Saturday, August 11, 2012
Is it worth writing a lengthy business plan for your roofing startup? Business plan preparation can be time consuming and many entrepreneurs are tempted to go ahead without one unless they really need it to prove the viability of ideas to partners or investors.
Your roofing business won't be a huge, complicated business for a few years anyway so why bother? Well, while I would not suggest that you spend months writing a 100 page report, it could be useful for you to have a 10 to 20 page document on your PC that can be your company blueprint for success. You can make changes to it as you slowly learn more about the business.
It will be the key document that sets out exactly how your business is run. If done properly you should basically be able to hand this document over to somebody when they buy your business and they can take over with very little of your time needed to explain things to them.
Here is a brief business roofing business plan template to give you some ideas on how to put your own together.
Contents Page and Executive Summary
This should be a summary of your entire roofing business plan. If you will be presenting the plan to interested parties then let them know the contents. Include a basic summary of your plans to start a roofing business. Outline the opportunities that you see in the market and what you plan to do in order to capture a piece of the pie for yourself.
Background in the Roofing Business
Prove to yourself or others why you are cut out to go into this business. List details on your education and any relevant experience that you have had in the roofing industry or in business in general. Outline your reasons for wanting to start a roofing business.
Set out your company mission or philosophy in a few words or a short phrase. Try to think about what you want to achieve with your business apart from profits. You should be driven by a desire to deliver a quality service to people in way that satisfies them and provides great value for them while still allowing you to meet your goals. What kind of products and services do you want to deliver? How will you be different from all the other roofing companies?
Set out the goals that you have for your business in its first few years. Set realistic targets that you know are attainable so that you won't be discouraged if you don't meet them. Success can be measured by a number of metrics such as the total number of roofing jobs completed per month, the percentage of leads that become new customers or the productivity of your employees for example.
List down all of the products and services that your company will offer and then set out a list of equipment and inventory that you will need to get started. If you need to buy a truck then you will be looking at minimum startup costs of around $20,000.
Startup requirements will also include compliance costs. Depending on what state you are operating out of you may need a contractors license, insurance, bonding or to comply with a number of other relevant regulations.
Don't forget that as well as purchasing all of the necessary roofing equipment you will also have to purchase materials for your first job. Clients will typically pay a large chunk of your total invoice upon completion of the job so you will have to foot the bill until you get reimbursed when they pay their invoice in full.
Structure, Ownership and Management
There are four basic options to consider for your business structure and they include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability corporation (LLC).
Outline how your business will be owned and make a note of the various parties that may have an ownership stake.
Set out a management structure so that there is no confusion among those involved with the business as to who is responsible for managing each part of the business.
Identify your target market both by location as well as other demographic factors and describe the kind of people or properties that make up your target market. Include the results of any market research that you do or local industry statistics that you are able to gather.
Set out a detailed plan for your roofing business marketing. This should include how you plan on getting enquiries, converting them into new accounts and maintaining them over the long term. It should also include brand development, pricing, advertising, a sales approach and other marketing methods.
Write up profiles of your main local competitors and try to understand how they run their businesses. Borrow and adapt characteristics of their business that work and look for weaknesses in their business models that you may be able to capitalize on. Figure out how you will differentiate your brand from theirs in a way that allows you to stand out in the market.
Include details of the day to day operations of the proposed roofing business. Make a note of your office location, business administration and record keeping systems, plans to hire employees and procedures regarding roofing installations or repairs.
Outline some of the methods that you could use to obtain financing for your new venture.
Create a spreadsheet that shows anticipated cash flow forecasts over the first few years of business for a variety of scenarios. You can then determine how profitable you think the business will be in a number of different economic climates.
You will be able to find many free business plan examples online but it can be harder to find a specific sample of a roofing business plan. There are some business planning software programs that you can buy but they are usually just generic business plans that have been adapted anyway.
Posted by m at 4:48 PM
Collecting on accounts is one of the single most essential parts of doing business since if you are not able to collect, your business can never be profitable. Unfortunately, sometimes people do not pay what is due, especially during tough economic times. When this occurs, you may have to take time away from your regular work to draft, print, and mail a collection letter. Those who want to maximize their effectiveness without losing time, however, will turn to outside services and the help of experts for collection letter processing, printing and mailing.
