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How To Start A Tiling Business In The UK

By Mark McPherson on August 25th, 2022

Tradesman insurance is essential for anyone starting a tiling business. With the right skills, starting a tiling business can be a highly profitable venture. There is a high demand for professional tilers who can lay tiles in bathrooms, kitchens, and floors. Most successful tilers have built their business based on their reputation and attention to detail, which has helped them to establish a loyal customer base.

If you are considering establishing your own tiling business, apart from having the proper training, skills, tools, equipment and tiling insurance, there are a few more things to consider carefully.

The tiling industry is a competitive marketplace, so you must build your foundations on very high standards and customer care to carve out a niche in this profession.

In this guide, we look at the most cost-effective steps to set-up your own tiling business in the UK.

5 Steps To Starting A Tiling Business In The UK

Firstly, you need to decide whether you will dedicate your services to private clients such as homeowners looking for professional tilers to help them update their homes with a new bath or shower room, kitchens and tiled flooring. Or if you would prefer to work in a B2B environment as a contractor providing tiling services to builders and the construction industry.

Either way, you will need to hold the proper credentials, own your own transport, tools and equipment and carry your own tiler insurance to protect yourself and your business.

1: Are You Qualified To Run A Tiling Business?

Skills and experience: Many new tilers start working as general labourers in the construction industry and get a taste for tiling by assisting a professional tiler on-site. This can give you real-life experience and is a great way to pick up practical knowledge and skills in this trade.

While it is true that tiling requires a high level of expertise that can only be perfected through work experience, there is more to running your own tiling business than simply being good at tiling. For your business to be a success, you will need to have some natural skills, including:

  • Attention to detail
  • Creative
  • Customer service
  • Mathematical
  • Organisational
  • Practical

Even if you don’t possess these skills yet, it doesn’t mean you cannot learn them! Many of these skills can be learned through taking proper industry-specific training.

Training: After completing a professional tiling course, you will not only obtain an accredited qualification but also develop an enhanced skill set! You should look at enrolling on the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), which covers wall and floor tiling occupations.

You can enrol in an NVQ/QCF program, making you eligible for a red trainee card. Once qualified, you can hold a blue (skilled worker) or gold (advanced skills) card. Tilers that have passed a basic NVQ/QCF certificate can apply for a green skills card.

Personal Qualities, including attention to detail, time-keeping, etc.: Skilled tilers are always in demand, but the successful ones will have different qualities outside of their ability to lay tiles.

Whether you plan to work with domestic clients or provide services to the construction industry, you will need to be able to communicate with people and be a pleasant person to work with.

You should always arrive on time and be polite and considerate to others, especially when working in people’s homes where children and family pets might be around.

2: Creating A Tiling Business Plan

When writing your tiling business plan, you can make the process easier by answering some questions about your tiling business. Remember that your tiling business plan isn’t set in stone. It is supposed to be used as a guide to achieving your goals, so you are free to amend it in the future to set yourself new goals.

Questions to ask yourself that you should use to form your plan include:

  • What is your business? Define your target market; for example, will you provide tiling services for domestic or commercial customers?
  • What are the products/services you provide? Do you want to specialise in ceramic tiles and focus on tiling kitchen and bathroom walls, or offer more niche services like laying slate tile floors?
  • What are your goals? Do you intend to become a sole trader and work independently, or do you plan to grow and expand your business to employ others? Are you going to expand your business to offer other services, such as kitchen or bathroom installations etc.?

Research local competition: It is also essential to include some research on your local competition in your tiling business plan. This can help you to discover any hidden niches that your competition isn’t offering that you can capitalise on. It can also help you to understand what your competition does well so you can do better!

3: What Tiling Services Will You Offer?

After researching your local competition, you can better understand what is popular or in demand in the tiling industry. If you plan to offer your services to your local domestic market, you will need to provide what is currently in demand if you will pick up enough work to establish your business.

There are also opportunities to offer tiling repair and restoration services where your customers may have vintage tiles they want to hold on to. It can help your business clarity if you define precisely what tiling services you offer, for example:

  • Bathroom, kitchen and conservatory
  • Domestic tiling or commercial tiling
  • Mosaic tiling
  • Re-grouting or repairing tiling
  • Sealing natural stone

A clear explanation will help you create an in-depth business plan that will help you secure any start-up funding you may want to seek.

4: Register as a Ltd Company

Deciding whether to register as a limited company is another essential step for establishing your tiling business. When starting your tiling business, you will need to register as self-employed with HMRC.

Many professional tilers choose to remain self-employed, but if you want to work within the construction industry and as a contractor for building firms, you may find it easier to get work when you register your business as a limited company.

It can often be the case that domestic customers will choose to go with a professional tiler with a limited company rather than a sole trader. Registering your business with Companies House can prove you are a genuine professional and take your business seriously.

5: Get The Right Tiling Insurance To Protect Yourself

You must protect yourself from apparent risks, such as a customer or workmate tripping over your tools or equipment, and protect against any accidental property damage caused by your work.

But you should also cover your business for fire, flood or theft. The loss of your essential tools and equipment can be devastating, and so could losing your stock of tiles if you have spent out on buying expensive ceramic tiles for a job, only to have them stolen or damaged in an accident. Ceramic tile insurance may seem a bit specific, but it has saved a lot of professional tilers a lot of money when they have needed to replace their stock.

Conclusion

At Brisco Business, we know how challenging life can be when setting up your own tiling business. Whether you want to protect against damage to your critical equipment, injuries or any professional liabilities, you can compare quotes from leading insurers to find the policy for you. Safeguard your assets and ensure continuity with our reliable business insurance policies at Brisco Business.

Mark McPherson

Mark McPherson has an MA in Creative Writing and has been crafting content for over a decade. He writes for a range of niches, including the construction industry and insurance sector.

All articles by Mark McPherson

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