How to start a concreting business

Almost every construction project requires concrete, which makes concreting a great choice if you’re considering starting your very own trade small business.

If you are planning on going out independently as a concrete contractor or concrete small business owner, you will benefit from having a game plan to get you there. So, read on to learn the key steps that will help you lay a solid foundation for your thriving concrete business.

What is a concrete business?

Concrete businesses are construction companies that specialise in concrete work, which can include pouring, mixing, and shaping concrete to create residential or commercial structures.

Concrete business owners usually start out as concrete workers with their own concrete business ideas and learn how to mix concrete, pour it and shape it. They also learn how concrete works.

How much does it cost to start a concrete business?

As with any business, there are several essential investments that need to be made to start a concrete business. While you may not need to purchase everything immediately, in time you will likely invest in the following for your new concrete business:

  • truck or van;
  • basic office equipment including computers, printers and accounting software;
  • material supplies;
  • protective equipment;
  • business registration and permits; and
  • warehouse space or an office rental property.

These are the essentials, but the total cost for starting a concrete business can vary for each business owner.

Starting you own concrete business

Starting you own concrete business can be a great way to dictate the terms of your working life. You will benefit by being able to control your own schedule, dictate your salary, and choose the clients you want to work with.

There are legal requirements to starting a concrete business. One of the first things you will do as a concrete business owner is to register your concrete business. It’s free and will give you your Australian Business Number (ABN).

The benefits of being a concrete business owner

Being the proud owner of your own concrete business certainly has its perks. As well as being the boss and running your own concrete operation, there are several other enticing things that come with being a concrete business owner.

This flexibility can be a godsend when it comes to work-life balance. You can also choose your clients. This gives you the opportunity to work on unique projects, and to reject costly, dangerous, or other unfavorable cement works jobs.

What exactly do concrete businesses do?

Concrete businesses are construction companies that specialise in cement work. Concrete work may include pouring, mixing, and forming concrete into residential or commercial structures.

Concrete business owners usually start out as concrete workers and learn how to mix concrete, pour it, and shape it. They will also learn how concrete works. You will benefit from having some concrete experience and business knowledge under your belt before you strike out with your own concrete business.

Common concreting jobs can include anything from footpath construction, to pouring concrete to driving a concrete truck.

Purchase your essential concreting equipment and tools

A concreter is only as good as their tools, so the saying goes. While it may be expensive to purchase all of your tools at once, there are ways to manage the costs. This may include purchasing second-hand tools and equipment, borrowing tools from a mentor, or renting tools and equipment as needed until you are able to buy your own.

Here are the top tools for concreters:

  • Concrete screeds;
  • Concrete vibrators;
  • Wheelbarrow;
  • Portable concrete mixer;
  • Rubber gloves and boots;
  • Vapour barriers;
  • Concrete saw;
  • Concrete float;
  • Groove cutters; and
  • Laser level.

Of course, you may also require access to a concrete truck.

How to start your own concreting business in six steps

There can be many ways to launch your own concrete business, but they typically cover the same five key steps. If you are visualising your future self as a successful concrete business owner, the following five steps can help you get there.

1. Decide what types concrete work you will offer

Before you start creating a business plan or hiring concrete contractors, first put some careful consideration into determining what type of concrete work you would like to perform. What concrete business ideas do you have

Residential and commercial concrete construction have many similarities, but they also differ in some key areas. Residential concrete projects are usually smaller and have less liability and risk. This can mean that you will need fewer concreting licences or permits if you plan to focus on residential concreting.

Residential work may be the best place to start, depending on your experience and your concrete skills. You can research each option and determine the start-up costs and labour requirements for each type of concrete work. Also, you will need to know what concrete equipment and materials are needed.

2. Create a business plan to grow your business

The old “5 Ps” saying goes that prior planning prevents poor performance, and this certainly applies to starting a concrete business.

Start creating your business plan once you have identified your niche or target market within the concreting and construction industry. A carefully considered business plan will help you to define the structure, functions, and other operational essentials for your new business.

Not just for show, professionally organised business plans can be used to:

  • help you secure a business loan from you bank;
  • attract investors looking for business opportunities;
  • attract potential partners; and
  • help you define the goals for your new concrete business.

3. Secure your business insurance*, concrete licences, and permits

Many concreting and construction business owners hold certain business licences, permits, and business insurance.

Find out what licences are needed for your concreting business, and then apply for them. For example, in the construction industry many business owners are required to hold Public Liability insurance. They may also be required to hold Worker’s Compensation insurance. You may also consider protecting your new concrete business with the following types of business insurance:

Portable Equipment insurance: Because it covers you for loss and damage the portable concrete equipment associated with your business. These can include your tools of trade and items of stock.

Personal Accident & Illness Insurance: Because accidents can and do happen, and in the concreting and construction industry, the consequences can be severe.

4. Market your concrete business

Every business can benefit from investing in marketing. Marketing is the key mechanism for growing a business and it requires creativity, investment, and persistence. Consider the following as part of you core marketing activities for your concrete business:

  • creating an engaging company website;
  • setting up social media accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube;
  • sending regular e-newsletters to your database of subscribers;
  • investing in Google Ads;
  • advertising in trade magazines;
  • committing to a content marketing strategy which can include concrete tips for DIYers.

5. Purchase equipment and hire staff

After you have created a business plan and obtained the necessary licenses, permits, and insurance, it is time to hire talented staff and purchase equipment. Your concrete skills and those of your staff can have a significant impact on the success of your business.

You may also purchase equipment for your business at this stage. Construction equipment is expensive and may require financing from investors or banks.

6. Build connections, grow your business and start bidding for work

You can start bidding for construction projects with the right equipment, staff, and licencing. This will help you build your professional network. Bidding involves estimating each job in order to compete against other concrete or construction companies.

Concreting FAQs

Is concreting business profitable?

As is the case with many trade businesses, owning and operating a concrete business can be profitable provided the business owner plans precisely and commits to best practices to grow their business.

Do I need a licence to start a concreting business?

Yes, concrete licences are required throughout Australia – even if you only ever do footpath construction jobs. However the specific details around concreting licences can vary across Australia’s states and territories. Construction workers who perform concreting work without a licence can face severe financial penalties.

How much does a concreter contractor make?

So, how much does a concreter contractor make? Well, it can vary, but it has been noted that the average concrete salary in Australia is $74,100 per year or $38 per hour.

Reduce your exposure to concreter risk with BizCover

BizCover can help you get your concrete business started on the right foot by reducing your exposure to business risks. At BizCover we have helped more than 220,000 Australian small business owners reduce their exposure to risk BizCover, by making purchasing business insurance fast, easy, and cost-effective.

Call BizCover on 1300 920 868 to get concreter insurance coverage in just 10 minutes and get back to doing what you best.

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769.

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