Start a Carpet Installation Business by following these 10 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your Carpet Installation Business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a Carpet Installation Business?
First and foremost, you will need to make an investment in equipment. You will need tackless strips, hammers, work gloves, knee pads, power stretchers, seam tape, strip cutters, and a steam roller. You won’t need all of these immediately. Some of these are simply to make the job easier and can be acquired over time.
What are the ongoing expenses for a Carpet Installation Business?
There are several ongoing expenses to consider. You will need a dependable truck to haul the carpet and yourself to the job site. It will require insurance. Commercial truck insurance is going to cost approximately $1,500 per year. Maintenance such as oil changes, tires, and brakes should also be considered.
You will also need supplies. Professionals in the field estimate their cost to be between 45 and 55 cents per yard. You will also need liability insurance which will amount to approximately 5% of your payroll if you have employees.
Who is the target market?
Your business can serve both residential and commercial clients. You will also find it helpful to develop a professional relationship among carpet sellers and commercial construction companies. Many homeowners expect to arrange installation service when they buy their carpet. You want to be the one they recommend and call when they need expert carpet installation.
How does a Carpet Installation Business make money?
A carpet installation business can have many sources of revenue. You will be able to charge for other services in addition to carpet installation. Your customers will have other needs ranging from carpet removal, replacement, and carpet pad installation.
How much can you charge customers?
The cost to install a carpet ranges from $756 and $2,569, averaging $1,652. Most homeowners pay $3.50 to $11 per square foot or $32 to $100 per square yard. Carpet materials average $2 to $7 per square foot with a broad range of $1 to $20 per square foot. Labor adds $0.50 to $1 per square foot.
How much profit can a Carpet Installation Business make?
The average carpet installer salary is $46,318. You will see vastly more profit with effective marketing, strategy, competent employees, and positive advertising via word of mouth.
How can you make your business more profitable?
You should also consider one of the many franchise options available. New small business owners sometimes lack the expertise and resources to thrive in a competitive business environment. Franchised startups have an edge over other startups because they launch with many resources already in place.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your Carpet Installation Business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
Open net-30 accounts
When it comes to establishing your business credit, net-30 vendors are considered the way to go. The term "net-30," which is popular among vendors, refers to a business credit arrangement where the company pays the vendor within 30 days of receiving goods or services.
Net-30 credit terms are often used for businesses that need to obtain inventory quickly but do not have the cash on hand.
Besides establishing business relationships with vendors, net-30 credit accounts get reported to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our guide on the best net-30 vendors so you can start building business credit now, so you never have to worry about cash flow in the future. Keep in mind that poor cash flow is the #1 reason businesses fail!
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a Carpet Installation business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
How to promote & market a Carpet Installation Business
There are many carpet retailers and installers. The market is becoming increasingly competitive. To grow your customer base, you will need to develop an effective marketing strategy. There are a few techniques you can use to increase your business without spending a lot of money. When homeowners want to carpet their homes, they generally carpet multiple rooms. Bulk discounts can be a good place to start.
How to keep customers coming back
There are many accessories involved in a carpeting project. Offering them for free is a good choice. A free moisture barrier or carpet pad with your service is a great option to drive your business without spending too much money on expensive advertising.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use.
Recommended: Find the best phone system for your business; check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2021.
Start A Carpet Installation Business In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Is this Business Right For You?
A carpet installation business can be a perfect option for someone with great carpentry skills. Having a healthy amount of social skills can also help you during the day-to-day interactions with clients.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a Carpet Installation Business?
Depending on the number of carpets you are installing and your business’s size, you may find yourself going to job sites and installing the carpets yourself. If you have a small team, your time will most likely be spent scheduling and interviewing potential clients and examining job sites to give estimates. If you scale out your business to a greater degree, you will find yourself more involved in your business’s bookkeeping side and managing teams of people at multiple locations.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful Carpet Installation Business?
Carpet installation can be a talent, but to use it in a business, your skills can be no less than excellent. You should have above average handyman skills and customer service experience.
What is the growth potential for a Carpet Installation Business?
Growing a carpet installation business will depend on your marketing, people skills, and quality of service. Everything starts small. Start by marketing your service to individual houses. You will need to make contacts that will give referrals if any of their friends, family, or neighbors need your service.
TRUiC's YouTube Channel
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Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a Carpet Installation Business?
If you are interested in starting a carpet installation business, it’s a good idea to talk to someone who is already in the business. A fellow entrepreneur who has started a carpet installation business in another town would be a good place to start and can be a great resource to you. Many experienced entrepreneurs enjoy offering advice to eager startups.
How and when to build a team
Since carpet is heavy and cumbersome, you will need to hire at least two or three people to get the job done well and in a reasonable amount of time. Seek out applicants with a strong work ethic, which you can determine through their work history and references. They should take direction well and work quickly and accurately.