How to Start a Concrete Business: 14 Steps to Get Your Business Up and Running

June 2, 2023
Time to Read: 
17 minutes

Are you looking to start your own concrete business? Concrete is one of the most important materials used in construction and civil engineering. With more than 70% of the world’s population living in structures that were built using concrete, it’s easy to understand its value. 

Concrete’s importance to the construction sector makes it a viable business option if you have the knowledge and skill. But starting a new concrete business is not simply a matter of buying materials and equipment and finding clients. There are a lot of steps involved in starting a concrete business. Let’s go over what it takes.

Concrete as a business

Concrete is a major business in the United States. According to IBISWorld, the concrete industry’s market size, as measured by revenue, is $79.6 billion as of 2022. While the industry sometimes experiences its ups and downs, there is always a need for concrete production.

Builders and developers rely on concrete for the construction of:

  • Buildings
  • Structural foundations
  • Bridges and overpasses
  • Roads
  • Sculptural structures
  • Floors

Concrete also creates or serves as the foundation for bricks and blocks, sidewalks, walls, parking lots, monuments, chimneys, basements, tunnels, steps and dams. 

Concrete is a critical component of construction

Developers and builders deem concrete a top material for construction. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Strength: Concrete is strong enough to handle tremendous compressive stresses without breaking. 
  • Adaptability: Concrete is easily adaptable to the needs of the builder. Simply adjusting the ratio of ingredients adjusts its strength.
  • Durability: Concrete doesn’t degrade over time, isn’t significantly impacted by extreme weather and is resistant to rusting, fire, abrasion, chemical reactions and erosion. 

What concrete businesses really do

You know that concrete businesses pour, build and finish concrete foundations and structures. But before laying new concrete, businesses must ensure a space is suitable by examining water tables, moisture levels and soil consistency. 

Concrete businesses typically take part in new residential and nonresidential constructions as well as reconstructions, alterations, maintenance and repairs. They might also sell concrete-related equipment and products and provide consultations for businesses using concrete.

According to IBISWorld, key concrete buying industries include U.S. home, commercial, municipal and industrial builders, road and highway construction and maintenance industries and bridge and elevated highway construction industries.

Types of concrete contractors

Concrete contractors take on a variety of roles in the construction industry. Here are some common types of concrete contractors you might consider for your business:


Concrete suppliers deliver cement and grades of aggregates that are mixed to create concrete in the specific quantities needed to meet strict quality requirements. Suppliers typically service large-scale projects like buildings, roads and bridges though they might also supply concrete for smaller projects like home foundations, basement walls, sidewalks and driveways.

Structural contractors

Structural contractors take part in building upright structures like pillars, beams and basement walls – or they complete structures like homes or other buildings that are reinforced with rebar or other material. Structural contractors must be knowledgeable of public safety specifications and local codes for residences and businesses.

Pre-cast contractors

Pre-cast concrete contractors specialize in creating and delivering pavers for patios, steps for homes and other premade structures like tunnels, support columns, pillars and sewer mains. 

Flatwork contractors

Flatwork contractors pour concrete for roads, sidewalks, highways, parking lots or other flat surfaces. They might also lay concrete floors, pools, driveways and patios and also stamp, stain, color, or polish concrete for a more decorative appearance. 

Is the concrete business right for you?

Before starting a new concrete business, it’s good to know as much as possible about the business side of the industry to make sure it’s the right fit.

Concrete business: Facts and figures

U.S. concrete contractor industry statistics from IBISWorld (2022 and 2023):

  • Number of concrete contractor businesses in the U.S. (2023): 82,714
  • Concrete business industry employment in the U.S. (2023): 320,052
  • Concrete contractors industry market size, measured by revenue (2022):  $79.6 billion
  • Concrete contractors industry market size growth rate (2022): 0.2% increase
  • Concrete contractors industry market size growth (2017 to 2022): 2.3% average per year
  • Concrete industry growth compared to other industries (2017 to 2022): increased faster than the overall economy

Factor impacting industry growth

  • High competition
  • Low barriers to entry 

Biggest opportunity for concrete contractor industry growth

According to IBISWorld, an acceleration of construction activity has increased demand for concrete contractor services (particularly with a growing demand for concrete as the foundation for more apartment, condominium, office building and hotel constructions). 

