Self-defense for Sealcoaters

How to protect your business from fly-by-night contractors

It’s early March and we’re already starting to hear about fly-by-night “sealcoating contractors” (and even “paving contractors”) scamming homeowners. Shame on all of them, and if they hit your town there’s nothing wrong with alerting local law enforcement.

But it’s always better to be proactive, so here are a few suggestions that will help protect your business, protect the industry, and make it more difficult for fly-by-nights to succeed in your market.

  1. Reach out to local media now to provide “how to hire a contractor” tips. Spring is the perfect time to help homeowners and media are always on the lookout for local experts.
  2. Update your website for Spring 2020…. Of course, you do have a website, don’t you? You can be assured the fly-by-nights don’t have one.
  3. Whether you bid electronically or on paper, make sure your address, phone number, e-mail, website and social media contacts are printed clearly on them.
  4. Don’t be afraid to hand out business cards containing the same information. Fly-by-nights won’t be handing out cards.
  5. Contact your sealer supplier for literature on sealcoating materials and hand it out to prospects. If there’s space on the pamphlet stamp or print your company information on it.
  6. Answer your phone, return phone calls promptly, and make follow-up calls after a job is done. Fly-by-nights won’t be doing that.
  7. Provide a pamphlet or sheet telling homeowners what to expect from the newly sealed or paved driveway, including tips to maintain it. Stamp your company details on this too.
  8. Ask customers to visit your website and social media sites to show off pictures of your work and provide a reference.
  9. Participate in local home center shows.
  10. Support local organizations and sports teams.

You get the idea. None of these ideas are expensive, none are time consuming, and all help identify you as a legitimate, professional contractor who’s not only been in business for a while but also one who isn’t going anywhere.

You’re not going to be able to eliminate the fly-by-nights because they prey on people looking for a deal. But by establishing yourself as a reputable professional you will make it more difficult for those scammers to do business and you will help define the industry as  legitimate and professional… and you’ll likely get more work!