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Advice For A Rookie

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Old 03-05-2018, 08:19 PM   #1
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Advice For A Rookie

Greetings. What advice would you give to a newbie looking to get into concrete?

A little background. I'm working as a commercial carpenter (Form) Prior to coming here in the US two years ago I studied civil eng. worked on our small GC business doing res. and light com., As of the moment on the process of obtaining all the licenses needed. I am planning on focusing on concrete (driveways, slabs & footing), Also little by little buying the right tools/equipment which would take a while for me.

My question to you guys is how did you started to do it on your own, build your presence did you do it business to business (sub con).

equipment ( dump trailer, skidsteer, excavator ,etc) did you guys rent at first?


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Old 03-20-2018, 07:57 PM   #2
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Re: Advice For A Rookie

Keep it simple. Buy only as you need with cash. Keep all liabilities low or nil to start. Over the next 10 years you will be ok. Newest and best is never the way to go.

Make sure you keep track of hours and costs per job. Adjust your rates or figure out ways to get better. The end.


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Old 04-02-2018, 08:18 AM   #3
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Re: Advice For A Rookie

Originally Posted by dsmmace View Post
Keep it simple. Buy only as you need with cash.
I did this, and I would actually recommend against it for a few things.

A good sturdy truck and a dump trailer will start saving/making you money on day one.

I waited too long to buy both, should have financed from the start.

My advice would be to get in with some reputable people. Do some good work for a dirt work guy that stays busy, and he will always have work for you. Take all the crap jobs that pop up too and do a great job.

I rely on word of mouth only at this point, and once it gets to that you will attract only the best customers, and can adjust your prices so that you are making more.

In all honesty it takes a lot of work and time to build a decent presence. I'm going into year 6, and this is really the first year where I feel comfortable pricing and completing bigger jobs, I have all my accounts set up with various suppliers and rental houses, so life is much easier, and I have relationships with most of the builders and excavators in the area, so we all kind of operate on the same wavelength.

Good luck.
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Old 04-02-2018, 01:58 PM   #4
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Re: Advice For A Rookie

Our company is a general contractor but probably 65% of our volume is in concrete work. Best advice I would give you is to stay away from the highly competitive residential and light commercial market and get into industrial work doing more complicated and larger projects where the margins are better. Good way to go broke, competing daily for driveway, sidewalk and curb jobs.
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Old 04-20-2018, 06:41 AM   #5
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Re: Advice For A Rookie

Thankyou for your inputs. Another question what is the best way to let a builder or other company know that you are interested on bidding their future concrete projects. Will an email like business letter suffice or a brochure or hard copy of a company profile?

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