Do you want to start a concrete pipe company? If YES, here is a 20-step guide on how to start a concrete pipe manufacturing business with no money or experience.
If you decide to start a concrete pipe manufacturing business, you are sure of making huge returns from your investment. This is because there are loads of ongoing construction works throughout the United States and of course there will be need for concrete pipes especially as it relates to drainage constructions.
To partake in this thriving industry, then you would need to obtain the necessary licenses and then you can legally launch your concrete pipe manufacturing company.
The truth is that the market is still pretty much open for new investors to come in. Although there are competitions at various levels in the industry, but if you are able to come up with a good business strategy, then you are sure of getting your own fair share of the available market in the industry.
20 Steps to Starting a Concrete Pipe Manufacturing Business
1. Understand the Industry
Establishments in the Concrete Pipe & Block Manufacturing industry primarily manufacture concrete pipes, bricks and blocks. Concrete pipes include storm sewer pipes, sanitary sewer pipes, reinforced pressure pipes, pre – stressed cylinder pressure pipes and culvert pipes.
Whereas, concrete brick and block production mainly includes structural blocks, decorative blocks and pavers, bricks and miscellaneous concrete products. Products made by the Concrete Pipe & Block Manufacturing industry are heavily used in infrastructure and residential construction.
Research conducted by IBISWORLD shows that the products manufactured by the Concrete Pipe & Block Manufacturing industry come in numerous shapes and sizes and cover a wide array of applications. Concrete blocks account for an estimated 62.5 percent of the revenues generated in the industry in 2018, concrete blocks make up the largest product segment of this industry.
Concrete blocks can serve both structural and decorative functions and come in a variety of types. The most common type of concrete block is a stretcher block, which is laid with its length parallel to the face of a wall.
Other types of blocks include corner blocks, which are used at the end of window and door openings, and double corner or pier blocks, which are used in the construction of piers and other projects where both ends of the block will be visible.
Please note that on the average, the Concrete Pipe and Block Manufacturing industry produces concrete blocks, bricks and pipes. While concrete blocks are used across board, concrete pipes are especially reliant on demand from infrastructure markets, such as natural gas distribution and sewage treatment.
Interesting Statistics About the Industry
IBISWorld estimates that the industry’s sustained growth partially resulted from these key markets, which have led industry revenue to rise over the five years to 2018. The industry is relatively fragmented. The few global, vertically integrated companies comprise the major players, while the remaining operators are medium-sized local operators.
The Concrete Pipe and Block Manufacturing Industry is indeed a major sector of the economy of most countries in the world.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, the Concrete Pipe and Block Manufacturing industry generates over $8 billion annually from more than 1,027 registered and licensed concrete pipe and block manufacturing companies scattered all around the United States of America. The industry is responsible for the employment of over 25,185 people.
Experts project the concrete pipe and block manufacturing industry to grow at a 3.4 percent annual rate between 2012 and 2017. Ameron International Corporation, CRH, Cemex SA de CV and Heidelberg Cement are the companies with the lion shares of the available market in the United States of America.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own concrete pipe manufacturing company could be that the products can be sold not just in your country but all across the globe because there is a large market for concrete pipes and blocks manufactured in the United States of America.
Good enough, the construction cum real estate industry is experiencing a rebound in the United States of America and this in effect means that there will be increasing demand for concrete pipes and blocks and similar products hence a new comer into this line of business still has an opportunity to get a fair share of the available market especially within his or her immediate community.
Just like any other business, if you are able to conduct your cost analysis, market research and feasibility studies before launching your concrete pipe manufacturing company, you are more likely not going to struggle to grow the business because there are loads of building contractors that are ready to buy from you.
Starting a concrete pipe manufacturing business can be financially tasking and challenging, but the truth is that it can be rewarding at the same time. One good thing about the industry is that it is open for both big time investors.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who make use of concrete pipes are basically those that are involved in the construction industry. The bottom line is that the accelerating construction in the residential and nonresidential sectors will continue to boost the demand for concrete pipes and related products.
If you are thinking of starting your own concrete pipes manufacturing business, then you should look beyond producing and marketing your concrete pipes and related products to just people and businesses in your city, but also people across the United States of America and other part of the world especially if you have a product that can favorably compete with products in other parts of the world.
3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
The Concrete Pipe and Block Manufacturing industry is highly <a ” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>regulated by the Federal Government and the industry issues license. If you choose to start a concrete pipe manufacturing company, you can be rest assured that there are no niche areas in this line of business.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in the concrete pipe manufacturing line of business goes beyond competitions in your city or country, because major concrete pipes and bricks brands manufactured in China, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, United Kingdom and other parts of the world can be found in building material stores all across the United States of America.
So, it will be right to say the competition in the concrete pipe and block manufacturing industry is tough. But come to think of it, if there is no competition in an industry, it means the industry is not profitable or a major player is monopolizing the market.
