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How to start a plastering business

With the home improvement market always growing, it’s never been a better time to start a plastering business. But starting your own business is no simple task. Learn how to do it the right way with our Checkatrade guide.

Why consider starting a plastering business

Home improvements are all the rage nowadays, and that means that there’s always a need for plasterers.

Demand is continually growing in this area, meaning that skilled plasterers can earn a lot even when they’re not self-employed.

However, this in turn also means that starting a plastering business can also be a smart financial decision. Assuming you have what it takes to run your own business.

After all, there’s more to consider than the work on its own.

So, to help you get started, we’ve created this guide on how to start your own plastering business. From qualifications and skills to marketing tips, we cover everything you’ll need to know.

How much does a plasterer earn

Creating a plastering business plan

When starting any new business venture, the first thing you’ll want to do is create a business plan.

Having a clear business plan in place is vital before starting a plastering business. Without one, you’ll find it much trickier to specify your goals.

We recommend thinking about the following areas when designing your business plan:

  • Goals – your business aims and how you plan to achieve them
  • Startup costs – the funds you plan to use to get your business started
  • Finances – how you plan to monitor and handle your future business finances
  • Services – the types of jobs and services you plan to offer customers
  • Target audiences – who you intend to direct your services towards
  • Prices – how much you plan to charge for your different services
  • Work area – the area in which you plan to work
  • Marketing – the tools and areas you plan to promote your business in
  • Work hours – the amount of time you plan to work each week

Make sure you take your time thinking about all of these factors. That way, you can create an in-depth strategy to guide your new plastering business.

Naturally, if you want a bit of help doing this, you can read our guide on writing a business plan. We even have a free business plan template you can download as a guide!

Plasterer qualifications required

If you’re already a plasterer, then chances are you’re already qualified. However, if you’re not, then it’s essential you get qualified before starting a plastering business.

Otherwise, customers will find it difficult to trust your new business knows what it’s doing.

If you want to hone your skills with a recognised qualification, we suggest taking a look at these plastering courses:

  • National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) – these can be attained alongside an apprenticeship. But if you already have plastering experience, you can complete a short course instead
  • Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) – these equate to two years of study at university

You can also see what places such as North West Skills Academy and Logic4Training offer for specific plastering courses.

Getting CSCS certified

Besides general plastering qualifications, you’ll also need a CSCS card if you plan to work on construction sites.

Without a CSCS card, you won’t legally be able to work in these areas.

Plasterer finishing a wall

Other useful skills for plasterers

Beyond being a great plasterer, there’s a range of other personal attributes needed to help make your business a success.

By honing these soft skills, you can be sure to make running your business that much easier.

Be sure to take note of all of the following when starting a plastering business:

  • Building and construction knowledge – in order to succeed as a plasterer, good construction and building knowledge is essential
  • Interpersonal skills – as a plasterer, you’ll be working with different customers and tradespeople every day, so good personal skills will be very useful
  • Attention to detail – plastering requires a deft hand, as does running a business. Good attention to detail will make sure nothing is missed
  • Organisation – you need to make sure you’re organised if you want to stay on top of everything that comes with running a business
  • Good customer service – repeat business forms a core part of many trades, which makes delivering good customer service essential
  • Physical fitness – plastering is a very physical job, so you need to make sure you’re capable of doing the job at hand
  • Numerical skills– there is plenty of maths involved in running a business, so you need to be confident in your mathematical skills
  • Patience and integrity – not every job will go to plan, and your business will face many hurdles. You need to be able to meet these head-on
  • Enthusiasm and endurance – some jobs take longer than planned and no business startup is easy

There are, of course, many other soft skills to consider besides these. Take a look at our article on becoming your own boss to learn more about these.

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How to start your plastering business properly

Now that you’ve thought about what you want your business to look like, it’s time to get started.

We’ve laid out several key initial steps that you should take first to get your plastering business started:

1. Register your business

Straight off the bat, you want to register your new business with HMRC for tax purposes.

This is a legal requirement, and it will mean you need to consider how your business functions.

In other words, will you operate as a sole trader or a limited company? Each comes with different taxes and regulations, so the structure of your business will depend on what suits you best.

Take time to weigh up the pros and cons of each before making a decision.

