Timing is Right for Managing Your Business

Most contractors start a paving or pavement maintenance business because they are skilled in some aspect of construction – they can pave, sealcoat or stripe, for example. Tom Shumate, however, started Affordable Paving & Excavating (see page 88) with no construction skills. He knew how to run a business, and he figured he could transfer those management skills to a paving operation.

But most contractors don’t have that business background – and even those that do often find themselves facing issues they didn’t expect and aren’t sure how to handle. That’s why each year we focus our January issue on business management, because you can be the best contractor out there but if you can’t run a business you won’t be around long enough to prove it.

So that’s the emphasis of this issue, and we tackle management from a variety of viewpoints: 

  • Marketing – “How to Make Google AdWords Work for You,” page 68
  • Growth and diversification – “How Pro-Pave Achieved Sustained Growth,” page 30, and “How to Transform a Sweeping Company,” page 34
  • Office operations – “Is Your Office Staff the Backbone of your Company?” page 24
  • Safety – “Tips for Safe Winter Operations,” page 71
  • Equipment financing – “How to Combat Rising rental and Used Equipment Costs,” page 84
  • Equipment Impact –  “Skid Steers Maintain Strong market Momentum in the Face of Compact Track Loader Growth,” page 62, and “The Infrared Process Regains its Reputation,” page 40

And we introduce a new column by Advisory Board member and National Pavement Expo presenter Nick Howell, T & N Asphalt Services, on the view “From the Owner’s Desk,” page 83, in which Nick will provide some insights from an owner’s perspective.

Contractors are so busy from season start to season end that for many the dead of winter is about the only time they have to reflect on where their business stands, plan for the short and long term, and confront some of the inevitable challenges all businesses face as they grow. We know the timing of this issue is right; we hope the insights help too.

And for contractors who want even more help in their management efforts, don’t forget that National Pavement Expo, Feb. 7-10 in Cleveland, offers more than 25 management-focused sessions in its conference program. Details can be found at www.nationalpavementexpo.com.