Own business: laying fireplaces

* The calculations use the average data for the World

In most cases, only wealthy people can afford to have a fireplace in the house. However, many owners of private homes sooner or later think about installing a fireplace - today it carries not only a practical function, but also creates an atmosphere of warmth and homeliness. There is always a demand for installing fireplaces, and it cannot be called too low, and therefore an entrepreneur can open his own business based only on this type of construction work.

In any large city today there is often not even one office that offers its customers the possibility of laying fireplaces. Moreover, this direction of construction took shape in an independent type of business, and many companies offer only this service, sometimes with some attendant ones, for example, installing a fire system or decorating the space in front of the fireplace with stone or other materials. Entering this market, however, is not too difficult, because consumers are not always served by masters of their craft, many of these entrepreneurs are self-taught who simply decided to pursue a quick profit. This is not surprising, because to start such a business a very small start-up capital may be enough, however, for a serious organization, you will have to invest a bit more. But one way or another, at first, small, frivolous offices and naturally individual entrepreneurs (that is, working in general alone) can be a serious obstacle, because people trust the newly-emerged company to an even lesser extent. In small cities it’s hard to find a professional company that deals with professional laying of fireplaces, this is done either by the homeowners themselves (sometimes with sad consequences), or by local magicians, or craftsmen invited from big cities. In the first two cases, quality suffers, in the third - it comes out too expensive.

Elite villages can be a good place to start, however, for the most part there are fireplaces in the majority of houses. You can take your place in the market by providing better services, for this an entrepreneur (if he is engaged in this) or his employees must be true professionals in their field, know exactly how and what to install. The ability to provide additional services also has a positive effect on customer acquisition. And finally, if you set more favorable prices, at least for the first time, you can also quickly conquer a significant part of the market.

To get started, you will need to register as a business entity. The easiest way to register as an individual entrepreneur is that it will take a little time, require a little time and effort from a businessman, and subsequently it will be much easier to deal with tax and accounting reporting. Also, an individual entrepreneur has the right to immediately take all the profits for himself and dispose of it as he pleases. If there is a need to register a legal entity, then the preferred form is a limited liability company. This is due to the fact that a limited liability company has the right, like individual entrepreneurs, to use a simplified taxation system, which involves transferring to the state’s benefit no more than 6% of income or 15% of operating profit. The activity itself falls within the definition (OKPD 2) 43.99 Other specialized construction activities not included in other groups.

Currently, a license is no longer required to work in construction, but entry into a self-regulatory organization is required, which is responsible for monitoring the activities of construction organizations. To enter the SRO, you will need to study the requirements of a suitable self-regulatory organization, usually only companies that engage in a narrow profile of activity accept such associations. In other cases, a very significant entry fee will be required. There are also special companies that help with joining self-regulatory organizations, but they will require a lot of money from the applicant for their services. Membership in the SRO provides, however, not only some responsibilities, but also benefits. Firstly, it’s professional help, the ability to directly contact other organizations, sometimes SRO helps even with finding clients, and sometimes it distributes orders between companies. In general, with the right choice of a self-regulatory organization, you can really get very tangible help, especially at the stages of establishing your business. Also, in some cases, permission of the Ministry of Emergencies for some types of work may be required, and the SRO will also act as an assistant here.

Next, you need to decide on the format of your work. The easiest option is to work alone, if the entrepreneur himself is a master, in this case it will be enough for him to hire several assistants who will carry out simple tasks. However, this format of work cannot be called ideal, moreover, in most cases, such an entrepreneur will not be accepted into a self-regulatory organization, because laying fireplaces is still a serious enough occupation, which requires accurate planning and certain conditions. Fire safety depends on the proper installation, therefore either the entrepreneur himself is engaged in all calculations and compiles all the documentation, or hires specialists in this matter. A more preferable format of work is, after all, the opening of a full-fledged organization in which several people work, and each is engaged in its own business. For these purposes, you will need to open your own office, which will become a representative office, that is, negotiations with customers will be held here, as well as development of not only technical documentation, but also design projects. A master working alone can do without an office at all, working at home, or rather, performing all the calculations at home, but the organization does not need to find too much space. If possible, you can even work on the territory of a partner construction company, and such a union can be beneficial to both organizations.

If the construction company provides a wide range of services, but does not deal with masonry fireplaces, it can offer its customers this additional service, and if interested, transfer the order to its partner. As a result, the construction company receives a client satisfied on all issues, the company engaged in the laying of fireplaces receives the client, and the client, in turn, immediately solves several problems. Thus, you need to find a room that will only become a place to solve some administrative and organizational issues, so the office can even be 20-30 square meters, which reduces rental costs. The final rental cost depends on many factors, this is the location in the city - optimally located in the central quarters or on the territory of elite quarters in which there are many private households - as well as the city of work, because in the province rent for the same area is lower than in large cities and megacities. The price is also affected by the equipment of the room, sometimes it is even necessary to carry out some repairs for comfortable work.

