Increase supply and demand will follow

Discussion in 'Lets talk Business!' started by Mikey P, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Mikey P
    Mikey P

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    According to Ray Crock...

    Hamburger joints, sure



    But carpet cleaning?

    Would you say Stanley lives by that rule because people know they'll get same day service from locations country wide?
  2. Matt Wood
    Matt Wood

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    Are you saying I'll make my millions if I get a 2nd unit for any and all calls that need it done yesterday?
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  3. Mark Saiger
    Mark Saiger

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    I prefer not to be that guy all the time....

    But yet, we still get talked into some of those "I need to today" .....

    Some days....they just are going to have to wait, or find someone else.

    If I were to add a third van, it would help keep market share, but in the winter, it would lose money, and I am not sure it would balance out and make any money, if not cost more...

    I prefer to try and offer the higher end quality and take more time doing the job....and charge more for that kind of service....and keep recruiting and being hired by quality minded people, who know....if you want something good, you are going to have to pay more...

    Offer quality...show a difference not just in your cleaning by your entire package such as how you

    *prevac,
    *protect the home with corner guards and floor coverings....
    *Seal-A-Door or Super Screen....
    *Clean presentable van and equipment
    *Presentable yourself....
    * Do good Work (or know how to communicate what is happening if can't get some stain or traffic lane back to life)

    Heck...we all should know by now what it takes to find more business and market share....

    it's not just offering a cheap price....it's offering a quality service and time with your clients....
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  4. Nomad74
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    I'm at a crossroads. I have my other van sitting in my garage. Once I'm done outfitting the mobile Sauna/Promaster I'll start getting things in place in the other van.

    I could use some help. I'm just at a wall. I really don't want to deal with an employee but I know I need to take the plunge. This is the one area where I wish the Guru's would put more focus on. I talked with Howard Partridge about this and he sort of jumped right over it and went into his systems. I want to hear about the critical times in someone's business when they had to bring on that first employee. To me that is an important building block in a scalable business.
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  5. Mark Saiger
    Mark Saiger

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    For us, it was a moment of "we have a beauty school drop out in the family and she needs a job!" :dejection:

    Our middle daughter who is 100 pounds sopping wet, and just not into being focused on school....came home and needed a job....

    So, I had no choice but to make here work (I mean offer her a job), and I really did need some help....

    She also didn't want to put in a full day, so sometimes I would have to bring another vehicle so she could get home to dying her hair again that day (sarcasm and realism)

    Then, there were some larger jobs in the day, I figured....let's bring the second van then, and knock these out because demand for us was getting at an all time high...and people just were getting more in that Burger King way of "have it your way"....and I need it sooner than 3 weeks from now....

    So....running a second van became very helpful...and my customers were not afraid of seeing a little pretty girl cleaning in their house alone...there were 2 people there and 2 vans and they were feeling like they were getting some special treatment....and they really liked Jena....

    On some jobs when we didn't need 2 vans, or just even set up one....Jena would keep those little old ladies busy while I kept working....

    The next thing I knew...if we didn't show up with Jena...or sometimes a second van, people were wondering what was going on....Where's Jena?

    And she could move couches, take care of everything a guy could do...people loved here...even trusted here to come to their house to clean by herself sometimes too....

    The Daughter number 3 also needs a job for sometime...now I have 2 little girls showing up...cleaning...making conversation....getting tips from home owners....and they both could go out on some jobs that people knew them and do the entire job....

    But as life progressed, the girls got tired of working for cranky slave driver evil step dad......

    SO....THEY BROUGHT HOME BOYS! Hence eventually, Boy Wonder Aron (before being our Son in Law) I offered full time work...he was doing underground line boring and one of the best, but of course in MN, you don't do that kind of work in the winter, so it was easy to recruit him with a modest salary and some benefits.....

    Even had our youngest daughters "to be husband working"...but he now has a union job that pays incredible, and he hardly has to work...and she is in charge of a facility for adults needing help....middle daughter Jena (with our 3 grand children and Aron's wife) she works at the Pizza Joint we got Austin (the pizza boy) from....She makes good money and the hours are perfect for her....

    My wife also quit her job as a Bank Teller coordinator manager...and answers the phones and some office work and runs our family day care (takes care of all the grandchildren each day)...and her job is going to get a little bit more with our 4th Grandchild (boy) on the way first part of September from youngest daughter....

