Starting a spray foam business isn’t as simple as buying a spray foam rig, showing up to the job, pulling the trigger and collecting the check. Building a successful and sustainable spray foam company is a tricky business, and if you’re going to be successful you have a serious amount of planning to do!
The market is already flooded with acceptable spray foam businesses, so in order to be successful, your spray foam business needs to stand out from the crowd, and the only way to do that is to do it right, and we want to make sure that you do!
Here are 6 key steps to building a successful spray foam insulation business.
#1 Build a great business plan
Many spray foam business owners regrettably skip creating a business plan, and the repercussions can be rough.
Writing a business plan allows you to allocate your time, money, and resources strategically so that you can keep track of the right things, and the most important things. With a solid planning process, you can regularly review where employees are at mentally in regards to the goals and vision of your company, track progress, and catch new developments. It also prepares you to handle change within the company, which is inevitable, especially as a start up!
A business plan can take many forms depending on the venture. The more complex the business, the more detailed your business plan needs to be! However, all business plans need to have the following elements well-defined to ensure your business starts off on the right foot, and stays there.
This is your five-minute elevator pitch, your teaser, your “preview” into the company. It may include a table of contents, company background, market opportunity, management overviews, competitive advantages, and financial highlights.
Try writing the detailed sections first, and then extract the main points to create a sound and compelling executive summary. Keep it to just a couple of pages if possible! Remember that this is just the summary, and you can elaborate later on.
Market research and strategies:
Prepare a detailed market analysis covering who your competition is and what they’re doing right now, and who your target audience is and what they want. You want to have a deep understanding of your market, and what your competitive advantage is.
Then you want to spell out your marketing strategy. Are you going to focus on commercial or residential properties? How do you want to reach them? What marketing funnels or tactics do you want to implement?
Management and personnel:
Develop a clear outline of the roles and responsibilities that will be required within your business. Make sure to answer questions, like:
- Will you need someone to take calls at a front desk or handle administrative tasks such as invoicing?
- Will you be doing the labor yourself or hiring it out?
- Are you hiring w-2 employees, or issuing 1099s to paid contractors?
Seeing the various responsibilities needed laid out in front of you will give you a clearer understanding of what you are willing to take on yourself.
Make sure to provide financial documents that back up everything you described in your organizational and marketing sections. You want to include conservative projections of your revenue, profit, and expenses.
Documenting the numbers allows you to get a crystal clear picture of what your business needs to generate in revenue to remain profitable, as well as informs future goals.
#2 Training & Certification
Michael Jordan didn’t become one of the best basketball players in the world overnight. Training, coaching, and devoted practice is what advanced him to the top. Training is vital to gaining valuable knowledge and insight about the industry, and to doing the job right. It also provides a unique opportunity to talk with experts in the field and ask questions!
Some training schools offer opportunities to gain hands-on experience. The American Chemistry Council is currently offering free online training. If budget is a concern, this is the best way to minimize your risk.
A beneficial way to increase training is to obtain certifications. Certifications improve your overall professionalism and allow you to easily compete for customers.
The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) offers certification in multiple levels. SPF assistant, insulation installer, master installer, and project manager. You can learn more about these levels of certification and their requirements here.
#3 Determine a marketing strategy
Your marketing strategy is so important we’re saying it twice. A great marketing strategy is crucial to how you are going to grow your business. How should you go about creating a marketing strategy? Use your strengths!
For example, if you are a strong networker, or a gifted salesperson, then developing relationships with distributors or general contractors may be the best way to go. However, if building new connections in person isn’t your forte, you can generate your business leads online with a great website and inbound marketing strategy (pro tip: building connections both ways is a successful double-edged sword). Building a strong referral network takes time, but it will pay off huge in the long run!
No matter what your marketing strategy is, just make sure that customer reviews are part of your overall strategy. Having a pile of glowing reviews is a great way to increase your sales close rate and gain more business.
#4 Make Smart Equipment Purchases
Although it’s more expensive outright, buying new equipment has definite advantages because reputable distributors and suppliers will stand by their product warranties, and provide you with tech solutions and professional service. However, if you buy used equipment and something breaks or fails, you are usually on your own, and it can ultimately cost you more down the road.
When looking at big-ticket items such as trailers with equipment included, be sure to get several quotes from different suppliers. Compare each line item so that you know exactly what you are paying for. These spray foam rig “packages” can vary greatly, so you’ll want to make sure you are buying a setup that is capable of handling the type of jobs you plan on doing.
#5 Choose the right spray foam material.
There are numerous spray foam material manufacturers and suppliers to choose from. Find a manufacturer that understands the needs of your installation job, and has a product that is capable of delivering consistent results.
Accufoam is a spray foam insulation manufacturer who has spent the last 2.5 years developing a formula with actual contractors in the field. During that research, they found that most contractors were battling inconsistencies in their formulas, resulting in clogged guns, delamination, and more. These delays will set you back on your time on the job, and sometimes even require you to tear it all down to spray it over again. Avoid costly errors like this by choosing a manufacturer that doesn’t skimp on materials or R&D, you’ll thank yourself later when you do.
#6 Ask for Reviews & Referrals
No matter what, at the end of each job you should be getting feedback from your customers. Testimonials and feedback are one of the most effective ways to create a great reputation and generate brand awareness. Feedback will help you determine what is working, and what isn’t. Plus, knowing that your employees are expected to ask for reviews and referrals will hold them accountable and motivate them to do their best work at each jobsite.
Most importantly, testimonials and customer feedback is an extremely powerful way to create a reputation and legitimacy within the field, and will provide you with competitive leverage that you need.
Launching and maintaining a profitable spray foam business isn’t easy. It takes planning, creative strategy, smart purchasing decisions, and an ability to get the job done right.
Remember: Get your company started on the right foot, and obtain certifications and training and that will legitimize your business almost immediately. Determine how you want to market your business against the competition. Educate yourself when making purchase decisions on equipment and materials. And finally, ask for feedback from each customer.
We hope this list provided you valuable insight into what you should be doing to create your own spray foam venute. Bookmark this for later, and have these handy tips right at your fingertips when you go to start your new spray foam business!Accufoam, Business, equipment, free online training, spray foam rigs