A Dozen More Reasons to Start: The Beginners Guide to Starting an Asphalt Maintenance Business

Discover key insights from 12 experienced asphalt maintenance professionals to successfully launch your own business!

Judson Burdon
Posted by Judson Burdon on May 13

Starting a business will always make you feel like butterflies, elephants, and frogs are in your stomach. To a handful of people, some have already paved their chosen path. Luckily for us aspiring to build our asphalt maintenance business, we are part of that handful.

We have gathered 12 veterans to pass on the hard-earned wisdom that only comes from years in the trenches. Whether you're rolling out your first driveway or setting your sights on large commercial projects, this collection of no-nonsense advice from those who've been where you're heading is INVALUABLE.

Strategic Investment

David Duff: "Buy versatile equipment, when making purchases think of what else you could use the equipment for, the same time and effort that goes into a $3,500 driveway could be put into a $17,500 wall just 2 days more labor with the right equipment."

Investing in versatile equipment can expand your service offerings and increase your profitability. Think creatively about how tools can be used across different jobs to maximize your investment.

Do you feel like you're up to starting your asphalt maintenance business after just the first tip? The Pothole Hunting Package is a good place to start your asphalt maintenance journey.


Pothole Hunting Package

Value Your Crew and Your Work

Mern Shepherd: "Don't undercut yourself..do good work and don't work for cheap people. Your crew is important..pay them well don't be cheap..but also if someone don't fit or drags ass get rid of them.."

Pricing your services fairly reflects the quality of your work and the value of your crew. Ensure you compensate your team fairly to maintain morale and reduce turnover.

Embrace Versatility

Mikah Ryan: "Don't be afraid to play with your equipment learn ways not to kill yourself let equipment work for you."

Starting out, it's essential to become versatile with your equipment and always prioritize safety. Understanding your tools and how to operate them safely can drastically reduce on-the-job risks and improve efficiency.

Growth and Honesty

Matt Fowler: "Advice I would give myself or anyone else starting is don't be afraid to make that jump. You have to make sacrifices to succeed and don't let anyone deter you from doing what you want. The thing I noticed is and may not be every one's case but unfortunately, a handful of people don't want to see you succeed. Start small and build up from there and buy equipment you can afford. If you work hard do good work and be honest sky is the limit."

Starting small and remaining honest with your customers and yourself is crucial. Business success often requires sacrifices, but integrity and hard work lay a solid foundation for sustainable growth.

Fair Pricing Strategy

Mike Galen: "Don't lowball just to stay busy. Charge a fair price, and remember that you are running a business, not a charity."

Underpricing can devalue your services and hinder the financial health of your business. Set fair prices that reflect the quality of your work and the costs of running your business.

Learn how to price your asphalt maintenance jobs in this pricing guide.

Loyalty and Quality

Brian Thompson: "Stay loyal and be honest, don't degrade your competition to your customers, use the best material on the market charge accordingly. Starting my 30th season I have a lot of customers that say go do it and send me a bill."

Loyalty and honesty build lasting relationships with customers. Using high-quality materials and respecting your competition helps establish your reputation as a reliable and ethical business owner.

Regarding loyalty and quality, the AK Royalty Rewards program helps you save when you buy equipment and supplies to start up your business.

ak-royalty-rewards-badge-2AK Royalty Rewards



Simplify and Focus

Pastor Skip: "Always look for the simplest and most effective way of doing everything. Advertising, cold calling, investing in equipment and your best people, of course, pray"

Simplicity in your business operations can lead to effectiveness. Focus on what brings the most value and continuously look for ways to streamline your processes.

Building a Strong Foundation

Frank Alcala: "Have a better plan set for the beginning, middle and end. and always remember the crew comes before equipment without the crew. the equipment is damn near worthless."

A thorough plan that spans the lifecycle of each project is crucial. Equally important is prioritizing your team over tools. Your crew’s skills and dedication are what truly bring value to your equipment and operations.

Learning from Loss

Stephanie Goings Trenary: "Just remember, you can't get every job so don't beat yourself up and get discouraged when you lose one. Use it as a learning experience and grow from it!"

In business, not every bid will result in a job. Instead of dwelling on the losses, use them as opportunities to refine your approach and improve your business strategies.

Steady Growth and Ethical Leadership

Eric Brown: "Start small and work your way up. Learn to crawl before you walk."

Gradual growth allows you to manage risks more effectively and ensures you’re fully prepared for each stage of business expansion. Ethical leadership, exemplified by treating people well, fosters a positive work environment and builds loyalty.

But if you want to get bigger, faster, each one of our dedicated coaches will help you reach levels you once thought unreachable. Learn more about how the AK Coaching and Mentoring Program helps you reach your goals.

Unfolding Success: Asphalt Kingdom Pavement Roundup

Experience and Community

Ken Banks: "I'm 64 now I have been in paving for over 40 years I've seen it all. Surround yourself with the best people. Lead by example Treat people as if they were yourself. Pray every morning and night, because you will never make it through without the Lord by your side."

Drawing on decades of experience, Ken emphasizes the importance of a supportive community and strong moral leadership. Such an environment not only supports business success but also personal fulfillment.

Want to know what folks in the asphalt maintenance industry are talking about? Join the weekly Roundtable meetings.

The Power of Perspective

Wendell R. Conner: "I'm pretty much getting out, retirement..... but once upon a time I told my guys 'imagine this is our last job, and the next one depends on it'"

This powerful mindset can transform the quality of workmanship. Treating each job as if the future of the business depends on it can lead to unparalleled quality and customer service.


Parting Words

Starting your own asphalt maintenance business is like beginning a big adventure. It's not just about working with asphalt; it's about building something great that you can be proud of. The tips from these twelve experts are like a treasure map that shows you how to handle tough spots and find success. Remember their advice, mix in your own ideas, and start paving your way to success. Every job, big or small, helps build your business into something awesome. So, start with excitement, keep growing smarter, and always do your best.


Topics: Asphalt Maintenance Business

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