A lot of people want to know how much money they can make striping and sealcoating parking lots. This is a good question and a smart one to ask because it is important to know what your earning potential will be before you invest a lot of time and money setting up a business. While there is not way to give an exact figure, it is possible to show you a typical scenario based on our experience. Also, keep in mind that striping and sealcoating profits depend on what part of the country you are in and how many months out of the year you can work. Here is a typical scenario.
First, it is going to take some time to get your marketing plan into action. If you are in a good area with lots of parking lots and you are actively identifying jobs and sending out letters you can expect to get at least one call a week after a month or so of marketing and 2-3 calls a week after a few months. These will be calls asking for a quote on a parking lot job. Some will be for striping select areas, some will be for small to medium striping jobs, some will be for large striping jobs, some will be for pothole repair, some will be sealcoat/stripe jobs and so on. The more you go out the more calls you will get. After being in business a while you can expect the number of calls to increase just via word of mouth and repeat customers. Make sure to read our article on marketing your sealcoating / striping business.
Lets say you put out bids on two jobs a week and the average total for those two jobs is $1,800. (some weeks you may do a 10 space lot and some weeks you may do a 10,000 sq ft sealcoat/stripe job) Over a period of 52 weeks that would be $93,600 in jobs bid. You will normally get about 90% of the jobs you bid since for most jobs you are the only bidder. That is a total of $84,240 per year in revenue. Your margins on striping are about 90% and they are about 80% on sealcoating. To be conservative lets take 80% of the entire revenue number. That would be about $67,000 per year. Keep in mind that this is with you only doing a couple of jobs a week or one big job. Some large striping jobs run $6,000 and some sealcoating jobs run over $10,000 so it is easy to see how the average can climb very high.
Lets look at it another way. You will make about $50 per hour for your time striping or sealcoating. That is an average for the industry. This would be time on the lot actually working. If you are successful at marketing you can keep jobs lined up to where you can work 6 hours each day on a lot. If you only work Monday – Friday that is 30 hours per week times $50 which is $1500 per week times 52 equals $78,000. You can make more than this but it would involve having multiple crews out. Here is how that would work.
Lets say you have two crews of two men per crew out working 30 hours each on a lot. Each man would theoretically be pulling in $50 per hour profit for you. However, workers are often not as efficient as you would be so lets say they bring in $40 per hour. That is $80 per hour per crew or $160 per hour for the two crews. If you pay each person in the crew $15 per hour then your payroll for the week would be $2400. (note that this is $15 time a 40 hour week x 4 to account for 2 hours of set up each day) Your profit from the crews work would be $4800 less the $2400 your paid them for a total of $2400 per week. This times 52 is $124,800. Now keep in mind that this does not include you working. If you added your labor on the lot the total would be $78,000 plus $124,800 or $202,800.
This is an optimum scenario and probably leans towards the liberal side but it gives you an idea of how much you can make and how to make more than if you just worked yourself.
Steven Cole (Economics, MBA – University of West Florida, Business & Innovation – Stanford University) 30 years experience in the parking lot striping business. Expert in reflective visibility solutions.