Not Happy?

Reinventing Your Business or Profession  

Ernie Cvetezar

If you’re reading this after perusing the HMI Web Site, chances are you are not currently happy!

Odds are you:

  • are a contractor with a business that has; stalled, feeling the pressure of the economic environment, experiencing shrinking margins with new competition, or you are just tired and in need of a new service.


  • are an aspiring entrepreneur who is working for someone else or just released from the military and looking to be your own boss in a business with great margins that you can work yourself or grow?


  • An existing mudjacker who needs new equipment and looking for ways to increase; speed, productivity, efficiency and profit.

Your effort to explore options is a great first step. I started HMI over 40 years ago and I can share with all confidence that in business – things change. Over more than 4 decades my sons and I have had to reinvent our contracting enterprise and our manufacturing operation multiple times. I understand!


Forty-one years ago there were only a few contractors who offered mudjacking (concrete raising) as an alternative to replacing settled concrete slabs.  When I began, our business plan was very simple.  We planned to specialize in just mudjacking. At that time this was considered risky, since the service was a sideline to many concrete contractors. We also decided to mine a larger geographic area since the part timers tended to focus on a very local geography. We focused and became the best at what we did with a regional orientation and not just a city focus. The strategy paid off. We grew and built a quality brand.

For the replacement contractor, mudjacking, at ½ the price of replacing concrete became a new buying trend for their customer. Those who recognized the trend in time, were able to re-invent themselves and get into the concrete raising and leveling business which unfortunately for us increased competition.  Don’t worry – this part of the story has a happy ending.

More competition meant decreasing margins. Watching the bottom line shrink meant that we would have to re-invent the way we approached every aspect of our process.  This, by the way, lead to many innovations in our manufacturing entities (HMI) product line.  By using self-propelled mud pumps and hydraulic mixers we went from a 3 man crew to a 2 man crew.  Later we would change to a Quick Mix Pro (totally automated unit) and double our productivity while trimming our labor expense. We also reengineered our entire bidding process by establishing a formula and recruited a score of retired individuals who were local and could be very responsive to customer inquiries. We became fast, more efficient and we again grew. In essence, we re-invented our entire contracting company.


Finally, for those of you who find yourself in a profession or business that has limited potential or just does not meet your lifestyle aspirations, starting something totally new is scary but with proper planning may be your salvation to meeting your personal objectives.

After decades in business, we had to re-invent our business once again.  Not only our business, but the whole concrete raising community by introducing polyurethane concrete lifting to the residential market both locally and nationwide.  Poly concrete raising eliminates the need to store material in bulk, the need to have a loader to load material, and the need for a shop/yard to park equipment in.  A typical poly trailer can be parked in your driveway.  The material can be stored in your garage in barrels.  The process of lifting concrete can be done with one person. Now entering the raising and leveling concrete business is not capital intensive and within easy reach of anyone, contracting experience or not. Less than 10 years ago we introduced polyurethane concrete lifting to the residential market and it now represents more than 50% of the business of our contracting arm with the best margins.


Remember, Apple re-invented itself with the introduction of iTunes and portable devices. Gillette re-invented itself with the introduction of the disposable razor. You too can re-invent your business or your career.

HMI would be proud to help!

Upcoming Discovery & Training Seminars

  • June 20-21, 2024  Manitowoc, WI
  • July 25-26, 2024  Manitowoc, WI

In 2 days, we teach you everything you need to know to start your own concrete raising company!

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