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  • This Job Can Be A Real Downer

    I mentioned in a previous thread over this last weekend that I knew of 11 companies that have gone under in the last month. This is a serious downer I get know these guys, I have met their crews, I have shared meals with them and often talk with their wives who answer their phones. Many companies that specialized in new plumbing & construction are going down faster than the Titanic.

    A couple of times a week I will be making my calls to my customers, like a doctor who makes his rounds with his patients and the number is disconnected. So I will call his cell and get the story of how he went from 30 drain calls a week down to three last month and had not had a paycheck in the last three months.....

    I try and not let it get to me but when you get to know these guys and their families it's hard not to take it personally. I often have to tell myself it's just business it's not personal but who am kidding. I just think that this could have been me if a few things went differently ten years ago, I may have been the guy on the other line talking to the RootX guy giving him the story........ I feel for the hard working guys that have fallen victim to the economy and the DIY crowd. I give you my 21 gun salute for making a go
    at it!


  • #2
    Re: This Job Can Be A Real Downer

    The main reason why we never grew our business by adding more employees. We try and keep our overhead low, and we work for our slow times.

    Thankfully, we have survived every single economic slow time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: This Job Can Be A Real Downer

      Accept it, mourn, then get up.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdB8EOSCnoY

      J.C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: This Job Can Be A Real Downer

        I never understood new construction specialist mentality. Every job finished becomes the end and you have to find the next one. Granted being hooked up with contractors keeps it going. When the contractors fall so do those companies. All those jobs done and no work? Sounds like the installers forgot the people they were really working for and never took care of. That is why that customer is not taking care of them now. These are the same people that low ball jobs and cut out everyones profit. No profit no health for a company or the employees, much less their families. It is sad and it is the fault of the owner/managers. Mark Twain said that the greatest disservice a company can do for its employees is not make a profit.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: This Job Can Be A Real Downer

          don't worry about me dan

          i have another mouth to feed in a month and a jetter to pay for

          thanks again dan

          new construction goes in waves and there are times when companies are slow due to lack of new projects. the big union plumbing companies i remember from my days are long gone. the newer spin offs are here.


          i got out of new work in 95 and the phone rings everyday. made the right move and never looked back.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: This Job Can Be A Real Downer

            Maitanance plumbing is where to money is new construction is where a stroke and bankrupty is.

            Tony

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: This Job Can Be A Real Downer

              Originally posted by Kevin Jones View Post
              I never understood new construction specialist mentality. Every job finished becomes the end and you have to find the next one. Granted being hooked up with contractors keeps it going. When the contractors fall so do those companies. All those jobs done and no work? Sounds like the installers forgot the people they were really working for and never took care of. That is why that customer is not taking care of them now. These are the same people that low ball jobs and cut out everyones profit. No profit no health for a company or the employees, much less their families. It is sad and it is the fault of the owner/managers. Mark Twain said that the greatest disservice a company can do for its employees is not make a profit.
              Not all companies are like that Kevin, I can think of a few companies that closed their doors because they could not compete with the companies that where low balling. I understand what your saying but I know good men that work hard and right now can even get a bid to keep the company going because everyone is bidding so low just to keep busy. Your right some of them are what you describe but I know a lot that are not and are struggling.

              Maybe you guys don't get it yeah new construction is hurting but that is not all I was talking about. Septic, Sewer cleaning, plumbing & new construction companies where included in that.

              Think of it this way lets say you have a guy you have been working with for years and you know he is a good guy & a family man. He works hard, he is ethical but business is slow and gets behind on some bills and finally has to give up the business or goes bankrupt.

              I love this job and I really enjoy working with you guys it's just this year I seem to go home frequently and walk strait to the back porch for cigar just to clear my head and have some quiet. I guess I take it personally because growing up when dad started his business there where three or four years where we eat nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwich's or roman noodles for every meal. There where months my dad did not make enough to cover the yellow page add much less pay the mortgage. I know that stress, I can remember overhearing my parents talking about what bills to pay and what bills that have to wait. I know what some of these guys are going through and I feel for them and their families. That's all I am saying.....

