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The Business of Domes

The Business of Domes: How a dome repair company is creating multiple sources of revenue

Believe it or not, there is a code to construction companies, and here at Da Code of Business–we want to make sure that we hit a few angles.

This particular article is going to be talking about domes. What type of domes? Big ones. The type you see at industrial fertilizer plants or cement factories. And here’s why–it shows a fundamental part of running a successful construction company, and that fundamental part is multiple streams of revenue.

See, a few years ago when the owners of DRS got together and conceived their company, they realized there was a big need in the dome industry. Right now, there’s a ridiculously small number of dome building companies worldwide. (It’s something like seven.) And here’s the thing, none of them do dome fabric repair. Typically, the structure of the dome stays good and strong for a nice long while. The domes are low maintenance. They’re pretty much natural disaster proof, even missile proof.

What they’re not is UV proof.

Domes with failed airforms

Their skin lasts around 20 years, and after around 20 years or so, the dome’s skin begins to deteriorate because of the UV damage. What then happens is water and bugs and chemicals (if its storing say fertilizer) leaks and burrows into the foam, which then becomes saturated, which then leaks into the concrete, which then leads to cracking.

Domes fail because of UV damage.

See, another name for the dome’s skin is the airform. This is put up first, pressurized with air so tightly, you can stand on it. Then the dome is sprayed with closed-cell insulation foam, and then finally shot with concrete (also known as shotcrete). And this airform failing (usually because of UV damage) is the number one cause of domes failing.

Pretty interesting stuff.

Okay, maybe not. But here’s where it gets interesting. Companies like Domtec and Monolithic don’t repair the domes.

What? Seriously?

It’s pretty common in the construction niche to just focus on one thing and do it really well. And for a small, one-man crew, that generally isn’t a bad idea. But, if you’re wanting to expand, then multiple streams of income become pretty important.

These other companies are in the perfect place to have multiple sources of revenue. And here’s why:

You’ve heard of the classic term “Build your list!” In some circles, this is spoken and repeated like a mantra.

These big dome companies have thousands of customers on their lists. But then what happens? Instead of picking the low-hanging fruit, they turn up their noses and say, “We only build domes. If you want them repaired, find someone else.”

There are domes in need of repair just about every day, and every new dome that’s built is going need repair in a few years. What could be an excellent program is to make repairs on the dome’s airform after about ten years after construction. The maintenance director (if that’s what you want to call the position) could call and schedule a year in advance to ensure that funding is available.

Even when the dome is constructed, the dome company could work in a maintenance program at the start. The customer won’t get blindsided; the contractor has more work; the dome keeps its integrity; everyone is happy.

This is where DRS realized it had the potential to make millions of dollars. So what did it do? DRS became the company the customers needed. Dome airform repair? No problem. Dome foam repair? No problem.

Here’s also something smart that they did. DRS got in touch with some of the dome building companies and developed a relationship with them. One or two of them sent over their lists to DRS–and they were happy to do so. Business is made by referrals, right? (Yes, actually!) And some of these building companies were given commission for setting up easy jobs for DRS. Easy because the customer would call the builder saying, “help, my dome is leaking!” (You’d think everyone would want customers coming to them!) And to basically just get things rolling, DRS gave a 5% commission.

Now, what about multiple streams of revenue? What did DRS do to make sure that they also had multiple streams of revenue?

They weren’t picky on their clients.

The dome niche isn’t Walmart huge, so it if someone were to further specialize and do say dome home repair and upturn their noses at a chemical plant in need of fixing their fertilizer dome, they’d have a lot more downtime. Make sense? Good.

But beyond that, every industrial roof will need repair at some point. Every one. So DRS wisely said, we’ll basically have our dome department, our concrete roof department, our metal roof department, and so on. What this has done has secured a powerful income to the business and, most importantly, to the people employed by the business.

Remember, to every business, there is a code.

And multiple sources of income is a part of that code.

–Da Code of Business