Ever noticed those smooth roads and driveways in your neighborhood? They don’t just magically appear. There’s a whole industry behind it, and it’s called the asphalt and seal coating industry. And guess what? There’s a cool job in this field where you can make good money. It’s called a sales estimator.
Seal coating is a popular way to protect and extend the life of asphalt driveways and parking lots. It works by creating a barrier that protects the asphalt from the elements and prevents it from cracking and crumbling.
Starting a seal coating side gig can be a great way to make extra money. The business is relatively easy to start and operate, and there is high demand for seal coating services.
What’s a Seal Coating Sales Estimator?
A sales estimator is like a detective. They look at a project, figure out what materials are needed, how many people will work on it, and how long it will take. Then, they tell the customer how much it will cost. It’s a super important job because if they get it wrong, the company they estimate for can lose money.
“Seal coating is one of the best ways to protect and extend the life of your asphalt driveway or parking lot.”– Bob Vila, Home Improvement Expert
Benefits of a Seal Coating Side Gig:
- Low overhead costs: The main overhead costs associated with a seal coating side gig are the cost of equipment and materials. You can start small and purchase equipment as needed.
- Flexible schedule: A seal coating side gig is a great way to earn extra money without having to commit to a full-time job. You can work evenings and weekends, or on your own schedule.
- High demand: There is high demand for seal coating services. Homeowners and businesses need to seal coat their asphalt every few years to protect it and extend its lifespan.
1. Master the Basics
Before you can excel, you need to understand the fundamentals:
- Materials: Know the types and grades of asphalt, sealants, and other materials. Understand their costs and appropriate applications.
- Labor: Familiarize yourself with the workforce required for different projects and the associated labor costs.
- Equipment: Be aware of the machinery used, their operational costs, and maintenance expenses.
- Travel Time, how long does it take to get there? Can all your team arrive at the same time?
- Production Rates and materials, we recommend you check weekly with the suppliers to verify that the price has not sharply risen or plummeted. Different times a year have different effects on the price of the product, example if you’re in the middle of the fall season when everybody’s getting seal coated before winter, the supplier may increase the rate.
- Set up / clean up time, make sure to factor in the amount of time it takes to set up the equipment, and to clean up after the job. Underestimating here can really hurt your profits, especially since seal coating can be dirty work. If the seal coating company does not take precautions to protect areas that are not being sealed coated.
2. Invest in the Right Tools for the Job
Simple, business software, such as Selling Lane, can help you manage your customers with its CRM, keep track of your tasks with its built in task manager, and get you directions to the job. But more than that, it can provide a website for customers to find you, invoicing software, to get paid faster, and you can tag your customers to help you flow them through the process from lead to sold. We think it’s a must-have for any small business, especially a start-up.
Measuring wheel: This tool is used to measure the area of the asphalt that will be seal coated. Although the measuring tool built into your iPhone can also do a decent job, but there is risk, sometimes old-school methods are the best.
3. Continuous Learning
The construction industry is ever-evolving. Stay updated with the latest techniques, materials, and best practices. Attend workshops, webinars, and industry conferences.
4. Build a Network
Relationships matter. Connect with contractors, suppliers, and other industry professionals. A strong network can lead to referrals and more job opportunities.
5. Offer Consultation Services
Leverage your expertise by offering consultation services. Help clients understand the best materials for their needs, the importance of regular maintenance, or how to extend the lifespan of their asphalt installations.
6. Diversify Your Services
Don’t limit yourself to just asphalt and seal coating. Explore related services like striping, crack filling, or drainage solutions. The more you offer, the more opportunities you have to earn.
7. Prioritize Customer Service
A satisfied client is likely to refer you to others and come back for future projects. Ensure clear communication, provide accurate estimates, and be transparent about potential additional costs.
8. Understand Your Market
Know the going rates in your area. While you don’t want to undersell your services, overpricing can drive potential clients away. Find a balance that reflects your expertise and the market demand.
9. Manage Your Finances
Keep track of your expenses, from software subscriptions to travel costs. Efficient financial management ensures you’re pricing your services profitably.
10. Promote Yourself
Having an online presence is crucial. You can create a professional website using companies like Selling Lane, where you get full business software including the website for one low price. Or use companies like Squarespace, a dedicated website creation, tool, where you pay monthly, but can build something a lot more extensive. I’ve always been a fan of getting to the point though, showing customers what you offer and providing away for them to contact you. Simple is usually the best.
Either way, with a business website, you can showcase your past projects, gather client testimonials, and engage on social media platforms.
11. Upselling to Full Blacktop Replacement
Most of the time you’re going to be estimating for seal coating businesses, however, sometimes you’re going to come upon a job that requires Blacktop replacement. Finding these upsell can be a real bonus to your business, because the job goes from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Especially late in the season, Blacktop companies are looking for work to extend the season before the asphalt makers shut down for the winter.
Being an asphalt and seal coat sales estimator offers numerous avenues to make money. By honing your skills, embracing technology, and building strong relationships, you can carve a successful and profitable career in this industry. Remember, it’s not just about estimating costs; it’s about providing value to your clients and setting the foundation for long-term success.
- Offer discounts for new customers and repeat business.
- Provide excellent customer service.
- Guarantee your work.
- Get testimonials from satisfied customers.
- Network with other businesses in your area, such as asphalt paving contractors and home improvement stores.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success in the seal coating business.