Start a Fence Manufacture, Supply or Install Company

With crime in South Africa being out of control, fenced off housing complexes are common and businesses are installing fencing around the perimeter of their buildings, whether it’s new or existing properties. There are three business models to consider in this industry: manufacturing of fences (to supply to installers or end users), supply of fencing (buying from manufacturer and reselling) and the installation of different types and styles of commercial and residential fencing.

Getting Started
The first thing you need to decide is which business model you want to go with. Now you can do one, two, or even all three. Manufacturers rarely offer an install service and prefer to sell to the people who will be do the installing, but it is not uncommon for fence resellers to offer an install service either directly or via outsourcing.

Another thing to consider is what business model is the cheapest to start, that takes manufacturing out of the equation. Supply and install is a business that you do not need to hold a lot of stock (outside of samples), this means buying from a manufacturer and reselling. You can work from small sample pieces or even a catalogue of photos in order to generate interest – and orders in your business. Once a client has agreed on a price, they have to pay a deposit for the job to proceed which you can use to fund the purchase of stock.

Then there is supply only. In SA there is a increase in people doing DIY (do-it-yourself) fencing, they hire a helper to do the labour intensive digging and they do the installation work themselves. There is a lot of free self-help stuff on the internet on this subject.

Products & Services

There are different types of fences and fences made from different materials. Some fences are more popular with homeowners while others are more popular with businesses. The most popular materials are:

  • Galvanised steel
  • Wood fences;
  • Aluminum fences;
  • Wrought iron fences;
  • PVC or vinyl fences
  • Chain-link fences.

Then there are the different types of fences: clear view, palisade etc.

If you’re going to offer your services to homeowners, you will deal mostly with wood, PVC and wrought iron, since they are the most popular materials for house fences.

Businesses on the other hand will use palisade or clear view fencing. Farming is another industry to look at.

“Buy and install” is probably the best business model for small businesses: just buy fencing from a big company and make money installing. While the most profitable way to make money from this business idea is manufacturing and reselling. But it will require the most investment.