How to Start a Ready-mixed Concrete Business

Posted by Scotty Crist on Oct 18, 2017 10:46:56 AM

Concrete and cement mixer retail salesMaybe you are in the construction field and have used ready mix in a concrete mixer trailer. Perhaps you’re a DYI-er that’s used a short load of concrete for a home project. Or, you might have a current business and have decided to add a new profit center. Whatever the reason, you are thinking about trailered concrete mixers as a way to turn a profit. For over twenty years Cart-Away has been helping people decide if selling concrete at retail is right for them, and in that course of time we’ve come up with five steps to help customers be successful.

Step #1: Market Research. You have to know your market if you expect to make money providing a product or service. One of the things you need to know is if there is any competition in the concrete mixer industry? If so, how much are they selling concrete for? Many potential operators think that the local ready mix plant will be their competition. Not only is that nearly always untrue, ready mix dispatchers are usually very willing to send business your way. However, knowing what they are selling mixed concrete for, what their minimums loads are and the short load fees they charge, will help you set your own pricing. How about your local demographics? There are many success indicators in a thorough demographic study that will help you with your plans. There are many more points to the research which are covered in our Market Analysis on concrete mixing opportunities for your area.

Get a Market Study HERE

Step#2: Community Requirements. This is an area that I spend a lot of time with for potential operators. For some concrete mixing equipment we may have to look into zoning requirements. Is a conditional use permit required? What are the property set-backs and height limits? Is an air quality permit needed? These are an important part of the long-term planning for the business and we help all the way through the process.

Step #3: Material Selection. While it’s true that the ingredients to concrete are just sand, gravel, cement and water, the type and quality of materials is important to making good concrete in a mixing trailer. Particularly with the aggregates, some attention must be given. I recall one customer who wanted to save money by ordering a less expensive sand. Well, he put out terrible concrete and the start to his business was slow and it tarnished his reputation. We looked at everything and when all was said and done there was only one item that had changed since he and I had talked materials: his sand. He bought a load of that sand and the customers noticed the change immediately. So, material selection for your concrete mixer business is an important step.

Step #4: Yard Set-Up. Nothing will slow your operation down more than an inefficient yard layout that will restrict the flow of the concrete trailers. Having spent many years on your side of the fence, I can help you avoid some costly mistakes.

Step #5. Sales and Marketing. This is actually an ongoing process and we will help get you started. There are many ways to let the community know about the new concrete supply service that you provide. We know what has worked, and what hasn’t, both from personal experience and from our customer’s trials and errors. Can you guess the least expensive advertising that will help your trailered concrete business take off? I’ll let you know here on the cement mixer blog of Cart-Away.

Stay tuned and I’ll explain each of these points in more detail and how we at Cart-Away will help you succeed. By the time it’s all done you’ll know why we don’t sell concrete mixing equipment, we sell concrete business opportunities.

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