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How to Transition From Residential Concrete Work 


One of the first things concrete contractors think about when looking to transition into commercial and industrial concrete contracting work is how much more money they can make in their business.  While this may be true, it is important to know that with more money comes more complex considerations.  

Another advantage to making this transition that concrete contractors usually think about is that there is less competition in the commercial space.  Because of all the requirements, the number of people making the leap into this type of work is minimal.  Once you establish yourself in this market as a company that does quality work, you can be assured that your phone will never stop ringing.  Not only this, but you won’t just be a local business, since many industrial concrete contractors are known regionally.

There is a reason not everyone makes the change and below we’ll explore the main things to consider when transitioning from residential to industrial concrete contracting. 

Requires More Capital

Commercial and industrial jobs require more materials and therefore require more risk.  Because these jobs are oftentimes bigger in magnitude, they require so much more material and investment up front.  This means the contractor is taking on way more risk than with a residential job. When you compare this to a typical residential concrete job, which typically requires only from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars in upfront costs per job, it can be a huge change.

Requires More Insurance

Commercial and industrial concrete work requires more insurance and coverage, period.  Simply put, not many concrete contractors are able to cover the cost of this, which keeps them from pursuing this type of work.  

More Equipment

Being a commercial or industrial concrete contractor also requires an investment in bigger and more high-tech equipment.  Most residential concrete contractors can manage with smaller equipment and with very little high-tech equipment as their jobs are usually concrete driveways, patios, walkways and more.  Commercial and industrial jobs on the other hand can require more complicated licenses and permits as well as highly specialized equipment.

Business Acumen

A big factor in whether a contractor will succeed, regardless of whether they are a residential or a commercial concrete contractor is their ability to manage all parts of their business.  It is not enough to do quality work.  It is not enough to have the proper licensing and experience, contractors also need to be able to put the right systems and processes in place in order to succeed.

In addition to this is the ability to be a project manager for larger jobs.  Commercial and Industrial concrete contractors need to have the ability to manage all the details of the big jobs that come their way.  They need to plan out the proper timelines, the purchasing of materials, the assignment of the right crew and the communication with all others involved in the project.  It can be a lot to handle if you’ve never had experience doing this.  

Many residential concrete contractors have small crews of 4 or 5 people.  Their jobs are usually shorter term jobs that don’t have long timelines and complex specifications.  So, unless they are willing to bring in a person specifically trained or experienced in project management, it may prove too difficult to be successful in this space.  


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