The fact that there are 1,027 registered and licensed concrete pipes and blocks manufacturing companies scattered all around the United States of America shows that the industry is profitable hence the competition.
4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry
Irrespective of the industry that you decide to pitch your business tent, it is the norm that there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and general public than others.
Some of these brands have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for the quality of their products, how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years. These are some of the leading concrete pipe manufacturing companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Ameron International Corporation
- Cemex SA de CV
- Heidelberg Cement
- Oldcastle, Inc.
- Concrete Systems Inc. (CSI)
- US Composite Pipe Inc.
- Northwest Pipe Company
- Perma-Pipe Inc. – a division of MFRI INC.
- Cutting Edge Services Corp
- Ernest Maier Inc.
- Jensen Precast
- ICS, Blount Inc.
- HOBAS Engineering GmbH
- F. Manufacturing, Inc.
- Epoxy Design Systems, Inc.
When starting a concrete pipe manufacturing business, you just have to get your costing cum economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profits, grow the business and perhaps expand the business and start competing at national and international level.
When conducting costing and economic analysis for your concrete pipe manufacturing business, you just have to critically examine these key factors; place, pricing, and promotion. As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review these key factors at regular intervals while running your business.
As a concrete pipe manufacturing business owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of your competitive landscape if indeed you want to maximize profits and be in the frontline of the industry.
It is important to note that raw materials, transportation and machine maintenance cost is one of the most important factors contributing to the overall cost of a concrete pipe manufacturing business and should be considered as a major factor when carrying out your costing and economic analysis.
This is why standard concrete pipe manufacturing companies would prefer assembling in – house maintenance and servicing teams as against contracting the maintenance of their machines which may result to downturn in the factory.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Regrettably, you can hardly find the franchise of a concrete pipe manufacturing company to purchase meaning that if you want to own a concrete pipe manufacturing business, then you must be ready to start from the scratch.
This is so because the business is open and still pretty much thriving and there are loads of opportunities available to investors and aspiring entrepreneurs that are interested in the industry.
The truth is that it will pay you to start your concrete pipe manufacturing company from the scratch. Starting from the scratch will afford you the opportunity to conduct thorough market survey and feasibility studies before choosing a location to launch the business.
Beside, most of the successful concrete pipe and block manufacturing 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
In recent time, some of the threats and challenges you will face when you decide to start a concrete pipe manufacturing business is the fact that the industry has been challenged by rising competition from pipe substitute products and the truth is that the rising use of substitute products has hurt industry demand.
For example, pipes made of plastic, iron, aluminum, steel and vinyl have become increasingly popular because they are durable and of course they come with competitive price tags when compared with concrete pipes. Other threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing power.
Another threat that you may likely face is the arrival of new concrete pipe manufacturing companies or even international merchants that deal in concrete pipes manufactured outside of the United States of America in same locations where your target market exists.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
The truth is that when it comes to starting a concrete pipe manufacturing company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow.
You have the option choosing a general partnership, limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship for your concrete pipe company. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale concrete pipe company especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital and a producing smaller concrete pipes.
But if your intention is to grow the business and supply your concrete pipes, blocks and bricks all across the United States of America and perhaps other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company 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 that 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 pipe company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your concrete pipe company, 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 an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your concrete pipe company 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 from the ideas Below
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 pipe business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Portland Cement® Concrete Pipes, LLC
- Square Team® Concrete Pipes and Blocks, Inc.
- Round Table® Concrete Pipes and Blocks Manufacturing Company
- The Tent Concrete Pipes and Blocks Ltd.
- DKY Concrete Pipe and Bricks Manufacturing Company
- City Wide Concrete Pipe and Bricks Company
- Rolling Starlet Pipe and Bricks Manufacturing Company
- All Pipes, Inc.
- Progressive® Pipe and Bricks Manufacturing Company
- Ruby Concrete Pipe Company Group, 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, it is illegal to operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from.
Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy cover and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your concrete pipe manufacturing business.
Here are some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own concrete pipe manufacturing business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Equipment and Auto Insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Workers compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own concrete pipe manufacturing company, 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 successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
On the other hand, if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even operation 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
Please note that you do not need any special professional certification before you can successfully start your own concrete pipe manufacturing company, but you will do yourself a whole lot of favor, if you study civil engineering, production engineering or related engineering course before starting this this type of business.
It will afford you the opportunity to truly maximize the business; you will be able to have full grasps of the business from start to finish especially as it relates to producing concrete pipes, concrete blocks, bricks and other related products.
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 can 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 pipe manufacturing company in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Health inspection Certificate
- Tax Payer’s ID
- Fire certificate
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Employee’s Handbook
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Please note that starting a concrete pipe manufacturing business no matter the level you choose to start it can be capital intensive. Securing a standard production facility and warehouse is part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, but if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large – scale concrete pipe manufacturing company.
