Pouring concrete always involves variables that change and multiply as you address bigger projects. There are customers who are never-satisfied, unreliable vendors, and it seems constant issues with holding on to good help, though the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows only 163,360 concrete finishing jobs nationally for 2015. But there are ways to grow your precast concrete business.
Set realistic goals
How many contracts did you win or lose last year? While there were undoubtedly some done by out-of-town contractors, simple math will tell you what share of the market you’re getting. Out of all the jobs available (take a good guess if you haven’t kept count), what would be a fair split? In a town with four precast concrete business competitors, each should get around 25 percent of the work. But it’s seldom an even split. If you’re not getting a reasonable share, you need to take a good look at the jobs you did get and focus your marketing on clients like those.
Don’t be the cheap alternative
If you have to keep lowering your price, that can only end up forcing you out of business. You want to base your pricing on the value you offer with your work, not the value of the money you save customers. You know the price of labor and raw materials only goes up over time, and in order to stay in business you have to make enough to pay overhead and pay your own bills. Change your marketing tactics to focus not on low prices, but on your credentials, experience, and the quality of your work. That’s what people pay for.
Improve your infrastructure
In many ways, you are limited by your company infrastructure. If you have some good sales skills, that’s great, but it takes more to run a business profitably. You need good personnel, logistics, and equipment. Without both streamlined operations and administrative support, you may be limited in what you can accomplish. Before you expand in any one area of the business, make sure you have the resources in place to support it.
Know your competitors
It’s always a good idea to take the time to evaluate your precast concrete business competition and identify the things they are doing right (or wrong). But they aren’t your only competition. So are other contractors working in other mediums. Consider something as common as step forms. How many contractors are making money off wood or metal construction because few of your customers has even considered concrete? It may be an easy addition to your services. Watch what other contractors are doing and see whether it’s something you can do profitably.
It is always true that it’s better to work smarter, not harder. Over 50 years of operation has led Del Zotto Products to be leaders in the precast concrete forms business. We have built a reputation for innovative, quality products that give you an edge over competitors. Please contact us with questions about our products or services.