There are many reasons why it makes sense to get outside help when it comes to collection letter processing, printing and mailing. Some of these reasons include the following:
* Compliance. There are certain requirements associated with debt collection under various laws including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other consumer legislation. By working with a professional in collection letter processing, printing and mailing, you can rest assured that you are obeying the law and not doing anything to get your company into legal trouble.
* Expediency. If you do not already have a system in place for processing, printing and mailing collection letters, the process may take you a long time to do correctly. You will need to set up a system for when and how the letters will be printed and mailed and assign someone to the task. When you put your trust in a professional, they already have all of this legwork done for you. Your business can focus on producing a product or providing a service and selling to customers while collections can be taken care of by a company you trust.
* Effectiveness. When people are behind on their bills and a collection letter needs to go out, the letter needs to be worded and presented in a way that actually gets them to pay the bills that they owe. When you trust a professional company that specializes in collection letter processing, printing and mailing, that company will know the ins-and-outs of how to send a collection letter that actually works. Your letter will make a stronger impression than if you try to compose, print and send something on your own.
* Cost-effectiveness. In many cases, it is more cost effective to put your trust in an outside company to handle your collection letter activity. Since they already have a system in place for printing and sending, this can be easier than creating one from the ground up. For example, they may have a batch printing and mailing process that allows them to send letters in a much faster and less expensive way than your company will.
These are just a few of the many reasons why it makes sense to trust a professional to help your company with processing, printing and mailing your collection letters. Your business will be pleased with the results and your profits can grow as past-due accounts become paid, and you won't have to waste your time dealing with the unpleasant task of trying to collect money.
Posted by m at 4:37 PM
Saturday, March 24, 2012
UPS said it would finance through a combination of $3 billion in available cash and new debt. The higher offer is a 53.7 percent premium over TNT's closing price the day before the companies announced they were in talks. JP Morgan today indicated that it was upgrading UPS from Neutral to Overweight because "we believe the company's agreement to buy TNT is a significant positive and we anticipate favorable trends in UPS's core domestic package business." They expect significant EPS accretion in 2013 and 2014 from the TNT deal, and also view it as a strategic positive in terms of boosting UPS's global footprint. Europe is UPS's largest market outside the United States, accounting for $6 billion, half of the company's annual international revenue. Total revenue for UPS in 2011 was $53 billion, while TNT's was approximately $7 billion.
The deal allows UPS to eliminate a major rival that has shown a willingness to undercut competitors on price and gain a stronger position in growth markets in Asia and Latin America. This will also help Big Brown expand in Europe, especially Britain, France and Germany, and the Netherlands, moving UPS from a number 3 position in most European markets to first or second. TNT has been steadily growing in China, India and Brazil, where it has struggled to integrate its acquisitions. Approximately two-thirds of TNT's revenue continues to be generated from European customers. UPS said the acquisition will accelerate its global growth strategy by increasing foreign revenue from 26 percent to 36 percent of the group total.
UPS is buying a company that has experienced falling profit and is projecting a poor outlook for 2012, and TNT's management had come under pressure from activist shareholders to sell the company. The deal will "bring annual cost synergies of approximately 400 to 550 million euros per year in four years," UPS said. It will first spend a pre-tax, 1.3 billion euros on "implementation costs" to achieve those synergies, UPS said.
While this all sounds great for UPS, where does it leave global shippers? They will now have the ability to deal with a carrier that will have increased services in Europe and additional services in China, India and Brazil, three growing markets. It will also allow them to leverage their buying power by consolidating more of their volume with UPS. However, we have all seen this picture before when DHL's Airborne unit exited from the US market creating an oligopoly. The low priced competitor was eliminated and ultimately prices have and will continue to increase. It may take a while but the elimination of TNT will ultimately have a negative impact on shipper's costs. Shippers must recognize these implications and hope that FedEx and DHL maintain some sense of competition in the global area.
Posted by m at 11:13 PM
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