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How to start a flooring business

Much like a carpet fitting business, starting a flooring business can be very profitable. However, starting your own business is no easy task. Find out how to start a flooring business in the UK with Checkatrade.

Why consider starting a flooring business?

Flooring is a major part of any decor, and often the first thing people notice when they enter a room. That’s why skilled floorers are always in such high demand.

Highly valued for their craft, with experience, a good floorer can earn a lot of money – particularly if self-employed.

However, starting a flooring business is no simple task. While it may grant you the freedom to choose your work and hours, it comes with plenty of challenges. But if you think you’re ready for this next step in your career, then our guide is here to help.

We’ll cover everything you need to know about how to start a flooring business in the UK. Including the qualifications and skills needed, as well as financing and marketing tips for future growth.

Herringbone flooring being laid by a floor fitter

Creating a flooring business plan

Step one of starting any business is to create a business plan. A business plan is essential for laying out your company goals. And how you plan to achieve them once you’re off the ground.

So, when thinking about your business plan, we recommend considering all of the following:

  • Your goals – what do you aim to do with your business and how will you meet these goals?
  • Your startup costs – how do you plan to finance your business to begin with?
  • Your finances – how do you plan to manage your finances in the future?
  • Your services– what services do you plan to offer your customers?
  • Your target audience – who will your target audience be?
  • Your prices – how much do you intend to charge for your services?
  • Your area of operation – how big of an area do you plan to operate in?
  • Your marketing – what types of marketing will you be using?
  • Your work hours – what hours and weekends do you plan on working?

We recommend taking plenty of time to think about these factors. That way, you’ll have a clear business vision in mind when you get started.

Of course, if you want more help doing this, then you should read our article on writing a business plan. We also have a free business plan template you can download as well.

What qualifications does a floorer need?

While you can begin flooring without any qualifications, we don’t recommend doing this. Getting the right qualifications will ensure you can do your job properly. And it also shows customers that you’re a responsible business that knows their trade well.

Therefore, if you’re not a qualified floorer yet, we suggest inquiring about the following qualifications:

  • A T Level Floorlayer college course
  • A Floorlayer intermediate apprenticeship
  • The Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA) course

Joining a flooring institution

Besides getting qualified, you can also impress customers further by joining a flooring institution. Membership means you’ll be professionally recognised, which makes your service appear even more reliable.

As a flooring installer, these are the associations you should consider joining:

  • The Contract Flooring Association (CFA)
  • The National Institute of Carpets and Floorlayers (NICF)
  • The British Wood Flooring Association (BWFA)

vinyl floor being installed

What business skills do floorers need?

When starting a flooring business, you’re going to need far more skills than just your flooring knowledge. Many soft skills come with running a business, and you want to boost as many of these as possible.

We recommend getting experience in all of the following areas before you start your new venture:

  • Current flooring knowledge – while your initial training might be enough to cover your business’s beginnings, you should always stay up to date with the latest flooring industry updates
  • Attention to detail – flooring requires you to have an eye for perfect placement and a smooth finish, as does running a business
  • The ability to work independently – sometimes you won’t be able to enlist the help of others, which makes experience in independent working essential
  • High standards of customer service – all tradespeople should aim to deliver great customer service with their work, and flooring is no exception
  • Numerical skills – you’ll need a good understanding of money and numbers to ensure that your business is profitable
  • Physical fitness – flooring can be a physically demanding trade, so you need to be sure that you’re physically able to do the work
  • Leadership and management skills – eventually, you might want to take on new staff or apprentices, which means you’ll need the leadership and managerial skills required to go with this
  • Organisation – being organised not only helps with work but also when attending to business matters

There are, of course, many more soft skills you can work on. Why not take a look at our piece on becoming your own boss to learn more about these?

Starting a flooring business

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How to start a flooring business from scratch

With the initial steps of getting your business started out of the way, let’s move on to some key areas. Below are four vital things you’ll need to consider when starting any flooring business in the UK:

1. Registering and naming your business

First of all, once you have your business concept ready, you need to name and register it. Registering with HMRC is particularly important and is a legal requirement for tax purposes.

When registering your business, you’ll also need to decide between being a sole trader or a limited company. Be sure to do your research on this as both options come with their own pros and cons.

As for naming your business, be sure to take your time here as well. After all, your business name will likely be the first thing your customers learn about your business.

Read our blog on coming up with business names for more help.

how to register as a sole trader

2. Getting floorers insurance

As with any trade, it’s always a smart idea to get insurance for you and your business. That way, you can be sure you’re protected at all times while showing yourself to be a reputable business.

For more details on exactly what insurance to consider, you should read our piece on finding the right tradesperson insurance.

3. Accounting and bookkeeping

Being organised with your finances is a crucial aspect of running any business. So, if you’re not confident in your financial management skills, then you might want to employ an accountant.

Our small business accounting blog has everything you need to know about doing this.

