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DIY'er - To give or not to give?

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  • #76
    Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

    I don't know anyone personally, but I'll look into it for ya.
    Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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    • #77
      Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

      Originally posted by Plumbcrazy View Post
      Dirty Hands - no one wants this. Plumbers should charge a fair price for what they do. However, if small plumbing companies go under due to the availability of plumbers giving free instruction, it will make those companies even more powerful. Should have known it all started in CA - just one more thing to thank CA for.

      Aaron - Your wage is an excellent wage. Most small companies cannot afford to pay their Plumbers (not apprentices) that wage with benefits. You have no idea what health insurance costs are to the small business owner.
      I have no way to test this but I would like to poll a few plumbing companies that have gone under this year and ask what their top reasons were for not making it. Most, I suspect, would list the cost of wages, health insurance and benefits. I would be floored if ANY one of them listed the fact that plumbing advice is availible for free on the internet

      How much plumbing is still hidden from the internet at this point anyways?

      Damn it's hard to get my cats back in the bag

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      • #78
        Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

        Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
        I have no way to test this but I would like to poll a few plumbing companies that have gone under this year and ask what their top reasons were for not making it. Most, I suspect, would list the cost of wages, health insurance and benefits. I would be floored if ANY one of them listed the fact that plumbing advice is availible for free on the internet

        How much plumbing is still hidden from the internet at this point anyways?

        Damn it's hard to get my cats back in the bag
        I'll say this again, this isn't intended as an adverse response...

        Your company is established.
        I'd wager most, if not all, of your incoming business is repeat or referral.

        For a newer company, thats not the case.

        Two years ago I was closing 1 out of 3 to 4 new calls (new/non-referred customers).

        Last month I did an audit on incoming calls for repeat customers so far this year vs new customers.

        The percentage has decreased to 1 in 9 to 10 on new calls.

        I know that this decrease is likely due in large part to the economy, but the fact that I have had numerous calls actually hint that they were considering DIY leads me to think the internet has given them yet one more option atop the box stores and hacks that already rip into our trade.

        I seldom have an old customer haggle with me, barring a few old mistakes that I'd given in on when they requested discounts. (another topic altogether) They just ask me to do the work and trust I'm not screwing them, I bend over backwards for these people to keep the ad budget lower in the future..I think we all agree on that idea.

        If I didn't have concerns, I wouldn't make noise.

        I am sustaining from old customers, I may have just barely reached the point where I have enough old business to keep me afloat, but what bothers me is the expense of driving in new business now, as well as the increasingly more fickle nature of the incoming business.

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        • #79
          Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

          Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
          Two years ago I was closing 1 out of 3 to 4 new calls (new/non-referred customers).

          Last month I did an audit on incoming calls for repeat customers so far this year vs new customers.

          The percentage has decreased to 1 in 9 to 10 on new calls.
          That is seriously messed up, you are doing something wrong if thats the case.
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          • #80
            Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

            Duck,

            When things are slow do you offer to come out and look for free? I use to sell better than 90% of the calls where I met the owner face to face. You are only worth $85 per hour (or whatever you charge) when you have work to do. This isn't about giving it away for free it's about marketing yourself.

            Mark
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

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            • #81
              Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

              Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
              That is seriously messed up, you are doing something wrong ............


              .....or things in your area are really messed up.
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

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              • #82
                Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                Yes, we are well established and are a major player in this market. This doesn't mean that we don't still go after new clients. We HAVE to.

                Everybody here is from somewhere else. That's good and bad. Keeps us from having a life long customer but it brings in tons of work like now no matter what the economy is doing outside the Capital Beltway.

                We are probably one of the most transient cities in the country. Young couples move in and have a few kids. They grow to be school age and move out to the suburbs or back to Wallawalla, Mich. or wherever. Some of my Cash Cows are moving out after the election. Sure hate to see them go. I'm hoping the tide will wash a few more back on up shore


                I really wish things were better for you but I believe you will make it.

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                • #83
                  Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                  Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                  .....or things in your area are really messed up.
                  True, different areas have different markets which Mark(Duck) and I have discussed. I still think he could do better then 1 in 10 though.
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                  • #84
                    Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                    Duck,

                    When things are slow do you offer to come out and look for free? I use to sell better than 90% of the calls where I met the owner face to face. You are only worth $85 per hour (or whatever you charge) when you have work to do. This isn't about giving it away for free it's about marketing yourself.

