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What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story

 
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:54 AM   #1
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What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


In your business, what have been your biggest systematic stressors, paint points? Not a difficult customer or a bad day, but systematically, reoccuring stressors, and what have you done or are doing to alleviate them going forward?

I'll start:

Stressor 1: I'm running around giving estimates out and in-person consultations in the evenings and weekends, missing family time.

Solution: Recently I started only giving out estimates on one or two days of the week. The rest of the week I'm managing my company.


Stressor 2: I was following up with leads constantly. Every 2 days if I didn't hear back, I'd email or call them. I stopped following up when I eventually stopped hearing back from them, after 3 or 4 followups from my side. Sometimes I'd wait a week in-between followups. Once I sent a contract, I'd followup again every 2 days until I heard back.

Solution: Looking back at all of my sales, I noticed that leads that I closed, I hardly followed up with at all. They followed up with me if they were interested, it was an active conversation. If you reach out to me via text/call/email, I'll get back with you. But if I call you and leave a message, if I email you, if I sent a contract to you.... I'll wait until I hear back from you. Otherwise, I'll assume the lead is dead. Just started this, we'll see if it works.
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:33 AM   #2
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


Since I don't have any employees, I don't have much stress. When I did, they stressed me the most.

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Old 04-07-2019, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


Stupity/incompetence, bad customer service. I bought a new Transit been driving E series for 30 years so I'm lost. Trying to work without all my stuff that's in my garage a total mess. Order my shelves they sent me three wrong parts. Order my partition should take 7 days took 14.

I go pick up the partition Thurs. hoping I get everything installed this weekend. it's raining the box it's in is junk take it out load it and I'm off. Get about 4 miles away "Where's the hardware?" I go back it's no where to be found. They can overnight it but it's too late to get Friday won't be till Monday. So they give me a bag of hardware from another partition different type same brand.

So I'm on my way home it's raining traffic is a bitch, so while I'm in traffic I pull up the instructions, start counting parts, I was short. So I order what I need from Amazon will be there Sat. the rest I can pickup at the hardware store.

So Sat. I prep the area stand up the partition "You've got to be phucking kidding me!!!" They sent a partition for a high roof mine's a medium roof. After leaving an irate message because of course they're closed I decide I'm putting in what shelves I can, can't put the last one in until the partition is in.

So I've been driving around with this one piece ABS partition flopping around in my van. Now what? I won't know till Mon.

This kind of crap keeps me up at night and it's getting worse and I don't see a solution. It's to the point where I can't depend on anything being done correctly.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:54 AM   #4
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


My ex. Solution is pretty much self explanatory.
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:02 AM   #5
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


Formal project management, I always included the possibility that something would take a really long time to ship, then get lost, damaged, or be the wrong thing, so I'd have to go through the whole process again, plus RMA procedures if they had them.
I've been shipped the wrong thing twice in a row before, but only once or twice.

Downgraded expectations...

Quote:
Originally Posted by avenge View Post
Stupity/incompetence, bad customer service. I bought a new Transit been driving E series for 30 years so I'm lost. Trying to work without all my stuff that's in my garage a total mess. Order my shelves they sent me three wrong parts. Order my partition should take 7 days took 14.

I go pick up the partition Thurs. hoping I get everything installed this weekend. it's raining the box it's in is junk take it out load it and I'm off. Get about 4 miles away "Where's the hardware?" I go back it's no where to be found. They can overnight it but it's too late to get Friday won't be till Monday. So they give me a bag of hardware from another partition different type same brand.

So I'm on my way home it's raining traffic is a bitch, so while I'm in traffic I pull up the instructions, start counting parts, I was short. So I order what I need from Amazon will be there Sat. the rest I can pickup at the hardware store.

So Sat. I prep the area stand up the partition "You've got to be phucking kidding me!!!" They sent a partition for a high roof mine's a medium roof. After leaving an irate message because of course they're closed I decide I'm putting in what shelves I can, can't put the last one in until the partition is in.

So I've been driving around with this one piece ABS partition flopping around in my van. Now what? I won't know till Mon.

This kind of crap keeps me up at night and it's getting worse and I don't see a solution. It's to the point where I can't depend on anything being done correctly.
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:06 PM   #6
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowboy View Post
Since I don't have any employees, I don't have much stress. When I did, they stressed me the most.
You just never figured out the correct formula. I currently have 4 full time, and 2 part time employees. This number suits me well and actually causes me very little stress. My absentee rate is below 2%, so I can figure in advance with a lot of certainty, who is going where, to do what, and so on. Years ago, with the wrong mix of the wrong employees, my stress level was much higher. I know some here say they make better money without employees, but I know I certainly can't.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


I know to most,this will sound Pollyannish,however,at this stage of the game (68 yrs. young) I'm doing this 'cause I want to,not 'cause I have to. Consequently,can't even think of anything that rattles my cage. I refuse to let anything trip me up,at first hint of something amiss,I'll pack my bags and come back the next day. As they say in Mexico "manana".

Everything always seems to look better when you have a chance to step back and gain a different perspective.
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:45 PM   #8
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


"Polyannish" I haven't heard that phrase in a while. My three employees are great guys and many years ago we all worked for another painter, once he retired they now work for me. I was well warned of the frustrations I would encounter.

Quality of work is not the problem but various instruction being ignored or "forgotten"
It is always little things that seem insignificant but over time it is always something.

