How's your sealer pricing?

Probably not too early to start paying attention to what you're going to pay for sealer -- and what you're going to charge your customers. Word from a number of sealer producers is that prices of raw materials have already increased, and in some instances increased substantially, so there's a good chance you're going to be experiencing price increases -- if you haven't already. And as much as you might not want to read it, that's a good thing. For years this industry, at both the producer and contractor levels, has absorbed price increases, afraid that even a modest increase will scare buyers away. Then came 2006 when a perfect storm of events drove prices of a variety of materials -- sealer and hot mix asphalt included -- sky high. Contractors and producers both were forced to raise their prices -- or succumb to the Small Business Grim Reaper, so raise prices they did. And what happened? Not much. That's because customers, even in situations where low-bid dominates, understand rising prices. They do it to their customers and they understand when someone has to do it to them. (I didn't say they like it, I said they understand it.) So as this season gets under way make sure to stay on top of your sealer pricing. Unless you're running a not-for-profit organization you need to pass cost increases along, not let them eat into your profit margin. If you have a few minutes let me (and other readers) know how it's going.