Pavement Striping and Sweeping Contractors: Add-on Service or Referral Profit Center?

Sweeping and striping can go together, hand-in-hand, but there's some definite do's and dont's that you should be conscious of.

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Pavement striping is a service that very much goes ‘hand-in-hand’ with sweeping. To ensure the pavement is clean prior to striping for parking spaces, ADA compliance, etc., it is vitally important that air/vacuum-based sweeping be done beforehand in order to prepare the surface for striping. Mechanical broom units are not suitable since they will leave a residue of dust and other small particles.

Additionally, it can be beneficial for striping and sweeping contractors to work together since parking area sweeping contractors are able to forecast when striping is needed by their customers. The relationship may take one of several forms: Some choose to establish a mutual business relationship to share leads and referrals. However, many have developed a profit center based upon the amount of business provided to the striping contractor.

The acquisition cost for getting new pavement striping customers can vary depending on several factors. Some common costs associated with acquiring new customers in the pavement striping industry include advertising expenses, sales commissions, networking costs, and any promotional materials or events.

Some experts estimate the typical acquisition cost of a new client to be in the range of 20%. Here’s a hypothetical: A parking area contractor might establish a relationship whereby, for example, they receive a finder’s fee amounting to 15% of the striping contract. The striping contractor then makes 5% more than s/he might otherwise, since the business is brought to them, and the striping client pays the same at they normally would. 

If you develop that sort of relationship, though, be sure to check the credentials and ratings of the striper before entering into business with them. Also, earn your percentage by checking out the quality of the job being done. 

Some sweeping contractors bill directly and others choose to put invoicing into the hands of the referral contractor. One 'sell' to your customers is that you have pre-qualified the contractor you use and, since your company is a large overall client for the striping contractor, they are even more likely to do an excellent job in order to maintain the relationship.

Alternatively, if enough of your sweeping customers are prospects for striping, consider adding that service. Striping machines cost much less than sweepers and the profit percentage is often higher, although pavement striping is done only occasionally.