Further, for your work you need to buy the appropriate equipment, but you will not need to invest serious funds, because some technically sophisticated tools are not required. In fact, the fireplace can be installed using the simplest equipment, only here workers must arrive at the facility with their tools. The simplest set of equipment for one team will cost 10-20 thousand rubles, but they need transport to get to the facility. The minimum figure for buying a car is 200 thousand rubles, however, you can try to find people with their own cars, and thus reduce the amount of initial investment. In general, as noted above, the cost of the initial investment in such a business can really be quite low, but even a full-fledged company can be opened for no more than half a million, and this, taking into account the purchase of a car, the creation and promotion of your own website, and the purchase the most expensive tools, hiring a lot of people to work. True, substantial cash may be required to join a self-regulatory organization and pay the down payment.

Before giving advertisements about your company, you need to find suppliers of materials, and it would be nice to cooperate with a wholesale company that can supply raw materials not to a specific point, but directly to customers' facilities. It’s not advisable to keep materials at home; you don’t have to buy them at all. In some cases, the customer provides the materials himself, and in this case, the company that will be engaged in laying the fireplace does not care at all who delivered the material how and when. However, not all customers have this opportunity to independently find materials, and the company should be able to buy material for its consumer, because he pays for it anyway. The fireplace stacker tells the customer the amount of materials needed, after which he either searches for them on his own or trusts this question to the company. Especially appreciated by customers are those companies that are engaged in laying fireplaces of different materials, so you need to look for suppliers sometimes very diverse materials. It is advisable to find companies that offer material from different price segments, although in most cases the emphasis is on people who have a very good income, therefore, do not skimp on the purchase of materials as well. A separate category is ready-made fireplaces that do not need to be laid, which need only installation. These are usually electric or fuel-powered units that are not fireplaces in the usual sense, but in the end they are often cheaper for the consumer than laying a real fireplace, and these products are often bought by middle-class people who own their own home. In this case, you can find suppliers of such devices and offer their customers just the installation of such systems. In some cases, this can bring even much greater income than the laying of ordinary fireplaces.

A company that deals with laying fireplaces can offer its customers a fairly wide range of additional services. Among other construction and finishing works, design services are also in demand among customers, because not every consumer knows exactly what he wants. The fireplace, also serving as an element of the interior and being a rather important part of it, should be in harmony with the environment, and therefore, if the customer does not have a ready-made design plan, he can be offered not only technical, but also design development of the project. In most cases, the client will prefer to make a similar project in a company that will be engaged in the further installation of the fireplace, so it is almost certainly worth thinking about providing such a service. To do this, you need to hire one or even several designers in the company who can develop truly beautiful and modern-looking fireplaces; these people will almost certainly not be left without work. Moreover, if you offer clients truly high-quality design services, you can count on high customer satisfaction, in other words, an entrepreneur will receive an important competitive advantage that will help him take his place in the market, strengthen his position and even get around other companies. In addition, engineers and technologists who are engaged in documentation should work in the company, that is, planning the future fireplace.

All projects are subject to coordination not only with the customer, but also with the regulatory organization, which is primarily concerned with technical performance and safety. If the company offers its customers a certain list of additional services, then specialists in the field are hired - everything is extremely simple, almost anyone who has experience and knowledge in construction can do general construction work. If an entrepreneur is not a master at installing fireplaces, he finds professionals in this business, you should not look for people who are ready to work for a meager salary - it’s not worth saving in this direction, you only need a master of his craft. The success of the undertaking directly depends on them.

Finally, people who are involved in administrative and organizational matters, work with clients, distribute orders, and answer questions of potential customers by phone may be required. At the same time, all business processes that are not related to profit-making by an organization should be outsourced, this includes bookkeeping, legal and tax consultations. This also includes providing security for your office by a third-party private security organization, as well as cleaning the premises.

To promote their services on the market, one needs to be represented in the local mass media, and ATL marketing techniques can be very effective, because potential customers include a fairly large percentage of the population, especially in settlements where private construction is widespread or there are a large number of private households. You also need to think about posting information about yourself on thematic portals on the Internet, perhaps even create your own website, which will become the most important information and advertising platform. The ability to leave a request on the site, view the work that has been completed previously, conduct a preliminary cost calculation, familiarize yourself with the conditions only attracts additional customers. The total cost of masonry fireplaces can be very high - the price tag starts from about 30 thousand rubles only for facing the finished fireplace, but if you take into account the full work with the installation of not only the fireplace, but also the chimney and other elements of the system, the client gives about 80 thousand rubles minimum, the cost is calculated according to the complexity and volume of work. Moreover, these amounts are only for work, the material is bought separately and is not included in the cost of work in any case.

The final cost for the client largely depends on the material - granite or marble is much more expensive than a simple brick, while working with these materials is also more complicated, which increases its cost. But we must not forget that if the entrepreneur does not engage in masonry of fireplaces himself, then a significant percentage of the cost of the order will be taken by the master. That is why such a business is most profitable for those who themselves know how to correctly install fireplaces, then we can talk about the high profitability of this undertaking and short payback periods, otherwise the entrepreneur receives a relatively small, but at the same time kind of passive income. Such a business also has its own opportunities for development, because by working with many people, you can eventually build up your client base and, starting to work in other areas of construction, quickly reach a new level and increase your income.

Matthias Laudanum

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