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 pipe manufacturing 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, government, donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Starting a concrete pipe manufacturing company comes with its own challenges; it is a business that cannot be started in any location of your choice. As a matter of fact, you will not be allowed to start a concrete pipe manufacturing company in a residential estate in the United States of America.
The only location you can be allowed to start a concrete pipe manufacturing company is on a land designated for such business and it is usually at the outskirts of town close to construction sites.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
When it comes to starting a standard concrete pipe manufacturing company, you will need industrial concrete mixers, molds and other related machines and equipment that will aid you in carrying out your job. It is important to state that this equipment can be purchased as fairly used if you are operating on a low budget.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for your concrete pipe manufacturing company, the size of the company you want to own, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a pretty large and well – equipped concrete pipe manufacturing company with enough parking lot for your distribution trailers, then you should consider the option of long lease or out rightly purchasing a land.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. Averagely, when it comes to starting a standard concrete pipe manufacturing business on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals;
Chief Operating Officer (you can occupy this position), Admin and HR Manager, Transport and Logistics Manager, Civil Engineers, Marketing and Sales Executive (Business Developer), Concrete Mixers Machine Operators, Accountant, Distribution Drivers and Customer Services Executive / Front Desk Officer.
You would need a minimum of 10 to 20 key staff members to effectively run a medium scale but standard concrete pipe manufacturing company. Please note that there will be times when you are expected to go out of your way to hire experts to help you handle some job functions.
If you are just starting out, you may not have the financial capacity or required business structure to retain all the professionals especially maintenance team that are expected to work with you which is why you should make plans to partner with specialists in the industry.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
Concrete pipes need to be of international standard before they are used in construction works, hence the need to pay serious attention to their designing. On the average, a concrete pipe manufacturing company creates a design of the sizes and types of concrete pipes to be manufactured and of course the required materials.
Once the designs are approved, the materials (cements, water and other materials) are filled in the concrete mixers and after properly mixing them, they are poured into the mold/cast of the pipes. After a period of time when the concrete pipe would have fully formed and solidified, the mold or cast as the case may be are removed and the concrete pipes are transported to the construction sites that they are meant to be used.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
The fact that the entry barrier for starting a small – scale concrete pipe manufacturing business is low means that there is bound to be more players in the industry no matter the location you choose to start yours. So, when you are drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your concrete pipe manufacturing company, make sure that you create a compelling company profile.
Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state in practical terms what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to the concrete pipe manufacturing industry. This will help boost your chances in the market place when marketing your concrete pipes.
Please note that in most cases, when you bid for supply of concrete pipes et al from the government or construction giants, you will be called upon to defend your proposal, and so you must be pretty good with presentations. Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your concrete pipe manufacturing company;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to construction sites and building materials merchants in the United States (if you are just starting out, you may want to concentrate on startups and smaller businesses)
- Promptness in bidding for supply of concrete pipes et al from construction giants
- Advertise your services in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your concrete pipe manufacturing company
- Engage in direct marketing and sales
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you.
17. Develop an Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The concrete pipe and block manufacturing industry is a competitive industry, and you must come up with a unique and highly creative strategy to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry. Part of what you need to do in order to stay competitive in the industry is to continue to manufacture durable and safe concrete pipes.
In other to stay competitive in this industry, you must ensure that you have a good technical knowledge of the product, you have the ability to control supply and align with upstream vertical integration (ownership links). The truth is that if there are fluctuations in the quality of your concrete pipes, customers can choose to shift allegiance and settle for other options available.
18. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps to attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your products and services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider or products.
One of the strategies that you would need to employ in order to generate repeated sales from your customers and also to retain them is to ensure that your concrete pipes are of international standard, you offer free transportation of orders and your customer services does not fluctuate.
The truth is that if the quality of your concrete pipes and customer service fluctuates, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers coming back; people usually go for products that are of good quality. You can also make uses of promotional ideas such as loyalty schemes, and direct marketing.
Ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them and of course continue to generate repeated sales from them and also to attract new customers.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers, and building loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).
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 and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
If your intention of starting a concrete pipe manufacturing company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, 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 pipe manufacturing company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and related construction / building materials magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your business
- Install your billboards on strategic locations all around your city or state
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your concrete pipe manufacturing company in local directories
- Advertise your concrete pipe manufacturing company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and distribution trucks are well branded with your company logo.
20. Create a Suppliers/Distribution Network
It is an established fact that business is all about demand and supply; meaning that if you are into concrete pipe manufacturing, you will need supplies of raw materials (cements, sand and water et al) and you would also need a distribution network to help you push your product to construction companies.
In order to successfully run a concrete pipe manufacturing company, you must establish good business relationship with wholesalers of the required raw materials within the city where your concrete pipe manufacturing company is located.
So also, you are expected to create business networks with distributors of the concrete pipes that you manufacture. They are your major clients and can help you distribute your products throughout the nooks and crannies of the United States of America.