    By the way, our oldest daughter got a 4 year degree in business management...wasn't using it...looking for a job...her first job with me ended up being a sewer backup....she all of a sudden became the manager at a hospital, and now coordinator of events at our larger hotel here....:lol: She seriously did not show up for a second day with me :)

    So, you can see how our progression happened....it just evolved because life evolved....

    The first thing that probably made it all happen was I was FORCED by life to change the way I was thinking ("I don't need no help...or I don't feel like taking on help")

    There will be employee problems...people are people...but there are also benefits to having them....so really try and keep your eyes and ears open....take a chance....take both vans to same places later to help people get used to seeing them work....start making your life easier....and get home earlier.....employees can be helpful...and when your first one quits...suck it up and find another....you won't get the right one until you give someone a chance....

    Sorry (Marty) for the long post...but just felt I needed to try and help....and encourage you :)

    And heck....I have no real systems in place...we have a format and desire and protocols...but I also allow my guys to be human and they are allowed to make decisions in the field to make sure people are taken care of, including themselves...and because of that, I feel I have some pretty good people on board :)

    I wish you the best...and seriously, give me a call if you need to talk about this or just need to even blow off some steam :)
  6. Nomad74
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    Wow Mark, great response. Thanks for taking the time. Also congrats on your growing family and business.

    Well, I don't have any daughters but my boys like to help me. Devon is turning 11 next week. He tries hard but still has trouble not getting tangled up in extension cords. I'm keeping my eyes open for potential employees. I've learned to keep my mouth shut around people though. Seems everytime I mention i'm looking, someone has a friend or cousin that needs a job, oh, but they "just had back surgery and are hooked on pain meds." :/

    I know I need to toughen up and take the plunge.
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  7. Lee Stockwell
    Lee Stockwell

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    Awesome post Mark!
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  8. clean image
    clean image

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    Damon, I would suggest to "get ready" for 1st employee. ( not family, not buddy, not under the table)

    - are you looking for straight helper, that maybe will be tech ready in 1 year

    - or are you looking for a lead tech that will be ready after 2-4 weeks training

    Cause your "ad", and what your offering in compensation is going to drive in different humans.

    If you have taken SFS - most of this is rough format
    - Get your employment ad ready - " why should I work for you"
    - Also get your list of phone interview questions ready-- " weed out ".
    - interviews- meet at Paneras. - this is the big visual and more questions.

    Payroll company?
    Workmans comp in place
    Company policy in place
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  9. steve_64
    steve_64

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    Cory has been disappointing lately.

    I've been raising prices to eliminate those pesky customers allowing me time to not kill myself.

    Going through a change now that I'm in my 50s and can't just go go go anymore.
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  10. Desk Jockey
    Desk Jockey

    Rico

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    Damon it is a very difficult move from one to two vans. Although more difficult in your mind than in reality.

    Its hard to give up trust that a hired helper can run a job or clean as well as you can. The harsh reality is given the same set of tools and your training of “This is how our company does it”.

    Very few if any clients will ever be able to differentiate your cleaning from theirs. They major difference is you have skin in the game and more desire to please the client.

    You will be surprised how most employees have that same desire to please clients. If they don’t then don’t keep them, move on to the next trainee.

    I’d start a WORD file and begin your company manual. Start with the door greeting and move from there. It will be a handy tool as you train the next guy and…unfortunately the next after that. Break off bits of the training until you feel he has a grasp of it.

    Dealing with the client

    Its going to be different for each tech, we’ve hired some that were capable of dealing with the public and only lacked how to clean. Most can clean very well but are not adept at speaking with the clients. These guys never move much beyond being assistants. Still valuable in our organization but never will be capable of heading a crew.

    When he feels he is ready to take on the challenge begin by letting him do all the talking on the job. You can coach him in the background to perfect the script, keeping him towing the company line. But soon he will get it and have his own approach.

    The second unit

    The vast majority of us didn’t go out and buy a backup unit for the second crew. What most of us did was buy a new machine and moved ole faithful to a backup position. Too old and too worn to sell, it only made sense to keep as a backup.

    I believe you will find having an assistant and a backup unit, that you will now be able to run two units on bigger jobs. Cutting production times down and increasing profits. Clients also benefit with you getting in and out of the job faster. Lets face it, no matter how nice they are, you are still an inconvenience to them. Maybe a necessary one, but they have better things to do than spend time with their carpet cleaner.

