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For One Man Shows

 
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:46 PM   #1
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For One Man Shows


I am admittedly a one man show at the moment, my wife(books) is caring for newborn, which leaves me the HBIC for now.

A brief explanation of my company-
-90% paperwork GC, subbing out all except finish carpentry and occasional odds and ends-cleanup, punch,etc
-managing up 3-4 projects at any one time
- no employees

Closing out two significant jobs, far apart and am on the verge of a breakdown with both closeouts at once-self performing some of the trim package, coordinating punch list and final inspections.

Has me really thinking two things-

1) I should just do one big job at a time

OR

2) I should hire a foreman to run around, babysit trades when needed, and perform gaps in scope/punch. But have the fear of having someone counting on me for a paycheck every week.


Anyone out there in a similar situation, stretched too thin? Thoughts, advice, haters ?????
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Old 09-06-2018, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: For One Man Shows


Raise your rates substantially. This will self-correct. You'll do less and make more.

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Old 09-06-2018, 05:41 PM   #3
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Re: For One Man Shows


I have always tried to do one job at a time. In 30 years, it's never worked out. For me, anyway.

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Old 09-06-2018, 06:06 PM   #4
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Re: For One Man Shows


Quote:
Originally Posted by LPG View Post
I am admittedly a one man show at the moment, my wife(books) is caring for newborn, which leaves me the HBIC for now.

A brief explanation of my company-
-90% paperwork GC, subbing out all except finish carpentry and occasional odds and ends-cleanup, punch,etc
-managing up 3-4 projects at any one time
- no employees

Closing out two significant jobs, far apart and am on the verge of a breakdown with both closeouts at once-self performing some of the trim package, coordinating punch list and final inspections.

Has me really thinking two things-

1) I should just do one big job at a time

OR

2) I should hire a foreman to run around, babysit trades when needed, and perform gaps in scope/punch. But have the fear of having someone counting on me for a paycheck every week.


Anyone out there in a similar situation, stretched too thin? Thoughts, advice, haters ?????
Goldenview does it this way. He is doing well. Need a lot of work to come up with an extra 60 to 75k a year for a competent foreman. Will that foreman be able to bring in another 180-250k revenue?

Might start with a competent guy on speed dial that can fill in here or there. Once he is just always working for you then you cut your costs and hire in house. Maybe you just need a finish carpentry sub?
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Old 09-06-2018, 06:08 PM   #5
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Re: For One Man Shows


No you don't do just one job at a time. Not with your model. You gotta make hay while the sun is shining.

Clouds on the horizon. Home sales have declined every month for the last seven months. Interest rates are up from 3.78 to 4.54 in a year.
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:10 PM   #6
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Re: For One Man Shows


I am a one-man show as well, with lots of subs as the timing and scale of the project dictates. I never run overlapping projects - all that does is piss off the homeowner. How on earth do you demonstrate daily progress to each of your clients if you're juggling multiple jobs? Indeed, I use that single-project focus as a key selling proposition, and bring it up at every meeting with potential clients. And I know it works, because many clients have told me it was the specific reason they hired me.

As I state on my web page (www.houzz.com/pro/johnbh11/__public)

"Larger builders have to run multiple projects simultaneously, shifting crews and trades from jobsite to jobsite - which keeps THEM busy, but inevitably results in delays, inattention and neglect for YOUR project. So many builders get partway done and then get distracted by the next big project, so yours drags on and on. Not with us! In contrast, our single-project focus ensures that YOU are the top priority throughout the course of your renovation."

Look at it practical terms. As just one person, you can only accomplish so much - and generate so much revenue - in a given day, so why spread it around a bunch of projects? Why not focus on one, keeping the homeowner thrilled with the progress?

