Starting your journey as a concrete coatings contractor? It’s important that as you begin, you’re working with guidelines that are based on contractor experience and rooted in sound business practices so you can avoid common pitfalls and start out right. In this article we explore the 10 tips for New Concrete Coatings Contractors that will save you trouble and ensure a strong start in the industry.
Keep Your Offering Simple
Maintaining simplicity in your service offerings is crucial for effectively managing and growing your business. One of your first objectives in developing your business plan should be to carefully select a target market and specific product offerings and concentrate all your resources and efforts in that direction. By doing so, you can channel your focus and expertise, optimizing your business processes and strategies to cater to the needs and demands of your chosen market.
Although it may be tempting to provide a broad offering that will appeal to a large target market, attempting to serve too many markets can have a detrimental effect on your growth trajectory. The inherent complexity of managing a wide range of applications in different markets can potentially slow down your business’s expansion. Moreover, training installers becomes a more intricate and resource-consuming task when dealing with a broad range of applications and market dynamics. Minimize the number of flooring systems and potential options you will offer and be sure to have suppliers setup that can quickly provide materials for your projects.
By adhering to a focused approach and specializing in a specific market and product offering, you position your business for more efficient growth and operational excellence while ensuring that your team of installers can be effectively trained and proficient in delivering high-quality services.
Develop a Sales and Marketing Plan
A sales and marketing plan is a foundational tool that guides your business towards achieving its sales targets, reaching potential customers effectively, and building a strong brand presence in the market. It provides a clear roadmap for your sales and marketing efforts, aligning them with your overall business objectives.
As you go through the process of developing your plan, you will gain a clear understanding of your company’s brand personality, intended customers, how you want to position your business in relation to the competition and understand the value that you’re offering.
Ultimately, this plan should be a reference document that is used by salespeople, management, marketing and design professionals within your organization to inform business decisions. A solid plan should include guidelines on the following:
- Design: Color Palette, Fonts and Typography, Imagery
- Messaging and language to customers and employees
- Company Values
- Value Proposition
- Competitive Analysis
- Sales & Marketing Channels
- Target Markets
- Customer Profiles
- Company Brand/Mission Statement
It’s advisable to work with a professional agency or marketing professional to help create a well-rounded marketing plan. They can also help to develop your logo and design guidelines for your business.
Find a Supply Partner Who Will Support Your Business
Establish a vital partnership with a reliable supply partner who can bolster your business operations. Seek out a partner willing to provide comprehensive support, including essential elements such as training programs, sales tools, and valuable field support. A supportive supply partner can play a pivotal role in equipping your team with the necessary knowledge and skills, empowering them in the sales process and on jobsite installations. Moreover, they can offer valuable insights and hands-on assistance in navigating the field, addressing challenges, and optimizing your business strategies. This collaboration ensures that your business has the right resources and expertise to succeed and thrive in the competitive market landscape. with training, sales tools and field support.
Find a Mentor in Your Field
Finding a mentor in your field can significantly impact your business success by providing invaluable guidance, support, and a wealth of experience to draw from. It can accelerate your learning curve and improve your decision-making, ultimately contributing to the growth and sustainability of your business. This can be someone in your market or another successful contractor in another state, a supplier or salesperson.
A mentor can work to guide you as you find your footing in the industry. They can help you mitigate costly mistakes as they draw from their own experiences. Additionally, mentors usually have an extensive network within the industry. Through your mentor, you can gain access to valuable contacts, partnerships, and potential clients that can help your business grow.
Implement a Good Accounting System as Quickly as Possible
Implementing an accounting system is essential for maintaining financial order, compliance with regulations, strategic planning, and ultimately ensuring the success and growth of your new business. It allows you get the full picture of your business’s financial health regarding business performance, job profitability, overhead expenditures and cash flow. Having a good accounting system also makes the management of invoices and payment of vendors a much less arduous task. It’s also important to note that lenders and financial institutions may require detailed financial records to approve loans or funding. An accounting system provides the necessary documentation to support the loan application process.
Invest in High Quality Equipment and Create a Maintenance Schedule
Investing in high-quality equipment for a concrete coatings business is paramount for several reasons. First and foremost, having quality equipment ensures efficiency. High-performance tools and machinery are designed to handle the demands of the job effectively, leading to increased productivity and reduced downtime.
Additionally, durable and reliable equipment tends to last longer, reducing the frequency of replacements and repairs. This, in turn, lowers maintenance costs and enhances overall cost-effectiveness.
Furthermore, specialized high-quality equipment can offer advanced features and capabilities that may be necessary for complex projects, enabling the business to take on a broader range of jobs and meet varying client requirements. Ultimately, investing in top-tier equipment is an investment in the success, efficiency, and reputation of the concrete coatings business.
Clients often associate well-maintained, high-quality tools with a professional and trustworthy service, contributing to a positive reputation for the business. Be sure to research the type of equipment you’ll need to address your various project needs. Choose high-quality brands and create a proper maintenance program to ensure longevity of your equipment.
Develop an Employee Training Plan
Developing an employee training plan offers numerous benefits for both employees and the overall health of your business. Standardized training equips employees with the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools to perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently, leading to improved job performance. It also creates consistency, increases productivity and enhances employees moral and satisfaction. This in turn, reduces turnover, which can be a costly issue for any business owner.
Although there is an initial investment in training, it can lead to cost savings in the long run by reducing errors, minimizing downtime, and improving operational efficiency, so be sure not to skip this step.
Join and Be Active in Trade Associations & Industry Tradeshows
In a previous post, we discuss “The Top 3 Tradeshows for Concrete Coatings Contractors” and the benefits of attending these events. Attending events and being a member of trade associations in the industry offers a variety of benefits for individuals and businesses. These include networking opportunities, market research, partnership opportunities and learning and education. Industry focused trade publications, newsletters and shows can help you keep a pulse on trends, expand your connections and knowledge and gain an edge over competition.
Most materials suppliers in the industry offer regular trainings on the materials that they sell. During these trainings, they demonstrate proper mixing and installation techniques, give you tips to use on jobsites and troubleshooting information that may come in handy when issues arise. Trainers will also discuss new trends in the industry so you can stay current. These trainings are often free, and they are a great way to network. Sending your crew to regular trainings is a great way to continue educating and can be a valuable part of your employee training program. See DPF’s Training Calendar.
Keep Your Prices Up
Far too frequently, new contractors underbid projects to secure a portfolio of projects. While this tactic may yield some benefits initially, it can prove detrimental in the long term. Low bidding on projects attracts customers who prioritize cost over quality, potentially leading to dissatisfaction and strained relationships. Moreover, continuously accepting low-budget projects can undermine the financial health and sustainability of the business, hindering growth and limiting the ability to invest in quality resources and skilled labor. It’s crucial to strike a balance between building a portfolio and establishing fair pricing that aligns with the true value of the services provided, ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future for the contracting business.