Want to start your own epoxy flooring business?
If you've ever considered starting an epoxy flooring business, you'll know that there are plenty of videos, advice and even product training available, but it seems like no matter how much looking around you do, you never get that "peace of mind" feeling.
Have you ever wondered why that’s the case?
The reason is that to start and run a successful epoxy resin flooring business, it’s not just about getting trained or having the right gear.
To succeed in this game, there are 5 elements you need to get in place:
- The right products
- The right equipment
- The right training
- The right project support
- The right business operation
While this may sound negative, the reality is if you don't get all those 5 elements right, you're unlikely to make consistent profit, you're not going to grow, and the chances are you will eventually go broke.
It might not be right away, it might not be for a few years, but it’ll be a rough ride. A ride filled with problem after problem and that feeling every business owner dreads: like they’re winging it. Like they're always doubting themselves, never quite sure if anything they do is right, and just hoping they don’t get “that call” from a client with another job failure. On top of the emotional toll, there's also a big cost to your hip pocket.
How long do you think you could keep going if that's how your business operated?
With all that in mind, the best advice we can give anyone looking to start an epoxy flooring installation business is this:
If you can’t afford to make the right investment of time, money, and energy in ALL 5 elements, then don't even start.
The good thing is that if you ARE prepared to make the right investment and get on top of all those 5 elements, you can build yourself an epoxy flooring business that earns good income and gives you the freedom to work hours that suit your lifestyle.
Don't be fooled - training on its own isn't enough
When it comes to getting started with an epoxy flooring business, there are companies that offer "crash course" training days that can vary from simple demonstrations on sampleboards, to larger areas where you get a chance to apply alongside other learners like yourself.
While this option has become popular, the problem is that a few days is terribly inadequate when it comes to preparing you for the challenges of running an epoxy flooring business.
The thing is, learning something well is all about understanding the information presented to you. From our own experience with these types of courses, only about 80% of information is understood by the students in the classes. In some cases this is even less, particularly for those who need time to take in and process the information.
To make matters worse, another big chunk is lost the moment you walk out the door, and, what you remember continues to evaporate in the following weeks. The full impact of this information dump doesn’t really hit home until a month later when you’re doing your first couple of jobs and realise you’re stuck. All the important bits have been forgotten or remembered incorrectly, and you are now heading for failures. You lose time, money, confidence, and any sense of momentum you thought you had.
Certainly not the way you want to begin a business!
To succeed, you need genuine epoxy flooring business support
That training-only model doesn’t work because it can’t offer the ongoing support entry-level installers need to keep their learning fresh and push through all the other challenges that pop up AFTER initial training is done. The different types of support epoxy flooring business owners need on a regular basis include:
Right from the outset, many installers will be tempted to mix and match products from different suppliers in an attempt to lower costs and make more money. The main problem with this approach is you can't get any support from manufacturers with their warranties, and you are literally on your own. With product selection, it pays to seek out proven and reliable systems so you can get this type of support when you need it.
For a start-up epoxy flooring business to be successful, you need ongoing technical support from the people that formulate the products and know the systems inside and out. The people that have answered all the same start-up questions 100s of times before and can relate to the challenges you're facing with regards to product suitability, capabilities, troubleshooting etc.
If technical support is "how" to do something, project support is the "why". Why is this system the best choice for this project? Why did it work last time, but not this time? As all installers learn eventually, every project, every slab, and every client is different, and to navigate your way through all these scenarios is impossible without proper guidance.
When it comes to epoxy flooring, you need quality equipment that’s designed for this industry and can offer years of good service. Not only that, but you need equipment that can build a strong foundation and allow you to scale up as you grow. Installers also find out pretty quickly that the little things make a big difference with the gear they use, such as the ability to get grinders in and out of your van, trailer, or ute without breaking your back.
With the right product, equipment and support, you’re in a good position to complete epoxy flooring jobs to a good standard. However, you aren’t just an installer, you are a business owner. No matter how good you are on the installation side, if you want to run a successful epoxy flooring business you need to become a good business operator as well.
