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A Tale of Grit and Gravel: Succeeding in the Excavation Business

A Tale of Grit and Gravel: Succeeding in the Excavation Business

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A Tale of Grit and Gravel: Succeeding in the Excavation Business

In this video, we look at the story of Avanni, an excavating entrepreneur who founded Petras Homes, an excavation business located in Portland. Avanni Petras provides us with several insights and lessons from his entrepreneurial journey, proving an invaluable resource for those interested in establishing a similar enterprise.

Related: How to start an excavating business

Firstly, Avanni emphasizes the importance of acquiring the necessary qualifications to enter the excavation business. Key among these is the OSHA certification, which he assures “makes your clients feel more comfortable with you on site”. He also recommends “watching a lot of YouTube and operators” to learn practical aspects of the job, underscoring that real-world knowledge often surpasses book learning.

One of my favorite quotes is, “If you’re not doing something that you love, then you’re never gonna get anywhere, you’re never gonna be happy in life. So you either gotta do something you love or learn to love what you do”, is a powerful reminder for budding entrepreneurs to start a business they are passionate about. It is passion that drives persistence and resilience during the hard times of entrepreneurship.

Navigating slow seasons is a concern for many businesses. Avanni’s approach involves “network marketing”, “posting”, and “calling to see if I can get more jobs”. He also recommends using social platforms like Instagram and Craigslist for marketing, emphasizing how they played a role in fueling his company’s growth during slow seasons.

One of the obstacles Avanni faced was his introverted nature, making it difficult for him to interact with clients. However, he overcame this by pushing himself out of his comfort zone. His struggle and resolution underline the fact that a willingness to face and overcome personal limitations can often be a key element of success in the business world.

Another vital aspect Avanni talks about is the importance of having a clear and memorable brand identity. His company’s logo represents key elements of his location – mountains, a bridge, and a wave – and serves as a quick and easy way to market the company. He suggests that “people want to know either your name and what you do”, and having a clear and memorable brand identity helps with that.

Challenges are a part of any business. Avanni shares that he used to stress a lot until he started “writing everything down”, effectively offloading the burdens of his mind onto paper. Moreover, he emphasizes that a healthy work-life balance is vital for both mental and physical health. He advises taking regular breaks to prevent burnout.

Finally, looking towards the future, Avanni plans to build a strong team, focusing his own efforts on securing more jobs and marketing. His ultimate goal is to take on bigger projects and increase his volume of work. He encourages other entrepreneurs to stay disciplined and consistent, reinforcing that these are the cornerstones of long-term success.

Some of the other quotes that I thought would be helpful for someone wanting to start their excavating business include:

  1. Training and Education: “I would recommend getting your OSHA certification. At least OSHA 10, but I know there’s an OSHA 30 and I know you can get different certificates for excavation as well.” This underlines the importance of obtaining the right training and certifications, which not only enhances your skill set but also increases credibility in the eyes of your clients.
  2. Dealing with Slow Seasons: “Typically in the slower seasons, I try to network market. I try to get my name in people’s mouths…whether it’s just taking pictures or cleaning my equipment.” The ability to adapt to slow seasons by engaging in different activities to promote your business is critical for longevity and success.
  3. Overcoming Personal Challenges: “But once I gained that trust from friends and from family, once they were able to tell people about me, that’s kinda what skyrocketed us. So definitely the hardest thing was talking to people. But once I put that aside, once I put my fear aside, and once I started talking to people, that’s really what helped us out the most.” This quote highlights the importance of networking and trust-building in a business, as well as the courage to overcome personal fears.
  4. Role of Branding: “It’s very vital to your company because people want to know either your name and what you do. And the easiest way to remember that is if they remember a symbol or a words that kind of put two and two together.” The role of a unique and memorable brand identity in promoting a business cannot be overstated.
  5. Value of Consistency: “Be consistent. Try to be to your word and stay to your word no matter what. And also be disciplined.” Consistency and discipline are key to maintaining credibility and providing reliable service to your customers.
  6. Importance of Work-Life Balance: “So that’s the success tip, is basically working a lot is not a good thing. Find a work-life balance? – Yeah, don’t burn out, definitely.” The importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance to avoid burnout and maintain a positive attitude and energy levels is a valuable insight.
  7. Planning for Growth: “Well, my goal for the next couple of years is to grow a strong team on the field for me to be able to have the freedom, to go and get more jobs, go bid more jobs and just focus on marketing majorly.” A forward-looking vision and a strategy for growth is essential to any business owner’s success.

These insights underline the importance of proper training, networking, overcoming personal challenges, effective branding, consistency, work-life balance, and future planning in starting and managing a successful business.

In conclusion, Avanni’s story stands as a testament to the fact that with dedication, passion, and the right strategies, one can successfully navigate the challenging world of entrepreneurship. He turns his challenges into lessons and those lessons into stepping stones for growth. As you plan to start your business, take a page from Avanni’s book and remember to be consistent, stay disciplined, and always, always learn from your experiences. Take the plunge, and like Avanni, you too could carve your path in the excavation business.

Learn more about Petras Homes at the company website.

A Tale of Grit and Gravel: Succeeding in the Excavation Business

A Tale of Grit and Gravel: Succeeding in the Excavation Business

Greg Bouhl

Greg Bouhl

Welcome! My name is Greg Bouhl, and I am a serial entrepreneur, educator, business advisor, and investor.

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