The industry expects continued growth from 2023 to 2028.

Pros and cons of the concrete business

Pros of the concrete business

  • High demand: As long as there is a need for new homes, condos, offices, bridges and other structures, the concrete business will be in demand. 
  • Great potential for profit: High demand for concrete means clients are willing to pay top dollar for experts who know how to mix, pour and maintain concrete.
  • Great hours: Construction businesses typically operate during daytime business hours.

Cons of the concrete business

  • Labor: Operating a concrete business means keeping qualified concrete laborers on your team at all times. If your turnover is high or your workforce isn’t skilled or reliable, you’ll have a difficult time keeping your business afloat.
  • Equipment: Concrete businesses require expensive equipment that must be regularly maintained and fully operational to retain a steady client base. 

Earnings potential

According to HomeGuide, the average cost to pour a concrete slab is $5.40 to $6.20 per square foot. This cost includes slab thickness, labor, materials and reinforcement with wire mesh or rebar. So, a 10’ x 10’ shed (100 square feet) might cost $540 to $620 while a 20’ x 24’ driveway (480 square feet) would range from $2,592 to $2,976.

When calculating earnings, it’s important to include the cost per square foot, equipment, transportation costs, profit margin and overhead (rent, utilities, office supplies, accounting, insurance, legal fees and marketing). If you’re working from home and have less overhead, your profit margin might be as high as 50%. With a rental space, it could drop to about 20%.

14 steps for starting a concrete business

If you believe that starting a concrete business is right for you, let’s go over the steps needed to get yours up and running.

1. Research the concrete industry

Market research helps you examine the concrete industry and ensure it’s a viable option. Benefits of market research include:

  • Developing a stronger understanding of the concrete industry
  • Gaining greater insight into your customer base
  • Getting to know your competitors
  • Gaining access to stakeholders, vendors and contractors

You can conduct market research by gathering primary data (i.e. data you collect like interviews, surveys and focus groups) and secondary data (i.e. data collected by others like academic research, industry reports, government data and competitor analysis). Use the data you’ve gathered to look at industry trends and determine how to get your foot in the door.

2. Identify your target market

Market research helps you identify your target market. It’s good to know, however, that most small concrete businesses initially target homeowners. If you’re already subcontracting, you may have a good idea of opportunities in your market. If you’re not currently working, consider taking some jobs to get a feel for the local market.

3. Choose service offerings

Decide whether you would like to be a supplier or work in flatwork, structural or pre-made concrete. If you’re a flatwork contractor, you might want to work with dyes or stamp concrete. You might even opt for self-mending concrete, which is concrete coated in bacteria to increase its durability. Also, be sure to decide whether to focus on residential, commercial or both. 

4. Create a business plan

When you’re serious about starting your concrete business, creating a business plan is a must. A business plan helps you lay out your ideas and work through your key goals.

Here’s what goes into a business plan:

  • Executive summary: Give a brief overview of your business plan.
  • Business overview: Detail your goals for the company, your mission, your vision and who will be involved in ownership.
  • Products and services: Explain your proposed business offerings.
  • Market analysis: Outline market trends including demand (with variations) and the prospect for growth. Include a SWOT analysis.
  • Competitive analysis: List your main competition and their strengths and weaknesses. Also, draft a list of your business’s advantages.
  • Sales and marketing: Assess your business’s unique selling propositions (USPs) and outline strategies for sales, marketing and promotions.
  • Management team: Provide an overview of the management team and share their roles and professional backgrounds. 
  • Operations plan: Detail your business’s plan of operations, including procurement, office location, key assets, equipment and other logistical details.
  • Financial plan: Plan your finances for three years, including startup costs, profit and loss estimates, a break-even analysis, balance sheet and cash flow.
  • Appendix: Add any extra business or financial documents.

