You have a skill set. You have the training. You have the determination, entrepreneurial spirit, tenacity, and grit required to start your own business. But what else do you need? Well, quite a lot.
Certifications, licenses, and insurance are a great place to start. Of course, you’ll need to cover startup costs and one-time expenses for necessary materials and equipment. What about your business management software? A company website? Marketing materials? Employed labor? Fleet vehicles?
Before you get overwhelmed by the list of seemingly endless necessities, let’s break it down by category so you have a comprehensive overview of everything you’ll need to get into business—without feeling as though you’re on a continuous quest of catching up with competitors.
Types of Service Industry Businesses
The exact items you’ll need to own and operate your company will depend on what type of field service business you intend on starting. Here’s a list of the most common examples you may feel inspired to try your hand at:
- General contractor (under which all other trades fall)
- Asphalt or Concrete Driveway
- Basement Remodeling & Waterproofing
- Bathroom & Kitchen Remodeling
- Bathtub Refinishing
- Cabinet Makers & Refacing
- Carpet Cleaners & Installation
- Chimney Repair & Sweep
- Closet Systems
- Concrete Leveling & Repair
- Custom Furniture
- Decks & Maintenance
- Foundation Repair
- Garage Doors
- Gutter Cleaning & Repair
- Handyman Service
- HVAC Service
- Pool Cleaning
- Pressure Washing
- Solar Panels
- Window Cleaning
As you can see, there is an incredibly large, diverse range of field service jobs you can choose to explore. Many overlaps with each other, while others are mutually exclusive and require a completely different set of skills, certifications, and experience. For example, you wouldn’t invest in several pressure washers that cost hundreds of dollars each if you wanted to work as a lighting electrician. If there were ever a time that an odd, one-off job required a piece of equipment you didn’t own, chances are that you could rent industrial tools and machinery for a fraction of the cost.
Research Your Eligibility
Different states have different requirements to perform different work. While this doesn’t necessarily make matters simplified for you, it does help narrow your scope or focus, tackling one task at a time. For example, if you wanted to start your own construction business, in addition to the proper licensing, most states would require you to have worker’s compensation, general liability insurance, and builder’s risk insurance.
Researching your specific parameters per the service and state of your choice is easily the most tedious part of starting your own business, but arguably the most necessary. Operating without proper licenses, certificates, and insurance can lead to major lawsuits—especially if something went sideways out in the field. Do yourself a favor and complete your due diligence now before you regret overlooking it later; the payoff will be worth your patience in the end!
Setup Your Business’s Backend
You’ll want to create a company website to advertise your products, services, hours of operation, and so forth. But without putting in a little extra effort, your company will have an incredibly rough start when getting off the ground. Take it one step further using a localized SEO company who can help you get to the top of users’ search queries who are looking for your services in their area—which means more qualified leads and less random traffic.
Once a business gets going, you’ll feel pretty overwhelmed by job requests, that is unless you have an organized system for responding, scheduling, and following up with each one. There should be a platform catered to your unique industry; for example, you can complement your plumbing business with plumbing software designed to simplify your invoice and payment systems, allowing you to focus less on hunting down your accounts receivable and focus more on pursuing new jobs (not the previously completed ones!).
Think Hard About Hardware
As you just get started, your software and backend setup will be much more important than investing in large pieces of hardware equipment, which you’ll eventually need for various jobs. If you prioritize them in reverse order, you could face monthly credit card bills and struggle to pay off your machinery without a steady cash flow from regular business.
What are your thoughts? Let us know what else we missed!