Have you ever wondered how other businesses got started? Have they faced the same challenges you have? Maybe you’re curious about starting your own business and are looking for advice from people who’ve been there.
We’ve had the opportunity to speak with some Estimate Rocket users about these topics, and we hope you’ll be able to take away some insight from their answers like we have. Whether you’re just starting a business, have owned one for 40 years, or never plan to.
This time, we talked with Zach Poland about his business, Affordable Mudjacking Concrete Lifting- a mud and poly-jacking company operating out of the Kansas City metro area.
What were you doing before you started your business?
I was a commercial swimming pool general superintendent and manager of field operations for a local company.
What made you decide to start a business?
I'd heard about mudjacking and have a lot of experience working with concrete. I came across a guy who was in his early 70s still running a mudjacking business and looking to get out. We talked several times and I knew there was a lot of opportunity because of the market they were in, but I also saw opportunities to grow by adding other services. The company originally got started in 1997 and I acquired it in 2015.
What are the most difficult parts of running your own business?
I don't ever like to say anything is really difficult. Most things that you run into, you know you're going to run into it. Everybody generally wants to say employees are the most difficult, but I've dealt with employees for a long time and understand that most times it’s not them. It’s you or it’s management.
The most difficult thing for me is maintaining the push for growth and not getting caught being comfortable. I don't like being comfortable. I always like to keep going and push to try new things.
What are some examples of continuing to push for growth?
Expanding our service area, upgrading equipment, adding crews, training other employees to be able to operate things themselves, and adding other lines of work that are closely associated with what we do - concrete pouring, waterproofing, caulking. There are a lot of different avenues for expansion.
What are the most rewarding parts?
When you own the business, you steer the ship the way you want it to go. You’re not relying on or waiting on somebody to tell you what to do. Your decisions are the final ones.
What advice would you give to someone starting a similar business today?
The number one thing that I would recommend from the get-go is to learn how to get leads. Marketing is huge. It's your first impression.
Another thing would be to do anything you can to save yourself time. Even if it costs you a little bit more money, do it. From the time a customer takes action on some marketing you’ve done by making a call or sending an email, everything needs to run smoothly for them. New business owners may not realize that those processes need to be in place.
Where do you see yourself and Affordable Mudjacking Concrete Lifting in the next 10 years?
In the next 10 years, I’ll probably have minimal involvement with day to day operations. The company is going to be a machine that's running on its own and providing for the employees and their families and I'll just be at the helm.
Thank you to Zach for taking the time to talk with us about Affordable Mudjacking Concrete Lifting!
Do you own a business? What tips would you give to someone just starting out? Let us know in the comments!