How to Start a Small Excavation Company
Starting an excavation business
If you want to start your own small excavation company, be prepared to work long hours, get your hands dirty and do multi-tasking. While this field is rewarding and profitable, it is not without its challenges and risks. You should be prepared to think out-of-the-box and come up with solutions on the spot. Plus you need people with licenses and ability to operate and maintain heavy equipment, like Bobcats, backhoes, tippers and excavators. This is what I realized when I decided to set up own excavation business after working for years in this field.
Like me, you too will have to make an initial capital investment just like any other small business, but the key would be to earn a reputation in the market, so that word-of-mouth advertising fetches you fresh and repeat business. Here are some tips that will make it easy for you to start a small excavation business. I did not have guidance, so learned my lessons through trial and error. But hopefully, with my tips, you will not have to go through those terrible teething pains that I went through.
Prepare a Business Plan
Just like any other business, even a small excavation business requires a business plan. This will highlight your business goals, competition, capital investment, expenses, threats, opportunities and weaknesses. I neglected the business plan and paid the price for it.
A business plan gives you an idea what type of excavation projects you should pursue and what marketing strategies you should use to spread the word about your business. Make the plan comprehensive and keep checking it to ensure you are following it. Also, when necessary, make changes to the plan in accordance to prevailing challenges in the market.
Safety Management Plan
Have a foolproof safety management plan for all your workers. After all, you will be working on construction sites with heavy machinery and equipment and you want to keep your workers safe from injuries. Make sure the plan you put into place follows the local guidelines and laws. Also, you would have to train your new staff in following the safety measures without fail. As a new startup company, you should be present at each site to supervise your workers and ensure they follow all safety measures at all times.
An excavation business is not without risks and challenges. So you should get a personal injury insurance to protect yourself and your business. This insurance policy will also protect your workers, should any mishap or accident take place at work. In addition, you need liability insurance to protect yourself and your business from any damage that takes place due to your equipment and workers. In fact, in Australia, particularly in Queensland, it is a must to have insurance. Otherwise most contractors would be unwilling to hire you and your services.
Get the Necessary Equipment
When I started my business, I was keen on buying my own equipment. I started the buying process and then midway I realized I was spending more than I could afford. So, I took a step back to review my equipment need. My suggestion would be to hire heavy equipment initially.
Hiring often is more cost-effective than buying equipment and tools outright. If you don’t use the equipment and tools regularly, it is unnecessary inventory and not to forget the cost of maintaining them.
I was lucky to find L&D Earthmoving for practically all my heavy equipment hire. I have to say the company offers affordable hire and the equipment is maintained seamlessly. I never had to worry about a breakdown or poorly maintained equipment. I even used the company to hire tippers.
Hire the Right Staff
I had sufficient contacts in this field to hire the right staff. I made sure I hired personnel who knew how to operate heavy equipment and had the necessary license. The new staff was further trained to ensure they operate the equipment based on my guidelines, especially those who did not have too much experience. Of course, I was always present to supervise, so that I could catch mistakes immediately and take remedial measures.
The success of any business depends on getting the right clients. I did not start big, so I looked for clients who wanted to outsource excavation and earthmoving to smaller contractors like me. I joined local associations and networked with contractors to find work. I even developed a small website that I advertised on local search engines and business directories. I even used social media sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, to spread the word about my business. Once I proved my expertise and skill, getting new clients was not tough.
Starting a new business is never easy, but it is extremely rewarding. I love the work I do and take great pains to do it well. This is one principle I have inculcated in my workers as well. So, follow my tips and start your small excavation company successfully.