There’s more to being a spray foam contractor than spraying foam and many things to consider before purchasing spray foam equipment.
As a spray foam contractor, you are a business owner.
Running a business is nothing to shake a stick at. It’s hard work, even without the spray foam.
A successful business starts WAY before all of that cash flows in.
A thriving spray foam contracting business starts between your ears.
With a plan, Stan.
Don’t worry. You’re not floundering alone in a sea of business-induced confusion.
Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing is here to help - and so is your local Small Business Administration!
Do you know what else helps? Your imagination.
No - don’t scoff! Your imagination is of the utmost importance to your future as a spray foam contractor.
Even the illustrious Einstein was a fan of imagination.
If you can’t imagine something, it will be much more difficult to accomplish that thing - even if what you imagine feels impossible to achieve.
You need a dream to work toward, something to reach for.
And that brings us to our first question in this journey toward becoming a spray foam contractor:
What do you want to accomplish with your business?
Time to use your imagination.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH WITH YOUR BUSINESS?
At the moment, your reason for becoming a spray foam contractor might be “to make money.”
But that’s not enough.
Don’t misunderstand - money can be A primary reason, but it shouldn’t be your ONLY reason for starting a spray foam contracting business.
There are endless ways to make money.
Why have you chosen spray foam contracting, specifically?
Do you already have experience spraying foam?
Did you like it?
Be honest with yourself.
If you love the heck out of the sciencey awesomeness that is spraying foam, or it’s at least something you can live with, great.
However, if you hate spraying foam, it might be time to ask yourself some harder questions - like “Is this right for me?”
If you’ve never sprayed foam before, we strongly recommend shadowing (and learning from) another spray foam contractor before starting your own business in this industry. Work with them on a job or two so you can get a feel for the work you’ll be doing.
Don’t know anyone to shadow? We would be happy to put you in contact with a spray foam contractor who would be glad for your help - just let us know!
Back to what you want to accomplish with your business.
Do you see a need in your community that you plan to fill?
Are you hoping for a new start? Is this a venture of the heart?
Why is spray foam contracting the answer?
Now don’t get mad or shifty on us here. This is for your own good.
It might seem silly to ask these questions, especially if you’ve already convinced yourself that starting a spray foam contracting business is a good idea.
But what if you hate it?
If you’re not 100% behind this venture into spray foam contracting, you’re making a mistake.
Why do you want to be a spray foam contractor?
Answer honestly, and trust your gut. If you have serious doubts, spray foam contracting might not be for you. There is absolutely NO SHAME in walking away before you begin if that is the case.
If you need permission to do something else entirely, we give you that permission.
If you’re serious about this, and you have actual, tangible reasons for following this path into spray foam insulation, honor that!
If you’re bristling at the idea of giving up on this dream - if you really believe in this and have already grown into your dream - maybe this is for you!
You imagined giving up something that you really want - and it hurt.
That reaction speaks your truth.
“This is your path,” your heart says.
Good. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Your stubbornness means you can imagine yourself succeeding as a spray foam contractor - even if you’re not sure how to get there yet.
You’ve taken the first step of your journey, friend.
And we applaud you.
WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS PLAN?
Is this your first venture into the world of contracting?
Do you already own a contracting business that you want to expand?
Have you already begun researching how to build or expand your business - how to market, how to grow your customer base, how to meet other contractors who can help you?
If you’re a newbie to the contracting game, that’s okay! You’ve got a learning curve ahead of you, but that’s part of starting anything, right?
Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing is here for you. We offer guidance, training, and equipment that will help you start your business off on the right foot.
Have you already been a contractor for 37 years? Are you considering adding spray foam insulation to your business? That’s great!
Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing has just the right spray foam equipment and advice for you, too.
Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced contractor, you need a business plan for your new business venture.
If you’ve owned a contracting business for several years, you probably have a pretty good idea about how to plan for expansion.
You’ll also know better than anyone the importance of following a business model.
For newer contractors, though, forming a business plan can be a significant challenge.
The business model that you choose needs to address the reasons you’re in the spray foam contracting business, consider profit margin, outline a marketing plan, and describe what sets you apart from the other spray foam contractors in your area.
Do you have a website?
Do you have a marketing strategy in mind?
It’s a good idea to start marketing your business before purchasing spray foam equipment. Furthermore, go ahead and get some jobs lined up before you quit your day job!