5. Determine startup costs

The startup costs for a concrete business often range from just over $10,000 to more than $100,000. The company van/truck and portable concrete mixer are typically your largest expenses. 

Here is a list of common concrete equipment needs:

  • Concrete mixer truck
  • Safety gear
  • Wheelbarrows, shovels, buckets
  • Screeds
  • Laser level and floats
  • Groove cutters and edgers
  • Saws
  • Plate compactor
  • Vibrators 
  • Water pump
  • Power hammer and drills

When making your calculations, consider costs for licenses, permits, insurance, business name and registration, marketing and the concrete contractor’s license, which could range from $1,000 to $10,000.

6. Choose your business structure

Your business’s legal structure will directly impact your taxes, registration requirements, personal liability and more. Common options include:

  • Sole proprietorship: Small businesses often operate as sole proprietorships for their simplicity during tax season. However, keep in mind that under this structure the owner assumes all business debts, losses or liabilities. 
  • General partnership: A general partnership is similar to a sole proprietorship, but it involves two or more people. The partners keep the profits but assume all responsibility for business losses.
  • Limited liability company (LLC): Owners are not liable for business debts under the limited liability company’s structure. This structure is often recommended for small businesses.
  • C Corp: When you adopt a C Corp structure, you’re making your business a separate legal entity. In this case, the owner is not liable for debts and the profits are taken through shareholder dividends.

7. Create a business name and manage registration and taxes

As your business comes to life, there are a lot of requirements to meet:

Business name

Your business name should be short and easy to remember while encapsulating your identity, objectives, mission and services. Putting “concrete” in the name helps associate your business with your services. After choosing some name options, see which are available with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Depending on your business structure, you might need to file a Doing Business As (DBA), which separates your business name from your full name.

Business registration

You’ll need to register your business with agencies at the state or local level like the revenue office.


You are required to register your business with the IRS and secure an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If you opt for a sole proprietorship, you can use your social security number or an EIN.

8. Choose your office location

Some concrete contractors work from home and meet team members at work sites to reduce overhead. As your business demands grow, you might look into renting a space for your office. When looking for commercial spaces, consider those that are close to public transportation, have good natural light and are well-ventilated. Also, look for a flexible lease and a space that is ready to use with few repair or renovation needs.

9. Fund your concrete business

It’s common for a startup business to need assistance from one or more sources. Here are some options to consider:

  • Bank loan: While securing a bank loan is one of the most common ways to acquire funding, it can be tough for first-time business owners. Be sure to visit your bank with a strong business plan and excellent credit history.
  • SBA loans: Another option is a guaranteed loan from the Small Business Administration, for which the SBA acts as a guarantor.
  • Government grant: The U.S. government offers access to financial assistance programs aiming to help entrepreneurs fund their businesses. 
  • Someone you know: Consider reaching out to friends, family members or others you know who have the funds to help start your business. 
  • Crowdfunding: Consider crowdfunding your funds by starting a fundraising campaign, which asks donors to help you raise the startup costs for your business.
  • Self-funding: If you opt to raise the money yourself, consider tapping your savings or selling valuables.

10. Acquire permits and licenses

Before you can operate your concrete business, you must secure the necessary licenses and permits from your local, state and federal governments. Be sure to find out if your state requires concrete businesses to become licensed contractors. 

11. Open a business bank account

You’ll need to have a place to store your money once you start pulling in business. Opening a business bank account enables you to keep your business funds separate from your personal funds and easily track transactions for tax purposes and business records. When opening your business bank account, you might need to provide your EIN or social security number, articles of incorporation and other legal documents.

