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Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor

 
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:23 AM   #21
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


+3 for scheduling, especially around weather, material order delays, unavailable subs, supplier screw-ups, out of stocks.

Once behind, catching up is painful.

I HATE special order lead times also We started stocking more to get around it and push what we have with sales.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:55 AM   #22
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


Maintaining a steady stream of work/clients that pays what we need.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:11 AM   #23
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


Definitely scheduling. The unpredictable weather here, added to the usual problems that can throw off a schedule make it almost impossible to make up a rock solid schedule
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:17 AM   #24
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


As a sub- contractor:

Scheduling - make a plan at 7am and its out the window by 8am
Plan the next month and its out the window by 9am

Finding decent help that give a toss
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:27 AM   #25
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


Having time for all the work. Heard today that I might have 1 1/2 to 2 years of work with this co. Do I tell all my clients that are waiting to find someone else or wait for a break?
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:43 AM   #26
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by PoleBarnsNY
+3 for scheduling, especially around weather, material order delays, unavailable subs, supplier screw-ups, out of stocks. Once behind, catching up is painful. I HATE special order lead times also We started stocking more to get around it and push what we have with sales.
I agree with you on that one! We've had a supper wet autumn which has delayed roof getting installed.
But I find it really hard to find the time to organise anything due to only being me and a apprentice..
But I guess practice makes perfect
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:14 AM   #27
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


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Originally Posted by Gary H View Post
Having time for all the work. Heard today that I might have 1 1/2 to 2 years of work with this co. Do I tell all my clients that are waiting to find someone else or wait for a break?
That also falls under scheduling.

Finding good employees is hard, but once you get a good crew it can last for a while. Scheduling is a daily headache.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:34 AM   #28
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


For me it's also the Office/paperwork. Invoicing, receiving/entering payments, monthly quarterly and annual taxes, licenses renewals, vehicle inspections and registrations & insurance, paying bills, reimbursing myself for receipts, writing quotes, documenting service and warranties, whatever else I forgot!
Does not leave much time for makeing money.
Jim
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:34 AM   #29
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For me it's also the Office/paperwork. Invoicing, receiving/entering payments, monthly quarterly and annual taxes, licenses renewals, vehicle inspections and registrations & insurance, paying bills, reimbursing myself for receipts, writing quotes, documenting service and warranties, whatever else I forgot!
Does not leave much time for makeing money.
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If there is anything in your business you despise hire someone else to do it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:15 AM   #30
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


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If there is anything in your business you despise hire someone else to do it.
then we go full circle to finding decent employees
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:01 PM   #31
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


a) Staying on schedule is my biggest problem. Plumber's running a day behind, causing sparky to reschedule for 3 days later, causing me to try to move a couple small jobs up, then playing phone-tag with a couple HO's to fit me into THEIR schedules.

b) HO's who go to HD the night before I'm starting a small job (1-2 day) and decide they REALLY want that cool sink they saw last month, instead of the one in my truck. And the new one is special order with a 6 week lead-time (assuming HD doesn't screw up the order).

I kinda solved my office issues by building a nice space in my basement that's very peaceful and comfortable for working. TV, stereo, mini fridge, NICE (ie - expensive ) leather recliner, good soft lighting. It's so comfy, it's almost like I'm working in my living room. Or I can turn on the overhead lights and it's all very business-like. Very Jekyll and Hyde
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:10 PM   #32
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


Schedule ?? What Schedule?

Don't call me asking what my Schedule looks like when your the very one that said you would be ready in two weeks ..a month and a half ago! [H/O]


I have 1 rule!!! My G/C's come first!
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:21 PM   #33
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


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Originally Posted by carpenter uk View Post
then we go full circle to finding decent employees

And I've seen some G/Cs go full circle to find the cheapest subs only to end up at the end of the circle with no subs! Which Is not a bad thing.
These Jack-legs seem to weed themselves out with that method.
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:30 PM   #34
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


FINDING EMPLOYEES, it's the most difficult thing I've ever done. I signed up with a temp agency today as a matter of fact. Kinda feels like being a quitter. I hate not accomplishing a task. I don't have enough time or patience for the bull$&?!.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:39 PM   #35
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


Most challenging aspect for me? Finding MORE work and getting the contract signed before some hack swoops in and undercuts my estimate by 30% because of his wonderful 6 dollar an hour illegals... Just lost a deck rebuild that way... Thats how it is here, people will get estimates, and even though you have pictures references and license/insurance, they go with whoever is the cheapest - they get the deal. I have some clients who work with only me or people I recommend but damn I wish the hacks would take a hike...
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:41 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner10 View Post
If there is anything in your business you despise hire someone else to do it.
I also despise spending money on something I could do myself & I feel more sure it's done right when I do it. It took me years to start paying someone to change the oil in my truck for both of those reasons.
Add to that I can name several businesses here that have been took by their "office girl". One of my customers has a court settlement against the girl for something like $55,000 and gets around $125 a month.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:27 PM   #37
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


Problem: Finding great employees that don't want to someday leave and start their own business but are happy to work for a great company, get paid well, and treated fairly with respect.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:05 PM   #38
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


All good points

My biggest challenge (outside of the above mentions) is bidding ,estimating and not really knowing if I am ahead of the game $$$ wise. I don't specializ in a category one day I'm doing a heated tile shower the next fixing siding and the next something else. I'm afraid if I specialize I'll just end up loosing a lot of work to "the other guys" who do it fast and cut all the corners (take the money and run) and I care too much about the workmanship to not do the best I can.

Solution....I bid higher and half the time I lose. Half the time there is no plan by the homeowner. So half the time I am guessing at what their needs are because they didn't think too deep into what needs to happen.


My second problem is dealing with all the little things. End up a couple of peices short.......the saw blade is too dull now I need to stop everything and go get a new one (either go back to the house to get the spares [more time] or just go to the hardware store and buy a new one [faster but more money]) it's not always the same thing (saw blades) but it's the same dillima (wrong tool, not the right size whatever, wrong color, different manufacturer)

Solution. ........tell the customer tough $#i+ lady that's as good as it can be fixed and no one can do it right. ........just kidding I'll be back tomorrow to finish it
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:18 AM   #39
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


biggest challenge is holding my tongue when dealing with unreasonable/indecisive/irritating clients
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:05 AM   #40
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Re: Your Biggest Challenge As A Contractor


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Originally Posted by maninthesea View Post
I also despise spending money on something I could do myself & I feel more sure it's done right when I do it. It took me years to start paying someone to change the oil in my truck for both of those reasons.
Add to that I can name several businesses here that have been took by their "office girl". One of my customers has a court settlement against the girl for something like $55,000 and gets around $125 a month.
Don't sleep with the office girl.

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