Also variously known as a roof mechanic, a roof carpenter or a roofer, the roofing contractor is the person you have to thank that it isn’t raining when you are indoors. That’s fairly much a statement of the obvious, but is there an obvious future for the roofing industry that might persuade somebody to set up in it as a small business?
Roofers, it would appear, are a surprisingly well-organized bunch. In the United States most roofers are required to be licensed but the extent of local regulation is at the discretion of individual states. In the United Kingdom there is no requirement upon them to be licensed although many are represented by trade organizations. Worldwide they operate under the umbrella of the International Federation for the Roofing Trade (IFD), which holds international conferences each year and issues a “roofers’ passport” to each of its members. In the UK roofers are the highest-earning professionals in any trade, according to the informed (and informative) website Simply Business.
Most Roofers Are Self-Employed
Most roofers work for themselves on a self-employed basis, although some are employed by companies. The job can be dangerous, especially for somebody who is not properly trained, as there is much heavy lifting involved. In different countries roofing is often made from different materials, meaning that different skills are required in order to undertake the work involved. But ultimately whether a roof is made from slates, wood or gold bars there are skill sets at play that are fairly much universal.
Apart from an acquired skill as a roofer which is obtained through undertaking the necessary training, it is clearly a requirement that anyone going into the trade should be physically fit. A roof worker who is unable to climb, balance or perform physical work in a challenging environment would represent a danger to themselves and to others around them.
Records Need to Be Kept as a Small Business
The administrative side of the business would, by contrast, be similar to any other. Records would need to be kept of all income and allowable expenditure, and credit control procedures enacted to ensure that all anticipated income was collected. For some this will be a job that could be done when not undertaking the physical side of the operation, for others some hired help from a book keeper or other organizer of affairs might be preferred.
Usual business strategies would also apply. Such things as identifying markets and trends in the business are essential, as well as keeping an eye on any relevant legislation. Competition in the area needs to be considered and where necessary the need to relocate to a potentially more lucrative environment.
Start-up funding might be required in order to purchase work tools, appropriate clothing and vehicles for transportation of the operative and of any tools and equipment. Training costs may also need to be funded externally depending upon the financial status of the new business person and the quality and extent of the instruction needed.