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  • #16
    HouseOfAtlas commented
    Yesterday, 07:13 AM
    Rick,

    Do you have a business phone and a work phone or are they the same? I ask because I was wondering (if you had a business phone), if you shut it off at a certain time so you can enjoy "family time".

    Also, do you tell your customers "Sorry, I don't do remodels anymore" and recommend them to another company or does word get around when it comes to what you do and what you don't do anymore?

    I cancelled my home phone and transferred the number to my cell. Every call comes to my cell, I bring my cell to the john, and beside the shower. I've taken many jobs on the throne or dripping wet while taking a shower! Phone takes calls at 7:30 am and mutes at 9pm. I got callers phoning at 6 am for free estimates and many accents calling saturday evening at 10 pm or midnight to have their sink unclogged for free!!!! It is troublesome and they play the game I didn't understand the price so it's got to be 10$ when the job is done.

    It's one reason I have 2 obligatory signatures on my work order now...One before I start and one after even though it's a 30 minute job.
    Last edited by Pro Service; 10-04-2018, 08:51 AM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by sewermonster85 View Post
      Just like plumber rick said...
      everyone that started in this business started off by word of mouth and referrals . Picking up equipment here and there...Then a little advertising..I've been on my own now for 10 years..100% word of mouth and referrals except for google and facebook which is free. And by the grace of God, I am blessed with work.....but .First things first get a truck...not a pick up but a van... Then hand tools, power tools used drain cleaning equipment so on and so on... 4 years ago I bought my first camera ....it sucked but made enough to get a good one. Now I have 3 cameras....2 Spartan 1065s ,A sectional machine, 3 pistol rodders (got that idea from a$$ time) no need to switch cables ,all have different cables for the task at hand.Spartan 100,ridgid k375 , a hydrojetter ,flex shaft ect...now on my second running truck.Service a very wide area ,stay very busy ,
      .
      I always thought that having a camera was essential if someone was doing drain cleaning but it seems like not everyone had one when they first started out. What happens if you can't go as far out as you want or you clear the blockage but the customer calls back in a few days or a few weeks and says the main is backed up again? I would assume a camera would need to come into play to see what is going on.
      I’m back

      Comment


      • sewermonster85
        sewermonster85 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes and no...A camera purchase a good one at that is very expensive...Most companies around here dont have one... Even the bigger shops may only have 1 or 2 that they bounce back n forth....as far as rodding most of my lines range between 70 maybe 90 feet max...But I run 125' of cable down my 1065..Run a 4 inch cutter or bigger if I can...Maybe 2 times in 10 years I had to go back within 30 days...The camera comes with every rodding...I cannot guarentee something blindly..If I get a 4"cutter and a cam down the line,its warranted for a year every rip... The camera is the best tool...No guessing what's going on...Locates ,you can verify where branch lines and others tie in,pinpoint stoppages ect...But secondary lines ,sinks tubs showers,those just get cabled...Drain cleaning and sewer cleaning are very profitable and consistent. Dont go to crazy...Get ..a mainline machine ,sink machine ,pistol rod or a k50 for starters...Get them used
        .once you start making money and turning profits, buy new...Watch ebay craigslist even the facebook marketplace for tools and equipment. Heck I bought my 2nd camera off c l for 250 bucks..It looks almost new...200 foot color large reel...Works every time...Little by little it'll come together before you know it...good luck and God bless on your voyage sir.
        Last edited by sewermonster85; 10-04-2018, 10:24 PM.

      • HouseOfAtlas
        HouseOfAtlas commented
        Editing a comment
        Very good info. I think I need a bigger notebook now from taking so many notes!

    • #18
      Originally posted by Pro Service View Post


      I cancelled my home phone and transferred the number to my cell. Every call comes to my cell, I bring my cell to the john, and beside the shower. I've taken many jobs on the throne or dripping wet while taking a shower! Phone takes calls at 7:30 am and mutes at 9pm. I got callers phoning at 6 am for free estimates and many accents calling saturday evening at 10 pm or midnight to have their sink unclogged for free!!!! It is troublesome and they play the game I didn't understand the price so it's got to be 10$ when the job is done.

      It's one reason I have 2 obligatory signatures on my work order now...One before I start and one after even though it's a 30 minute job.
      First off, good info about comments. I realized it doesn't cause the topic to go to the top of the forum page when someone comments.

