Growing too fast!

Greg Cole

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As many of you know, I was in the carpet cleaning industry for many years. I've solely been in the water damage industry for the last 5 years. I started doing waterproofing two years ago and it has now become my full time job.
I am currently experiencing something that some here may have had to deal with. We are growing way too fast.....
While that sounds like a good thing, it is indeed a scary thing......
What I did: I fired the sales manager at the end of March and added that position to my duties. I hired 5 new salesmen, a terrific field manager, a new operations manager and added15 installers, and spent a boatload on marketing.....
The end result: We did more in sales in the last 11 days than we did the entire first quarter of the year. A good thing financially, but certainly a headache.

My challenge is this ( and I welcome input). I am terrified that the quality of the work will slip as our sales increases. While I trust my ops manager and field managers, I still am concerned.
I am the checklist & photograph king..... But nevertheless I am concerned that production quality will not meet my expectations.. Any suggestions?
 
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Radar Foster

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'More sales in 11 days than the last quarter "

Yeah I can see how 800 % growth can create a crisis of quality


I'm sure Tooboring has a ' Free Special Report ' on rapid growth


we're just a bunch of 1-2 truckers... wth do we know about running a big operation?



Besides half these dopes can't can face the fact that we're a bunch of Suckmop MAIDS!
 

Cleanworks

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As many of you know, I was in the carpet cleaning industry for many many years. I've solely been in the waterproofing industry for the last 5 years. I started doing waterproofing two years ago and it has now become my full time job.
I am currently experiencing something that some here may have had to deal with. We are growing way too fast.....
While that sounds like a good thing, it is indeed a scary thing......
What I did: I fired the sales manager at the end of March and added that position to my duties. I hired 5 new salesmen, a terrific field manager, a new operations manager and added15 installers, and spent a boatload on marketing.....
The end result: We did more in sales than we did more sales in the last 11 days than we did the entire first quarter of the year. A good thing financially, but certainly a headache.

My challenge is this ( and I welcome input). I am terrified that the quality of the work will slip as our sales increases. While I trust my ops manager and field managers, I still am concerned.
I am the checklist & photograph king..... But nevertheless I am concerned that production quality will not meet my expectations.. Any suggestions?
Systems, systems, systems. You need to have the right systems in place, starting with the hiring/training, expectations, quality control, etc. I have a cousin who owns a large roofing company with lots of staff and that's exactly what she tells me.
 
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Desk Jockey

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I'd have that fear too. But if you have quality control safe guards in place, then I'd be more concerned about sustaining the momentum.

Nothing can fold a big business faster than to run out of work.
 
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Greg Cole

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what made you to decide to change biz models as a "quality" outfit rather than the army of sub par subs with portys in their trunks?


..L.T.A.
Different business model.
My company owns a lifetime of the structure warranty on these systems. Also a huge difference between a $8k job average and a few hundred dollar job.
The army of portable carpet cleaners ran a razor thin GPM....

I
 

Greg Cole

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Good advice! That’s why I toolbox over the Sales manager position.
Getting the leads is easy. Conversion into sales is a whole different story...

Examples of what we sell: before and after pics

9F2E459D-39C0-4F58-840A-37CDB2257819.jpeg 6431C9BF-AF9F-4008-A2A0-90F2F0CC3B59.jpeg BF0D0FF3-ECB4-48CF-9150-C1BDE53D30DE.jpeg 9F62EF4D-D14D-4A34-A247-E870466CD48D.jpeg 6ABF728D-6D2D-461B-821F-944F2A0BD240.jpeg
 

Greg Cole

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Basically a Cleanspace type product? Treat the crawlspace as a part of the built environment.

How do you work around the "confined space" issue?
Always crew of at least 3 guys. Two in , one out. OSHA guidelines followed to a T.
Safety meetings on regular basis.

And yes. A competitor to Thrasher systems products. I named our full encap product: “Brightclean”
 

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That’s called Crawlspace Encapsulation
Do you do foundation waterproofing or just exclusively crawlspace? Ive been under many crawlspace assisting in plumbing, etc..it absolutely horrendous. I wish all crawlspace was clean like that..
 
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Concerned? You should be. You cant maintain the quality. If that is your claim and focus downsize. If volume is your thing, then keep doing what your doing and endure the headaches.
 

clean image

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So this is a regional business?