4. Equipment and tools

Finally, you’ll also need to get hold of all the flooring tools you’ll need to do a thorough job. You want to be sure that you invest in the best tools possible for your work. That way you can save on any potential replacement costs.

We recommend purchasing all of the following tools:

  • A jigsaw
  • A mallet
  • A tapping block
  • A pull bar
  • A tape measure
  • Pencils
  • A combination square
  • A sliding T-bevel
  • A drill
  • Tape
  • A utility knife

And remember, if you sign up with Checkatrade, you can get discounts on any tools you buy. You also might want to consider buying transport as well. For more insight into this, read our blog on the best van lease deals.

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How to grow your flooring business

With all of the basics covered, it’s now time to look at how you plan to grow your flooring business. From scaling effectively to marketing yourself to the right people, we’ve broken it down for you below:

1. Scaling your flooring business

While you might want to grow your business quickly, this is only sensible if you can meet the new demand. This is why scalability is so important. If you want to grow, you have to be sure that your business can handle it.

So, here are the core areas to consider when scaling your business up:

  • Streamlining – when growing your business, you want to be sure that every area of your business functions as it should. So, before growing, make sure you’ve smoothed out any kinks in your business process
  • Finances – in order to grow effectively, good finances are essential. If you want to grow, be sure to check you have plenty of spare change lying about or a suitable business loan in place
  • Quality – quality of work should never be sacrificed in favour of more jobs. As the saying goes, quality over quantity is always better, so make sure you can maintain the same great level of work as you expand
  • Staff – at some point during business growth, you’ll likely need to think about taking on new staff. So, during the hiring process, be sure to check that they match your business aims and culture

2. Digitally marketing your flooring business

Nowadays, there are very few businesses that don’t invest in digital marketing. Therefore, you should look to divert a large portion of your marketing budget to this area. Below are the core digital marketing aspects you should consider:

  • A website – the face of your company on the internet, a good functioning website is essential in the modern day. Read our blog on designing a small business website for more information
  • Social media – social media is a powerful tool for any business to harness, especially those in the trade industry. Take a look at our blog on marketing your business through social media for more advice in this area
  • Online directories – you might not think it, but online directories are one of the most popular ways for customers to find reputable tradespeople online. Consider signing up for one, like Checkatrade, to expand your potential customer base

How to grow your email subscribers list

3. Advertising your flooring business

Although we’ve discussed how important digital marketing is, you shouldn’t neglect traditional advertising. As potent as ever, here are the main advertising areas that can still be effective for a trade business:

  • Print marketing – despite its age, print marketing is still as useful as ever. Find out how to do it correctly with our print marketing guide
  • PPC – known as pay-per-click, investing in PPC can help make you more visible online. We suggest speaking with a local PPC expert to learn more about this area
  • Company branding – essentially free mobile advertising for your business, company branding will help you get noticed while you’re out and about
  • Sponsorship – attending local events that you have sponsored is an excellent way for you to get noticed by the local community and speak with similar trade companies

4. Other marketing ideas

Finally, if you want a few passive marketing ideas to try out, consider any of the following areas:

  • Customer reviews – a good review can do wonders for bringing in more business. Never be afraid to ask customers to leave a review after you finish a job
  • Networking – getting in touch with other local businesses is a great way to spread your company name through word of mouth
  • GMB listings – Google’s business listings is a quick and free way to get your business appearing in more local searches online

Naturally, there is far more to marketing a business than what we’ve mentioned here. That’s why we recommend downloading our free marketing guide below.

How to get more flooring work

Once your business is off the ground, it’s only natural that you’ll want to find even more work. When you feel ready to do so, we suggest doing any of the following:

  • Additional qualifications – more qualifications will show you have more experience, making customers more likely to trust your expertise
  • Specialising – specialising can help to corner the market for certain flooring areas and can be a great way to bring in more business
  • Repeat business – repeat business is an excellent way to find additional work without finding new customers, particularly in the commercial sector

Laminate flooring being fitted by a flooring specialist

Market your flooring business with Checkatrade

So, you should have all the information you need for starting a flooring business in the UK. But have you considered joining Checkatrade to get even more out of your new business?

From displaying customer reviews and testimonials to examples of work on your profile page, we have you covered. We’ll even work with you to boost your business’s visibility on Google!

Get in touch today to learn more about working with Checkatrade and our onboarding process.

We also have plenty of similar blogs you can read. Including how to start a carpet fitting business and how much carpet fitters earn.

Flooring business FAQS

How much does it cost to start a flooring company?

As with any new business, it’s difficult to give an exact figure for the cost of starting a flooring company. It will very much depend on the level of supplies and equipment you need to purchase to begin with.

How much can you earn as a floorer

You might not think it, but flooring can be a very profitable business. To learn just how profitable it can be, read our blog on how much floorers earn.

Starting a flooring business

Grow your business to great heights with Checkatrade

Learn more

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