Marble and granite are very popular materials for floors and countertops in upscale homes and businesses. As an aspiring entrepreneur looking to enter this space, there are many things to consider when making a granite and marble business investment. These include your startup capital, your existing skills and experience in the construction and interior design fields, your knowledge of granite and marble trends and your experience operating businesses.
Determine Your Business Model
There are a lot of different ways you can enter the marble and granite industry. These include but are not limited to:
- Importing marble and granite from quarries around the United States or around the world
- Distributing ready-made granite and marble products to builders and interior designers
- Operating a granite and/or marble fabrication shop
- Installing granite and marble products
- Cleaning, sealing, repairing and/or restoring granite and marble products
Your business model might include only one of these services, or it could involve two or more. For example, you might determine that you have the resources and skills to operate a business that installs granite and marble products and offers cleaning and repair services.
At this stage, you also determine your role in your granite and marble business. Determine whether you have the capacity and desire to handle physically working with granite, marble and the tools used to cut and transport them, the design vision and skills to create luxurious interiors with these materials or simply the financial resources to become a granite and marble business investment partner and work with a team that has these skills.
Create a Business Plan
Once you have a business model worked out, your next step is to create a business plan. Your business plan is the comprehensive document that covers everything related to your business, such as:
- Your business model
- How you will finance the business
- The business’s leadership team
- The business’s target audience and information about it
- The business’s day-to-day operations
- How the business will be marketed
- Projected business profits and expenses
- The business’s physical location
When developing your business plan, carefully consider what it will cost you to buy all the equipment you need to operate the business. This includes company vehicles and the cost to insure and maintain them. If your business model includes installing granite and/or marble products in clients’ homes or businesses, you will also need a contractors' license. Do not forget to budget for professional liability insurance to protect the business in the event of an accident.
After developing your business plan, register your business with the IRS and your state. At this stage, you will incorporate the business, which establishes it as its own legal and taxable entity, completely independent from you. Upon registering your business with the IRS, it is assigned an employer identification number, which is the number used to identify your business for tax purposes.
Build Connections Within the Industry
Start building connections within the marble and granite industry and the larger construction industry before you open up shop. Connections develop when prospective clients and vendors know your company’s name and what you offer, so make it a priority to advertise your new business and get your business cards into the hands of others. Because marble and granite distribution, fabrication and installation are jobs that often involve traveling to the client and delivering a physical product in person, networking with local clients and vendors is a must. A few places where you can network effectively include:
- Local entrepreneurship organizations like BNI
- Events for real estate investors
- Construction trade shows
- Real estate networking events
- Social media groups focused on your local area
The right vendors and prospective clients with whom to network depend on the services your company provides. If you are a distributor or a fabricator, your ideal connections are granite and marble installers and general contractors. If you install granite, your client pool includes general contractors as well as homeowners and business owners of restaurants and retail shops who want to have granite or marble installed. Remember that the construction and real estate industries see a lot of crossover, so do not underestimate the potential business you can build by networking with real estate brokers.