First off, let’s not fool ourselves. With all the complications of Covid, 2020 was tough! And that was on top of the typical issues that face even the most experienced professional in the paving industry. Thankfully, we’re all tough-minded people that seek solutions and don’t just fold under pressure. There are still going to be shortages of qualified labor, rising supply and labor costs, equipment maintenance issues, intense levels of competition, demanding clients, etc. But, there is 1 very bright point. Continued and accelerating demand for quality commercial paving services! Let’s put that into perspective.
Past Paving Contractor Growth Rates:
According to IBIS, the industry research and reporting experts, there were 53,370 paving contractor companies in the US as of February 2011. By February of 2020 there were 67,006. That’s a growth rate in paving contractors of 25.5% over 10 years. That’s about a 2% annual growth rate nationwide. In February of 2021 the number of paving contractor firms increased to 68,559. That’s an increase of an additional 2.3% in a single year, and right in the midst of Covid.
Current State of The US Paving Contractor Industry:
The Paving Industry is very healthy and getting even more so. Here are the numbers as of July 2021.
- Market Size: $19 Billion
- Number of Paving Contractor Businesses: 68,912 (that’s an additional 353 Paving Contractor Co.’s in just 4 months. Or 3% annual growth.)
- Current Industry Employment: 158,853
What is expected over the next few years?
I don’t have a crystal ball but industry experts see a rosy growth picture. They expect a 2.3% business growth rate for the US Paving Contractor business for 2021. That’s better than the 2% average for the previous 5 years.
Other industry insiders, like Reliable Paving, expect it to be even better. Demand for asphalt used only in paving, not roofing or other materials, is projected to increase by 3%. That’s an increase to roughly 22 million tons by the end of this year.
What does this Really mean?
Well, that’s kind of a mixed bag.
- Growth is occurring, and at an increased rate. That’s a plus.
- There is more demand for paving services. That’s a plus.
- As brick and mortar businesses reopen, many are now doing needed maintenance on facilities. Another plus.
- This is even more competition. Well, crud!
- Hiring is still going to be difficult. Expected that.
- Material costs will continue to rise. Of course!
That makes me ask: “How can I take advantages of these opportunities while minimizing the impact of the negatives?”
Ideas I came up with include:
- Implement an effective solution to reach new prospects that doesn’t take so much time from running the business and has good results.
- Find an effective way to reach prior customers for their current paving needs, and referrals, that is low cost.
- Show folks why they should use you rather than all the new guys out there that tout cheap prices.
- Use your existing team more efficiently with an automated job/labor scheduling system.
I’m positive that there are many other great solutions. I’d love to hear yours. You can drop me a quick note here.