Drywall installation is a building trade’s subspecialty that takes practice to master. If you have experience hanging drywall and finishing it, you might want to start your own drywall-finishing business. You may subcontract work from builders for new installations or remodeling projects. You might also specialize in restoration of buildings after fire, floods or other natural disasters. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the hourly rate of pay for drywall finishers in 2008 was $21.03. Managers and business owners typically draw more than the average.
Complete any training necessary to learn how to finish drywall. Learn this skill on the job or receive training at a vocational school. Enroll in an apprenticeship program as another option to learn the trade. As you gain experience, maintain a list of customers who would give you a reference.
Create a business plan for your drywall business, indicating whether you plan to do jobs for residential, commercial or industrial customers, or a combination of all three. Detail how you plan to finance your drywall business and market it. Create a series of cost projections that include startup costs, such as marketing expenses to targeted customers with new-construction jobs or restoration jobs. Also include long-term liabilities, such as equipment loans, as well as day-to-day operating costs, such as capital outlay for drywalling supplies and employee salaries. Even though you may complete drywall work on the work site, you must also include the cost of an office, even if you will operate it from your home.
Acquire the tools necessary to perform drywall installation and finishing. These include hand tools, such as sanders, hawks and trowels, as well as such larger items as ladders, scaffolding and stilts.
Register your drywall-finishing business name with your state’s secretary of state. Fill out any necessary applications for tax identification numbers. Complete the paperwork if you plan to operate as a limited liability company, also known as an LLC, or as a corporation. Obtain a local business license. Fill out the application and pay the fees.
Hire employees. Try to find drywall installers and finishers who have basic training in drywall finishing. Preferably, hire workers with job experience or training that’s similar to yours.
Create advertising for your new drywall business by making an advertising logo or image that brands your business in the minds of future customers. Take out ads in local newspapers and on radio and television where you incorporate this drywall business logo. Hire someone to create a website for you that carries out your logo branding. Create calling cards with this same logo. Every time you make a face-to-face connection with a past, present or future customer, give him a business card with your drywall business logo on it.
Contact contractors you worked with while you were in training. Ask them to refer customers to you. Contact home painters and restoration companies as well for possible work opportunities. Set up a booth at local home shows in your community.