Starting a sealcoating business may involve a number of factors to improve your chances of success. Like starting any type of business, you may find it helpful to know the industry, its core competencies, and techniques. In addition to knowing how to perform the work well, you may have to learn important business management skills like accounting, marketing, and customer service. Combined, your technical and managerial skills may be important assets in managing and growing your sealcoating business.
1. Learn about the sealcoating industry. Every industry has a proprietary knowledge base, trade associations, and unique technology. If you are not familiar with the sealcoating industry, you may take a job or an apprenticeship with a Asphalt Paving and Seal coating in Richmond Va business in your area to gain experience. If you are a veteran of the sealcoating industry, you may choose to expand your skills further and keep abreast of industry improvements, regulation, and opportunities. You may find it helpful to join industry and trade associations like the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) which lobbies for industry interests at the national level. In addition to lobbying activities, NAPA produces webinars, conferences, and provides informational resources on emerging green technologies and worker safety. Their upcoming webinar topics include life cycle cost analysis, shingle recycling, warm-mix asphalt, and sustainability. In addition, the Asphalt Institute provides basic training for binder technicians, on the Bailey method for mixing asphalt, and asphalt mix. Certification programs include mix design, binder technician, and construction of hot mix asphalt. Refer to their course catalog for all the courses they offer, at the third link under Resources.
2. Research the sealcoating competition in your area. Having a grasp on the current conditions of the sealcoating market in your area may help you enter into the sealcoating business more smoothly. Your local chamber of commerce website may have a wide range of market data, including economic and population growth statistics and forecasts which can help you determine potential business opportunities as your city grows. Learning about the market also helps you keep track of seasonal trends, anticipate slow and busy seasons, potential growth niches, and other business opportunities. Another helpful resource for your research is the Asphalt Institute's information links page.
3. Determine the structure of your new business. If you have limited start-up funds for your sealcoating business, you may find it beneficial to start as as a sole proprietorship which is the easiest and most inexpensive way to form a business. In addition, a sole proprietorship lets you get to work as soon as you are ready. You may operate a sole proprietorship under your name or under a unique business name. If you choose to operate under a business name, apply for an assumed business name certificate from your local county clerk’s office. Generally, these certificates allow you to operate under the business name at work sites, in marketing, and other business transactions.
4. Make capital investments for your sealcoating business. Capital investments in your sealcoating business include buying the machinery, equipment, and peripherals you need to begin work. The equipment you buy depends on how much start-up money you have. Basic equipment may include an asphalt crack melter, heat lances, applicators, and asphalt and pavement sealers.
5. Market your sealcoating business. You may attract additional business by word of mouth referrals from happy customers. Ensure you generate good word of mouth business by taking care of your customers' needs. In addition, joining some trade groups may be a valuable source of business. If you choose to advertise in print or on the internet you may consider focusing on the unique qualities and skills your business will bring to customers. Differentiate yourself from the competition and deliver on your promises. While you start to build up your business, list your business in referral organizations like the National Pavement Contractor's Association, which connects potential customers in the U.S. and Canada with local asphalt and concrete professionals.
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