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The results are in!

The following results are based on a survey conducted by Pave It Forward and filled out by our followers in the Paving and Sealcoat Industries.

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60% of people that took this survey work in both Paving & Sealcoating

20% of people that took this survey work in only Paving

20% of people that took this survey work in only Sealcoating

80% of people that took this survey work in both Commercial & Residential properties

20% of people that took this survey work in only Commercial properties

How many residential jobs did you complete in 2021 compared to 2020?

18% of people said "About the same"

53% of people said "More in 2021 compared to 2020"

29% of people said "Many more in 2021 compared to 2020"

How was your workforce turnover rate in 2021 compared to 2020?

57% of people said "About the same"

22% of people said "More in 2021 compared to 2020"

21% of people said "Many more in 2021 compared to 2020"

Did you increase or decrease your marketing budget in 2021?

29% of people said "About the same"

47% of people said "Yes, I increased my marketing budget in 2021"

24% of people said "I don't currently have a marketing budget"

Which platforms did you use to advertise in 2021?

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, Local or Community Sports, Radio, Word of Mouth, Other

If your company advertised services in 2021, which platform had the greatest return on investment?

43% of people said "Facebook"

29% of people said "LinkedIn"

14% of people said "Google"

14% of people said "Instagram"

What has been your most effective way of advertising or attracting good help?

  • Client Target Programs

  • Word of mouth

  • Radio

  • Indeed job posting

  • Quality work and treating employees well

  • Talking to people

What qualities do you look for when hiring?

  • Honesty. Trustworthy

  • Work ethic & passion

  • Desire to learn, ability to follow instructions, company fit, and personality

  • Character, good attitude, a willingness to learn, and a desire to be the best

  • Honesty, integrity, good attitude

  • Willing to learn, team player, positive attitude

  • A good attitude and demeanor, the rest can be taught

  • Character, honesty, and integrity

  • Teachable

  • Positive attitude, willing to learn, teachable, team player

  • Honesty, Punctuality, good attitude

What are effective ways your employees are taken care of to reduce turnover?

  • High pay

  • Constant communication, buy lunches, bonuses when jobs are completed ahead of schedule

  • Safety program, paid time for rain days, visible interest in employees’ life outside of work, and genuine caring about them and their success

  • They are paid well, they are complimented often, and we maintain a team atmosphere that constantly communicates. We continually talk of being the best and work towards it.

  • Bonuses, Company BBQ, golf tournament, Company events/ Christmas parties, fuel cards, early days on certain long weekends

  • Good pay, benefits, treat them like family

  • Small tokens of appreciation consistently, let them know they are the difference makers

  • Pay them well, give them respect, and understand they have lives also outside of work

  • Treat them like family

  • Treat them like family. Try to make work fun. Make them feel as if they are a part of something

  • Good pay, benefits, treat them like family

What pieces of equipment or technology have you implemented in your operation that have positively impacted productivity?

  • Proprietary CRM and Estimating Software

  • Converting to a conveyor paver that better suits more of our commercial and larger residential jobs also purchasing a hamm hd 10 c roll for better compaction

  • Asphalt hot box, jobber crm

  • Milling equipment

  • We don’t necessarily look for new equipment. We focus on new innovative ideas or methods to make our job easier or more efficient. It’s the little details that really help such as tool holders, trucks setup properly, and training efficiently

  • Upgraded paver, never equipment

  • Upgraded equipment. More reliable equipment

  • Jobber/ CRM

  • Kevin Gray’s cell phone number

  • New leeboy paver

  • New skid steer technology

  • Conveyor paver

  • Sonetics head sets

  • Fleet tracking and re-invest into your business! Equipment, etc

What is the biggest missing piece or aspect of business you feel your company needs help with?

  • Culture

  • Operational strategies

  • Reaching commercial clients

  • Written process and procedures

  • Field communication and software. Currently using paper and relaying it can be difficult

  • CRM, job tracking

  • Software/ job and lead tracking

  • Help! Good help is hard to come by. It’s worth taking care of them when you find them.

  • Cross training. We are great until we have on key guy off from work

  • Field/ Crew management software

What process or program have you implemented recently and would recommend to others?

  • Have weekly, monthly, and yearly goal-oriented meetings

  • Jobber

  • Cross-training all employees

  • Our estimating program. We created a way of bidding that we believe does what others don’t. We need to figure out how to get it to market

  • Daily checklists for employees, clean garbage out of vehicles, fill everything with fuel so you're ready for the next day, service request forms for any trailer/ truck/ equipment

  • Vehicle maintenance tracking, profit sharing

  • Equipment maintenance tracking

  • Profit share

What is something new you are interested in trying to potentially improve in your company or work in the future?