The only drawback, as I see it, is loss of potential near-term opportunities as my book of work extends so very far into the future. But as I only take about one job for every fifty project inquiries I get, it's not hard to find people who will wait in the queue.
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:48 PM   #7
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Re: For One Man Shows


Quote:
Originally Posted by JBH View Post
I am a one-man show as well, with lots of subs as the timing and scale of the project dictates. I never run overlapping projects - all that does is piss off the homeowner. How on earth do you demonstrate daily progress to each of your clients if you're juggling multiple jobs? Indeed, I use that single-project focus as a key selling proposition, and bring it up at every meeting with potential clients. And I know it works, because many clients have told me it was the specific reason they hired me.

As I state on my web page (www.houzz.com/pro/johnbh11/__public)

"Larger builders have to run multiple projects simultaneously, shifting crews and trades from jobsite to jobsite - which keeps THEM busy, but inevitably results in delays, inattention and neglect for YOUR project. So many builders get partway done and then get distracted by the next big project, so yours drags on and on. Not with us! In contrast, our single-project focus ensures that YOU are the top priority throughout the course of your renovation."

Look at it practical terms. As just one person, you can only accomplish so much - and generate so much revenue - in a given day, so why spread it around a bunch of projects? Why not focus on one, keeping the homeowner thrilled with the progress?

The only drawback, as I see it, is loss of potential near-term opportunities as my book of work extends so very far into the future. But as I only take about one job for every fifty project inquiries I get, it's not hard to find people who will wait in the queue.
This is how I run my business also
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Old 09-06-2018, 08:00 PM   #8
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Re: For One Man Shows


It does sound as though hiring a trim sub for one or both projects on this would have saved your stress.

I would much rather add a sub before I added a foreman to your model. Depending on your average project, you may have to do 3, 4, 5? more projects each year to pay them.

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Old 09-06-2018, 09:11 PM   #9
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Re: For One Man Shows


Quote:
Originally Posted by JBH View Post
I am a one-man show as well, with lots of subs as the timing and scale of the project dictates. I never run overlapping projects - all that does is piss off the homeowner. How on earth do you demonstrate daily progress to each of your clients if you're juggling multiple jobs? Indeed, I use that single-project focus as a key selling proposition, and bring it up at every meeting with potential clients. And I know it works, because many clients have told me it was the specific reason they hired me.

As I state on my web page (www.houzz.com/pro/johnbh11/__public)

"Larger builders have to run multiple projects simultaneously, shifting crews and trades from jobsite to jobsite - which keeps THEM busy, but inevitably results in delays, inattention and neglect for YOUR project. So many builders get partway done and then get distracted by the next big project, so yours drags on and on. Not with us! In contrast, our single-project focus ensures that YOU are the top priority throughout the course of your renovation."

Look at it practical terms. As just one person, you can only accomplish so much - and generate so much revenue - in a given day, so why spread it around a bunch of projects? Why not focus on one, keeping the homeowner thrilled with the progress?

The only drawback, as I see it, is loss of potential near-term opportunities as my book of work extends so very far into the future. But as I only take about one job for every fifty project inquiries I get, it's not hard to find people who will wait in the queue.


I have a question about this model. Iím a one man show also but there is no way that I could only take on say one basement development at a time. There are a lot of days where there would be nothing to do such as when drywall finishing or painting is happening.

What do you do during those times?
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Old 09-06-2018, 09:46 PM   #10
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Re: For One Man Shows


Quote:
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I have a question about this model. I’m a one man show also but there is no way that I could only take on say one basement development at a time. There are a lot of days where there would be nothing to do such as when drywall finishing or painting is happening.

What do you do during those times?
Almost all the jobs I take on are large and multifaceted, so there is never a time when there is nothing to do. Like for instance drywall. I always ask my drywaller to sheet and tape the bathroom(s) first. During that time I can deal with anything going on elsewhere in the house - trim excess spray foam from around windows. Staple up and tape some vapor barrier. Assemble some RTA cabinets. Maybe hang some sheets myself. Whatever. Or do a Home Depot run for materials. Then when he's done the bathrooms, I head in there to start the finishing (I do all my own tile work). Bathroom finishing of course absorbs a lot of time, during which the drywaller can be simultaneously engaged sheeting and taping the rest of the house. So zero down time.

