Getting Started Need Advice.

 
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:25 AM   #41
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


Why don't you sell gutters and subcontract them out?

I sell gutters at double what I pay for them and all I have to do is make a phone call with the color and the details of the job.

Then you don't have to worry about wages, larger insurance bills, employer taxes, etc.
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:53 AM   #42
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


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Why don't you sell gutters and subcontract them out?

I sell gutters at double what I pay for them and all I have to do is make a phone call with the color and the details of the job.

Then you don't have to worry about wages, larger insurance bills, employer taxes, etc.

Bam. Did you sell enough volume to just survive off if subbing gutters? I thinks that's what he's trying to do. You had other things to supplement doing roofing and siding


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Old 12-24-2015, 08:56 AM   #43
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


I run a successful construction business here in NYC and don't do any of the physical work. My responsibilities are sales, marketing, finance, hiring, production etc.... Knowing that I won't be performing any of the actual work, I've hired skilled tradesman. Those tradesman are making between $30.00 - $40.00 an hour on the books. I have good, reliable and skilled employees but I pay top dollar for it.

The difference between me and the salesman is that I started out working in the field and then progressed into the business owner I am today. If one of my men calls out sick, I'm perfectly capable of putting on the tool belt and filling in for them.

Others have pointed it out. Don't undervalue starting out and learning in the field before stepping back. It's an invaluable learning lesson that can't be replaced.

Also, never underestimate your competition. There are some real tradesman/business owners out in the market. If you're forced to compete against a guy with equal experience and skills like me, you may find yourself out of business in the near future.

Being a good salesman is only 1/10th of the equation.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:11 AM   #44
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


I appreciate all the good advice.

I don't want to sub out the work because I want control over the process. Which is where I plan on making my real sales.

Nothing sells a job like doing a job.

I've gotten a lot of feed back on my labor budget. I'm really going to have to crunch some numbers.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:39 AM   #45
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


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I appreciate all the good advice.

I don't want to sub out the work because I want control over the process. Which is where I plan on making my real sales.

Nothing sells a job like doing a job.

I've gotten a lot of feed back on my labor budget. I'm really going to have to crunch some numbers.

Employees and subs are still labor. What process are you looking to control? What's the difference?

Skilled labor wether it be employees or a sub contractor will help sell a job.

A skilled gutter installer will either be working for himself or working for a competitor at a much higher rate than $15 an hour. Treat your employees as a valuable asset and compensate them better than your competition if you truly want to make an impact with your new business.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:59 AM   #46
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


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Originally Posted by The salesman View Post
I appreciate all the good advice.

I don't want to sub out the work because I want control over the process. Which is where I plan on making my real sales.

Nothing sells a job like doing a job.

I've gotten a lot of feed back on my labor budget. I'm really going to have to crunch some numbers.
I respect the fact that you are taking advise and applying it to your plan. The one other thing you need to think about for your plan is what you do in a few instances with labor. As was mentioned above most guys doing what you can do can go in the field or send another truck if they have to. What will you do when a guy calls in sick, gets hurt or quits. If it doesn't work out with you lead guy, you have to have a plan in place to keep the work moving.
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:05 AM   #47
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


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Originally Posted by NYgutterguy View Post
Bam. Did you sell enough volume to just survive off if subbing gutters? I thinks that's what he's trying to do. You had other things to supplement doing roofing and siding


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No i did not but I don't actively pursue gutter jobs. I include them on roofing quotes. If someone just had a repair or a small gutter job, I referred them directly to my sub. We probably only did around 500 ft gutter and maybe the same ft downspout month. The good part is since we are doing the roof at the same time 9/10 times, it costs me $4.00 a foot to have them done.




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I run a successful construction business here in NYC and don't do any of the physical work. My responsibilities are sales, marketing, finance, hiring, production etc.... Knowing that I won't be performing any of the actual work, I've hired skilled tradesman. Those tradesman are making between $30.00 - $40.00 an hour on the books. I have good, reliable and skilled employees but I pay top dollar for it.

The difference between me and the salesman is that I started out working in the field and then progressed into the business owner I am today. If one of my men calls out sick, I'm perfectly capable of putting on the tool belt and filling in for them.

Others have pointed it out. Don't undervalue starting out and learning in the field before stepping back. It's an invaluable learning lesson that can't be replaced.

Also, never underestimate your competition. There are some real tradesman/business owners out in the market. If you're forced to compete against a guy with equal experience and skills like me, you may find yourself out of business in the near future.

Being a good salesman is only 1/10th of the equation.
This is a very good post and makes someone like you hard to compete against. I think this is also my biggest advantage when bidding against just sales companies. I've done all the work physically that I sell so I understand it differently.
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:12 AM   #48
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


Exactly Bam. Not all contractors are toothless inbred idiots. I feel like the OP devalues the importance of actually learning to perform the work because in his mind he is a superior business/salesman. He's going to learn very quickly when he has to compete with the big boys in his market.

