Low Cost Business Opportunities: Starting A Concrete Polishing Business

May 12, 2011 at 7:13 PM 8 comments

Whether for industrial or commercial use, one of the more popular flooring materials today is polished concrete. By starting a Concrete Polishing Business you can take advantage of this trend and start a small business of your own.

The popularity of polished concrete is largely due to the fact that it is low maintenance, extremely durable, decorative and economical. Decorative concrete flooring is also an attractive option for green buildings because the installation process does not require adhesives which can emit VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the air over time. Concrete is also a relatively green and sustainable material that provides good light reflectivity – theoretically reducing the amount of interior lighting required over traditional flooring.

What’s also nice about a concrete polishing business is that you will find both commercial and residential clients. While commercial contracts will be likely far larger and more profitable, residential jobs offer projects that can be done more quickly which can help you balance your overall company project load.

Getting Started In Your Concrete Polishing Business:

Whether you’re an existing contractor or just looking to get started in your own business, the first step to get started is to learn the process of installing, polishing, and decorating concrete surfaces. With a multitude of decorative additives and etching options, learning the creative aspects of concrete installation will be as important as the installation process itself.

Highly decorative polished concrete is installed fresh. While it’s certainly possible to grind and polish existing concrete floors, the creative elements are somewhat limited for existing flooring. Nonetheless, you’ll need to learn both methods (fresh install versus polishing existing). There are several hands-on courses available for concrete polishing – just check the internet for a course near you. If you’re just getting started, you may also want to check out one of the existing concrete polishing franchises available. Buying into an existing franchise can help you get started with business materials, defined customer territories, equipment, and training – all for a fee, of course.

You will also need to check out your local regulations for installing concrete. You will likely need some form of certification and licensing. You may also encounter certain labor union requirements when you need to hire help for customer jobs.

Commercial Clients:

  • Manufacturing facilities looking for a cleaner, lower maintenance flooring solution
  • Retail outlets (shopping malls, grocery stores, high-end boutique shops)
  • Automotive showrooms and repair facilities
  • Office complexes (lobbies, walkways, cafeteria facilities)
  • Hotel lobbies
  • Restaurant flooring and bar surfaces

Residential Clients:

  • Contemporary kitchen flooring and countertop space
  • Bathroom flooring and sink surfaces
  • High end garage flooring
  • Outdoor walkways, driveways and pool / patio surfaces

Concrete Polishing Equipment and Supplies:

A concrete polishing business will require several pieces of equipment and a host of supplies. While the exact inventory is dependent on your job, below is a list of some of the more common tools and supplies you’ll need in this business:

  • Upright concrete polisher (wet or dry)
  • Handeld concrete polisher (smaller applications such as concrete countertops)
  • Diamond abrasives in various grit levels
  • Concrete grinder
  • Dust collection equipment
  • Concrete stains and epoxies
  • Stamping mats
  • Standard concrete installation materials and tools

Needless to say, the initial cost of equipment and supplies can easily reach a few thousand dollars. To help ease your initial out-of-pocket expenses, you may want to look for used equipment. You could also try renting. Regardless of your options, the most important aspect of this business is that you know what you’re doing and can provide your customer with an exceptional end product.

Growing Your Concrete Polishing Business:

This is a business that can succeed standalone or can easily fit within a contractor’s list of existing services. Your immediate expansion opportunities will exist with new materials and decorative options. Concrete polishing is relatively new and the process is still evolving. Keep in touch with new equipment and design options so you can offer your customers a wealth of creative alternatives at different price levels.

If this market grows as the equipment providers claim it will, you may also want to consider franchising your business down the road. Franchising is a complex process that is outside the scope of this article. However, a concrete polishing business could be ripe for franchising if you would like to pursue the option. The first step, however, is to get your business up and profitably running. Through the process you’ll learn a lot about the market and your business options for growth and expansion.

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