2. Apply for licences and permits

As a plasterer, you may be working with or removing asbestos, and responsible for disposing of waste.

This means you’ll need to get in touch with your local council to apply for the relevant licences and permits.

Not having them, if you need them, could result in a hefty fine and penalty.

Visit the licence finder site to find out which licences and permits you need.

How to pay less tax legally

3. Get plasterers’ insurance

Getting the right insurance will make sure that you are protected financially, should the worst happen.

Take a look at our article on choosing the right tradesperson insurance to learn more about this.

4. Accounting and bookkeeping

A big part of running a successful plastering business is being organised with your accounting and bookkeeping. Whether or not you handle this is up to you.

Be sure to read our guide on small business accounting for tips on doing this.

5. Plastering tools and equipment

Finally, when starting a plastering business, you need to make sure you have the tools for the job. Here is an essential list of tools to buy to get you started:

  • Plastering trowels
  • Buckets
  • A bucket trowel
  • A hawk
  • A spackle knife
  • A scarifier
  • A paddle mixer
  • A mortar stand

Remember, as you expand the range of services offered by your plastering business, you may need more expensive equipment.

On top of this, you’ll likely also need to transport gear and materials. Why not read our article on van lease deals for help in this area?

And don’t forget that Checkatrade members get a discount on any tools they buy from our partners!

More than just a directory listing

Checkatrade members receive exclusive discounts on business essentials, vans, fuel, insurance, and more

Tell me more

How to grow your plastering business

Once you’ve done the prep work for your new plastering venture, your next job is to get your first customers. This means looking at scalability and marketing.

Here are our opening suggestions for how to grow your plastering business initially:

Scaling your plastering business

As exciting as it is to quickly grow a new business, you need to be sure you can handle it.

This means making sure that all your current business areas work together. And that future business aspects don’t interfere with your work.

Below are the core areas of scalability you should consider:

  • Streamlining – making sure that all areas of your business work in tandem is essential. Be sure to iron out any business kinks before growing your business wider
  • Finances – you’ll want to have a good financial safety net as you grow to tackle any unforeseen problems that arise. This can be in the form of savings or small business loans – whatever works best for you
  • Work quality – one thing you should never sacrifice is the quality of your work. Therefore, you should try to avoid taking on more jobs that you and your team can handle
  • New staff – eventually, you might want to take on new staff for your business. Be sure to test their skills and that they’re a right fit for your business before you commit to hiring potential candidates.

If you’re confident that you can handle the increased requirements that come with business growth, you’re ready to start marketing.

Tips for marketing your plastering business

Below are some core marketing areas you’ll want to definitely consider when marketing your business:

  • Building a business website or updating your current one
  • Updating or creating your business social media profile
  • Investing in print marketing
  • Creating company branding
  • Joining an online directory like Checkatrade

If you want any help in the areas we’ve listed above, make sure to download our free marketing guide. And don’t forget that we go into greater details on all these areas in our plastering growth guide.

How to get more plastering work

With your business finally off the ground, it’s only natural to want to expand your customer base. When you’re ready to do so, we recommend doing some or all of the following:

  • Additional qualifications – the more qualifications you have, the more your customers will trust you
  • Work specialisation – by specialising in certain areas of plastering, you can charge more for your services
  • Repeat business – repeat business can be a great way to get more work with other tradespeople

Market your plastering business with Checkatrade

With that out of the way, you should now have a good idea of how to start a plastering business.

But did you know you can get even more help doing this by joining Checkatrade?

By signing up, you’ll get your own business profile for reviews and pictures of your workget in touch today to learn more about joining our team.

You can also visit our blog for similar articles to this one. We have pieces on plasterer salaries, the best plastering trowels, and plastering courses.


Plastering business FAQs

How long does it take to learn to be a plasterer?

The length of time it takes to get going is dependent on the career path you take.

A short course can teach you the ropes in a matter of weeks. Or you can spend several years building up your skillset.

An apprenticeship can take approximately two years. While a traineeship can take two weeks to six months, depending on skill level.

However, most plasterers spend a good few years learning their trade before setting up their own business.

Give your new plastering business the best chance of success

Join the #1 trade directory, and you'll get all the leads you need

Find out more

Content disclaimer: This content has been created for general information purposes and should not be taken as formal advice. Read our full disclaimer here.

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