  • 401k & scheduled time off for my crew guys

  • Strengthen the culture to be more on top of our game

  • Add new services

  • Hiring a project manager

  • Collaboration with other companies at the same level as we are, to learn anything and everything new that we haven’t been exposed to yet. Also to share how we do things to help others in the industry

  • Field management software

  • New software to track leads and jobs, split week shift to avoid working 6 or 7 days

  • Communication

  • Response time to inquiries. It’s difficult being a one man show

  • Chain of command

  • Communication

  • Edge straightness and sharpness on the job

  • Efficiency, Good CRM software we can use in the field if it exists!

How can we set higher standards for the industry as a whole?

  • Change more

  • More consistent practices throughout the residential and commercial markets

  • Educate the customer

  • Be professional from the first phone call to the final walk through… and treat people how you want to be treated

  • Unfortunately our industry is full of less than ethical companies that tarnished our image. All we can do is set the example by having good character, keeping our word, doing our best, and continually learning and teaching.

  • Education!

  • Doing things the right way every time

  • Keep doing what you are doing

  • Educating people/ contractors more about the industry

What was your most valuable lesson learned in the last year?

  • It’s ok to go out of your comfort zone

  • Realizing how important your numbers based upon your profit and loss statement really is

  • Never be afraid to take a chance

  • Charge what you are worth

  • ACTUAL job costing

  • Believing in myself and following the plan. I left my job to run my business

  • In power your people

  • Tracking actual job cost

Are there any other topics that we should include in future reports or address through our podcast, blog, or Youtube channel?

  • Going through a profit and loss statement and recognizing the pros and cons of the year and comparing them to other years in the past. Then finishing with setting a new goal base for the future based on what was determined from the pros and cons

  • Maybe a discussion or a review position in the company from the sales, admins, foreman, rakers, labor, drivers, etc. What are their responsibilities and how they are valuable to the team? Maybe a day in the life type of thing?

  • Nothing off the top of my head, excited to hear what’s coming

  • Software options

  • Any tips and tricks the great Kevin Gray has for us!

Is there any other feedback you would like to give on your 2021 season?

"Keep pushing for an infinite game mindset."

"It’s not a race. Sometimes we have to slow down to be more efficient."

QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS

For people just starting from scratch with basic tools and a plate compactor, what would you advise to produce quality up to standard work?

  • Do your work with integrity

  • Know techniques, seek out constructive criticism

  • Work for someone else first and learn the skills. You cannot start a business from scratch without knowledge, especially one that involves skilled labor

  • Learn the proper way to do something before you sell it

  • We were there once and the biggest thing is education. Keep re-investing when you can. Takes time to build up a reputation. Good work spreads fast, bad work spreads even faster

  • Don’t try to do jobs you are not equipped for. As your equipment grows, take on larger jobs

  • Attention to detail. Take on jobs you can do with those tools and take on larger jobs as you grow

  • A lot of torches to keep it hot. Should buy a cheap roller or look to rent one

  • Take your time, and educate yourself and your employees. Re-invest!

What software do you think is best for use as a CRM, writing proposals, scheduling, and invoicing? Is there a best all-in-one software?

  • I haven’t found anything that exists. We have been in the business since 1975 and I found that developing your own that suits your needs works best.

  • Quickbooks is what we use and is pretty easy to use and there’s a lot of content on YouTube to help understand more

  • Jobber

  • We use Microsoft Office, Google Calendar, and Sage Accounting. We have not found a CRM that we like, and we are currently using spreadsheets (not the best)

  • This is my pain! We currently use Quickbooks for estimating, invoicing, and payroll. They have no option for work orders, job costs, or field management

  • Pittbos. We are helping develop. Many features are available and many more to come. Will be the easiest to use software available

  • Pavement soft

  • We use pro cru. Thinking of switching to pavement soft

How long did it take for you to put a crew together that you could trust to do the work that you can stand behind, without standing over their shoulder?

  • I fired an entire crew 3 years ago and rebuilt it in 1 week. Rockstars and they have been here all along.

  • My company has been paving for roughly 25 years and hasn’t happened only because that was never made a goal

  • 12 years

  • 4 years

  • Took me nearly 2 years

  • 2 years, looking forward we will be building a second which scares me! Lol but also excited

  • 6 months

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