Granite fabricators can find a lot of success in markets where there is a lot of commercial and/or residential construction. Granite is durable, comes in a variety of colors and styles and to many, it is aesthetically pleasing, which makes it a top choice for floors and countertops among upscale consumers. One way to get into the granite industry is to open a granite fabrication shop. Granite fabricators transform raw granite slabs into custom pieces like sinks and countertop panels that contractors and designers purchase and place in their clients’ homes and businesses.
Budget and Plan Your Business
Operating a granite fabrication shop can be an expensive venture. As you determine whether this is the right business venture for you and if so, the ideal way for you to enter the granite fabrication market, talk to other granite fabricators and research granite fabrication online to find the approximate startup costs and operating expenses you can expect to face.
Once you have decided to move forward with this venture, create a business plan. A business plan is a comprehensive document that covers every important piece of information related to your business, such as:
- The business’s leadership team
- The business’s day-to-day operations
- The business’s target demographic
- The business’s financing needs
- Where the business will be located
- The goods and services the business offers
The last part of getting your granite fabrication shop ready for business is registering the business. You need to register your business with two government entities: the IRS and the business bureau, business board or secretary of state’s office for your state depending on the government office with which businesses are registered in your state.
Obtain Granite-Cutting Tools
Your granite fabrication shop needs granite-cutting tools. Crucial tools for any granite fabrication operation include but are not limited to:
- Dremel tool
- Circular saw
- Table saws with stone-cutting blades
- Stone-polishing equipment
- Sandblasting equipment
Obtain All Necessary Licenses and Insurance
Although there is no required education for granite fabricators, taking a granite fabrication course such as those offered by the Natural Stone Institute can help you learn key skills and can boost your business’s prestige through certification.
Depending on your city and state, you will also likely need to obtain a business license in order to legally operate. In addition to this license, you may be required to obtain a contractor license if you offer granite installation services in addition to granite fabrication.
Additionally, you will need professional liability insurance. In the event of an accident, this insurance policy can cover your company’s liabilities.
Network Within Your Industry
Build relationships with granite suppliers to ensure that you have the types of granite your clients want to purchase at fair, reasonable prices. You can find wholesale granite suppliers online and through in-person networking. Depending on your warehouse and transportation resources, you can potentially save money by buying granite directly from quarries rather than through distributors.
The last step in starting your granite fabrication shop is getting your name out there to the clients and connections to clients who will need your services. Because granite fabrication generally requires face-to-face interaction with the client and traveling to the client’s work site, it’s in your best interest to network with local homeowners and businesses.
Don’t only network with home and business owners who might want granite in the future; network with professionals like real estate brokers, general contractors and interior designers who will need granite for their own clients. Ideal places for granite fabricators to network include:
- Trade shows
- Construction and real estate industry networking events
- Local-focused social media groups
- Local entrepreneurship organizations like BNI
Lindsay Kramer has been a full-time writer since 2014. In that time, she's experienced the ups, downs and crazy twists life tends to take when you're launching, building and leading a small business. As a small business owner, her favorite aspect about writing in this field is helping other small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs become more fluent in the terminology and concepts they face in this role. Previously, she's written on entrepreneurship for 99designs and covered business law topics for law firms.