He'd be surprised just how hard it can be to compete against an experienced "chuck in a truck"

Remember it's not the size of the business that counts, it's the experienced people and processes in it.

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Old 12-24-2015, 11:22 AM   #49
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


Interesting thread.

It sure seems like it is going to be tough to make money off of a 15 dollar an hour guy. Also how much process is there really in gutters. Especially when you obviously don't have the skills for the high end custom work.

Wouldn't it be a better idea if you just buy a machine, hire a moderately competent guy and go out and hang gutters?

You may think you are a step above old Chuck because you are a "salesman", but Chuck will eat you alive as far as getting the work done.

NYGUTTERGUY is technically a chuck in a truck under your definition. I don't think you are even on his radar as a competitor. He is being polite, but he can run circles around anything you will try to do. Like he said, he does more in a week than you want to do in a month.

Chuck ain't always the one behind the 8 ball.
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:27 AM   #50
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


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Interesting thread.

It sure seems like it is going to be tough to make money off of a 15 dollar an hour guy. Also how much process is there really in gutters. Especially when you obviously don't have the skills for the high end custom work.

Wouldn't it be a better idea if you just buy a machine, hire a moderately competent guy and go out and hang gutters?

You may think you are a step above old Chuck because you are a "salesman", but Chuck will eat you alive as far as getting the work done.

NYGUTTERGUY is technically a chuck in a truck under your definition. I don't think you are even on his radar as a competitor. He is being polite, but he can run circles around anything you will try to do. Like he said, he does more in a week than you want to do in a month.

Chuck ain't always the one behind the 8 ball.

What have we learned in this thread? Don't mess with "Chuck". Thread over lol
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:29 AM   #51
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


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Originally Posted by VinylHanger View Post
Interesting thread.

It sure seems like it is going to be tough to make money off of a 15 dollar an hour guy. Also how much process is there really in gutters. Especially when you obviously don't have the skills for the high end custom work.

Wouldn't it be a better idea if you just buy a machine, hire a moderately competent guy and go out and hang gutters?

You may think you are a step above old Chuck because you are a "salesman", but Chuck will eat you alive as far as getting the work done.

NYGUTTERGUY is technically a chuck in a truck under your definition. I don't think you are even on his radar as a competitor. He is being polite, but he can run circles around anything you will try to do. Like he said, he does more in a week than you want to do in a month.

Chuck ain't always the one behind the 8 ball.

Thanks vinyl. I'm in between chuck and and the guys that just sell. I have. $35 an hour guy ( brother ) and a $20 and hour guy and I sell and install as much as I can. But we do serious sales for a one crew operation (2gutter trucks and an estimate truck) We do 45-50 k a month as a pretty small set up


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Old 12-24-2015, 12:00 PM   #52
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


To the op: Youre a sales guy. Why not sell sales. In other words, network with roofing gutter and window companies and sell work for them on commission You wouldnt have to execute just sell. Have your own lead gen but avoid all of the investment, training, overhead and RISK. Sell the gutters to the chucks in the trucks.
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:36 PM   #53
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


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To the op: Youre a sales guy. Why not sell sales. In other words, network with roofing gutter and window companies and sell work for them on commission You wouldnt have to execute just sell. Have your own lead gen but avoid all of the investment, training, overhead and RISK. Sell the gutters to the chucks in the trucks.


Op could make money just being a salesman and sub it out to guys like me but the problem is he dosnt know jack about gutters and hed be limited to what he could offer to the homeowner cause hes never installed and a smart homeowner would see right through it



This year i sold 7 half round jobs(aluminum) and 6 of them were because they were houses that would look fantastic with them instead of regular k style (standard) gutters. The other homeowner requested half round So I was able to get the jobs with a huge difference in profit by selling the customer on how good they would look with pics of old jobs etc. Everyone of these homeowners were beyond thrilled with the finished product.



I turned calls that were for a basic estimate into even more profitable custom gutters. FYI im hardly some smooth talking salesman. I sell the fact that ill be there doing the work 100% of the time. Like i said before on here i present myself as just a regular guy that runs a small family business

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Old 12-24-2015, 01:59 PM   #54
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


There is more it than just being a persuasive salesman and good at selling but you have to know your product inside out and know when to run from jobs.

