Do you want to start a concrete contracting company? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a concrete contracting business with no money or experience. If you are interested in starting a concrete contracting business in the United States, you are required to first apply and obtain your own Concrete Contractor or General Contractor License. Of course, you would register your business and then acquire the right training before you can be issued a concrete contractor license and each State in the US has their own requirements.
Irrespective of the type of business you choose to start, it is important to state that before launching the business, you should ensure that you carry out your due diligence as it relates to market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies. If you get things right before launching your concrete contracting business, it will not take you long before you secure enough clients and start smiling to the bank.
If indeed you want to start your own concrete contracting business, all you need do is to read this article and you will be well informed and equipped.
19 Steps to Starting a Concrete Contracting Business
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
- 18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
- 19. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
The Concrete Contractors industry is made up of companies that engage in residential and nonresidential construction, additions, alterations, reconstruction and other services. A standard concrete contracting company carries our jobs that include the following basic processes: preparation of the concrete mix; delivery of the mix to the construction site; feeding, distribution, and compaction of the mix in the formwork (molds); the curing of the concrete while it is hardening; and quality control of the concrete work.
Concrete is an essential building material for the construction sector given its use in foundations, walls and floors. As a result, performance for the Concrete Contractors industry is closely tied to that of the broader construction sector. As a result of the steady increase of demand from downstream construction markets, job numbers have been on a steady rise.
Going forward, the construction industry is expected to continue thriving hence increase in the demand for the services of concrete contractors. So also, the industry is also expected to benefit from the increase in renovation and new construction activities.
Statistics has it that the Concrete Contractors industry in the united states of America is worth over billion, with an estimated growth rate of 4.5 percent between 2014 and 2019. There are about 54,398 registered and licensed concrete contracting businesses in the United States and they are responsible for employing about 279,527 people. It is important to state that there are no company with a dominant market share in this industry.
A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that over the five years to 2019, favorable lending rates, improved per capita disposable income and record corporate profit levels have helped bolster construction activity across several sectors, increasing demand for industry services.
The report reveals that housing is expected to increase at an annualized 6.2 percent over the five years to 2019. Conversely, unemployment is expected to fall an annualized 10.7 percent during the same period, boosting the need for new office, industrial and manufacturing space.
The concrete contractors’ industry will keep on thriving in the coming decade especially if an entrepreneur in this line of business is committed to providing reliable and quality jobs for customers. The market is highly unsaturated and there is room for growth as the industry is expanding and maturing. The good news for would-be entrepreneurs in this business is that there is an estimate of continued annual growth for the concrete contractor industry for as high as 20 percent.
Starting a concrete contracting business will require moderate capital because you need to buy the heavy – duty equipment that are required to carry out a construction project and the cost of managing a large workforce. Concrete contracting business is highly profitable especially if you have the expertise and capacity to deliver quality jobs.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own concrete contracting company are that the business is thriving and profitable and it can be started with moderate capital and of course, minimal workforce. Lastly, the success of a concrete contracting company to a larger extent depends on their relationship with the biggest clients in the industry; the government of any country.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who hire the services of concrete contracting companies cut across all construction companies and players in the real estate industry hence the demographic composition for a concrete contracting company business is all encompassing.
The truth is that when it comes to concrete contracting business, there is indeed a wide range of available customers. In essence, your target market can’t be restricted to just government agencies (public works department) within your location, but all players in the real estate industry.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
It is safe to say that there is no niche areas in the concrete contracting line of business as every player in the industry primarily carry out works that includes: preparation of the concrete mix; delivery of the mix to the construction site; feeding, distribution, and compaction of the mix in the formwork (molds); curing of the concrete while it is hardening; and quality control of the concrete work.
So, if you are looking towards starting your own concrete contracting business, then you should clearly define your market so that you will be able to know how to get to them.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in the concrete contracting business is tough and it goes beyond competitions amongst concrete contracting companies in your location; you are expected to compete with other businesses in the construction industry.
Please have it in mind that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services properly, you will always make headway in the industry.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
These are some of the leading concrete contracting companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Trinity Masonry & Concrete, Inc.