                    Mark
                    I agree.

                    The $6k job I "sold" yesterday was a free estimate.

                    What I'm talking about are calls to estimate things like water heaters or leaks in ceilings where they refuse to pay someone for their time, but want a free estimate to compare.

                    I'll generally toss a price over the phone with little expectation, some bite, some keep looking for the cheapest deal...I'm not the cheapest deal.

                    Service and remodels are two different breeds of horse, I choose to ride both breeds.

                    I'm not about to start driving out to free estimates on running toilets in the hope that I can close a seperate deal.

                    If someone is so tight that they can't just hire someone at a reasonable price for something like that, they're very unlikely to listen when you tell them the pipes in their basement are about to give.

                    I am open to all suggestions, but keep in mind..I was closing 1 in 3 to 4 as opposed to 1 in 9 to 10, doing the exact same thing just two years ago on new calls.

                    I have no doubt it's the economy, but there are a boatload of other factors adding to the problem for anyone attempting to open shop in this biz.

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                    • #85
                      Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                      Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                      Yes, we are well established and are a major player in this market. This doesn't mean that we don't still go after new clients. We HAVE to.

                      Everybody here is from somewhere else. That's good and bad. Keeps us from having a life long customer but it brings in tons of work like now no matter what the economy is doing outside the Capital Beltway.

                      We are probably one of the most transient cities in the country. Young couples move in and have a few kids. They grow to be school age and move out to the suburbs or back to Wallawalla, Mich. or wherever. Some of my Cash Cows are moving out after the election. Sure hate to see them go. I'm hoping the tide will wash a few more back on up shore


                      I really wish things were better for you but I believe you will make it.
                      I believe I will as well.

                      I think (hope) I've made it past the hump, the point where I have just enough regular business to offset the lack of new business.

                      What REALLY has my curiousity in your case is in lieu of the transient demograph you service...how the heck do you guys generate new business without advertizing?

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                      • #86
                        Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                        Ok Duck, maybe this is a question for all of us.

                        What do you think you're doing or not doing that's bringing dissatisfaction in your business or life now?

                        J.C.

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                        • #87
                          Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                          Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                          I believe I will as well.

                          I think (hope) I've made it past the hump, the point where I have just enough regular business to offset the lack of new business.

                          What REALLY has my curiousity in your case is in lieu of the transient demograph you service...how the heck do you guys generate new business without advertizing?
                          Have you ever seen the wad of Benji's in his left front pocket.
                          I saw the cleanest "Slip-Shake" ever executed given to the Guy holding the stopwatch were Crack set his record on the master blaster at the roundup.
                          Anyway,I'm sure it comes in handy with the doormen and bellhops too.

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                          • #88
                            Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                            Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                            Ok Duck, maybe this is a question for all of us.

                            What do you think you're doing or not doing that's bringing dissatisfaction in your business or life now?

                            J.C.
                            Nothing, barring a tendancy to not drop my price when a customer browbeats.

                            Those people call you back asking for more discounts, or their uncle calls back expecting you to be lower than the five other estimates he got.

                            Frankly, it's more satisfying to work at a reasonable pace knowing the price is right and I'm not rushing to get'er done so I can move on to something lucrative.


                            My zeal in pursuing these people may be lower, I imagine thats a good thing for the longhaul, but that doesn't account for the percentage of calls I get that are just looking for the cheapest they can find, nor the amount of inquiries that are looking for advice as opposed to an actual plumber.

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                            • #89
                              Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                              Temperatures are starting to drop and I've been priced shopped on two water heater replacements in the past few days.


                              Both I quoted at $200 to install and both turned me down.


                              Now I purposely stated $200 instead of $300 to see how cheap people are putting heaters in.....and $200 isn't making money.


                              I'm putting one in for $300+ tomorrow....referral.


                              Replaced a kitchen sink, installed a disposal and simplice kitchen sink faucet by Kohler, took 4 hours because everything was F'd up and water lines had to be cut and moved, everything reworked.


                              Damn Franke bowls with quick snap hold downs are JUNK and do not work on all applications.

                              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                              • #90
                                Re: DIY'er - To give or not to give?

                                Thought you were done with water heaters?

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