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Old 10-06-2011, 06:38 PM   #21
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


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I think the mod who got there feelings hurt by mike finely should get over it and let him back. He had the best advice when it came to these types of threads. Everybody needs to be told to f themselves every once in a while....


And it wasn't even me.

There's a LOT more to this. Please drop it.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:46 PM   #22
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


BC - It's already been said, but you must separate yourself from the hacks. The level of work I do the hacks can't do. They simply don't have the skill set let alone the tools and equipment.

Re- marketing. I would like ONLY one more high end client to fill my yearly roster. I plan on advertising for that select client. In other words, I will be taking resumes of clients to see it they are of the quality of customer for ME to take on.

How's that for a different perspective? No joking here, I'm serious.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:52 PM   #23
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


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Originally Posted by ohiohomedoctor View Post
Everybody needs to be told to f themselves every once in a while....
I just assumed you guys were married too...
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Planer.....

Last edited by EthanB; 10-06-2011 at 06:53 PM. Reason: overquoted
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:27 PM   #24
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


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I just assumed you guys were married too...
Nice try ethan, nice try.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:42 PM   #25
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..work/////// That's...store////// You d... hammer////// You ..business ///// Eventually, .....much///// I'll ....work////// I .......
Four out of five doctors agree..... your / key is stuck.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:46 PM   #26
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


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Originally Posted by 480sparky

Four out of five doctors agree..... your / key is stuck.
+1 thats 5 out if 5 now.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:24 PM   #27
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


Whenever I hear of guys not having work, I always question why? I have overcome a lot of obstacles since I started my business 19 months ago. Since March/April I have been steadily a month out. I am booked until the middle/end of November as of right now and this is with two crews doing jobs that only last a few days at most.

On the job we completed last week, I was the highest by $1500. On the job I signed today, I was the lowest by $800. My prices didn't change, the other bidders changed.

I bet you those guys who lost the job to me consider me a hack. Just because you lose jobs to someone doesn't make them a hack, if that is the case, lots of contractors think we perform hack work.

Of those people you lose jobs to, call them and ask them why they chose not to go with you. This takes a lot of courage but it will teach you a lot.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:32 PM   #28
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


[QUOTE=BamBamm5144;1299108]Whenever I hear of guys not having work, I always question why? I have overcome a lot of obstacles since I started my business 19 months ago. Since March/April I have been steadily a month out. I am booked until the middle/end of November as of right now and this is with two crews doing jobs that only last a few days at most.

On the job we completed last week, I was the highest by $1500. On the job I signed today, I was the lowest by $800. My prices didn't change, the other bidders changed.

I bet you those guys who lost the job to me consider me a hack. Just because you lose jobs to someone doesn't make them a hack, if that is the case, lots of contractors think we perform hack work.

Bam,
Not every situation is the same. For 15 years I was a subcontractor on 95% of my jobs. When new residential construction collapsed, we were forced to find work doing remodels, additions, garages, etc. Some of our contractors managed to get some decent jobs in this sector, some did not. I have been forced to fill the gaps by becoming a GC on a much higher percentage of jobs. If I had a crystal ball 2 1/2 years ago, I would have embraced this change much differently. I would have marketed more aggressively using some target advertising. As it sits now, I see things slowly starting to turn. I think in 6-9 months we will be returning to a lot more new work. So for me, this whole thing is much different than it is for you and others.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:35 PM   #29
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


480 is on a roll All I could do at this point is quote his stuff.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:38 PM   #30
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


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Originally Posted by katoman View Post
BC - It's already been said, but you must separate yourself from the hacks. The level of work I do the hacks can't do. They simply don't have the skill set let alone the tools and equipment.

Re- marketing. I would like ONLY one more high end client to fill my yearly roster. I plan on advertising for that select client. In other words, I will be taking resumes of clients to see it they are of the quality of customer for ME to take on.

How's that for a different perspective? No joking here, I'm serious.
Hot Dam, Now that's the attitude to have.