On the other hand, on those very rare occasions when I do small projects like a single bathroom, I literally do everything myself. Which, of course, also means virtually zero down time.

I'm only faced with real downtime when we're doing site-finished floors, which takes four or five days and I have to be out of the house altogether. Those I usually take as holidays....

Last edited by JBH; 09-06-2018 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:46 PM   #11
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Re: For One Man Shows


Two man show here , and we also do one at a time

We do everything in house except plumbing and electrical

I do one at a time mainly for my own sanity
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Old 09-06-2018, 11:46 PM   #12
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Re: For One Man Shows


I like the challenge of multiple jobs. Thatís how itís gotta be for me now that I have guys on the books.

Thereís downtime on jobs waiting on material like trusses, or other special order items. Plus letting subs do their thing without everyone tripping on each other.

Besides the main jobs thereís always work for repeat customers that I save for downtime, if Iím waiting on a plumber or sparky we can go and hang some doors here or nail up some siding there.

Running one job at a time sounds nice and was what I strived for but the business started growing and Iím adjusting to that. Iíve heard if youíre business isnít growing itís dying so Iíll claim that!


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Old 09-06-2018, 11:57 PM   #13
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Re: For One Man Shows


I should also say that I was a one man band with a part time guy or two for several years before the jobs got bigger, and I enjoy the bigger jobs so I dove in head first, even got the bank loans to prove it haha.


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Old 09-07-2018, 06:58 AM   #14
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Re: For One Man Shows


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stunt Carpenter View Post
I have a question about this model. Iím a one man show also but there is no way that I could only take on say one basement development at a time. There are a lot of days where there would be nothing to do such as when drywall finishing or painting is happening.

What do you do during those times?
I have a bunch of smaller jobs for those type of days, those customers understand that I may call the night before and say I am coming over tomorrow. Everyone understands and I tell the small job people how it will work when I am there to look at their job.

I also have regular customers with a running list and can go there whenever I like.
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:22 PM   #15
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Re: For One Man Shows


I'm a one man show completely different field but I have to always be juggling multiple jobs from small stuff to multi day and week projects.

I'm always upfront with my customers if I'm booked to be somewhere else I'm booked this is also why I try to get people on the schedule weeks in advance for larger jobs.

I find one way to greatly manage stress is to make sure all work is inputted on my calendar and I review it frequently so things aren't jumping out at me.

I also check in with customers frequently, if there is a delay I want to know so I can move things around this is where having smaller fill in projects is helpful

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Old 09-11-2018, 08:38 PM   #16
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Re: For One Man Shows


LPG, lately I've been doing a lot of work with a guy that has a business that has a large carpentry component. Custom work. On-site. I do his carpentry.
At the same time, he's also running multiple renovations that he's acting as GC on.
Things I've noticed that keep him successful are hiring out to guys that are essentially GC's themselves and getting them to oversee multiple phases like framing and trim, so they're essentially on the job the whole time and have a good handle on the project.
In addition to that, there's me. Just like Metro said, you need a guy who can show up and check on things who's not an idiot. I am that not-idiot. He throws me a t-shirt with a logo on it and instantly I'm the comforting face of his company. I speak real good English. I can show up and make sure a dumpster gets placed without destroying the house. I can make sure a delivery arrives and gets put inside the house instead of dumped at the end of the driveway. All the while I'm polite and respectful in the presence of the homeowner.
I don't work for the guy, but me and my back LOVE having a couple days a month where all we have to do is drive to a couple sites and make sure everything is cool then report back to base.

See if you can make some friends in your area who fit that description. You won't have to worry about payroll BS, and you'll probably get a lot more sleep.

You're uhhh, not in New Jersey are you?

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