- Bedrock Concrete Construction
- Deluxe Concrete LLC
- MBA Energy and Industrial
- KDK Concrete of Volusia Inc
- Hometown Concrete
- Down Right Concrete LLC
- Affordable Construction and Concrete
- Lafarge North America
- Aggregate Industries
- Buzzi Unicem USA
- Western Waterproofing Company
- River Cement Co
- Transit Mix Concrete & Materials
- Heuer Construction, Inc.
- Texas Construction Remodeling Decks Mgt
- Yoder Concrete Construction, LLC
- Ledcor Inc
If you are planning towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right from the onset and try as much as possible to adopt international best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
Concrete contracting business is not a Green business, as a matter of fact you will come across several concrete contracting companies and other players in the construction industry that also carry out same services when you drive through town, search through directories and browse through the internet.
So, if you are mapping out your economic and cost analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the required amount needed to rent a space for your business, the amount required to purchase equipment, working capital and also the cost to successfully run the business.
If you are considering starting a concrete contracting company, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of renting an office space, securing your license, purchasing equipment and working capital, but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base and business partnerships, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
If you are looking towards starting a concrete contracting company, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get the franchise of a concrete contracting company to buy.
Besides starting a concrete contracting company from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other businesses in the construction industry. With a concrete contracting company, you should just try as much as possible to get the right employees, build business relationship with key stakeholders and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet when it comes to marketing your services.
Please note that most of the successful concrete contracting companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own concrete contracting business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established concrete contracting companies and other players in the construction industry that also carry out same services as concrete contracting companies. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn; if the economy is in bad shape, concrete contracting companies and other players in the construction industry usually struggle to maintain their old customers or even welcome new customers. So also, unfavorable government policies can also hamper the growth of your concrete contracting business.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
If you are considering starting a concrete contracting business, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow.
You can either choose general partnership, limited liability company, or even a sole proprietorship for your concrete contracting business. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale concrete contracting business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate capital in a small neighborhood and you handle small construction projects.
But if your intention is to grow the business and handle big concrete installation projects all across key cities in the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your concrete contracting business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to study the various legal entities available for use for your concrete contracting business with the ability to handle giant concrete installation projects all across the United States of America, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Interestingly, if you choose to upgrade to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation, you will have the opportunity to grow your concrete contracting business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
When it comes to Choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own concrete contracting business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Tim Burrell® Concrete Contracting Company
- Four Conner® Concrete Contractors, LLC
- Emerald Contractors© Concrete Contracting Company, Inc.
- Hughes Temple® Concrete Contracting Company, Inc.
- Rock Solid™ Concrete Contracting Company, Inc.
- Perfect Finish™ Concrete Contracting Company, Inc.
- Paul Jones & Sons© Concrete Contracting Company, Inc.
- Oak Plum® Concrete Contracting Company, LLC
- Vintage Group© Concrete Contracting Company, Inc.
- Mike Davidson & Sons© Concrete Contracting Company, Inc.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your concrete contracting company.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own concrete contracting business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Contractors’ All Risks (CAR) Insurance
- Health/Medical insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Property / Building Insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own concrete contracting business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
In the United States of America and in most countries of the world, licensing requirements to work legally on construction projects vary from locale to locale. In the United States, it is the states’ responsibility to define these requirements.
For example, in the state of California, all businesses or individuals who work on any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure must be licensed by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) if the total cost of one or more contracts on the project is $500 or more.
The truth is that, if you want to make an impact in the construction industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career, and up-to-date in this competitive market.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own concrete contracting company;
- American Concrete Institute Certification
- Concrete Contractor Certification
- Any construction and civil engineering related certification, Diploma or Degree
Please note that you can successfully run a concrete contracting company in the United States and in most countries of the world without necessarily acquiring professional certifications as long as you have adequate experience cum background in the concrete contracting cum construction industry.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own concrete contracting business in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License / Concrete Contractor License and Permits / General Contractor License and Permit
- Tax Payer’s ID / Tax Identification Number
- Business Plan
- Contract Document
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a concrete contracting business is moderately capital intensive even if you choose to start on a small scale. Securing a standard office space in a business district, purchasing equipment and raising working capital are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital. If you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a large – scale concrete contracting business.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your concrete contracting business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Generally, in business, it cannot be overemphasized that the location you choose to start your business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where there are high construction and real estate activities.
It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are not comfortable with choosing a location for your business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city you intend starting your concrete contracting business.
