Backhoes are common on construction sites where heavy equipment is needed to dig. While some construction companies have their own backhoes, others subcontract the digging work to a backhoe company that brings in the equipment and people to perform the work. A person with knowledge of operating backhoes has the opportunity to work for himself and run his own business.
Write a business plan. Starting a backhoe business is expensive because you must buy a backhoe. Develop a detailed business plan that covers your initial costs, analyzes your strengths and weaknesses and details how you will make your business profitable.
Obtain funding. Visit your local bank or credit union with a copy of your business plan to apply for a loan. Leave the business plan with the loan officer to review since many banks and credit unions need to know your business will be profitable before they approve the loan. Check with the U.S. Small Business Administration to determine if you qualify for low-interest or guaranteed loans through lenders it works with. If you can’t qualify for a loan, consider finding an investor who will pay to start the business in return for a share of the profits.
Purchase a backhoe. Contact dealers and manufacturers of heavy equipment backhoes to learn what they have available and for what price. If you're short of start-up cash, consider a used backhoe until you have enough money to finance a new one. Make sure that the backhoe you purchase is durable and can work for many hours performing the work you need without having a mechanical breakdown.
Start networking. Get to know the owners and foremen of construction companies in your city and area. Inform them about your backhoe services. Bid on any jobs they are subcontracting, and let them know you can fill in at the last minute if another company cancels or can’t complete the work on time. Follow through on this last commitment since completion of last-minute jobs often lead to future work.
Buy insurance. Obtain general liability insurance to protect your backhoe business in case someone is injured as a result of your negligence while operating the backhoe. Also purchase property insurance to cover any damage that may occur to your backhoe as a result of fire, hail or a tornado.
Hire a staff. As your business grows, hire additional people to assist you. Find someone qualified to run and operate a backhoe safely if you purchase another backhoe or move to working on the networking and business side of your company. Consider hiring a receptionist or administrative assistant to answer the phone, submit bids for subcontract work, manage the books and complete any other tasks you need done.