Most here on concrete slab

When I hear waterproofing, I think exterior balconies. There is always problems with those leaking
 

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Firemen must have a minimum of 3 years experience. Co-foremen: 1 year. Laborer: we train
Is is hard to train the laborers? If it isn't, maybe you should consider subbing out the work to little businesses like ours that are owner/op, maybe a small 2-3 man crew business. Open up a network until you have increased your business model big enough to handle all your jobs. You won't make the same amount of profit this way. But it'll help buy you time to grow your business without very many negative results because small businesses like ours don't have very many unsatisfied customers because the owner is on the job 99% of the time
 

sOOper hero

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Is is hard to train the laborers? If it isn't, maybe you should consider subbing out the work to little businesses like ours that are owner/op, maybe a small 2-3 man crew business. Open up a network until you have increased your business model big enough to handle all your jobs.

Reality check for you Woody
In this current economy, it tough to find subs able to get to your jobs in a timely manner
(Subs that Are worth a chit anyway)


Even tougher to find employees that aren’t complete morons
Or
Lazy/not worth a fck/layabouts then won’t show up for work five days a week
Or
Drug addict/alkie/dysfunctionals with no way to get to work and all kind of personl problems

In essence, anyone worth a chit, is busy as hell, rediculusly priced out of the market or gainfully employeed.


.L.T.A.
 

Greg Cole

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Do you do foundation waterproofing or just exclusively crawlspace? Ive been under many crawlspace assisting in plumbing, etc..it absolutely horrendous. I wish all crawlspace was clean like that..
We do foundation repairs. Helical pier ring, push peering, crack injections, utility Pipe Injection’s, and COve joint systems
 

Greg Cole

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Reality check for you Woody
In this current economy, it tough to find subs able to get to your jobs in a timely manner
(Subs that Are worth a chit anyway)


Even tougher to find employees that aren’t complete morons
Or
Lazy/not worth a fck/layabouts then won’t show up for work five days a week
Or
Drug addict/alkie/dysfunctionals with no way to get to work and all kind of personl problems

In essence, anyone worth a chit, is busy as hell, rediculusly priced out of the market or gainfully employeed.


.L.T.A.
Exactly
I will never use subs again....
That would actually create quality control issues.....
 
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Ron K

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I would think photo's would be your best bet along with training.
Photo document before during and after. Special areas of concern everything.
It would protect you also liability wise I would think. Also help in marketing and training. Almost like you were there or at least had an eye on every job.
Train them to take pictures it should be very effective with quality control too.
 

Matt Wood

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Reality check for you Woody
In this current economy, it tough to find subs able to get to your jobs in a timely manner
(Subs that Are worth a chit anyway)


Even tougher to find employees that aren’t complete morons
Or
Lazy/not worth a fck/layabouts then won’t show up for work five days a week
Or
Drug addict/alkie/dysfunctionals with no way to get to work and all kind of personl problems

In essence, anyone worth a chit, is busy as hell, rediculusly priced out of the market or gainfully employeed.


.L.T.A.
I’m just brainstorming with you guys about this. In my little network, I have a good relationship with the businesses that I sub out for air ducts, press wash, windows, general cleaning, insurance claim work, and fine rug care. All of those are 5 different businesses who I have a great relationship to sub out. I’d rather sub out the work to a reputable business than employ a high school graduate or a 35 year old man who’ll work for $13/hr.
 

Greg Cole

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I would think photo's would be your best bet along with training.
Photo document before during and after. Special areas of concern everything.
It would protect you also liability wise I would think. Also help in marketing and training. Almost like you were there or at least had an eye on every job.
Train them to take pictures it should be very effective with quality control too.
Thanks Ron. We currently implement those measures. We are currently waiting on the production company I hired to put the finishing touches on the video training. Although, many of the people we hire learn more by handons.
Some of the measure we take are:
The field supervisor always inspects each job the target day of completion.
Photos are taken before each step on the progress sheet( excavation, drainage installation with laser measure proving pipe pitch is at no more or less than 10 degrees, weep hole installation, gravel installation, vapor barriers etc., and uploaded live ( inspected by Ops manager hourly).
Final punch list completed by Foreman before approaching customer for signoff and final payment.
Ops Manager reviews the inventory sheet to ensure that the proper amount of pipe, tape, caulking, push pins, etc were used.....
CSR department calls next day and then the day after the next significant rainfall.
So far it works well. We are currently putting 15-20 systems in each week. My concern is that if we maintain this rate of growth, expanding the management structure to ensure this level of standard is accomplished
My concern is that I don't overlook anything as we continue to grow,.
 

Greg Cole

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I’m just brainstorming with you guys about this. In my little network, I have a good relationship with the businesses that I sub out for air ducts, press wash, windows, general cleaning, insurance claim work, and fine rug care. All of those are 5 different businesses who I have a great relationship to sub out. I’d rather sub out the work to a reputable business than employ a high school graduate or a 35 year old man who’ll work for $13/hr.
the brainstorming is appreciated. That's why I posted.
 
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