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Starting a business

Good Small Business Ideas: Start a Chimney Sweep Business

Wood-burning and coal-burning fireplaces create a wonderful atmosphere, but also produce a large amount of soot. To keep their fireplaces and chimneys in good condition, homeowners hire chimney sweeps, who arrive on site and get rid of the soot using a variety of brushes and other pieces of modern equipment. Chimney sweeping remains a competitive services sector across Canada, but if your business gains a good reputation, you can make a sizable profit. Best of all, startup costs for a chimney sweeping venture are low, particularly in comparison with setup costs for other types of small business.

Write a Business Plan

Before beginning your new venture, write a business plan to plot your company trajectory. The most successful companies thrive because their owners have vision and prepare for changes in the industry, market forces and tax season. Often considered the most important part of the document, your executive summary section should cover the basics of your chimney sweeping business. Projections and company growth strategies for the next year, two years and beyond go in your business strategy section. A well-written business plan may help you obtain loans or attract investors for your chimney-sweeping business.

Get Certified

Many Canadian families actively seek out certified chimney sweeps, either because they feel safer in the hands of trained professionals or because their insurance companies encourage them to hire certified professionals. To obtain chimney sweep certification in Canada, look at the courses offered by Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc, also known as WETT. To become a WETT certified chimney sweep, you need to complete three courses: a three-day Code Compliance course to help you stay safe on the job, a two-day Wood-burning Systems course, and a one-day SITE Basic Inspection course. You also need to have 80 weeks of verifiable industry experience under your belt. Check out your province’s requirements for insurance before you officially open your doors.

Get Online

To find new customers on the internet, consider creating a compelling website. You can build one by yourself via platforms like Wix or Squarespace, or you can hire a web designer to create a unique site from scratch. Features like online booking provide convenience and can give you the edge over other local companies. Don’t forget to describe the services you offer in detail and display your certifications and positive reviews to reassure customers of your chimney-sweeping skills.

Stay Successful in the Offseason

Chimney sweeping, like so many other things, has an offseason. Usually, chimney sweeps get a little more business in the fall as homeowners evict birds’ nests and prepare their chimneys for winter use. Offseason specials can help keep businesses going in warmer months, but many companies augment their sales with other endeavors until frost arrives again. Consider adding general cleaning, post-disaster cleanup or flood damage restoration to your list of skills to ensure you stay busy. To launch your chimney sweeping company successfully, plan ahead, get certified and equip yourself with the tools you need to tackle a range of chimney types. If you expand your business to include other services, you can stay active all year and turn a tidy profit in any season.

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