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  • #16
    Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

    Phone did not ring today until NOON!
    While replacing a moen cart. I stumbled upon a wicked gas leak!
    Big family living there.They were from Liberia or someplace and thought the gas smell was a dead animal!
    Here you go stxrus

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

      I ended up doing one yesterday evening and 4 today.

      slow compared to last week, but good enough.

      Lenny

      Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

      I know, it doesn't make sense.


      http://www.hebertdraincare.com

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

        Delcase, does your son know how lucky he is? One on one with a master plumber is the best education a young plumber can ask for.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

          This has to be one of the toughest businesses to run. your to busy to slow, cant get there fast enough, not enough hours in the day, to many days left in the month with not enough check to cover it. its a roller coaster. monday i didnt have a single call and the spring salmon run is full steam and i couldnt even take my boat out because i was hoping someone was gonna call.
          Mike
          Clark County Plumbing And Drain
          www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

            Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
            I have posted about this before.

            On one hand, I like being a one-man shop...I have less to worry about, only my own salary to cover and if thing are slow, I'm ok. No worrying about my employee's workmanship or ethics, no 'babysitting' jobs, etc. If I had an employee I'd also have to worry about keeping him busy and giving him his 40 hours and paying his salary, paying for his truck, etc. etc. It seems like a lot more headaches.

            On the other hand, it sucks to be a one-man shop...no backup or help! I am on call every day, and every night 365 days/year. If I take time off, I have to close down the whole business and that doesn't sit well with customers who have emergencies. So I'd mainly like to hire someone I can trust who can cover me when I'm slammed or when I need some time off. Problem is I have to keep him busy fulltime. And I can't afford to do that just yet.

            My plan is to wait until I am consistently overbooked and turning calls away, and then I'll try to find the right plumber to hire. Then I'll have him ride with me for awhile and train him in my methods, and eventually take my truck over. Then I can run the business while he runs the calls. I'll take the night calls and weekends while he rests. During that time I'll buy a second truck and set it up. Then I'll take the second truck, and we'll both be running calls simultaneously and backing eachother up.

            It seems like a fairly stressful and expensive growing pain, and I am kind of scared of the whole process. But if I can find the right guy, it will be worth it in the long run.

            Why wait until you are too busy? The amount of training that goes in is astonishing. Figure on spending more time on calls when training. If I were you, I would start interviewing for a part time applicant...RIGHT NOW! Who says you have to work them 40 a week? Start with 20 and go from there. Also, dont make any promises. Explain how things work, sometimes slow, sometimes busy as heck.

            Also, be prepared to train, mentor, explain, nurture, send off on their own...and then they quit, and start their own business.

            I dont even think about hiring another guy. Of course because my work load wont handle it now. I network with other one man shops. I hired a guy yesterday to help me. He knew what he was doing, needed no instruction, wrote him a check when done...see you next job!

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

              Originally posted by DELCASE View Post
              I worked alone for 17 years ,never had a helper, and didnt mind it.
              When my son wanted to come to work with me ,we started from his very first day 2 men on every job,this way we can talk about what is going on at each job and he learns how i do it.and what needs to be done
              We get more service calls in because we do it faster, we average 120 calls a month ,take off sat & sun ,,start again monday , it works for us
              120, nice, i'm halfway there

              Lenny

              Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

              I know, it doesn't make sense.


              http://www.hebertdraincare.com

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

                Originally posted by rookie plumber View Post
                Delcase, does your son know how lucky he is? One on one with a master plumber is the best education a young plumber can ask for.

                Yea he does ,and he is at my house every morning with a 1 minute to spare, his family, lives 4o mi away so he gets out early every day.
                Only for a son, he drives a co truck too . I wish i had it that good

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

                  Originally posted by jay mpls View Post
                  phone did not ring today until noon!
                  While replacing a moen cart. I stumbled upon a wicked gas leak!
                  Big family living there.they were from liberia or someplace and thought the gas smell was a dead animal!
                  Here you go stxrus
                  been their we did a animal removal this week too ...
                  Ching service call

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

                    Originally posted by Jay Mpls View Post
                    Here you go stxrus
                    now that's some stuff going on in that cavity

                    what does the flip side look like?

                    steve
                    In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

                      Originally posted by stxrus View Post
                      now that's some stuff going on in that cavity

                      what does the flip side look like?

                      steve
                      Yea. What is that Bigsby bolted on anyway?

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

                        I have to do it...buy a second truck and hire a plumber. I can't see how I can possibly stay a one-truck operation any longer, without severely limiting the business.
                        I'm turning enough calls away almost daily to keep a second guy busy. And this is supposed to be the slow season in this area! I am working 6-7 days/week, working on average 10 hour/day and I still can't keep up with the calls! I keep telling myself things will slow down, but they haven't. The past 6 months have been extreme. My wife is starting to worry about me, as the hours and stress is getting to be just too much. And to top it off, I am losing a lot of potential revenue without that second truck.
                        I've run the numbers and it seems I can swing it. I figure if I had a second plumber to do calls, I could split up the work and have us both working 40 hours/week.
                        Worst case scenario, I'll give my employee his 40 hours, and I'll work part-time in the field, part-time managing the business end.
                        Best-case scenario, I'll keep us both busy fulltime and increase profitability.
                        I am tired of turning customers away and inadvertently driving them to the competition. Plus, I need a break. I can't work 60 hours/week in the field, plus keep up with the office work forever....I'll have a heart attack soon at this rate. I knew this day would come, I just didn't know it would be so soon.
                        Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

