STARTING A CONCRETE BUSINESS
7 Things to Consider When Starting Your Own Concrete Business.
Owning a business and being your own boss is still a key element of the American Dream. For many in the construction industry, starting your own subcontracting business is one way to realize this dream. With that in mind, many entrepreneurs have ventured into the concrete business, for good reason.
The concrete industry, a subset of the larger construction industry, accounts for an important piece of the world economy. In the United States alone, it’s a $47 billion sector, and it saw a 7% growth from 2012-2017, employing well over 250,000 people. These strong numbers, and the continuing rebound of the construction economy, makes a career change as a concrete contractor highly desirable
Starting your own concrete contracting company is largely an open-ended business endeavor. You may choose to focus on smaller residential concrete jobs or move all the way up to huge commercial concrete pours. Many starting a concrete business begin with smaller jobs and work their way up to larger concrete subcontracted work. Based on the size of the construction industry around the world, the opportunities are truly limitless.As you begin to think about opening one of your own, consider these important pieces of the puzzle:
1. Make a Business Plan: A lot goes into starting any new venture, including a new concrete business. Understand your market and what opportunities are available to concrete contractors, then create a business plan that will guide you as you begin your new concrete contracting business. Then, find a way to fund this venture. As you think through these things, consider the best location for your contracting firm, what services you will offer, and how you will set your concrete company apart from others.
2. Take Care of the Paperwork: Depending on where your business will be located, you will likely have to register your business entity with the government and get contractor liability insurance. If you are planning on operating in the United States, you will have to go through some level of permitting in order to bid for work. Rules vary state by state, but all contractors must have a version of a contractor or concrete license for each state in which work will be performed; some states require separate concrete-specific licenses, and others include concrete in a general builder or contractor permit. Each also has specific requirements in terms of testing, application fees, and renewal standards.
3. Set Your Services: As you work through your business plan and model, consider what kind of jobs and job sizes are realistic for you and your business. It’s not wise to bite off more than you can chew, so start with small projects and work up to larger concrete jobs as you gain experience, equipment, and bandwidth. You will also need to determine your associated costs, and thus your bid practices and pricing structure.
4. Get Prepared: After determining your concrete business’ scope of work and business plan, you’ll need a variety of tools and equipment to start. Spend time researching what supplies and equipment your business will need to satisfactorily complete jobs and whether it’s better to buy or lease. Depending on the size of your jobs, your needs will vary. You may invest in an onsite volumetric concrete mixing truck or find used work vehicles to help you transport supplies.
5. Safety Standards: The concrete industry is no different from the larger construction sector, in that it can be dangerous. As many as 10% of concrete workers get hurt on the jobsite. Think through your safety standards and have a plan in place to ensure the safety of those working for and around your jobsites.
6. Work Your Networks: If you’re considering starting a concrete business, you’ve likely spent time in the construction industry. Be sure to leverage your existing networks to find and bid jobs. Join the proper networking groups and begin to develop relationships with others in the industry. As they say, it’s often who you know, not just what you know.
7. Plan for Growth: With any new business venture, you will likely need to market your business by identifying your target audience – who you want to work for – and the messages and channels appropriate to find these customers. By appropriately marketing your business, you can find new jobs, industry partners, and sustained growth.
Starting any new business venture is not something to be taken lightly. Do your homework and spend the time necessary to plan well; this will help ensure starting a concrete contractor business is successful. When done right, owning a concrete business can be a very successful career path.
Holcombe Mixers is proud to partner with new and existing concrete companies. Our trucks are specifically engineered to give you the flexibility to mix exactly what you need right on site, complete with the strength of freshly mixed concrete, no matter the size of the job. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn how our mobile volumetric concrete mixers can help make your concrete business a successful venture.