Paving services make up a large and lucrative industry in every part of the United Kingdom. Every community in the nation is packed with privately-owned driveways, parking lots, and access roads — and all of these require professional expertise for installation and maintenance. If you have the right experience, and the drive to start your own business, you can make a lot of money in driveway paving according to drivewaypaving.ie.
Below you’ll find the business-launching process broken down into X simple steps. Note that this guide is focused on starting a residential driveway business, as that is the most practical entry point to the industry for most entrepreneurs. However, if you have the resources to consider leaping right into commercial paving (or you already have a paving business and you’re considering expansion), these same steps are broadly applicable to other paving concerns.
1. Pick your market and study it
Your first step on the road to business ownership is deciding where you’re going to operate. Your first thought is likely to be of your home community. This is entirely sensible, as you likely know it better than any other area.
When you consider your hometown as a potential paving services market, though, you have to assess its potential realistically. How much demand is there for driveway paving? How well is that demand being met by existing businesses? How are paving services priced in your community? How much competition would you face?
Fortunately, answering these questions has become much easier thanks to the Internet. Your potential competitors’ websites will teach you about local pricing, and tradesman review sites (e.g. Trustatrader or Checkatrade) will show you how satisfied local customers are with their existing paving companies.
Bear in mind that you may find a more hospitable paving market by looking farther afield.
2. Learn your regulatory obligations
It is best to study your governmental obligations as early as possible. You want to know the regulatory costs of starting a paving business before you start planning your finances. You will almost certainly need to register your new business with HM Revenue and Customs and the Companies House.
Check with the local council in your chosen market to find out what licenses you’ll need for paving work. Ask about any special permits required for paving, also. In many municipalities, working on public roads requires special permits.
3. Build a business plan
Now that you have a target market, it’s time to learn whether or not paving driveways there will be financially viable for you. Estimate your start-up and operating costs and build a pricing strategy based on what you’ve already learned about your market. Once you study the financial angles, you should be able to tell whether you can turn a profit while offering competitive pricing.
If the numbers don’t add up, this is the time to scratch your plans and consider a different market. Best to start over now, when all you’ve invested in your business is a little research time!
4. Consider your marketing strategy
After confirming the viability of a new paving business in your market, you need to consider how you’ll attract customers. Will you concentrate on media advertising, direct marketing (e.g. leafleting), or online marketing? It’s usually best to combine strategies, but one particular avenue may be more effective in your market.
This is one place where operating in your home town gives you a great advantage: You can ask homeowners you’re acquainted with how they would pick a paving company and then adjust your marketing plan accordingly.
5. Assemble your equipment
Hopefully, you already have a clear idea of what equipment will be required to deliver the services you want to offer. Depending on the size you start at, your needs might be as modest as a panel van with a paving saw and compactor in the back.
An important reminder: Don’t forget to factor in the cost of appropriate safety equipment for you and your workers. High-visibility vests, safety boots, goggles, and (if necessary) respirators should all be purchased well before you start operations.
6. Hire the right people
Some residential paving businesses are single-person operations — many start that way. It’s unlikely that you want to stay that way, though, which means hiring employees sooner or later.
Becoming an employer adds a significant layer of complexity to your business. You’ll be responsible for training your employees, keeping them safe, and insuring them properly. Make sure you assess the expenses involved in this process before you consider making a hire.
Your first employees will likely be labourers whose skills you can easily assess. As your business grows, though, you may want to bring in more specialised workers, like salespeople, accountants, or machine specialists. Exercise extra care when hiring people with different skill sets; make sure you are bringing aboard trustworthy people who can do the job well.
These steps merely sketch an outline of how to start your own paving business. Before you make any commitments, you can — and absolutely should — study each of these points in greater depth. Every hour of research and self-education you invest in your business ahead of time improves its chances of success.