    On his own

    The difficult first step is probably best practiced on vacant homes and apartments. Go walk the job, inform him of your expectations and maybe help set up the unit. This way when you leave you know he is up running and all is well before you proceed to your next job. Before you know it, he has gained enough experience to actually go out on his own.



    The growth transition

    Initially you may not have the workload for two trucks. So what do you do once he is trained and capable? You let him do the work or you become the helper on big jobs. You become the second truck guy. You catch the over bookings, the emergency work, all they stuff that you were turning away when it was just you.

    Sometimes there won’t be extra work, so what then? You market, calling on current and potential clients drumming up more work, face to face. Did they know you do upholstery? Tile? Area Rugs?

    You can also spend time with the kids knowing someone is still making you money. Pay him well, develop a great employee. He will make your life easier in the long run.



    Where do you find this guy?

    You need to be on the hunt for him. This could be life changing, more money, more free time, a better living for your family. You need to be seriously looking like you did when you were looking for a girlfriend/Wife. The guy at the sandwich shop, the grocery store, someone from church. An early retired guy. Take it seriously and you will find someone.

    Good luck!
  11. Mark Saiger
    Mark Saiger

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    Word! Very nice! :rockon:
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  12. Nomad74
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    Awesome and thank you! You reminded of something that I'm doing. I have been working on a manual of sorts. I use the notes feature on my cell phone. Everytime I think of something that should be in my employee manual, I jot it down in my phone app. I started doing this after I read (audio book) the E-myth on my airplane ride home from Mikey's fest in Florida.
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  13. Desk Jockey
    Desk Jockey

    Rico

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    I have a note 5 and I constantly use that feature.

    I love I can set reminders so I don't forget appointments or just like you don't important tasks. It really helps me from forgetting ideas that need implementation.
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  14. Danny Strickland
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    I worked for 2 sisters-in law back in the mid 1980's. They could bust ass, drink beer and their customer service was over the top. Lady techs add a touch to this biz that we as men won't ever equalfor the most part. Their eye for detail is amazing.
  15. The Great Oz
    The Great Oz

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    Yes Mike, increase supply and demand will follow, but only if you've positioned yourself to offer great service from those additional, well-trained employees.

    Tough to do in cities with high employment rates, as the lack of people willing to do labor intensive work absolutely kills growth. It does allow steep increases in profit by raising rates enough to keep the waiting list short.

    Absolutely the hardest step for every new business, with other changes when you get past five, and fifteen, as your role and structure have to change. Some good advice here, and taking the time to go to an SFS would help.

    Good luck!
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  16. hogjowl
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    It's not necessarily going to follow without advertising. They don't just KNOW by osmosis that you're available
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  17. Old Coastie
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    Great thread. I would only add that the training phase is financially flatter, so have your systems in place, or it will drag on longer than necessary.

    I had the elves run drills on a slack day; Unload the right items, set up and re-stow the gear. There is a coordination that takes place with experience, so cross train a LOT. Duplicate yourself in them while allowing natural growth.

    I miss my elves, but they have all mentioned how easily they fit into their new jobs after working with me. Not sure what that means, exactly, lol.
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  18. Desk Jockey
    Desk Jockey

    Rico

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    I agree with Marty. You'll need to develop a plan, pick when to launch it. Then be consistent with it.

    Facebook is still one of the best values for the money. Cherry pick mail routes within your best zip codes and EDDM will be a one, two Punch. Couple that with face to face marketing and it should drive in sufficient business to support the second unit.

    I would wait until just before your peak season. Get all your ducks in order before you trot it out.
  19. Jim Williams
    Jim Williams

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    I think if I were to expand I would start back mailing to my customer base, maybe even run a few ads in local publications and possibly do more internet ads. Right now my only marketing is my website and leaving business cards at the beauty parlor.

    I've been avoiding it like the plague. Like Mark mentioned, adding a van would increase market share in the summer, but lose in the winter. I probably lose several thousand in work in the summer because I can't work them in, but I don't think loosing a few thousand is enough to justify adding another van.
  20. Able 1
    Able 1

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    First you have to find a good helper and work with him for a while.. When you get comfortable send him to do vacant places while you are cleaning regular resi jobs, when you don't have vacants he works with you.

    We could go further, but first thing is having a helper on board at all times.. A helper alone will make you more WAY more money then what it costs you!! I'm trying for 2.5 vans next year.. Pay your helper good! Mine also gets all the tips when we work together..
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