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DIY'er - To give or not to give?

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  • #61
    Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
    We really don't know enough about you or your life experiences to know what your perspective is. I can tell you I have never done much in the Yellow Pages as I always felt it was a gimmick where you gave them all of your profit or they buried you in the back of the section.

    As far as franchises go the biggest one at the time was the 200-truck George Brazil Plumbing who started all of the big flat-rate franchises here in Los Angeles 50-years ago. However, they were far less competition to us then all of the laid off new construction plumbers that were moving into the service side because they owned a pickup.

    This is were the perspective side comes in. As a kid I don't remembering anyone hiring a tradesman. If you could not fix it yourself you had a neighbor who could. My dad was in the insurance business and didn't do too much stuff but my mom was handy and when she had to chose between food on the table or hiring an outsider she would find a way for us to do it. A prime example was my wife's father. For the 40-years I've known him he has been working on DIY projects. Whether it be the den he added on to his home or the camper he built for his truck he always had something going on. Today he is 85-years old and is out in his shop in 100 degree weather building carnival games for my daugther Jene who runs a Parks and Rec program. As I posted earlier being a DIY often has more to do with personal satisfaction than money saved.

    Mark
    Mark,

    On the East Coast, we are where you were with the franchises ripping everyone off. We also have new construction plumbers jumping into service by the droves. Most plumbers are geared to one or the other.

    I cannot stand the Yellow Pages, they promise so much at such a premium. Service customers come from two places for the start up business 1. Friends & family & 2. referrals. If someone needs a plumber, they usually ask a family member, friend etc. If they can't get a referral #1 place they go is the Yellow Pages. It's a cost the small business must pay because referrals don't come in fast enough to build a business.

    I grew up in a blue collar home, my Dad was a firefighter/EMT and my mother did office work. We didn't hire a lot of service people either. Today the wealthy will try to be DIY'ers to save money because they have been sold on the notion that it is so easy. A lady called our company the other day for leaking shower valve. Her home was worth $500,000.-$600,000. (may not sound like much in CA, but here it's living mighty fine. She bought a cartridge - couldn't get the old one out - took pliers & a wrench to it. I'm sure you know the rest of the story. New shower valve. This wasn't for the satisfaction of doing it herself, nor was it to save money to feed her family. It was plain cheap to avoid paying a plumber.

    Mark - You are good people. I think we can be friends and agree to disagree.

    Comment


    • #62
      Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

      Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
      When are you and your Hubby planning on coming out to visit us.
      Toolaholic is puting up the steaks.
      Wish I could! Haven't had a vacation in three years.

      Maybe Duck and I are barking up the wrong tree.

      So, we need advice! How does an honest Service Plumbing Company compete against flashy Franchises with big advertising budgets, hacks, maintenance men, plumber's moonlighting, DIY'ers, contractors etc. during a slow economy?

      How did you guys make it? And, did you all make it?

      Comment


      • #63
        Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

        Originally posted by Plumbcrazy View Post
        Wish I could! Haven't had a vacation in three years.

        Maybe Duck and I are barking up the wrong tree.

        So, we need advice! How does an honest Service Plumbing Company compete against flashy Franchises with big advertising budgets, hacks, maintenance men, plumber's moonlighting, DIY'ers, contractors etc. during a slow economy?

        How did you guys make it? And, did you all make it?
        This topic could probably use a Thread of it's own but the first thing to do is to realize the big franchises with the big ads are looking at a different market than you. They want to get into the house one time and charge a bunch of money and maybe never see them again. You want to get into a home where the next time they want a plumber they are calling you. That is what the 5-year program is about. After 5-years you should have enough of a customer base to carry yourself.

        Mark

        BTW: Start a topic specific thread and I will participate.
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

        Comment


        • #64
          Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

          Thanks Mark. I need to get to bed, but I will start a thread tomorrow.

          Much more productive than beating this dead horse.

          We have been in business 3 years 9 mos. to be exact and have three service trucks. Referrals and repeats are very good.

          Comment


          • #65
            Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

            Originally posted by Plumbcrazy View Post
            Wish I could! Haven't had a vacation in three years.

            Maybe Duck and I are barking up the wrong tree.

            So, we need advice! How does an honest Service Plumbing Company compete against flashy Franchises with big advertising budgets, hacks, maintenance men, plumber's moonlighting, DIY'ers, contractors etc. during a slow economy?

