Scheduling

andrewyates

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Andrew Yates
Hey, everyone. I am still very interested in started a carpet cleaning business. One question I have is for those of you who do a lot of residential cleanings. Do you schedule out your customers, or is your schedule more of a day to day with an unknown of what the week will bring, as of revenue?

I currently run a window cleaning business and our residential clients schedule out from a week to a month and I can see what the revenue is going to be per day and for the week.

I feel not being able to see work scheduled qill bring a lot of fear and concern for me.

Thanks!
 

Ed Valentine

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Unless you would limit yourself to 2 or 3 continual accounts, and instead your goal is to build a success and "growing" business, it is impossible to guarantee a completely booked week to week work load.
Way too many variables. Most service industries are "impulse buying" situations. And when most decide they want their carpets cleaned, most of those inquiries want it done "now" with a few only willing to wait. (not all, but many)

My son owns a Dental Practice and it's the same situation there as well. They see on their schedule and decide from that what believe will be the day. However, 95% of the time, some may cancel; others call with emergencies, etc......

Same would apply to our manufacturing business here as well. Some will wait for equipment; others want it now!

But, that's the "growing business" pain.
Hope this helps;
Ed Valentine
cross-american.com
 

Brian H

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Your question has me wondering... If you have customers, why not book them as soon as you can get them done? Why would you book someone out a week or two and sit around with nothing to do?

We always book our next available day. Sometimes that's a week out and sometimes it's the next day.

It's been my experience that the further out you book a customer, the more likely "something" will happen and they cancel.
 

Mikey P

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Your question has me wondering... If you have customers, why not book them as soon as you can get them done? Why would you book someone out a week or two and sit around with nothing to do?

We always book our next available day. Sometimes that's a week out and sometimes it's the next day.

It's been my experience that the further out you book a customer, the more likely "something" will happen and they cancel.


Owner Op type customers call way in advanced to secure a time with "Their Guy"

Strange concept for a Multi Trucker to grasp I imagine....
 

Brian H

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Owner Op type customers call way in advanced to secure a time with "Their Guy"

Strange concept for a Multi Trucker to grasp I imagine....
The question was whether to intentionally schedule jobs out a bit so that you could predict what your revenue would be in advance.

My philosophy has always been to get the work done as soon as you can. What if you get crazy busy, you can't go back in time and do more jobs last week. As I said before, if you can do the work this week, why put it off until next week?
 

andrewyates

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Your question has me wondering... If you have customers, why not book them as soon as you can get them done? Why would you book someone out a week or two and sit around with nothing to do?

We always book our next available day. Sometimes that's a week out and sometimes it's the next day.

It's been my experience that the further out you book a customer, the more likely "something" will happen and they cancel.
My goal would be to build a business with more than one van and one employee. I want to be sure that I have enough workload for my employees. In the business I am in now, I can see I have all my vans full and scheduled for the next 2 weeks. I am hoping for something similar. Attracting and retaining employees in any service business is a challenge. And not being able to have a full schedule would affect the retention rate of the employees. I just don't want to have to train a new guy every week. lol
 

andrewyates

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The question was whether to intentionally schedule jobs out a bit so that you could predict what your revenue would be in advance.

My philosophy has always been to get the work done as soon as you can. What if you get crazy busy, you can't go back in time and do more jobs last week. As I said before, if you can do the work this week, why put it off until next week?
Oh, If I have an opening available, I will put them in. I am more curious if you guys are seeing customers wanting next day or if they are ok with being a week out or so.
 

Hack Attack

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Oh, If I have an opening available, I will put them in. I am more curious if you guys are seeing customers wanting next day or if they are ok with being a week out or so.
it's no different than your window runs, the person who rings up asking if you can come tomorrow, is most likely to be told no. and given next available slot
 

sassyotto

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I am more curious if you guys are seeing customers wanting next day or if they are ok with being a week out or so.
if they are wanting next day, more than likely you dont want them.

im now booking end of October, so yes they are willing to wait for top quality work (note, if you want to be like all the other cleaners you will never schedule that far in advance)

most cleaners in this area are booking 2-3 days out. How do I know? they have their schedule on their website!
 

Brian H

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if they are wanting next day, more than likely you dont want them.
We'll take 'em all!!!

It's admirable that you are booked out through the end of October and that your customers will wait for a quality job but:
  • How many times have you forgotten to schedule something your significant other told you to get done? Bet you/they were happy that you could get it done the next day.
  • How does waiting a few weeks for the customer with an accident on the carpet?
  • How many times does a situation happen where your customer has unexpected guests coming at the end of the week and need cleaning ASAP?
  • How many times have your customers just decide at the spur of the moment to get cleaning done. You know the type who decide that they can't live with soiled carpet one day longer.
  • How many times do you have new home owners call and realize they need carpet cleaned before they move in?
There are plenty of reasons that customers want/need carpet cleaned the next day.
 