                          Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                          I have to do it...buy a second truck and hire a plumber. I can't see how I can possibly stay a one-truck operation any longer, without severely limiting the business.
                          I'm turning enough calls away almost daily to keep a second guy busy. And this is supposed to be the slow season in this area! I am working 6-7 days/week, working on average 10 hour/day and I still can't keep up with the calls! I keep telling myself things will slow down, but they haven't. The past 6 months have been extreme. My wife is starting to worry about me, as the hours and stress is getting to be just too much. And to top it off, I am losing a lot of potential revenue without that second truck.
                          I've run the numbers and it seems I can swing it. I figure if I had a second plumber to do calls, I could split up the work and have us both working 40 hours/week.
                          Worst case scenario, I'll give my employee his 40 hours, and I'll work part-time in the field, part-time managing the business end.
                          Best-case scenario, I'll keep us both busy fulltime and increase profitability.
                          I am tired of turning customers away and inadvertently driving them to the competition. Plus, I need a break. I can't work 60 hours/week in the field, plus keep up with the office work forever....I'll have a heart attack soon at this rate. I knew this day would come, I just didn't know it would be so soon.
                          Congratulations on being so consistently busy.

                          Please keep us updated on this major transition on this thread or start a new one.

                          Lenny

                          Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

                          I know, it doesn't make sense.


                          http://www.hebertdraincare.com

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

                            SERVICE GUY just jump in its the good time of year to start..
                            I never did the saturday stuff ,but 50 hr was normal..We work 40 to 42 hr a week now . Its nice and i make more money

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

                              Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                              I have to do it...buy a second truck and hire a plumber. I can't see how I can possibly stay a one-truck operation any longer, without severely limiting the business.
                              I'm turning enough calls away almost daily to keep a second guy busy. And this is supposed to be the slow season in this area! I am working 6-7 days/week, working on average 10 hour/day and I still can't keep up with the calls! I keep telling myself things will slow down, but they haven't. The past 6 months have been extreme. My wife is starting to worry about me, as the hours and stress is getting to be just too much. And to top it off, I am losing a lot of potential revenue without that second truck.
                              I've run the numbers and it seems I can swing it. I figure if I had a second plumber to do calls, I could split up the work and have us both working 40 hours/week.
                              Worst case scenario, I'll give my employee his 40 hours, and I'll work part-time in the field, part-time managing the business end.
                              Best-case scenario, I'll keep us both busy fulltime and increase profitability.
                              I am tired of turning customers away and inadvertently driving them to the competition. Plus, I need a break. I can't work 60 hours/week in the field, plus keep up with the office work forever....I'll have a heart attack soon at this rate. I knew this day would come, I just didn't know it would be so soon.

                              Years Experience: since 1997
                              Location: North Carolina
                              Join Date: Feb 2008
                              Posts: 2,442
                              Nominated 24 Times in 7 Posts
                              Thread of the Week Award(s): 4


                              Re: Tough times...economy is starting to affect the service plumbing here.
                              Well, part of the reason I am getting so many bargain-hunter calls is my own fault. I did a direct mailing of 5000 postcard coupons for $20/off. It has been a double-edged sword. On the one hand it helped a lot and I have landed several thousand $$$ in sales in only a couple weeks because of those postcards. On the other hand, the "$20 off" coupons have attracted the stingiest, cheapest, bargain-hunting customers in town!

                              The downside is I am getting almost no calls from anywhere else. I talked to the other service plumbers in town, they have even bigger, established companies and do more advertising than I do, but even they said they ARE EXTREMELY SLOW, and are starting to worry.
                              __________________


                              Remember this Carl, this was back in Nov. I'm going through the same thing these past couple of weeks, getting a little bit nervous, but I know it will pass. Meanwhile, I'm cleaning and organizing my trucks, they need it badly.
                              The Other Rick

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Too Busy! Too Slow! Growing Pains.

                                Originally posted by rick1643 View Post
                                Well, part of the reason I am getting so many bargain-hunter calls is my own fault. I did a direct mailing of 5000 postcard coupons for $20/off. It has been a double-edged sword. On the one hand it helped a lot and I have landed several thousand $$$ in sales in only a couple weeks because of those postcards. On the other hand, the "$20 off" coupons have attracted the stingiest, cheapest, bargain-hunting customers in town!

                                The downside is I am getting almost no calls from anywhere else. I talked to the other service plumbers in town, they have even bigger, established companies and do more advertising than I do, but even they said they ARE EXTREMELY SLOW, and are starting to worry.
                                Interesting point about the coupons attracting bargain hunters. I'm in the thinking stage of trying Clipper Magazine with a coupon. The price and no commitment seem worth trying.

                                My thinking is if someone told me that if I give them $20.00 they would give me $120.00 it would be worth it, as opposed to staying home if I'm not busy at that time. I get bargain hunters now without coupons. $100.00 is better than $0.
                                Last edited by HebertDrainCare; 03-21-2009, 04:25 PM.

                                Lenny

                                Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

                                I know, it doesn't make sense.


                                http://www.hebertdraincare.com

                                Comment

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