Some businesses can be launched with a minimal amount of planning and preparation. A quarry isn't one of them. Quarries are highly specialized operations that are subject to reams of environmental regulations and operational expertise. Before you can begin to seriously consider a quarry startup, you'll need to gain industry experience.
From there, you'll need to conduct a feasibility study and appraisal to determine whether your proposed site is capable of delivering the output you need to sustain your business model. It doesn't matter whether your goal is to extract gravel, sand or stone -- the wrong site can quickly bankrupt your operation.
You have options when it comes to securing the site for your quarry. The most straightforward solution is to buy the site outright. This is also the most expensive option, especially if the seller knows the scope of the resources that the site contains. For purchases, many quarry owners solicit investors to share the upfront financial burden and eventually, the profits from the site.
A second option is to lease a quarry from the landowner. In a quarry lease arrangement, quarry operators can either pay a flat lease fee or enter into a revenue-sharing arrangement. If revenue-sharing sounds like an attractive avenue, be aware that your landlord's idea of revenue may be different than yours. While you are focused on profits, your landlord will expect to receive compensation from every pound of material that is removed from the site -- regardless of whether you are capable of transforming that material into a net gain.
It takes a lot of heavy equipment to operate a quarry effectively. Drills, loaders, excavators, trucks and other machinery will need to be in place before you pull the first pound of material out of the ground.
Leasing is more expensive in the long run, but in the short-term it is a less costly way for startup entrepreneurs to launch a new operation. At a minimum, new owners should look to buy reliable, used equipment until the quarry becomes profitable enough to justify equipment upgrades.
The idea of writing a business plan is intimidating to most aspiring quarry owners. A good quarry business plan, however, is a reality check that gauges your business instincts against hard industry numbers.
A business plan distribution strategy represents the backend of your business planning requirements. Generally, effective distribution models include the incorporation of tracking systems into the company's startup plan.
Prior to launching a quarry in your town, it's worthwhile to determine how strong the competition is. Use the link below to get a list of local competitors in your city. Just enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of quarries in your community.
How tough is the competition in the market you are considering? If the competition is too tough, you may need to think about starting the business in a different area or even start a completely different business instead.
If you are seriously contemplating launching a quarry, it's a smart move to learn from folks who are already in business. If you think owners of nearby quarries will give you advice, think again. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
But, a person who owns a quarry in a different city can be a great learning resource for you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Buying a business to get an established brand is a common strategy among growth-minded quarry entrepreneurs. As a startup, the best you can hope for is to gradually develop brand awareness over a period of months and years.