One can’t help but be tempted to think that digging holes in the ground is straightforward and simple. However, nothing can be further from the truth as each year workers suffer fatal consequences due to unsafe excavation practices. Many contractors turn to “digging blind” to cut down on costs but this is very dangerous for everyone involved in the process.
Today, there is a plethora of tools to survey the underground and prevent people from hitting a line that isn’t supposed to be there. Pipeline finder tools are one of them. Underground pipe scanners are used by builders, contractors, landscape designers, councils, and others. Even homeowners interested in building a small pool or a garage that’s separate from their house need to do their due diligence and check what is in the parcel where they intend to dig.
Buy Professional Testing Equipment
A reliable and high-quality underground pipe finder is one of the most fundamental pieces of equipment when doing pre-excavation surveys. These units are not cheap, which means they can be quite an investment for homeowners. This is one of the reasons why they hire excavation services and hire professionals to the job for them – they don’t have the knowledge and are not equipped with the right set of tools.
Besides an underground pipe finder, there are other tools on the market that can help you find more buried utilities. This way, you will be able to pinpoint the location of utilities (in terms of power, radio, and genny signals). You can do this across a large excavation area with a single scan. Radiodetection locators have several modes that allow you to do this. Multi-frequency locators with a transmitter have avoidance mode which can simultaneously scan for power, radio, and genny signals. If you want to separate the signals, you can do that as well. The power mode will detect electromagnetic fields coming from live cables. And the radio mode will catch long-range radio signals carried along buried pipes.
To make the most out of your equipment, buy a pipeline detector that you can calibrate. The models featuring eCert technology allow you to assess their software and hardware from afar. Having previous experience in operating such pieces of gear can be of great advantage. However, if you don’t have much experience in the field, there are still ways to succeed in the business.
Partner with a Company
The easiest way to enter the business is to partner with someone who is already in the business. You can check if there are any companies that offer franchise licenses and research how you can associate with them. This way, you can have your own business but will be protected from liability. Plus, marketing will be easier, and you might get a bigger workload just by bearing the franchise insignia.
Study the Competition
Some people love taking on challenges. You can be an independent entrepreneur, but before you decide you want to do that, conduct market analysis. You might want to look at your competition and what they’re doing. Where and how exactly do they operate? What do they offer? After doing your research, you should have an idea of your future position on the market. Circumstances that would work in your favour include operating in different areas than your competitors, the capability to offer better services at more affordable prices, as well as operating in an area where there aren’t as many businesses like yours.
Develop a Good Business Plan
Any business can benefit from a solid business plan that outlines its goals. This is important because when business opportunities emerge in the future, you should know the appropriate course of action. The plan should guide you when and where to invest your effort and attention. Keep in mind that the workload might be affected by certain conditions that are outside of your control, like financial cycles in the economy or land development directives in the area you serve.
Promote Your Business
Keep in mind that this is a thin niche market. The central characteristic of such markets is that everyone knows the competition. So, your user experience and word of mouth marketing are crucial in the marketing game. The feedback provided by your clients will either help your business thrive or die out. No amount of advertising will help you if no one has benefited from hiring your services.
Establishing an underground utility contractor business is not an easy job. It is a very responsible task, but one that will ultimately bring you many rewards if you are fit for the tasks at hand. Take a firm step in the world and calculate your risks. If you eventually realize that this is not the occupation of your dreams, you can always sell your equipment to someone else.