Operating an asphalt business means jumping into a growing market. Today, asphalt manufacturing in the U.S. is worth $30 billion. While the fate of this niche is tied to the construction industry, asphalt is a staple material that will always have a future.
Running an asphalt business enables you to enter a highly profitable sector but also a sector filled with competition. Therefore, how you run your business will define its profitability and whether it succeeds.
Follow these tips for running your asphalt business.
Know Your Pre-Sales and Marketing Goals
Did you know that approximately 20% of new businesses fail within the first year?
A lack of proper planning and goal management is why entrepreneurs fail within every industry. Running an asphalt business means understanding the sales, lead generation, and marketing funnels to a tee.
Even if it’s not your field, knowing your pre-sales and marketing goals for the year will empower you to plan, track your progress, and switch things up on the fly if something isn’t working. It also helps your employees to push in the same direction and feel involved in the process.
Remember, there’s little point in throwing money at the problem if nobody knows their goals or their actions.
Sell the Benefits, Not the Service
Nobody wakes up one morning with a strange desire to purchase asphalt. There needs to be more than just selling yourself as a maker or installer of asphalt to draw people in. Nobody agrees to purchase a service. They agree to purchase the results they get from that service.
Don’t talk about the asphalt but about the client’s life. How will installing or supplying asphalt to them make their lives better?
Sell to the person, not the prospect. While asphalt may not be the most exciting topic in the world, consider what asphalt does. How does it make people’s lives easier?
Know Your Cost Structure and Profitability
Your business’s cost structure comprises the fixed and variable costs forming your profit. Your profit is the difference between total revenue and total cost. Successful businesses will have a positive number when completing this calculation.
You need the right balance between the two as part of developing a plan for the future of your business. An easy way of determining whether you’re on the right track is to look up the profit margin for the asphalt industry as a whole.
For example, decision-makers within the company may read trade magazines and spend time on industry websites to get an indicator of standard profit margins. Remember, profit margins might also differ by state. For example, an asphalt company’s profit margin in California may differ from one in Florida.
Plan for Business Problems
Asphalt businesses can suffer from various challenges, such as a lack of supply, demand, or even internal problems.
Just because you operate within the asphalt niche doesn’t mean you don’t have similar obstacles as other businesses. For example, you’re forever trying to manage your supply chains, distribution channels, employees, and management structure.
Plan for potential problems within your business. Most entrepreneurs are reactive. Reactive means you spend more time and resources cleaning up problems. Proactive management of problems enables you to nip smaller problems in the bud before they morph into something bigger.
Be a Leader
Everyone talks about the importance of leadership within the business ecosystem, but what does that actually mean?
Operating an asphalt business involves doing more than signing checks. If you want your asphalt brand to succeed, you need to learn the ins and outs of your industry. Additionally, you’ll need to develop management skills, learn how the manufacturing process works, and learn how asphalt is used in the real world.
Real leaders understand every aspect of their business, including the parts that don’t necessarily apply to their roles. Real leaders also lead by example. Getting down on the ground and working alongside your employees helps to create respect between you and the rest of your company.
Finally, make yourself available. Listen to what your employees have to say. Poor management and leadership have killed plenty of successful companies over the years.
Use Online Marketing Better
Asphalt services could include manufacturing, supply, or actual installation. Either way, you’re providing a service to someone else. Nobody ships asphalt halfway around the world because it’s slightly cheaper than a local supplier.
In other words, you’re marketing yourself to your people. Nearly all your clients will originate from your city, county, or state. For example, take a look at the website of Dryco the commercial paving company from California. They are obviously focusing their marketing and SEO efforts towards the local
If you want to increase your brand’s profile, invest in local marketing online. Spend some time researching local SEO techniques. Then, wield social media, including paid ads, to reach a local audience.
Remember, people aren’t going to come across you when browsing the web naturally. Asphalt is a different type of business that requires you to go out and find your clients rather than the other way around.
Network on the Ground
Networking has always been the key to successful marketing. However, Word-of-mouth marketing remains the most potent form of promotion there is.
You need to get on the ground and network when it comes to a local business type. Make yourself known to local businesses. Attend trade conventions and business meetings. Get talking to everyone, even if they don’t relate to your line of work. You don’t know who someone else might know.
Networking is a long-term process. Don’t let one meeting that yielded nothing discourage you. Becoming known within your local community will make you the go-to brand for anything relating to asphalt.
Running an asphalt business requires competing successfully within a crowded landscape. Netting your first client is hard enough, but every subsequent client becomes easier.
Take pride in your work and do your best job, regardless of the services you offer to your clients.
What are your top tips for running an asphalt business?