The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business

 
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Old 12-19-2015, 06:13 PM   #21
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


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Great post(s) for the most part, but #11 seems to contradict #4. Are you keeping it small or building a brand (making it big)? As far as lettering your trucks - I would do it on a truck that's mainly used for estimating, but not on a van or trailer full of tools. IMO that just invites thievery.

Lots of small companies have a solid brand and reputation.

Just because I believe a smaller leaner company is more profitable, it doesn't mean you can't be successful owning and operating a large company either. I have friends in this industry with over 100 employees and revenues over $10,000,000.00. They seem to be doing pretty good for themselves.

I live and work in NYC and never had a problem with tools and equipment being stolen. Lettering the truck is worth it IMO.
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:04 PM   #22
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


Great post. But I will add that there are times when you must sacrifice your own time or family time especially when building a business. After 26 years I still find myself having to meet with clients on nights and weekends. I still do lot of texting and emailing with clients on nights and weekends.

The benefit of being your own boss is being able to work on your own schedule most of the time. My kids are all grown up now but for 26 years I have taken 2 weeks off this time of year.
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:20 AM   #23
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


#12. Plan for success on every project

In order to be successful on every project you must have a clearly defined plan. This will help increase productivity, which increases revenues.

My company uses the following checklist for residential projects prior to work beginning regardless of its size.

Are ALL materials on site ready to go?
Having all materials on site and ready to go increases productivity. If you're taking trips to the local HD or supply house during the project your wasting time and money.

Location of materials?
Are your materials located close to the work area and are they neatly stored and sorted?

What about consumables?
Don't forget nails, screws, adhesives and other easily forgotten small items.

Do you have the proper tools on site and are they in good working order?
Check and test your tools and equipment before work begins.

Have you verified and coordinated start and end dates with your employees and subcontractors?
Think of yourself as the conductor of an orchestra producing a beautiful symphony. Are all the trades going to transition from one to the other seamlessly? Call the subs before hand and schedule accordingly.

Have you reviewed the installation details and costs with your employees or subs?
Take the time to review subs proposals or job costs for each phase of the job. Talk to your subs and employees about the scope of each phase and provide all drawings and details.

Is the work area ready and is it clean and safe?
This is common sense. However you'd be surprised how much productivity is lost working in a messy unsafe work area and how many contractors do this.

Are there a reasonable amount of workers coordinated?
There's nothing more frustrating than seeing the painter tripping over the flooring guys. Make sure you've scheduled the project correctly and hold all trades accountable for time.

What is the budget?
Review how much labor and materials are expected to satisfactorily complete the project.

What are the goals and how will they be measured?
My companies goals are to deliver a professional quality service to the homeowner on time and within our budget. At the end of every job we do a full review of profits and customer satisfaction.

Time is money in this business. Look for ways to decrease the time it takes to deliver each project and productivity will increase, leaving you with more profits at the end of each fiscal year.

Last edited by lawndart; 12-20-2015 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:34 AM   #24
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


I'd just like to quickly point out that I'm not a self proclaimed expert. However I've been running my own company for 10'years. I've made lots of mistakes and had some reasonable success over those years. I created this thread to share what I've learned.

Some of it may or may not apply to your situation, but my hope is that some of what I share here might be useful. Please add your experiences and share the knowledge you've acquired over the years. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:31 AM   #25
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


Lawndart,

Nice post. I think it should be a "Sticky". You spent a good bit of time writing this.

Thank you.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:55 AM   #26
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Lawndart,

Nice post. I think it should be a "Sticky". You spent a good bit of time writing this.

Thank you.
Thanks M2akita

I'll be adding more to the thread in the coming days.
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:52 PM   #27
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


Good read. Thanks Lawn Dart.

There is a new year fast approaching. I'm printing this out and using it for my new business plan taking full effect Jan 1, 2016.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:15 AM   #28
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:54 AM   #29
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


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Thanks for taking the initiative to do that video. Very helpful. I'm going to study it further when I have more time tomorrow.
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:36 AM   #30
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


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I'd just like to quickly point out that I'm not a self proclaimed expert. However I've been running my own company for 10'years. I've made lots of mistakes and had some reasonable success over those years. I created this thread to share what I've learned.

Some of it may or may not apply to your situation, but my hope is that some of what I share here might be useful. Please add your experiences and share the knowledge you've acquired over the years. Thanks in advance!
Learning from past experiences, whether they are your own or someone else's, is what enables people to improve.

Thanks for thread and thanks for the video.

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Old 12-27-2015, 08:56 PM   #31
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


What books would you recomend for someone wanting to start up their own business. I know pretty much nothing about this so im trying to do as much research as possible.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:00 PM   #32
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


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What books would you recomend for someone wanting to start up their own business. I know pretty much nothing about this so im trying to do as much research as possible.
Markup and profit by Michael Stone.

How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

The E-Myth by Micheal Gerber
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:09 PM   #33
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Markup and profit by Michael Stone.

How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

The E-Myth by Micheal Gerber
Thank you, How to win friends and influence people is actually next on my list.

Also i havent really decied on what area im wanting to focus on. I was thinking windows and siding. What would you guys recomend to start with with respect to difficulty?
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:11 PM   #34
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


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Markup and profit by Michael Stone.

How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

The E-Myth by Micheal Gerber

Easily the first 3 books anybody should read before starting out in this business.

Some others that I like are

For marketing:

Duct tape marketing

Buy-ology

Guerrilla marketing

Anything by Seth godin

For sales:

Anything by Jeffrey Gitomer

The sander rules

Anything from Tom Hopkins

Anything from Zig Ziglar

And much more. It's my opinion that you should be reading 1-2 books per month at a minimum
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:13 PM   #35
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


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Thank you, How to win friends and influence people is actually next on my list.



Also i havent really decied on what area im wanting to focus on. I was thinking windows and siding. What would you guys recomend to start with with respect to difficulty?

The window business has higher margins. At least that's the case in my market.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:21 PM   #36
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


How realistic is it to get this thing started going to school full time and working full time?
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:24 PM   #37
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


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How realistic is it to get this thing started going to school full time and working full time?

Not very


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Old 12-27-2015, 09:26 PM   #38
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How realistic is it to get this thing started going to school full time and working full time?

Tough road. This business requires full attention and commitment in my opinion.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:27 PM   #39
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Not very


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im only doing school because I get paid to go since i was in the military.

so i use school and work as my income
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:29 PM   #40
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Re: The School Of Hard Knocks. What I've Learned While Running My Business


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im only doing school because I get paid to go since i was in the military.



so i use school and work as my income

Thanks for your service. Mean not very cause to do it right and legit it will be tough not giving the business your full attention in the very beginning


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