My wife reminds me if they paid attention to such things then they would run their own companies. Damn it she's right again.
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:48 PM   #9
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


Your wife sounds like a very smart lady !
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:24 PM   #10
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


Quote:
Originally Posted by fjn View Post
I know to most,this will sound Pollyannish,however,at this stage of the game (68 yrs. young) I'm doing this 'cause I want to,not 'cause I have to. Consequently,can't even think of anything that rattles my cage. I refuse to let anything trip me up,at first hint of something amiss,I'll pack my bags and come back the next day. As they say in Mexico "manana".

Everything always seems to look better when you have a chance to step back and gain a different perspective.
yup !
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:26 PM   #11
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


Just hired a new sales guy. He ain't gonna be here much longer. We've had 2 storms and all my new sales people go out with me for a few days and see how it's done. I've been over it and over it with this guy and he just plain and simple doesn't get it.

It's like too much for him.

Hi you had 4 inch hail last night all your windows are crashed in your roof is destroyed and you don't know what to do.. I'm here to help you. How about you locate your insurance policy while I do a full property inspection and photograph the damage. It will take me ten to 20 min and I'll knock back on your door to show you what I found ok. When we are done looking at the photos, I'll load them in a file and send the file to you. I'm going to go get my ladder and get on your roof first if that's ok with you.

How hard is that?

Even the few he did manage to inspect, he didn't take good photos, didn't take them in order, didn't write down addresses get names or email addresses. Was so stoked to chalk those up as homeruns..

Couldn't remember where the houses were.

Then the ONE he did actually have in the bag, he ruined by telling the customer he couldn't give him an estimate because the insurance carrier already gave him an estimate and we didn't want to waste any more time on him writing an estimate if he wasn't going to use us.

Smh.
He didn't remember what I told him to say because oh he wasn't even listening when I was telling him.

He always has SOMETHING ELSE he has to do the day after we get hail. Something stupid and something that could easily be moved to another day. Like a family conference call at 2 pm. 2 funerals this sat and sunday, taxes, Bible study.. whatever it is, he needs the whole day off to attend to it. Then he comes out on day 4&5 and complains that I haven't really showed him what to do yet.

Really? Well Nicole went by herself on day 1 after watching me sell one roof and she sold 4 and didn't even get on the roof.

Maybe you need to pay attention.

He's already barking about he needs a new phone and his phone won't store that many pics he can't download apps like Dropbox and he can't just be driving around using all his gas so where is the gas card.
GaH I LOST MY **** WHEN HE SAID GAS CARD. oh it's 82 degrees here and he says it's too hot and he needs to be done by 12 every day.

I Fuk1#& spun around in a frantic rage so fast it tore some shingles off every house on the street.. and I started printing independent contractor tax forms out my ass along with the definition of an INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AND THEIR RESPONSIBILITES.

And he won't ever answer his phone. He even sent a call to voicemail right in front of me after dropping 100 door hangers. I made him call it back and guess what? It was a customer! Imagine that.

How I solve it? I'm done with him. I'm cutting my losses. Tomorrow. Well he doesn't know it yet but I cut them today. Lol.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:27 PM   #12
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


Sounds like pulling the trigger faster would have been fine...

At least he isn't an artist.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:33 PM   #13
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


I think the most stress on a job I've ever had was when my roofer was doing a torch on, on a patio cover we built. I look up at the ridge of the house and I see smoke coming out!!!! I about **** all over myself. The home owner was this close with phone to ear, ready to call 911 when we found the culprit. Flame got under eave and caught a small area of starter board on . We got it out and I put him on fire watch for 4 hours after he was done. Then I drove by the home up until 10pm at night to ease my mind a bit.

My solution? I don't build patio cover much anymore and I certainly don't do torch.


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Old 04-16-2019, 09:01 AM   #14
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


About the best thing we ever did was to put all key employees on a bonus plan tied to their duties and job performance. It gave them opportunity to significantly increase their income and made them operate as if they owned the place too. Eliminated a lot of worrying, micro managing, constant follow up, etc.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:21 AM   #15
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


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About the best thing we ever did was to put all key employees on a bonus plan tied to their duties and job performance. It gave them opportunity to significantly increase their income and made them operate as if they owned the place too. Eliminated a lot of worrying, micro managing, constant follow up, etc.
That's a great idea. Helps with that micomanaging/standing around on the clock. Tons of ways to structure such a plan. Do it do it based on beating estimated labor hours on each job?
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:32 AM   #16
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


I still worry about something going wrong on every single job I've ever done. Never really had any issues but I think it means I'm not cut out for this business. I dread the phone call about the shower valve that's dripping or the or the nail pop that appeared 1 year after completion.

I only ever worked for great people and never had a problem but the problem with nice people is that you always want things to be perfect for them forever.

We relocated to Nashville last year and I bought a fixer upper that's keeping me busy and there's so much work down here but I'm struggling with starting up again or just getting a regular job when the time comes.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:05 AM   #17
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishindude View Post
About the best thing we ever did was to put all key employees on a bonus plan tied to their duties and job performance. It gave them opportunity to significantly increase their income and made them operate as if they owned the place too. Eliminated a lot of worrying, micro managing, constant follow up, etc.
I'd love to know more details on your bonus plan. PM me?
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:37 PM   #18
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishindude View Post
About the best thing we ever did was to put all key employees on a bonus plan tied to their duties and job performance. It gave them opportunity to significantly increase their income and made them operate as if they owned the place too. Eliminated a lot of worrying, micro managing, constant follow up, etc.


I would also be interested in how you structure that. We have been trying to figure out how to do something similar but have not come up with any conclusive answers.


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Old 04-23-2019, 09:34 PM   #19
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Re: What Have Been Your Biggest Stressors, And How Did You Resolve Them? Share Your Story


Every time I have a stressor, I just browse this forum and find what everyone else did to resolve it

I also feel immediately better in knowing I am not alone!

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