The pic is a house i did last month. Guy got two other prices from companies that bid on 5" gutters. I looked at house and told him he's out of his mind if he puts 5" on house this big. He trusted my opinion and experience so I was able to sell entire 1000' gutter and downspout for 35% more for a house that just would not be able to handle smaller gutters. Just got a Christmas card from him


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Old 12-24-2015, 02:00 PM   #55
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:23 PM   #56
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


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Op could make money just being a salesman and sub it out to guys like me but the problem is he dosnt know jack about gutters and hed be limited to what he could offer to the homeowner cause hes never installed and a smart homeowner would see right through it



This year i sold 7 half round jobs(aluminum) and 6 of them were because they were houses that would look fantastic with them instead of regular k style (standard) gutters. The other homeowner requested half round So I was able to get the jobs with a huge difference in profit by selling the customer on how good they would look with pics of old jobs etc. Everyone of these homeowners were beyond thrilled with the finished product.



I turned calls that were for a basic estimate into even more profitable custom gutters. FYI im hardly some smooth talking salesman. I sell the fact that ill be there doing the work 100% of the time. Like i said before on here i present myself as just a regular guy that runs a small family business
Theres one more crucial point to selling effectively. When your customer asks you for a service you actually make sure they get what they need and want, not merely what they ask for. If you do that, it flies off the shelves.

The customer in your example asked for gutters, but instead you gave them what they wanted; an awesome looking house.

I was watching a show about television marketing and they said the three things that sell are need, greed and vanity. When your roof leaks you NEED a roof. When you remodel your kitchen you want it to LOOK awesome. When youre flipping a house you want to MAKE money. As you work with clients I think most people will find they can classify their customers goals into these three categories. Once categorized then you sell the sizzle. Your roof wont leak for forty years, your neighbors will die of envy, your flip will be done in thirty days instead of ninety and you will make an extra 10k even tho my bid is 5k more. The sizzle is always about the clients needs.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:39 AM   #57
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


Maybe there was a reason your previous employer left gutters out of the no-complete contract.
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Old 12-25-2015, 10:18 AM   #58
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


Do you plan to offer more than just gutter installations? We have a member in our local NARI chapter here that is strictly a gutter business. They offer the following services:

Installations
Repairs
Gutter cleaning
Gutter guards

He's got a nice little business with a dozen trucks on the road.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:22 AM   #59
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


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I'm not totally inept when it comes to trade work, btw. Before the market came crashing town I was doing ok flipping houses part time.

I've gotten a couple private messages about a sales guy opening a gutter business. To that end let me just say that I see more business fail because they don't develope a sales / marketing plan.

There were some really skilled trades men who came into the roofing office. After seeing there work I was shocked they weren't fully booked. After talking with them for a little bit I eventually found out that they totally devalued the sales process if there business.

If you are a skilled trade and want to open your own business please either hire a good sales man or spend the 2k or so and go take a Dale Carnegie 1 week class.

I try to read at least 4 sales or motivational books a month.
this is just my opinion and take it with a grain of salt and don't get bent out of shape, but I don't like people like yourself, because I'm the complete opposite of you

In my opinion anyone can put on a nice shirt, shave, get a haircut, use deodorant walk into a customers house and SELL something to them, the better you look the faster you talk, the more bs that comes out of your mouth the higher the chance you will have to close a job, people eat that up

My close rate is very very low, I am chuck in the truck, my 25 year old truck leaks coolant, oil, sounds aweful, and runs rough, but I don't really care, I show up at your house in ripped shorts, t-shirt, bad hairdo, unshaven, smelly, tattoos and multiple piercings

The people who trip over themselves to throw money at a salesman are not my customer. My customer expects me to be on the job, directly supervising or performing the work. My customer doesn't want to see a salesmen, a supervisor, and a bunch of strangers at their home who may or may not have the ability to carry on a basic conversation about the weather.

With all that said, I do pretty darn well for myself, my numbers are pretty good, I don't need to sell anything, I don't need to ever chase after work, heck it's been so crazy I haven't done an estimate since mid sept. pretty much tell people if you want to wait till january we'll talk then, 2016 is pretty well booked with a few small openings here and there

never underestimate chuck in a truck bro, I pay over 30k a year in insurance, I have an accountant who watches over my money and does payroll, I have a lawyer I meet with every two months, and a good insurance agent, my prices are very high, i charge out the you know what for tile, drywall, framing, etc. you wouldn't belive my sq ft prices they'd make your gutter prices seem like pennies, but if I rolled up to your house you'd think I was nothing but a stoner ski bum, be very careful of your competition just because we're not salesmen doesn't mean we don't know what we're doing
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:09 PM   #60
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Re: Getting Started Need Advice.


Sorry to resurrect an old thread here but this is filled with awesome advice! I'm getting ready to start into a gutter business but I'm from the opposite spectrum. I came out of a gutter company with 8 years of experience under my belt. 3+ training and operating as a foreman. But I only ever made $14/hr and was too young to fully realize I was selling myself short. Now after a year off and a move to a big city I'm looking to start up. But I'm just seeking the knowledge of the business. The work is easy. I'll push for as much volume as I can but I know it's winter. I'm just ready to quit being the "helper" and step up to Chuck. Glad I found this thread.

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