the real deal. You’ll also need to think about the best ways that you can demonstrate your expertise on your site. Google is always hard at work refining its algorithm. One of the things it prioritises is user experience, which means that your written content doesn’t just need to be full of relevant keywords, it also needs to be helpful. You could put together some video content and image galleries to show off the quality of your work. And while you’re at it, why not think about setting up some social media profiles? They’re not all going to be relevant (you may not need TikTok just yet), but you might be surprised by the number of customers you get from these accounts.
Remember To Put Safety First
Let’s not beat around the bush: safety should be a major priority. It’s not good enough to tell yourself that you’re a sensible person and that you wouldn’t create any unnecessary risk. When you go to work on another property, you are taking responsibility for everyone on the site. That doesn’t just mean you, that also means the people who are working for you, and it may include the property owners. You’ll need to ensure that you take every possible step to minimise the risk of injury, and you’ll also need to think about whether you and/or your employees need to do any additional learning. For example, most people are aware that asbestos is unsafe to be around. But do you know exactly what steps you and your colleagues will need to take if you work somewhere with asbestos on site? If you’re looking to boost your asbestos awareness, then get in touch with the team at NATAS. Their award-winning health and safety courses and training will help you to keep your risks to an absolute minimum.
Know Who Your Customers Are
Your niche and skills are obviously two of the most important factors, but you must not overlook your target audience. It’s important to be realistic about the type of work that will be most in demand in your location and among the kinds of people who are likely to be looking to do some home improvement. For example, given last year’s historic heatwave, a lot of UK homeowners will be thinking about how they can keep cool this summer. And with energy prices continuing to soar, they will also be thinking ahead to the winter and planning to insulate their properties more effectively. Given the current cost of living issues, you may find that repairs and renovations are in higher demand than extensions, for example. So, set aside some time for some good research. What kind of jobs are you going to be pitching for a few years down the line? If the answer is different to what you expected, it might be time to add some skills to your set.
Speaking of record-breaking heatwaves, everyone needs to be thinking a lot harder about how sustainable their businesses are. There will be a lot of pressure to show that you are taking climate change seriously from local authorities, not to mention potential clients and customers. You might find that you get a big boost if you can show that you’ve got a green strategy in place. So, think about using an electric vehicle, and look for recycled materials for your projects. Research greener alternatives that you can recommend to your clients that will keep their carbon footprints low as well as keep their energy bills down. This issue is only going to become more and more important over the next few years. You can save a lot of time and effort by thinking about it from day one.
Author: Ryan Byrne