      I'll probably have just one phone and end up just keeping the number I have. I will also just attach the phone to my hip and keep it wherever I go (John, movie theater, strip club, etc.)

      The "I didn't understand the price so it's got to be 10$ when the job is done." part reminds me of that part from Deuce Bigalow.
      I’m back

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      • #19
        Easiest way my brother is to have a cell number...Every call comes directly to you..Have a nice voice mail ,answer every call as so and so plumbing....Depending on your cell carrier, you can customize what it says on caller Id when you call someone. Mine says my business name...Now after a while if you're tired of the cell phone,foward it to a call service center...Secondly ,a camera is not a must have tool right away.... you can get buy without one and focus more on just sewer and drain cleaning...Heck I did with out one for 6 years before i got one and was doing fine without it.if you need to rent one then rent one...Have a good relationship with another plumber that has one and pay him to come out
        ...thing about the cameras are they're expensive and they break....I once herd the best sewer camera is someone elses..lol
        ..my cousin runs his business 31 years now never had a camera ...just rented and paid someone else when needed..... you'll be fine.
        ....just make sure you're insured as a business.
        Bonded in the towns you work In and pull.permits in.
        And not sure if you need any certification or licenses out there for sewer work but if u do make sure ya got it.

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      • #20
        Originally posted by sewermonster85 View Post
        Easiest way my brother is to have a cell number...Every call comes directly to you..Have a nice voice mail ,answer every call as so and so plumbing....Depending on your cell carrier, you can customize what it says on caller Id when you call someone. Mine says my business name...Now after a while if you're tired of the cell phone,foward it to a call service center...Secondly ,a camera is not a must have tool right away.... you can get buy without one and focus more on just sewer and drain cleaning...Heck I did with out one for 6 years before i got one and was doing fine without it.if you need to rent one then rent one...Have a good relationship with another plumber that has one and pay him to come out
        ...thing about the cameras are they're expensive and they break....I once herd the best sewer camera is someone elses..lol
        ..my cousin runs his business 31 years now never had a camera ...just rented and paid someone else when needed..... you'll be fine.
        ....just make sure you're insured as a business.
        Bonded in the towns you work In and pull.permits in.
        And not sure if you need any certification or licenses out there for sewer work but if u do make sure ya got it.
        Here in Minnesota we don't need any certifications or licenses to do drain cleaning but it would be nice to have some sort of course/certification to be legit. As for not having a camera right away, I'll have to ponder on that. Yes, I'm sure I could get away with it but I've spent too many years with a few companies that don't have the right tools for the job and its 7pm when we need them. If I needed a camera late at night, the last thing I want to do is put my next day's schedule on hold because I didn't have the proper tools. Plus, I feel like camera work would be great money. I know of one city close by that requires a sewer inspection before someone can sell their house.

        As for the phone situation, I'll have to ponder on that as well. I remember working with a few plumbers and their phone would be ringing off the hook when their receptionist was out. I think it's unfair to charge the client for time spent on the phone, which is why my rates might be a bit higher so I could actually hire one person to do everything (take incoming calls, schedule changes if necessary, billing, etc.) and I can just go from job to job with minimal interruptions and do my thing.
        I’m back

        Comment


        • #21
          Plumber Punky commented
          Yesterday, 10:31 PM
          My business is 100% referral, too.
          Flag
          How does that work, people gossip like mad or what to be able to work on referrals alone?

          Do you have over a 100 companies in the area? Is it a small town? Do you do only service work or you offer remodels? Are you the lowest priced?

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          • #22
            Best one around here is Jolly Plumbing. They have at least 5 vans, and all of them have the saying "A Flush Beats A Full House" with cards painted on the side. Kinda corny, but you don't forget it. Always wondered how much they paid for the artwork on the vans.
            Jolly is the last name of the founder, they do good work.

