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Why Start-up Resin Flooring Contractors Do It Tough

By Jack Josephsen

Like most contractors I know, you probably started your own epoxy flooring business because you had some interest in resin flooring, could see a demand for work and, most of all perhaps, wanted to be your own boss. 

I also know that once the excitement and novelty of these things wears off, the frustrations of being a contractor with limited experience in our industry can start to wear you down.

New resin flooring contractor frustrations

The typical frustrations I hear all the time include:

  • “I have too many problems” – you’re bending over backwards to meet the unrealistic expectations of project managers and clients, but there’s always SOMETHING wrong!
  • “There’s no help out there” – there are a million products that all sound the same and suppliers are happy to take orders, but there’s no support or accountability when things go wrong.
  • “My cash flow is terrible” – failures and call-backs mean you’re always playing catch-up and struggling to find cash when you need it.
  • “I’ve got no time for myself” – you’ve forgotten what days off were like and your mind keeps racing even when you’re not a work!

While these frustrations are tough to deal with, the longer they go on the more they start turning into fear; a fear that it’s all too hard and the work will soon dry up; a fear that your business will fail and, maybe, you’ll be seen as a failure too. Believe it or not, you’re not the only one to go down this path.

    The mistake we've all been making

    Our industry has been a graveyard for countless contractors over the years, and it’s all because we keep making the same mistake over and over again. We believe the answers lie in quick fixes with THIS product or THAT preparation. It simply doesn’t work that way.

    Consistently great results with resin flooring are only possible when you follow the Five Rs:

    1. The Right Specification
    2. The Right Flooring System
    3. The Right Preparation
    4. The Right Applicator
    5. The Right Process Management

    A infographic summarising the Five Rs of successful resin flooring.

    You can read a previous post I’ve written previously on the Five Rs of Resin Flooring here.

    Despite this fact, we continue to put all of our eggs into the product or preparation baskets. To make matters worse, we’re happy cobbling together our own combination of products without proper testing or recording of anything along the way. If a resin floor was a car, it’d be like cramming a heap of parts together from different manufacturers ourselves and hoping it doesn’t fall apart as the customer drives out the door. To get a quality product time after time, the car industry simply can’t work that way…and neither can we!

    I spoke to an experienced contractor recently about a non-slip epoxy floor being done with a sealer from one company, rollcoats from another, and the non-slip aggregate from another still. Unfortunately for him the outcome wasn’t good, but at that point he was stuck. There was no way any of those suppliers could support him when the floor was a mish-mash of different products with no records of specification, preparation or application.

    We must move on from the old world of resin flooring

    So, what’s the answer? How can we move on from the old world of gaps, flooring failures and frustration, and start offering finished floors that give both you and the customer peace of mind? A complete process like the Five Rs takes years of experience to develop on your own and even longer to master. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way you could fast track it all and quickly start getting better results?

    I strongly believe there IS a way and new world of resin flooring is within reach. However, before I go into more detail on that I wanted to hold up for a second and see what others thought about the topics I’ve raised here. What epoxy flooring installer problems have you felt the most? Do you think our industry focuses too narrowly on products and preparation? Is there more to successful resin flooring than those two things? Do you agree with my “Five Rs” model?  

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