480 also said it when does Tiffany's compete with Wal Mart/K-Mart?

He!! no...

You are not going to step in to high end clientele overnight ...
But when you do...you'd better be ready

And...not everyone can do it...
The quality of your work/integrity/honesty play a HUGE factor.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:39 PM   #31
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


Quote:
Originally Posted by BamBamm5144
Whenever I hear of guys not having work, I always question why? I have overcome a lot of obstacles since I started my business 19 months ago. Since March/April I have been steadily a month out. I am booked until the middle/end of November as of right now and this is with two crews doing jobs that only last a few days at most.

On the job we completed last week, I was the highest by $1500. On the job I signed today, I was the lowest by $800. My prices didn't change, the other bidders changed.

I bet you those guys who lost the job to me consider me a hack. Just because you lose jobs to someone doesn't make them a hack, if that is the case, lots of contractors think we perform hack work.

Of those people you lose jobs to, call them and ask them why they chose not to go with you. This takes a lot of courage but it will teach you a lot.
That's good advise, the one time I called and asked why I didn't get the job the owner said I was only 400$ higher but I couldn't start for 3 weeks and the other guy could have his crew there the next day.
I've went through dry spells, in this economy that's probably gonna happen to those of is just starting out. I wish there was a handbook for "how to find jobs" but for me it's been trial and error. I think these guys are right though- if the only determining factor on wether you get the job or not is price- your working for people that will eventually put you out of business.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:08 PM   #32
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


Change your attitude it wreaks of failure.
Clients can smell it and then they are like snakes.
Wanting everything for nothing caus they see you desperate.

I guarentee, you go in on a bid and they beat you up.
I follow you in and they wont even ask for a dime off the price.

Drink yourself a 6 pack and wake up in the morning and tell your self. Today is your day, all you have to do is go and get it. I have seen your work and everyone here knows your a top notch guy. So be positive its contagious
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:53 PM   #33
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


Thanks for the comments guys. I'm like most of you and understand that 99% of the time you do get what you pay for and it's hard to watch customer after customer with more money than sense go for the cheapest price. I have been lucky though and have not had to advertise once in over 4 years as all work has been recommendations but it seems people are truly being ultra tight with their money lately. I'm def gonna read a couple of these books though to try and figure if I can improve my selling technique.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:16 PM   #34
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


As mentioned above, marketing is crucial, especially directed to the right areas. Personal experience has taught me to stay away from the gated communities - want more and more and slow to pay.

I have also noticed that some people are using the economy and saying that they are getting lower bids form equally qualified companies, but I have never seen one of these lower bids - I think that they are just saying the other bids are lower. Also a lot of people are just price shopping and dreaming, hoping to be able to afford the work.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:23 PM   #35
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


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Originally Posted by kevjob View Post
Start reading

Dan Kennedy

Dale Carnegie

Tom Hopkins


You are not a contractor, you are a marketing guy who does remodeling.

Marketing and sales should be your number one priority as it all starts with a deposit and rolls from there.

How do you get leads now?

How do you set yourself apart from the one-truck-chucks?

I used to believe do good work and it will rain money.. wrong

A guy I know told me "do your hardest work at the kitchen table" (selling)

Stop worrying about what others are charging (easier said than done)

What do you bring on appts? photo book? reference letters? insurance?

When I come back to give proposal presentation, I have print outs of what fixtures I am specing, a color 3-d drawing that I reference no less than 10 times during presentation. Copies of license, insurance, references etc...

There are people buying and paying full price for remodeling, I just sold a 30k bath 2 weeks ago and a 20k bath I signed today and I was underbid by 40% on both. I sold the sh%t out those jobs cause I wanted them.

Pm me if you want to talk.
This is how its done. I take the same approach. Come correct or stay home.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:43 PM   #36
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


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Originally Posted by BamBamm5144 View Post
Whenever I hear of guys not having work, I always question why? I have overcome a lot of obstacles since I started my business 19 months ago. Since March/April I have been steadily a month out. I am booked until the middle/end of November as of right now and this is with two crews doing jobs that only last a few days at most.

