Starting an Asphalt Repair Business

starting an asphault repair businessBy Donald Michael Schwartz

Do you have experience in the asphalt repair business, and have learned many of the tricks and pitfalls of asphalt repair and maintenance or are simply a homeowner who keeps their driveway in excellent repair? Perhaps you have been considering starting your own asphalt repair business. Before you do be sure to conduct thorough research to make sure your customers are getting reliable products properly applied. Also be sure there is enough demand in your area and that you will be able to compete with your competition.

Job duties

When starting an asphalt repair business you will first need to survey the competition to see what kind of services are already being offered in your area. You will then need to survey potential customers to see what kind of services are in the biggest need. This can be done by looking through the Yellow Pages, either the book or online. If you don’t have a lot of capital, you will need to decide on which niche of the asphalt repair business you should specialize in. (See tips for more information.) You will also need to fully research the cost and maintenance of all the necessary equipment. The asphalt repair business can be dangerous so you will need to seek consultants to develop safety practices, and research applicable laws and insurance rules. You will need to do the job of estimating and bidding.

Where will you work?

When starting a asphalt repair business the ideal location is where there is demand for this business. In the warmer climates you will be able to work year-round. Where there is a lot of ice and snow, the spring will be a very busy time.

Basic Costs

Starting a full service asphalt patching company can be expensive. You will need a truck for hauling the equipment and you will also need to haul the old asphalt away. Equipment will be needed for cleaning and filling cracks, and you will need equipment for laying and setting the asphalt patches. You will also need to pay for the necessary licenses and permits. You will need a marketing plan and advertising budget. Workman’s compensation rates for asphalt repair workers is very high. Equipment will need to be purchased for breaking up the large pieces of cracked asphalt. Although, if you start out specializing in cleaning and filling cracks in driveways or small parking lots – you can get cleaning and filling equipment for about $2,000 dollars. You will then need a leaf blower and inexpensive equipment from a home improvement store to reseal the asphalt surface after you are done. Also be prepared to go through a lot of gloves, shoes and clothing.

Starting an Asphalt Repair Business Tips

Be patient – the asphalt repair and resurfacing business is notorious for incompetent and/or dishonest work. It is very important to do all the research to make sure you will be serving your clients well.
Do your due diligence on suppliers and manufactures – your customers are relying on your experience and judgement to choose the best materials for their budget and asphalt situation.
Work hard on building your brand–When starting an asphalt repair business go to different meeting groups to give a presentation on the ins and outs of asphalt repair and preventive maintenance. You may also want to give alerts on any current scams for your audience. Driveways and parking lots are huge investments, so people will be interested in listening.
Find your niche – doing major repairs requires a lot of equipment, workers with different expertise, and an overall deep knowledge of the science of asphalt installation and surface durability. There are many niches to consider, such as, focusing on surface re-sealing and minor repair, breaking up and/or hauling away old asphalt for other companies, or specializing in a particular asphalt sealing and repair system.
Get the hands-on experience – if you don’t have the direct experience in the industry, you will need to work for an asphalt repair contractor first. Learn all the processes, take note of the suppliers and manufactures used for the various materials and equipment. Keep a keen eye open for all the pitfalls which happen and how they are fixed – this type of experience is valuable.
Have a subcontracting plan – this can work both ways. You could provide a specialty service for other contractors (such as preparing the surface before they come in with their big equipment, or resealing after they are done and making touch-up repairs). You should also do an honest evaluation of your repair system to determine if some tasks need to be subcontracted out.
Keep you and your crew hydrated and protected from the sun– have lots of water on hand and salt tablets. Also have everyone apply sunscreen every four hours. Make sure everyone is educated on the dangers of hypothermia and how to prevent it.

Advertising an Asphault Repair Business

When advertising your asphalt repair business you should determine which forms of advertising will give you the most bang for your buck. Look for advertisement methods that will likely be seen by people in need of your services. Also try different forms of advertising methods and keep track of which ones are giving you the best results.

  • Door to Door-If you see a driveway that is in need of repair you can leave a flyer at their door to let them know of your services. You can also contact business owners whom are need on maintenance work in thier parking lots.
  • Asphalt Repair Business Cards– Create business cards and hand them whenever an opportunity appears.
  • Flyers– Put up flyers where potential customers are likely to see it. Perhaps in Home improvement stores or community centers.
  • Yellow Pages– Consider buying an advertisement in the yellow pages of your local phone book. You can also include your business in the online version: YellowPages.com.
  • Yahoo Local Searches– If you include your business in the Yahoo Local Searches, when people search for your service your business will appear in the list. To add your business to Yahoo local search, enter the term “add business to yahoo local search” in Yahoo.com and click on the first link.
  • Google Local Searches– Google has a local search as well. To add your business to Google local search, enter the term “add business to google search” in Google.com and click on the first link.
  • Website– Create a website where people can get general information about your business.

Not sure about starting an asphalt repair business? See a list of small business ideas

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