How can I get my business built up?

Discussion in 'Seal Coating Forum' started by pooter, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. pooter

    pooter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I started my own sealing and striping business this year in July. I have done about 60 driveways but only 2 parking lots. Can anybody give me advise on getting more business?
  2. BIGBOY2008

    BIGBOY2008 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    Sounds to me like you are doing good if you started in July and have done a total of sixty driveways and two parking lots. Best bit of advice i have is to call each one of your customers and ask them how pleased they are with the work you do. This way you will stay on their minds and they will be more likely to recomend you to others.
  3. pooter

    pooter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    thanks, most of my business has came from word of mouth. After I finish a job they have been referring me to friends and family. But I would really like to get more into the commercial side of the business.
  4. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Dont rush it , commercial isnt all that you think it is , when you get stiffed for a $200.00
    driveway that hurts , when you get stiffed for a $14,000 dollar parking lot , that can kill you . If this is your first year , keep on learning on the little jobs , remember an education aint free .
  5. sealcutter

    sealcutter LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA.
    Messages: 255

    That the truth brother you will be educated at your own expense. Fools learn by their own mistakes all you guys should be listening to our stories and learn from our mistakes. Once I took a bath on a large commercial job, now before I start I get 45-60% up front and we don't start until the check is cleared. this will cover all my material, and labor.
  6. BIGBOY2008

    BIGBOY2008 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    Some years ago i took off to visit a cousin and noticed his neighbor was having his driveway sealed. I remember well that the drive was a little over five football fields long and 12.5 ft wide. The guy sealing it had done maybe five drives with a squeegee working our of barrels and thought he had struck a gold mine at $0.20 per sg ft with this one drive. The seal coat supplier had talked him into using additives and had written down the wrong ratios and he had all these barrels of sealer sitting with the wrong ratios of additives in them. I took a look and all the barrels of sealer and each one was as thick as drywall mudd.
    The poor guy was standing there with this bewildered look on his face and said the supplier had denied giving him the wrong ratios and refused to come out and look at his problem. He was broke and didnt have gas money to drive back to the supplier to convince him to come take a look and advise him on what to do. He said he didnt know what to do other than just eat his loss and dump the stuff in a ditch somewhere and give up the sealcoating business.
    I talked the guy and the home owner into letting me take over the job.
    We got numerous large plastic totes and divided the overly thick material into them and added water and started adjusting and checking viscosity then we did numerous material splits from one tote to the other so that each tote had close to the exact same ratio mix. Then we built a sealer buggy to add the sand he started stirring and filling the buggy and i started squeegeeing and squeegeeing and squeegeeing and etc.
    The driveway turned out good and he got a valuable lesson on double checking everything the supplier says with what the manufacturer says and to also test everything on a smaller scale prior applying it on a big job.

    That was a mistake anybody could have made and it was made by someone who like a lot of folks did not have a lot of money to work with but was honestly trying to do things right. And if someone would not have been there to help him he would have probably dumped everything in a ditch somewhere and ended up in the hole by losing money on the wasted sealer.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011

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