On the job we completed last week, I was the highest by $1500. On the job I signed today, I was the lowest by $800. My prices didn't change, the other bidders changed.

I bet you those guys who lost the job to me consider me a hack. Just because you lose jobs to someone doesn't make them a hack, if that is the case, lots of contractors think we perform hack work.

Of those people you lose jobs to, call them and ask them why they chose not to
go with you. This takes a lot of courage but it will teach you a lot.
I know more than a few good contractors who have either gone out of business, or are close to it. They are established and advertise. The problem is, in many areas there is only so much work to be had. Correct me if Im wrong but you live in a large urban area don't you? Many others, including myself are from rural areas, google search means little here. I believe our company still comes up first or close to it, if you do a search for remodelers in my area, my website gets a COUPLE of hits a month tops. Sold one job from it.

We have been fortunate that we have a large referal base, and are very involved in the community. We also have a large resort with a lot of luxury homes to work on. Still good builders going out of business, as well as contractors from every trade. A town of about 8000 100 miles from here had 11 permits pulled last year. One new house built in three years. These are hard times for many, regardless of their business practices or craft skills.

Last edited by Jaws; 10-06-2011 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:13 PM   #37
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


I have been to a few contractor going out business sales. Many times you can find good deals but at the same time wonder if you are next. These were established firms in some cases 30 yrs or more. It makes you wonder if you had good numbers during the boom times if you wouldn't have been better off selling than to stick it out and go banko. It's going to take guts and capital to stick it out now. Guts are easy to come buy capital isn't
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:21 AM   #38
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


BC,
I think sparky did a great job of pointing out what you need to know


I would ad 2 further things- the tiffany/kmart anolgy is a good one on several levels. you can bring a level of professionalism,skill,insurance etc. to the table that the low-ball guys can't PLUS--- you can sell a specialty product that the fly-by nights can't.

in my case- roofing- I had a nice little mom and pop business doing mostly asphalt shingles in ONE neighborhood-about a 8-10 block radius- it was a wonderfull life for 20 plus years- in 2008 a hailstorm wiped out the roofs in that area-all the roofs were replaced in the course of a year-and my customer base was mostly gone. I had always done a bit of slate& tile roofing work and in the last 2 years I switched over almost exclusively to slate and tile work- guess what? I have no real competition- it's a specialty and joe pickup truck can't do the work AND the customers can't price shop. I am busyier than i have ever been

Last night a prospective customer called- I gave him a proposal june 10- he had been avoiding doing the work because of the cost. He asked me if I could revisit the site and re-work the proposal to shave something off. I told him I could re-visit the site- but the cost WASN'T going to decrease. " that's what i was afraid of- you have a specialty product and there is never pricing flexibility in that sitution----------- go ahead and please put us on your schedule"

So- my advice- find a specialty that joe pick-up truck can't do-and concentrate on developing that. It may take 2-3 years but after that you will be in the drivers seat.
Best wishes,
stephen
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:11 PM   #39
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


Many of you are saying "you have to separate yourself from the hacks" but that is extremely hard to do without making your sales pitch overly negative. How do you imply that the lower bidders are not going to do as good of a job without poisoning the pitch with negativity?
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:09 PM   #40
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Re: If You Cant Beat Them Join Them!


Just some local insight to share.

There have been many GCs in this area that were long time established businesses, mostly in commercial construction, that have decided it's time to close shop and retire.

I can only surmise that their business sense tells them to get while the getting's is good. In this case, getting out.

The same is true in residential though. Nothing much going on and many high quality guys are struggling. Not everyone is created equally when it comes to salesmanship and many great guys are suffering as a result.

The guys who are not good salesmen are the ones who will drop their numbers to compete. That doesn't make them a hack, it makes them a survivalist, doing the best they can with the tools available to them.

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