Running a Tiling Business
Running your own business has enormous benefits. The ability to be your own boss, have complete control of your working week, and being able to manage the crucial work/life balance is attractive to most. Recent studies indicate that approximately two-thirds of people in the United Kingdom would like to start their own business, with over 80% of young people dreaming of being their own boss. There is also a greater feeling of accomplishment, purpose, and control over your life that comes with not working for somebody else. This is why it is a life goal for many people. Tiling offers an excellent opportunity to achieve this goal
There is a shortage of skilled tilers in the UK and with all of the current political and economic uncertainty that seems unlikely to change anytime soon. As such and in line with the normal market forces of supply and demand, the prices charged by good tilers have been increasing for a number of years. It is our opinion that there has never been a better time to own and run your own tiling business.
Here at Expert Tiling Courses UK, we will provide you with all of the knowledge and practical skills to be able to go out and confidently complete tiling jobs for customers. However, being a knowledgeable and skilled tiler is only half of the battle. The business side of running a tiling business is equally important to your success. Setting up your business and choosing a name, marketing your business and getting exposure to potential customers, keeping accountancy records, gaining customer trust and securing work, all of these things are key to being successful.
We will teach you not only the theory and practical skills needed to complete tiling jobs for customers but crucially the understanding and details of how to run the commercial and administration side of your tiling business. Some of the subjects and areas we cover are:
- The choice of business structure – Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited Company
- Choosing your business name with marketing in mind
- Bookkeeping and paper records you need to keep
- Finding work – marketing approaches including social media, google, Yell.com
- Direct marketing – leaflets and promotions
- Setting up trade accounts with merchants and suppliers
- The importance of professionalism and reliability
- Building rapport and trust with potential customers
- Measuring up and pricing jobs, profit margins on materials, issuing quotations
- How much to charge
- How to spot hurdles early to avoid over-running or under-charging on a job
- Leaving scope on quotations for any extra charges
- Following up on quotations and objection-handling to obtain a buying commitment
- How to sell yourself and your business – win more jobs than others who quote
The value of these skills should not be underestimated. A full understanding of the above is what will set your new business apart from others, and ensure you win more than your fair share of work.
You can be the best and most skilled tiler in the world, but if your marketing approach is poor, or your sales skills and professional appearance is lacking, then you will be losing out on work and therefore limiting your income. There are countless stories of where customers choose the business and tradesman they like and trust, rather than simply the cheapest quotation. Making sure you say the right things, come across as professional, and deal promptly with any questions or concerns your potential customer may have is the key to converting potential customers into paying customers!
At Expert Tiling Courses UK we offer an additional one-day course, run on Fridays, which not only introduces you to natural stone, and gives you all the knowledge you will need to be able to offer natural stone fitting to your customers, it also covers the business side of running a tiling business, and we will cover everything listed above so you are ready to set up your business and get off to a flying start. Please take a look at our 1 Day Business Development, Advanced Product Knowledge & Natural Stone Course for more information.
Here at Expert Tiling Courses UK your training instructor Henry has over a decade’s experience in the industry, from being self-employed to running a limited company. His experience of the admin side of owning and running a business, marketing, customer relations, sales, and building rapport and trust with customers makes him perfectly placed to pass this valuable knowledge on to you, our students.
How much can I earn?
Skilled tilers currently tend to charge between £30 and £45 per square meter (or £200 to £300 per day) for fitting standard ceramic or porcelain tiles. This is just your labour charge. You can expect to fit tiles at a rate of between 6 and 8 square meters of tiles per day, to begin with, getting faster the more experience you gain. We will show you where and how you can increase your income by providing materials such as adhesive and grout to your customers, and by using your trade accounts with local merchants and suppliers to achieve a trade discount. We will explain how and when you can charge more per square meter for complex layouts or for any background preparation needed prior to fixing the tiles. As an example, most tilers will charge more for mosaic borders, layouts that require more complex cuts such as diamond or herringbone, or for walls and floors that are out of level/plumb.
To give an idea of usual costs, an average size bathroom (2 meters by 3 meters) would have 6 square meters of floor space and 24 square meters of walls to be tiled. Labour only on this job at just £30/sqm is £1050, add to that a profit margin on the materials needed, and you can very feasibly earn over £1200 on a job of this size, even more if you provide the tiles for the customer too! This kind of job should take between 3 and 4 days to complete from start to finish. When you factor in additional work such as dealing with out of plumb walls, supplying and fitting cement backing boards, or using a levelling compound to level out an uneven floor, you can see how there is even more scope for increasing your income. Here at Expert Tiling Courses UK you will be shown how to spot these opportunities and extra work at the point of quotation.
There has been a steady growth in the popularity of natural stone tiles in recent years (slate, granite, marble, travertine, etc.). These tiles take a little more time and care to fit, but the labour charges you can expect tend to increase by 50% to between £45 and £70 per square meter. In our experience, these jobs are good to target as the earnings available are even higher than regular ceramic or porcelain tiling jobs
There are many established and experienced self-employed tilers out there earning £1,500 - £2,000 a week, however, we must stress that it is important to set yourself realistic expectations. It is unlikely you will earn this level of income straight off the bat. If you work hard, listen to all the advice and tips we give you to grow your business and reputation, and really hone your practical skills and pace, anything is achievable!
We hope that this clearly illustrates how quickly you can recover your training costs. Your training costs are an investment in your future, an important step towards being your own boss and achieving the independence of being a business owner.
Finally, we understand that setting up a new business can be a daunting experience if you haven’t done it before. Whilst we aim to provide you with all of the information and knowledge you will need, and ensure you have the confidence to go out and find work, we know that sometimes you will want to ask questions or seek advice on something once you have finished our course. That’s why all our students at Expert Tiling Courses UK will be given our contact details and be able to take advantage of our ongoing support and advice on any matters from practical skills, problem-solving, or even the business side of things. We will try and guide you through any issues you may come across even after you have left us.