If you want more information about how to market your spray foam contracting business, check out our community and online marketing blogs!
Another business decision to consider is your business structure.
WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS STRUCTURE?
Are you a one-person show, or do you have (or need) a labor pool to pull from?
Will your business be a sole proprietorship, an L.L.C., or some other type of business structure?
There are different legal requirements for your business, depending on whether or not you have employees. You may need worker’s compensation insurance, for instance, unless you plan to work with a third-party “labor ready” company.
The way you structure your business can protect you from being held personally liable when things don’t go to plan.
Liability is no joke.
Do you have a written safety plan for emergencies to protect yourself, your business, and your employees? Are you required to have one by your local building regulations?
If you hire employees, we recommend that you thoroughly train every employee you employ and document that training for every step of the process.
Some states even require spray foamers to be certified.
Understanding your local spray foam contracting regulations is a must, and so is understanding your business taxes.
Paying taxes as a business owner is very different from traditional income taxes, and every business structure is different from the last.
We know this is a lot to consider at once, and regulations can be confusing. So take things slowly, and don’t forget that you’re not alone on this journey!
Reach out to your accountant, your local Small Business Administration, and your Chamber of Commerce for the help you need when choosing your business structure.
Okay. Let’s talk about profit!
WHAT PROFIT MARGIN CAN YOU AFFORD TO OFFER?
Profit is an integral part of any business.
Your spray foam bids should reflect a profit margin that you can afford.
To get the job, your customers have to pick your bid, so it needs to be competitive, right? That’s right - but you also have to eat.
So take your work seriously, and assign a respectable value to your time.
You work hard in this business. Pay yourself and your workers well.
Besides, you’re offering more than just spray foam insulation to your customers.
You’re the expert in your field, man! And you're YOU!
What sets your spray foam contracting business apart?
Why should your customers choose your bid?
Find your “why” and own it!
WHAT IS THE MARKET DEMAND IN YOUR AREA?
It’s time to consider your market.
Who are you aiming to sell your contracting services to? Who is your ideal customer?
If you can put a name and face on your ideal customer, you will know how to sell spray foam insulation to them.
Is your ideal customer a 50-year-old farmer named Steve, who sports an epic beard and wants to keep his precious chickens more comfortable in their coops?
Or is your ideal customer the fiery, red-headed Lucy, who is new to the real-estate game and wants to make a name for herself by flipping houses?
Think outside the box, and find your niche.
Without it, marketing will be difficult.
If you know your ideal customer’s needs, you can figure out how to fill those needs - and presto! You’ve got a thriving business!
Another big reason to select a market niche? Building codes are different for every type of structure.
WHAT ARE THE BUILDING CODE REQUIREMENTS IN YOUR AREA?
Now we are getting into the nitty-gritty.
Once you’ve chosen a market niche for your business (which can change, if it needs to - keep that in mind), you can start learning about the building codes for your specific job type.
Yes, you’re spraying foam insulation or polyurea - but how? Where?
In chicken barns?
The building requirements are different for all of those, and so are the needs you have from your spray foam.
Are you spraying onto a vapor barrier, or are you providing a vapor barrier with the spray foam itself?
It all comes down to building science.
Local building codes are in place to keep people safe and to protect the building itself from decay.
Understanding how and why each part of a building or structure is there is part of this job.
Don’t let ignorance stop you - but don’t let it be a crutch, either! The best way to deal with ignorance is to apply your beautiful brain and LEARN!
Learning is what life is all about, right? We warned you that there is a learning curve in this business.
If you need a crash course in building science, talk with your local building authorities, or find a spray foam certification course near you.
Being a spray foam contractor is not a “get-rich-quick” scheme. It’s honest, hard work, with real, life-altering consequences.
This work MATTERS, so it’s more than worth the investment to learn what you’re getting into before you begin.
Becoming a spray foam contractor comes with a steep learning curve, and it is certainly not for everyone.
But if you’ve chosen this line of work - really chosen it - then you’re in for all of the ups and downs this business brings with it.
Welcome to the fray!
If you’re willing to apply the required time and effort to learn this trade, you can build a firm foundation for your spray foam contracting business.
And Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing can help you along your path.
You’re not alone on your spray foam journey.
Call us if you have any questions!
Until we meet again, fellow spray foam contractor, SPRAY ON!
- The Team at BOSS