We didn't know the four contractors we selected for "Top Performer" profiles this issue took similar approaches to making their businesses successful. But their approaches to the marketplace, the ways they work with customers, and their efforts with their employees are proven:
- Learn your market. Take the time necessary to study any marketplace you plan on entering, evaluating what it needs, the competition, and what it pays.
- Set your own price. Contractors attending National Pavement Expo have heard over the years that you need to set your price based on your costs and expected profit. By setting the price you need to make the profit you want, you are increasing the value of your service and developing the industry.
- Take care of your customers. Increasingly businesses (not just contractors) are realizing their customers don't just want the "cheapest," they want the "best" at a reasonable price. "Best" can mean a lot of things and your marketing and sales efforts, combined with quality workmanship, and responsive customer service make your company much more valuable to a customer than if you simply sealcoat and drive away.
- Take care of your employees. There are probably as many schools of thought on this as there are contractors, but finding quality people, training them, and keeping them is a bugaboo for the entire industry. Any efforts you make to maintain a stable workforce makes you more productive, more efficient, and more profitable
Are these approaches the only way to succeed in the pavement maintenance industry? Of course not. Many readers follow their own nose to sniff out their personal business path. But as the contractors in this issue prove, these approaches work.