As an aspiring commercial paving company, you can expect to spend plenty of time planning your business before ever launching it. However, to create a successful venture, you'll need determination, funding, industry experience, and market knowledge to keep your enterprise thriving.
Getting to the point where you can officially open your doors for business can seem daunting, but with the steps shared in this article, you can streamline this entire process and get to work sooner.
Research Your Market and Industry
Before you start stocking up on materials and equipment, it's vital that you first investigate current market trends for your services. For example, if you're a commercial paving company in Greater Bay Area, CA, you may find that weather and geographical conditions play a significant role in the equipment you'll need.
Take your time to understand every aspect of your target audience and the types of work they'll need your company to complete. The following steps are a great way to gain these important insights:
- Use Google Maps to look up other commercial paving businesses in your service area
- Drill down by neighborhoods and pull up crucial demographical data to better market to your customers
- Figure out what your competitors are charging for similar work by using online quote generators to get a baseline
- Check out competitors listed in your Chamber of Commerce's business directory
- Take time to research competitor reviews to see what they are and are not doing right
As you can see, conducting market research can help you streamline your operations and advertise your business effectively, giving you a head start on your competition when first starting out. But, on the other hand, no business owner wants to waste money on ineffective advertising or unnecessary equipment for services that aren't popular in their market.
Develop a Solid a Business Plan
With market research out of the way, it's time to create a road map to success with a comprehensive business plan. This document is a crucial piece of your paving company's foundation and will be an invaluable tool when approaching investors and banks for funding.
If you aren't sure what to include in your business plan or simply don't have time to do it yourself, there are affordable consultant services that can take care of this step for you. You'll still need to provide them with important information, such as:
- Market trends
- Expected profits
- Overhead expenses
- Future goals
- Assets and liabilities
Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to put it all together, don't delay creating one. It will help you run your business and give you a point of reference when making important decisions.
Commercial paving is a heavily regulated industry that often requires several different licenses and permits in order to do business. Depending on what state and/or local municipality you operate out of, you can expect these requirements to vary greatly. Take time to research and obtain these before taking any jobs.
Also, remember that there are some jobs where you may need a specific permit for just that specific project. This is a fairly common occurrence in the construction industry, even for pavers. So, avoid legal headaches and speak with your local permit office if you aren't sure what approvals you need for a contract.
Failing to get licensing and/or permits is often a disastrous mistake that can cost you thousands in damages to your client and significant legal penalties and fines by your local or state government.
Choosing a Supplier
The materials and supplies you rely on to complete a paving job greatly impact the quality of work you provide. This is why you should keep up-to-date on the latest and greatest in paving technologies to ensure you're giving your customers the best results for their money. Doing so will also give you a competitive edge over those who aren't employing these products yet.
Of course, you'll need to have a reliable supplier or two that can keep your company stocked with these materials and equipment. Make sure the vendors you choose have methods of working around supply chain issues and are able to offer you better pricing if you buy in bulk.
Understand How Your Paving Business Impacts the Environment
Commercial paving companies, and other construction-related businesses, frequently endure financial impacts because of the climate. For example, if your business is in Wausau, WI, it's highly unlikely you'll have a lot of business during the winter months. This is because the ground will be frozen, and temperatures often get dangerously cold.
To minimize your loss of business during inclement weather and seasons, determine what work your company can perform during these times and plan ahead to market these services. This will ensure you and your loyal crew members can still earn an income when things are slow.
Don't Be Afraid to Network
When you think about conferences and trade shows, you're probably thinking of the tech or medical industry. But, commercial paving is a massive market and offers a huge network of thought leaders, innovators, and vendors to help your company find success. You can check out online conference websites with lists of upcoming industry events you can attend. In addition, there are thousands of blogs and network groups you can also tap into and create a profitable asphalt company.
Regarding profitability, commercial paving companies are a source of steady income for numerous entrepreneurs throughout the United States. But, to ensure you have the best odds of success, don't skip any of the steps mentioned earlier in this article. Planning and understanding your industry will prove to be the two most crucial elements to master when initially opening your new business. Not only will you be able to spend your investment dollars more wisely, but you'll have a head start on the competition and start generating revenue faster.