Wondering how to start a quarry? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
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.
Securing a Quarry Site
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.
Best Practices for Quarry Business Plans
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.
After the plan has been completed, its effectiveness will largely depend on what you do next.
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.
Look Over the Competition
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.
Studying the Market
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.
How do you locate a quarry owner in a different locale who can assist you?
It's not that hard. Just use the handy link below and enter in a random city/state or zipcode.
Leveraging the Branding Benefits of a Quarry Acquisition
Startup quarries typically suffer when it comes to brand recognition because unlike entrenched competitors, new brands lack visibility and history with their customers.
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.
However, a quarry acquisition can put you at the helm of a brand that is already highly trusted by your target market.
Don't Forget About Franchising As an Option
The odds of being a successful business owner zoom upwards if you buy a franchise instead of doing it all on your own.
If your goal is to start a quarry, you would be wise to investigate whether franchise opportunities in your space might help you avoid common entrepreneurial mistakes.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you sell to quarries, this isn't the right place for you. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.