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: This Job Can Be A Real Downer

                Originally posted by DanLawrence View Post
                Not all companies are like that Kevin, I can think of a few companies that closed their doors because they could not compete with the companies that where low balling. I understand what your saying but I know good men that work hard and right now can even get a bid to keep the company going because everyone is bidding so low just to keep busy. Your right some of them are what you describe but I know a lot that are not and are struggling.

                Maybe you guys don't get it yeah new construction is hurting but that is not all I was talking about. Septic, Sewer cleaning, plumbing & new construction companies where included in that.

                Think of it this way lets say you have a guy you have been working with for years and you know he is a good guy & a family man. He works hard, he is ethical but business is slow and gets behind on some bills and finally has to give up the business or goes bankrupt.

                I love this job and I really enjoy working with you guys it's just this year I seem to go home frequently and walk strait to the back porch for cigar just to clear my head and have some quiet. I guess I take it personally because growing up when dad started his business there where three or four years where we eat nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwich's or roman noodles for every meal. There where months my dad did not make enough to cover the yellow page add much less pay the mortgage. I know that stress, I can remember overhearing my parents talking about what bills to pay and what bills that have to wait. I know what some of these guys are going through and I feel for them and their families. That's all I am saying.....
                Dan,
                It shows a kind heart you carry.I myself won't forget that.
                Plumbers that cannot afford to strip down to the level of the illegal handyman(or even the legal handyman with a contractors license,are going to have trouble.

                Most in the trades are crawling over each others trade trying to generate some semblance of cash coming in.Tile contractors putting in can lights and fans.Mail carriers doing water heaters,faucets and toilets.And let us not discredit our beloved non-citizen who believes himself capable of brain surgery and utilizes every opportunity to jack a tradesman's job that's way above his abilities.You should see the way Homeowners immitate the shrugging of the shoulder's and the body language expressing the reply of "OH WELL,THAT"S THE WAY I DO IT".

                There should be enough plumbing for a licensed contractor.Unfortunately everyone else is eating off the one plate.

                Our society has spoken.


                Thank you for caring about others so much as to write this thread Dan.




                RICK...Love you like a brother,everyone knows this...
                You are a SPAZ!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: This Job Can Be A Real Downer

                  What has effected me is the new construction guys are all now doing drain and sewer work (heck any work) and prices on sewer repairs,jetting and yes Camera work have just gone down down and down. I have adjusted my prices but will not try to compete with $99 side sewer snaking. I know there work is terrible compared to mine and I will not even go to those rates. We where getting $300-$400 on the average but now I have gone down to $250. These rates may seem high to other parts of the country but Seattle has a high cost of living. I will bend but not get into price wars.
                  Seattle Drain Service

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: This Job Can Be A Real Downer

                    Originally posted by Cuda View Post
                    What has effected me is the new construction guys are all now doing drain and sewer work (heck any work) and prices on sewer repairs,jetting and yes Camera work have just gone down down and down. I have adjusted my prices but will not try to compete with $99 side sewer snaking. I know there work is terrible compared to mine and I will not even go to those rates. We where getting $300-$400 on the average but now I have gone down to $250. These rates may seem high to other parts of the country but Seattle has a high cost of living. I will bend but not get into price wars.
                    RR and quite a few others in my area are easily $300 + to snake a sewer main. RR banged a new customer of mine $462 to snake a bar sink line.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: This Job Can Be A Real Downer

                      we have 12 new construction plumbers, 2 backhoe operators, and two service plumbers. I take it personally when I see another company servicing a building we plumbed. It usually ends up with me stopping by at a later date with a business card and a quick chat with the owner or manager.
                      We're rapidly reaching a point where we will have to add another service truck, or i'm going to burn out.
                      All said and done, it's good times.



                      Originally posted by Kevin Jones View Post
                      I never understood new construction specialist mentality. Every job finished becomes the end and you have to find the next one. Granted being hooked up with contractors keeps it going. When the contractors fall so do those companies. All those jobs done and no work? Sounds like the installers forgot the people they were really working for and never took care of. That is why that customer is not taking care of them now. These are the same people that low ball jobs and cut out everyones profit. No profit no health for a company or the employees, much less their families. It is sad and it is the fault of the owner/managers. Mark Twain said that the greatest disservice a company can do for its employees is not make a profit.
                      No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                      Comment

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