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how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

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  • how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

    Lost my employee about a year ago, got fed up and didn't hire another. Been limping along doing it mostly all myself after pressuring a mostly-out-of-the-company partner into taking one day a week off my shoulders. Don't think he's going to be ok with continuing that, and I'm overloaded.

    Simply over employees. I'm just a pita to work for or something. They can't keep me happy and I can't keep them happy. Just over it.

    Thinking of selectively reducing the business. Firing some customers, killing the advertising, not taking on new residential customers.

    Wondering how other one man shows cope with working 24/7/365. What do you do when you take a vacation? How do you keep from saying yes too much and overloading yourself? Do you just suck it up when you are already exhausted and core business calls needing you? Do you risk losing core business if not available for emergency?
    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

  • #2
    Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

    you can't be everything to everybody. if you are that busy raise your prices on all customers 25%. yes you may lose some but so what. you only want the good ones anyways. it will make you feel better too. i will be looking for tech soon. as the 10-12 hour days. just wear me out.
    as for vacation you just have to let that go. for me i just got back from a 4 days in orlando. didn't answer the phone once. left a message that said i'd be out of town till sat. leave a message and i'll call you back if you can wait. had 37 missed calls and 13 waited.
    in 2005 i opened an ashley furniture store. stopped doing all service and ads for it. in 2008 closed it and in 6 months was making the same as before i opened the store. alot of people didn't even know that i was no longer doing service for those 3 years.
    take a week. the business will still be there and you will feel refreshed.
    the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

      alex, very good question and of course it hits home as you already know.

      for me, i can only do so much and the rest gets referred to 1 of a few other companies when i'm busy or out of town. they do the same to me when they get swamped or need my services.

      no money gets exchanged. they do the work, they send the bill, they collect the money.

      my customers try to wait for me, unless it's a true emergency and then they will use the few others i leave on my machine or refer if i'm available by cell.

      fortunately i don't work paycheck to paycheck so money coming in is not an issue.

      i guess since i'm not just an emergency plumber, there is some room for waiting. but 75% of my work is considered emergency today or the next day.

      just like you, i've been on my own since 1997 with no employees.

      good luck, wish we lived closer. even adam and ben are a little to far for every day coverage for me.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

        I would still be working by myself if my son hadn't decided to get in with me.

        Last year he worked while I took a few days off, and I did the same for him. I have just left a I will be closed until this date on the machine,
        and it worked fine

        I know I would make more money if I worked 7 days a week, we only do 5 and take the weekend off my customers understand
        and will wait till Monday

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

          I a one man shop now also. Wish I had help sometimes, but I like the freedom I get by not having the headaches of an employee. I don't take vacation, at least I haven't in probably 5 years. Think I'm do for one now that you brought it up.
          Will Rogers Plumbing
          Moore, Oklahoma
          (
          405) 323-2852

          "Your Solution for Any Sewer and Drain Cleaning Needs"

          "We Unclog Drains That Others Can't"



          www.willrogersplumbing.com
          http://willrogersplumbing.com/?page_id=8

          "Oklahoma's Favorite Plumbers!"

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          • #6
            Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

            Well, the thing is that regardless of how many employees you have or dont have, the headaches continue unabated. Try managing 16 employees sometime.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

              We work hard to make money so that we can live our life on our own terms. But what if we don't have time to spend that money. Just simply want to say 'Take a break'. Have a holiday for week with your cell switched off. Do work as per your convenience like I do only for 5 days a week. Rest weekend is for me and my family. This will actually not make any difference to your business. Even make you more happily working for your customers.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

                Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                Well, the thing is that regardless of how many employees you have or dont have, the headaches continue unabated. Try managing 16 employees sometime.
                It's like trying to herd kittens.
                Buy cheap, buy twice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

                  Originally posted by Will Rogers Plumbing View Post
                  I a one man shop now also. Wish I had help sometimes, but I like the freedom I get by not having the headaches of an employee. I don't take vacation, at least I haven't in probably 5 years. Think I'm do for one now that you brought it up.


                  Same here just over 3 years with hardly any days off and when I do get a Sunday or holiday off I'm not sure which one it's going to be. I can never plan anything or get to do too much during the day. I'm also turning down around 5 jobs per week and most days I'll leave the phone in the van as I get very annoyed at the constant ringing, telemarketers too

                  Starting to grow tired of it I think I need to drop the little paid advertising I have left maybe I'll slow down a bit.
                  Last edited by AssTyme; 03-13-2013, 06:09 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

                    I have worked it this way...

                    -If Im going to be gone or need a break the phone gets turned off, select customers have alternative contact info for me and know better then to give it out

                    As far as employees go here is what I did. I do not have any to speak of officially.

                    I have a labor Loaning agreement with my favorite General Contractor, When I need help I have 6 of his regular guys all apprenticed then when I need the help I call him and he sends a few my way, I pay a flat rate per hour for his guys and my books treat them as subcontract labor. My GC carries workman's comp ect. A win -win as my GC keeps his guys busy and I have up hands when I need them. ..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

                      In the early years I sent my business to a ex-employee who did the same to me when he went on vacation. We have both grown over the years but still refer each other when something pops up that one can't handle. Depending on the customer the job is given away or the work is done and the original plumber does the billing. There were/are no worries as to getting paid.

                      David

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                      • #12
                        Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

                        As unprofessional as this may sound, we are not the right Plumbing & Heating company for every customer that calls. We have personal lives just like the next person, and we do not advertise 24 hour emergency service. 99.9% of so called emergencies can wait till the next day.

                        With that said, there is 2 of us ( father & son) and its kind of hard for us to take vacations. My father is 66 years old now, and I don't need to be taking vacations all the time and leaving pop running round like an idiot. It's rare for us to take off at the same time, and if we do, either people wait, or we will have others cover for us.

                        I have a cousin and best friend that have their own Plumbing & Heating companies, and if need be, we could use others, as we have covered for certain close friends in the trade as well. We do the same deal As Rick...if someone covers for us or vice versa no money changes hands, as we all bill customer directly, and we RESPECT each others customers and don't poach.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

                          Thanks all. My concern is the years I've spent getting in with some bigger clients, getting preferred provider staus, etc. I've got 5 biggies that add up to 80k/year. My fear has always been that if I am not there for them sometimes they'll start to call the people that were first. Maybe that is a false fear. Regardless, something has to change. I like work, but I'm just doing too much right now. It is unpleasant. No time to spend it. Van's brakes are shot and it's 1200mi overdue for oil. Guy sideswiped me last week and I haven't even found time to wash it and see how bad it is, let alone file a claim. It'll slow in a month when the lifts shut down, but it's just stupid living like this. I checked my pass, and I skiied 11 times this season. I used to ski 60 to 100 days/season. I mean, I CAME here to SKI, not to be everyone's drain guy. I've got to change this. I'm not getting any younger.
                          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: how do you "one man shows" take a vacation?

                            What's skiing? Haven't seen that for 9 years.

                            I'm overdue for a vacation too. My costa rica trip was cancelled this last year and other than lego land coming up for the weekend, ineed an adventure.

                            We need another roundup ridgid. We are starting to go nuts.

                            Rick.
                            phoebe it is

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