            How did you guys make it? And, did you all make it?
            since you're new here and i have said it before, i'll say it again.

            i rarely have to compete against anyone. sure i will have to bid big drain cleaning/ jetting jobs. but once i explain what i do and what you can expect, the management co is usually sold on knowledge and the fact that it's me and not a labor force.

            i don't spend a dime in advertising and i don't send out greeting cards.

            i do as i say i'm going to do. they call me and they get me. no young "tech" that is learning the trade.

            my jobs are 75% emergency and 25% scheduled.

            i am very selective of where and who i work for.

            remember that this did not happen overnight.

            from 12.5 years old i've been working as a plumber. i too eat sleep and live plumbing

            have i made it? probably so. because i've put the time and money and most of my life into it.

            my good friend also a plumber, just retired at age 52 why?

            32 years working 7 days a week along with his wife, he has paid his dues and deserves what he has worked for.

            so, i don't see it as competing. i see it as being the best you can and people will find you. even if you're the smallest fish in the sea

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #66
              Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

              Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
              This topic could probably use a Thread of it's own but the first thing to do is to realize the big franchises with the big ads are looking at a different market than you. They want to get into the house one time and charge a bunch of money and maybe never see them again. You want to get into a home where the next time they want a plumber they are calling you. That is what the 5-year program is about. After 5-years you should have enough of a customer base to carry yourself.

              Mark

              BTW: Start a topic specific thread and I will participate.
              Exactly.

              There is no quick solution, no pass to the front of the line.

              I didn't have any illusions about instant freedom or big bucks when I started, thank god.

              I completely agree with the in-and-out, one time only "fleece 'em while ya can" companies that spend an outright fortune to advertize, then make up for it on the charges.

              As to my reference above to T/m vs F/R...nothing was directed at you, but at the overall misconceptions accompanied by lengthy, tenacious debates for a very long time that I found when I first got to this site.

              I get that same feeling again lately.

              Comment


              • #67
                Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                Originally posted by DuckButter View Post

                I completely agree with the in-and-out, one time only "fleece 'em while ya can" companies that spend an outright fortune to advertize, then make up for it on the charges.
                These are the typical flat rate companies out here. You do your flat rating different.
                I love my plumber

                "My Hero"

                Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

                Comment


                • #68
                  Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                  Originally posted by MrsSeatDown View Post
                  These are the typical flat rate companies out here. You do your flat rating different.
                  Actually, every member of this forum that does F/R does it this way that I know of, Carl, Herk, and numerous others simply have a list that reflects their own labor times & overhead.

                  Each company in my area is this way too.

                  Last service shop I worked for was 7 years ago, they had their own book that we each had to keep in the truck that was based on that companies costs.

                  I was confused when I first got to internet sites and guys were mentioning pricing books they had purchased.

                  I don't know if thats a west coast thing or maybe regional, but most F/R co's I know simply develope a list based on their own costs & times.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                    Originally posted by DuckButter View Post

                    I don't know if thats a west coast thing or maybe regional, but most F/R co's I know simply develope a list based on their own costs & times.
                    Here they buy a book and adjust accordingly, but it is pretty much all the same. They are training salesmen not plumbers. Their livelihood is primarily based on commission. At the trade show you can even buy a scanner system with material lists for trucks.
                    Last edited by MrsSeatDown; 09-07-2008, 11:26 PM.
                    I love my plumber

                    "My Hero"

                    Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                      Originally posted by fixitmom5x View Post
                      Plumbcrazy, I did not mean I was going to refer them to the website, I meant I was going to refer them to a plumber from here to do their work and get paid for it.
                      Who's on call today? I think its Adam........Dirtyhands..you have a call in Wichita, don't be late.
                      The Other Rick

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                      • #71
                        Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                        Originally posted by rick1643 View Post
                        Who's on call today? I think its Adam........Dirtyhands..you have a call in Wichita, don't be late.
                        i'm on call for new zealand plenty of reverse flushing toilets to fix.

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                          I Stxrus' turf!! "yeah mon, some tourist got her bikini top jammed in a garbage disposal at the beachside bar. need ya to come un jam it!"

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                          • #73
                            Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                            Originally posted by Plumbcrazy View Post
                            Thanks Mark. I need to get to bed, but I will start a thread tomorrow.

                            Much more productive than beating this dead horse.

                            We have been in business 3 years 9 mos. to be exact and have three service trucks. Referrals and repeats are very good.
                            Welcome to the forum Plumcrazy.Once again exchanging with Duck and yourself(as well as others) has been healthy.
                            Thanks for coming on board.

                            Congratulations on your companies bloom.

                            I have a very good friend in Greenville SC..Is that anywhere close to you?Are you guys in a position to give her a hand if she needs it.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                              I live about an hour north of Greenville.
                              Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                              • #75
                                Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                                Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                                I live about an hour north of Greenville.
                                Thanks Carl,
                                From what I understand her house is fairly new so I don't expect any surprises.If you know of anyone dependable and fair a little south of you don't let him out of our network.I know an hour is right at my cutoff line for a third party.So I wouldn't expect anything different from others.

                                ADAM

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