So, if training on it's own isn't enough, and you need all this vital support to get your business up and running, what should you do? What is the best way to get your epoxy flooring business started?
In our opinion, the best thing you can do is seek out an experienced mentor that can guide you and has a vested interest in your success.
Some more epoxy flooring business considerations
With the importance of getting genuine support across the 5 elements and a personal mentor established, there are a few different models you can choose when starting up, which includes a territory license or a franchise. Each model will have pros and cons, so here are some key considerations that may help you decide which way to start your epoxy flooring business:
Profits - Some models will take a royalty of your total sales. Giving away, for example, 10% sales royalties may not sound
like much, but if your profit works out to be 30% on a particular project then you are giving away a third of your profit. Also,
keep in mind that 10% mightn't feel bad when you're making money, but you still need to pay even if you are not profitable. Our
advice is to consider sharing your profits carefully unless there is a substantial upside.
Avoid limitations - Starting a business is hard, and you don't want to sign up for anything that makes it even harder by
restricting where you can work. As an example, you may have finally won over a hard-earned customer that now wants you to do their
floors in another region or state. Your territory is also important for the future as you may want to move location or even look to
sell. Prospective buyers might not be as keen to buy if they feel restricted with where they can operate.
Marketing - Paying a royalty to have someone do the marketing for you can sound like a good idea, but our
advice is to learn to do your own marketing. This is important because doing your own allows you to control the types of jobs you
want to win and the types of clients you want to work with.
Taking every job that comes your way - If you spend too much money upfront when setting up your business, you'll probably
feel the pressure to take on every job. As a start-up, that's a recipe for disaster because some jobs will simply be beyond your
skillset and some clients have expectations that are too hard to meet.
Learn with one set of core products - Become the master of a small range of quality products that you know can get the job
done. Having other options if your client base or market changes is important, but this kind of expansion should come further down the
track anyway when you've fully established your business.
Build relationships with manufacturers - To master any product, you need to be dealing directly with the people who make it
and know it inside-out. Avoid private labeller resellers that don’t formulate the products or even know what's inside the bucket in
What does the typical epoxy flooring business timeline look like?
So, now that you know a little bit more about the elements of a start-up epoxy flooring business and the considerations for getting started, let’s talk about success in real number terms.
Everyone will have a different idea of what they see as successful, but the fundamental starting point in any business is to break even as quickly as possible. This can be achieved by keeping overheads low, and focussing on getting your income to match the wage you were earning before you started.
After you’ve achieved an income that breaks even, the next phase of success is to earn profit to repay your original investment in the business. This is where you need to be smart with the start-up approach you take. Spend too much money upfront and you'll be putting enormous pressure on making immediate profit; spend too little and you'll be working blind, taking many wrong paths before you start to figure out what works and what doesn't.
Every business owner starts up thinking they have to grow as big as possible, as quickly as possible. Although this may suit some owners, generally we find the aim is to work out your business "sweet spot" where you are happy with your work, your income, your lifestyle. Make the business work for you!
How much does starting an epoxy flooring business cost?
You can easily find the exact costs for training-only or franchise models by doing a quick Google search, but what if you decide they aren't the best fit for your start-up epoxy flooring business? If you'd prefer to source the products, equipment and mentoring/support on your own, how much should you expect to pay?
From our experience, we feel a minimum budget probably looks something like this:
The minimum startup equipment package will be in the order of $10,000. This should be new equipment, so you have many trouble-free years of
You will want enough product to get familiar with the systems, do a few jobs, earn some money, and start to build a bit of momentum. A
product budget of $5,000 is a typical starting point for the first month.
Training, support and mentoring is a little harder to find, but there are sites that can connect you with experienced
mentors willing to offer their services in these areas. A budget for a 12-month period might be in the order of $10k to $15k.
Note: Spending $1000 per month on a good mentor is the best investment you will make - not only in your education but in ensuring that the projects run smoothly (rather than winging it). In real dollar terms, it will cost you more than $1000 to redo a single garage floor, not to mention the angst of dealing with a frustrated client! As a wise man once said, “We all pay for our education, one way or another."