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            • #23
              I haven't been around a lot lately. lots going on. business is doing good, still recovering from Maria, don't spend as much time on the computer, yada, yada, yada

              when I first started the company back in 2006 I was trying to come up with a name. I wanted something catchy but to hokey, easy to remember, & sorta rolled off the tongue.
              I bandied a bunch of names among friends until I came up with SewerSnake a generic term for drain cleaning equipment. easy to say and remember. I then needed a slogan so I came up with
              If your drains don't!
              If your flushed don't!
              If your water backs up!
              Don't call a Plumber!
              Call (my phone number here)
              Call SewerSnake
              We'll get you water flowing

              it's on the back of all my work T-shirts

              an interesting side story. I had been in business about 4 months when I got a call from a friend asking why this guy on the radio was dissing me? she said his radio spot said ,"don't use SewerSnake". long story short I listed to his spot and at first glance (hearing) it did seem to say just that. after multiple listening I realized he was saying "don't use a sewer snake" use his company. I thought a bit unethical but nothing I could do.
              jump ahead a week or so and I ask a client how they heard about me. the reply was your radio commercial. I said I don't have one. I then remembered the use of the words sewer snake.

              people hearing the spot hear sewer snake and translated it to SewerSnake. over the course of the next 12 weeks I made some $$$$ because of the free advertising

              I live on a small island with a population of around 50,000. I did had a TV spot made, ran some local newspaper ads, used the yellow pages until the company got greedy and I didn't need them anymore. people refer to me as Snake, SewerSnake, the Snake Man, etc.

              I think my spot's still on youtube. if I can find it, i'll post a link. I think it's pretty good, funny, & gets to the point

              good luck with your venture
              In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

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              • #24
                 
                In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                Comment


                • #25
                  Originally posted by nkyrental View Post
                  Best one around here is Jolly Plumbing. They have at least 5 vans, and all of them have the saying "A Flush Beats A Full House" with cards painted on the side. Kinda corny, but you don't forget it. Always wondered how much they paid for the artwork on the vans.
                  Jolly is the last name of the founder, they do good work.
                  I was thinking of doing something like "Royal Flush Drain Cleaning" and using the saying " A Royal Flush Always Beats A Full House" or something like that. I know a full vehicle wrap can cost around $2000-$4000 depending on the vehicle. I'm sure stickers or half-wraps would be a lot cheaper.
                  I’m back

                  Comment


                  • #26
                    Originally posted by stxrus View Post
                    I haven't been around a lot lately. lots going on. business is doing good, still recovering from Maria, don't spend as much time on the computer, yada, yada, yada

                    when I first started the company back in 2006 I was trying to come up with a name. I wanted something catchy but to hokey, easy to remember, & sorta rolled off the tongue.
                    I bandied a bunch of names among friends until I came up with SewerSnake a generic term for drain cleaning equipment. easy to say and remember. I then needed a slogan so I came up with
                    If your drains don't!
                    If your flushed don't!
                    If your water backs up!
                    Don't call a Plumber!
                    Call (my phone number here)
                    Call SewerSnake
                    We'll get you water flowing

                    it's on the back of all my work T-shirts

                    an interesting side story. I had been in business about 4 months when I got a call from a friend asking why this guy on the radio was dissing me? she said his radio spot said ,"don't use SewerSnake". long story short I listed to his spot and at first glance (hearing) it did seem to say just that. after multiple listening I realized he was saying "don't use a sewer snake" use his company. I thought a bit unethical but nothing I could do.
                    jump ahead a week or so and I ask a client how they heard about me. the reply was your radio commercial. I said I don't have one. I then remembered the use of the words sewer snake.

                    people hearing the spot hear sewer snake and translated it to SewerSnake. over the course of the next 12 weeks I made some $$$$ because of the free advertising

                    I live on a small island with a population of around 50,000. I did had a TV spot made, ran some local newspaper ads, used the yellow pages until the company got greedy and I didn't need them anymore. people refer to me as Snake, SewerSnake, the Snake Man, etc.

                    I think my spot's still on youtube. if I can find it, i'll post a link. I think it's pretty good, funny, & gets to the point

                    good luck with your venture
                    Love the commercial lol! And yes, very short and to the point.

                    I appreciate the story and I'm sorry you are still recovering from Hurricane Maria. I know a lot of people died due to Hurricane Maria...close to the amount in the 9/11 attacks. Glad you're still with us and staying busy.
                    I’m back

                    Comment


                    • #27
                      Oh and if your company name happens to start with an A in it...like Aaron's sewer service or a and b drain service ect....you'll pop up first in search engines and in the phone book...just a little food for thought.

                      Simple slogans like "oh no drains wont flow,call so and so and you're good to go" or " "tired of the rest,call the best" are kind of outdated..


                      simple works better... one call does it run all....ectt

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