Radar Foster

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Don’t listen to these one truck wonders Brian
We pick up more weekly work than they do all month

legends.... all in their minds
 

The Great Oz

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We intentionally leave some room in a packed schedule to fit in small "emergency" jobs like cat vomit, as we may pick up a customer that will be with us for life. We also have customers booked out at the end of a busy schedule, but they can be on a waiting list and jump ahead if we get a cancellation - or if someone's day is just way easier than we thought.

Most people, at least at higher income levels, want to get things done as soon as possible.
 

sassyotto

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Most people, at least at higher income levels, want to get things done as soon as possible.
i find the opposite. almost all my customers could be described as high income. they tend to plan ahead.

And as stated above, if a customer (like the one today) has a dog that has an accident that needs to be taken care of, I can fit that in at the end of the day.

And Radar, I didnt realize that this was going to turn into a debate about being an OO vs Multi Truck operation. Been there done that.

I thought it was a question of if people are willing to wait. the right customers will
 

Brian H

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i find the opposite. almost all my customers could be described as high income. they tend to plan ahead.

And as stated above, if a customer (like the one today) has a dog that has an accident that needs to be taken care of, I can fit that in at the end of the day.

And Radar, I didnt realize that this was going to turn into a debate about being an OO vs Multi Truck operation. Been there done that.

I thought it was a question of if people are willing to wait. the right customers will
Paul,

I don't think it's a matter of O/O vs multi truck I just think there are many desirable customers who don't want to wait.
 
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I have a handful of lake homes we do 3 or 4 times a year. Lock codes, usually not home, that are scheduled October and November before holidays. This is the exception.

Most customers would not wait that long, or plan that far in advance.
 
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Andy

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  • How many times have you forgotten to schedule something your significant other told you to get done? Bet you/they were happy that you could get it done the next day.
  • How does waiting a few weeks for the customer with an accident on the carpet?
  • How many times does a situation happen where your customer has unexpected guests coming at the end of the week and need cleaning ASAP?
  • How many times have your customers just decide at the spur of the moment to get cleaning done. You know the type who decide that they can't live with soiled carpet one day longer.
  • How many times do you have new home owners call and realize they need carpet cleaned before they move in?
Brian, With a company of the size that you run, you can do that and that is the niche of a multi-truck company. But when you are an owner / operator you have a schedule and you stick to it or you will run yourself right into the ground. It is no different than trying to get a mechanic to work on your vehicle on a Saturday, they won't do it because they are normally closed. Or if they have a full schedule they won't open one just for you, they will tell you that we can get you on this day. Doctors, lawyers, dentists they all operate the same way, they will get you in when they have an opening.
 
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Brian H

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Brian, With a company of the size that you run, you can do that and that is the niche of a multi-truck company. But when you are an owner / operator you have a schedule and you stick to it or you will run yourself right into the ground. It is no different than trying to get a mechanic to work on your vehicle on a Saturday, they won't do it because they are normally closed. Or if they have a full schedule they won't open one just for you, they will tell you that we can get you on this day. Doctors, lawyers, dentists they all operate the same way, they will get you in when they have an opening.
I totally agree with you Andy. I started in this business way, way back with a very tiny company when we were cleaning dirt floors in caves using mastodon mounted equipment. I had much the same challenges as an owner operator and I respect every one of you.

The original question though was:
"Do you schedule out your customers, or is your schedule more of a day to day with an unknown of what the week will bring, as of revenue?"

Maybe I misunderstood the question, but I took it to mean " Do you purposely book customers a week or two in advance, even when you have open days, so that you get a better handle on future volume. "
 

Mikey P

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i find the opposite. almost all my customers could be described as high income. they tend to plan ahead.

And as stated above, if a customer (like the one today) has a dog that has an accident that needs to be taken care of, I can fit that in at the end of the day.

And Radar, I didnt realize that this was going to turn into a debate about being an OO vs Multi Truck operation. Been there done that.

I thought it was a question of if people are willing to wait. the right customers will


Ours tend to plan ahead as well
 

Chris A

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We used to shoot for 2-3 days out but post covid shutdown we've been booked at least a week for the last 4 months. I'm actually liking the predictability but it does put more pressure on me to go out and clean more than I'd like
 
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Radar Foster

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Me too Chris


this debate ‘Boyle's’’ down to two positions...

As a business owner

Do you have a highly profitable paying company ?

Or as an Owner operator

do you have a high paying job?
 

Matt Wood

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I don't see the purpose of this subject. If you're new in this business, and your schedule is empty, go to work!

If you're booked, then tell them you're a couple weeks booked out. It's common sense.

If you're booked and you're low on expenses...invest in another van and schedule more jobs.
 
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