If you are hoping to start up your own marine construction company, you'll be pleased to know that you are heading into an interesting and diverse industry, with opportunities aplenty for both commercial and residential projects.
There will be many different types of job available to you, from dredging channels and installing those all-important breakwaters to constructing marina facilities and building boathouses for owners of coastal properties.
If you end up growing to be a large, multi-faceted marine construction company, you may even get to build iconic landmarks like the Brighton Pier. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Make Your Business Official
First of all, you will obviously need to pick a name for your business, and establish it with the help of a Certified Public Account - one who is familiar with the marine construction industry would be ideal, but not necessary.
Make sure you get some industry-specific insurance (ask an insurance agent for advice) and get the business licence sorted at the local clerk's office. You should also enquire with the HMRC to check whether you need to pay sales taxes.
Location, Location, Location
Now you need to select where your operations are going to be based, as well as establish an office for the corporate side of things. For the construction operations, you will of course need easy access, with dockage available by the entrance channel. This ensures that you can get to that essential equipment with a minimum of fuss.
Make sure that your storage space is nearby, well secured and spacious - construction equipment, barges, pile drivers, dock components and the like are not exactly small pieces of equipment, and they are costly too! It would of course be best if the offices were also near the marina, but this is not strictly necessary.
Of course, before starting any marine construction project - no matter what size the job may be - you will need to get planning permission or construction permits. Failing to do so will result in hefty fines.
Employ Your Employees!
And no marine construction company would be successful without highly qualified professionals, so make sure you start interviewing ahead of schedule. You'll want people with proven track records of successful work; this way, you know they are both skilled and reliable.
You don't necessarily need to hire workers who have previously worked on the water - just having construction experience should be good enough - but you must make sure they will be comfortable with doing so.
Now comes the expensive part - buying all the construction equipment. Websites like www.shipserv.com can be an indispensable resource, so make sure you make good use of them!
It might be best to start off specialising in one or two projects, as this will limit your initial expenses. You will have to spend rather a lot of money though, whether you're purchasing a barge or a pile driver, so be prepared.
Very important - make sure you market! How will anyone know of your services if there's no-one around to tell them? Spread the word!