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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
Thought you were done with water heaters?