12. Secure business insurance

Insurance is a must for your concrete business. Any liabilities could fall in your lap if you’re not insured. Types of insurance to consider include general liability, business property, equipment breakdown coverage, worker’s compensation, property, commercial auto, and a business owner’s policy (BOP).

13. Get ready for opening day

As you get ready to open your business for operations, here are some additional steps to take:

Create a website

A dynamic business website helps get your concrete business out to the world. Start by purchasing your domain name (align it as closely as possible to your business name) and picking a monthly hosting plan. Hire a website designer and ensure they prioritize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your site structure. Content about the industry, like landing pages or blog posts, are also a key way to help your site rank in search engines. If you’re not comfortable writing your own content, you can enlist the help of a freelance writer. Also, make sure your website prominently features calls to action like “Get a Quote” or “Schedule a Consultation” to make contacting you easier.

Market your business

Marketing your business is another must-do when aiming to get the word out about your concrete business. Here are some marketing tactics to consider:

  • Online marketing: Post your business on free social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Also, consider buying social media ads or taking part in pay-per-click marketing via Google AdWords.
  • Business listings: Listing your business on sites like Yelp and Google My Business help get your business out to a broader audience.
  • In-person marketing: Be sure to get out in your community to market your business via old-fashioned strategies like flyer and newsletter distributions.
  • Get creative: Advertise your business via Youtube videos and consider making DIY or informational videos to garner a larger audience. You might also create a blog and webinars or use incentives for referrals to bring in new business.
  • Networking: Whether you’re making new connections online or getting out in the community to attend events and pass out business cards, you always want to take the opportunity to spread the word about your new concrete business via networking.

Hire workers/build your team

Now’s the time to build an amazing team of dedicated workers who are eager to help your concrete business grow and thrive. When first starting out, you might handle many aspects of business on your own, but if business funds permit, you’ll want to hire at minimum a small team of concrete laborers as well as a general manager and marketing professional.

To find your team, talk to contractors in your area. They could be looking for a new opportunity. You can also try recruiting for free on networking sites like LinkedIn. Placing ads on Facebook and other social media sites is another option. If you’d like targeted searches, consider premium plans on recruitment websites. A recruitment agency could also help you find workers. 

14. Start working: Bidding and estimating

With everything in order, you’re now ready to open your doors and start taking in clients. A great way to secure clients fast is through hard bidding. Hard bidding, also known as competitive bidding, is a process of bidding for job opportunities against other concrete businesses (or construction companies accompanied by concrete subcontractors). 

In order to bid on a project, you’ll need to create a bid proposal and estimate. These documents make the case for you winning the job over other businesses and states the price you’ll charge for the concrete job. Generally, the lowest bid wins the job, so try your best to beat your competition while still earning a profit for your business.

Manage your concrete business the right way with VIIZR

Starting a concrete business is no easy feat. But once you have it up and running, operating it effectively becomes a top priority. With VIIZR in your corner, managing your concrete business has never been easier.

Our web-based software improves your business in the following ways:

  • Better estimating: Send out professional, accurate estimates in minutes. Get approved for concrete jobs right on our platform.
  • Stronger work order management: Produce comprehensive work orders and make changes in the field via your mobile device.
  • Streamlined invoicing and tracking: Convert estimates and work orders into detailed invoices and track their progress from delivery to payment. Automate follow-ups and get paid on time.
  • Easy scheduling and routing: Use our drag-and-drop scheduling tool to choose your team for concrete jobs in minutes. Accurately route them to job sites with a few clicks.
  • Greater accessibility: Get active job status updates, enable your team to check their schedules and manage work orders on the go with our software’s mobile features.
  • Improved customer service: Respond to client questions and concerns in minutes with centralized customer messages and digital service files.

As concrete jobs start lining up, you want to make sure every aspect of your business flows smoothly. Stay on top of office and project management, maintain high productivity and watch your earnings soar with VIIZR on your team. You can try VIIZR free for 14 days, so get started today!

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