Gas Prices – The Profit Killer

“If You Are Rolling, You Are Losing – If You Are Pumping, You Are Winning!”

Annie Baeten

For years now during the HMI Discovery and Training seminar, I have sat in the back of the room and watched Paul DelFino draw circles on a white board and then bellow “if you are rolling you are losing – if you are pumping you are winning!” I have watched many wonder and silently question the emphasis he put on market area and ganging jobs. At last week’s seminar everyone was listening attentively and taking notes. At $5.00 a gallon the point is clear!

With the above in mind, I wanted to remind everyone of some related points and emphasize things concrete lifting contractors could, or should, be doing to improve profit during periods of wildly inflated fuel costs. In some cases these are reminders of the basics, but every mile you save is now big dollars in your pocket. The brief list includes:


PRICING– I am again reminded of Paul’s presentation – “if no one has challenged your price in the last 60 days you are not charging enough.” The environment we are in warrants competitive pricing surveys monthly. It is likely your direct competitors and alternative service providers have raised their prices over the past month. Check it continually and do not be last. Although everyone says “things are tough” the consumer has been conditioned and trained to expect price increases.

For those who are afraid of creating sticker shock with your prospects, consider applying a Temporary Fuel Surcharge to your estimates. This technique sensitizes the buyer and supports justification based on a market condition they can relate to personally.

MARKETING – Anything you can do to increase cross sales in a neighborhood now has a double benefit. If your marketing tool box does not include yard signs and door hangers, CALL ME!

Fay and I would be delighted to help by designing something for you quickly. Remember to equip your estimator with these tools. The sooner they are in a market the better.

ESTIMATING – In July 2020 HMI published a blog introducing a Virtual Estimating Process deployed by its contracting arm “RaiseRite Concrete Lifting.” Although the primary goal, at the time, was to speed estimating and sales closure, it may now have more benefit by reducing miles driven.

SCHEDULING – Whenever possible, gang jobs by geography and, most importantly, build flexibility into your scheduling. If you schedule too tightly you will not be able to take quick advantage of in neighborhood cross sales. Driving back to do the work for a neighbor will erode your profitability.

Take Away – a lot of things could go far to minimize the margin hit of increasing fuel costs. As Paul says;” if you do not do something – don’t expect anything!”

Upcoming Discovery & Training Seminars

  • June 20-21, 2024  Manitowoc, WI
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