Before choosing a location for your concrete contracting business, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your concrete contracting business;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for concrete contractor services, construction and real estate activities in the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of concrete contracting companies and other players in the construction industry that also carry out concrete contracting works in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community / state
- Traffic, parking and security
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
If you decide to start a standard concrete contracting company, then you should be ready to purchase some of the heavy-duty equipment needed in the construction field. In setting up a small functional office, you will definitely need computers/laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
When it comes to choosing between renting or leasing a facility for your office, then you should be guided by your business plan and long term and short – term business goals. If you have enough cash, then you should consider leasing a facility but if not, renting a facility is not a bad deal to start your concrete contracting company.
When it comes to manpower, of course you are not expected to kick-start a concrete contracting company without having qualified personnel.
Ideally if you are looking towards starting a standard concrete contracting company, then you should make provision for the following roles in your organization; Chief Executive Officer (President), Project Manager, Civil Engineers, Masonry/Laborers, Admin and HR Manager, Business Developer, Accountant, and Front Desk Officer.
It is the practice for concrete contracting companies to hire contract staff as laborers. On the average, you would need about a dozen full time employee to start a concrete contracting company not ignoring the fact that you should make provision for casual workers.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
The way concrete contracting companies work varies from one company to another but ideally, a concrete contracting company is expected to first and foremost build a robust company’s profile before biding for contracts; it will give them edge amongst their competitors.
The services process involved in the concrete contracting industry depends on the projects to be handled. On the average, the process starts with biding or submitting proposal for a contract, once the contract is won, then it is expected for all the contract documents to be signed and advance payment made as required.
Once the payment has been sorted out, the next step is for the concrete contracting company to deploy workers, equipment and other building supplies as required to execute the job.
Ideally, a standard concrete contracting company carry our works that includes: preparation of the concrete mix; delivery of the mix to the construction site; feeding, distribution, and compaction of the mix in the formwork (molds); the curing of the concrete while it is hardening; and quality control of the concrete work.
It is the practice for concrete contracting companies to first access the risk involved and the nature of job they are to do before billing the organization that requested for their services. If the contract involves high – rise buildings, the bills would usually increase because of the risk involved in climbing and also more sophisticated equipment would be used in executing the job.
It is important to state that a concrete contracting company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated concrete contracting business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
The concrete contracting business is one of the businesses that cannot be over hyped beyond what you can deliver. As a matter of fact, you can spend loads of money marketing your concrete contracting business, but if you don’t have standard construction jobs to show for it, you can hardly attract big – time clients.
People and organizations will hire your services if they know that they are going to get value for their money.
As a matter of fact, your marketing strategy should center on attention to details, reliability, pricing, thoroughness, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers hire your services, they should be rest assured that they will get excellent service.
The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers. These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your concrete contracting business;
- Introduce your concrete contracting company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to architects, construction companies, government agencies, households, estate managers, corporate organizations, and other key stake holders throughout the city where your concrete contracting company is located.
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business, so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your services
- Engage in roadshows in targeted business communities from time to time to promote your concrete contracting business
- Join local concrete contracting business associations for industry trends and tips
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry with the aim of marketing your services
- Advertise our business in community – based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you offer your concrete contracting services at rock bottom prices is to purchase your work materials directly from wholesalers and importers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantities of items that you purchase directly from importers and wholesalers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
Another strategy that will help you offer your concrete contracting services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives and also purchase.
18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The output of your jobs, the availability of competent and reliable construction workers under your payroll, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry.
Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust clientele base, ensure the concrete projects that you handle are top notch and trendy. Over and above, ensure that your organization is well positioned, key members of your team are highly reliable and competent and can favorably compete with the some of the best in the construction industry cum concrete contracting line of business.
19. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness.
If your intentions of starting a concrete contracting business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by handling construction projects all across key cities in the United States and other parts of the world, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is a dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your concrete contracting business;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and real estate magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community – based events / programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google + et al to promote your concrete contracting business
- Install your Billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted construction sites to create awareness of your concrete contracting business
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas especially at construction sites
- Contact architects, construction companies, government agencies, estate managers, corporate organizations and other key stake holders throughout the city where your concrete contracting company is located informing them about your company and the services you offer
- List your concrete contracting company in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise your concrete contracting company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your concrete contracting company is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles, trucks and vans are well branded with your company logo