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Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by AllHardscaping, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. AllHardscaping

    AllHardscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    I'm seriously considering getting back into the paver business this year. I got out at the end of 2008 to pursue a sales career which I am currently doing and not liking as much as running my own business. The headaches turned out to be all worth the rewards.

    I would typically jump back into it but with the way the last couple years have been with the economy I'm kind of hesitant. My customer base is all residential and I don't so any installations, rather all paver maintenance. Only clean, sand and seal of patios and driveways and some repairs here and there. I have everything in place from when I was in it, know what marketing works, processes, equipment(need to buy but know what to buy) etc...

    My question is how do you guys see 2010 unfolding for the paver industry? Are people still willing to part with their money for non essentials? Any input on last yera and what you expect for this year would be much appreciated.
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,601

    I do not think anyone can tell you an answer.

    Everything boils down to your local market / economy.

    If you're area is infiltrated with foreclosures and a high unemployment rate - then forget about it. stick to maintenance.

    If your area is saturated with retired folk (retired folk have nest eggs, kids are done with college, houses are paid for, yadda yadda yadda) - then you're good to go.

    Our main service area has a high demand for hardscaping. however - the market is washed up. Good, reasonable, profit in our main service area is long a thing of the past. Satuarated with competition. Competition drives prices down. I'd venture to guess I'm the only contractor here with all equipment paid for. I have the lowest overhead possible. I have our prices as low as can be. Yet, guys with new skid steers and trucks are coming in way less than us. Unless they inherited money and operate their company as a hobby - it's not economically possible. Our hay day was from 2001 to 2007. Despite an 100% improvement in the economy - our market is done - due to satuaration of competition.

    Thats my viewpoint on what i'm seeing here. can't tell you what to expect where you're at.

    Some indicators:

    If you're market has mercedes, jag, porche dealers - then that tells me there is money there waiting to be spent.

    If your market only has the big 3 american auto makers and the popular foreign car dealers - then the expendable incomes are limited

    Also, we're outside the DC area. A big big portion of the people that live here work for or work in some sort of support of the Federal Gov't. I'd guess that 85% of our clients in 2009 are either Federal employees or work for contractors to the federal gov't. if it wasn't for the fed gov't being a major employer here - my company probably would have folded up long ago.

  3. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Andrews if you could go 15 years back in time, what type of business would you of started?
  4. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,246

    Interesting question, this could be a whole thread - what we should have done.:)
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,601

    Honestly, I'm not for certain.

    I do love the business that I'm in. I have great employees, and 97% of our customers are terrific people.

    The first thing that comes to my mind is a pizza restaurant. (notice I said "restaurant", not shop)

    In our area there is a pizza restaurant with the wood burning oven. They been in business for 20 some years (+). They do not deliver. and nope - you can not buy slices. The place is always busy. The recession hasn't phased them one bit. Infact - they EXPANDED just last winter!!!! We just ate there this past friday night - groups of families were waiting for tables to open up. Everytime we go there I look around the entire place in awe, admiring how busy they are.

    I find it incredibly fascinating that here we were in a recession - all the national chain restaurants have felt the pinch (it's obvious when you walk in at 7 pm on a friday night and dont have to wait for a table) - and this pizza restaurant is bursting at the seems with business.......

    On another note - I will admit that discontinuing doing maintenance work 10 years ago was a big mistake. Anyone that is currently doing maintenance work and is thinking of gettin out of it - think twice.

    Take a New car dealership as an example. They sell new cars. Well, in theory we're doing the same thing, cept selling outdoor stuff. A new car dealership could NEVER make it off of only selling cars. It's the service work and parts sales that generate the cash flow. Just as lawn and landscape maintenance does for the green industry.

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  6. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    I sure hope your margins on install work aren't the same as a dealer selling a new car!

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