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Your First Customer

 
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:44 AM   #1
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Your First Customer


Was just reflecting back with someone on when I started my business fifteen years ago. I remember I charged that first customer twelve dollars a man hour for some yardwork, and I thought I had it made because I was paying my cousin ten and keeping fourteen for myself. Hahahah.... I had a lot less bills to pay back then!!

You all remember your first customer?

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Old 06-03-2018, 10:00 AM   #2
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Re: Your First Customer


I can never forget my first customer. I bid and won a build-out of a vanilla shell in a strip mall.


Same strip mall that was the final project I worked on for my last employer. They closed up shop about 6 months after that.

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Old 06-03-2018, 10:17 AM   #3
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Re: Your First Customer


Repaired a portion of a sub-floor and replaced the tile under a toilet that rotted out for a realtor and slum landlord.

He said he had the tile squares to use as replacements....

"Uh, they are a different color"

"Yeah, so"?
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:45 AM   #4
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Re: Your First Customer


First on my own was Amy, who had me patch and paint her dining room ceiling. $600. Big score for me at the time.
While I was there she asked me if I would mind removing an ugly lattice contraption she had on her deck. I said sure. Disassembled it and stacked it neatly next to the trash for her.
A full two months later she sent me a text asking if I could remove the garbage for her. I said, "Sure, it'd be $125 for the dump run."
She said, "Oh, I wasn't really interested in paying."

The **** are you talking about? I'm not really interested in hauling your garbage, but with the addition of money to the equation it suddenly becomes more attractive.
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:47 AM   #5
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Re: Your First Customer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Gibson View Post
First on my own was Amy, who had me patch and paint her dining room ceiling. $600. Big score for me at the time.
While I was there she asked me if I would mind removing an ugly lattice contraption she had on her deck. I said sure. Disassembled it and stacked it neatly next to the trash for her.
A full two months later she sent me a text asking if I could remove the garbage for her. I said, "Sure, it'd be $125 for the dump run."
She said, "Oh, I wasn't really interested in paying."

The **** are you talking about? I'm not really interested in hauling your garbage, but with the addition of money to the equation it suddenly becomes more attractive.
There are folks out there that think since they paid you for a job or two, you owe them something in return...like a freebie.

I'll do something now again for my really solid repeat customers...hang a picture, change a light bulb.
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:53 AM   #6
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Re: Your First Customer


The lady I fired a few years ago was a big one for....paying me for services rendered and then, on my way out the door, say...oh, while you're here, can you do this, that or the other thing?

After a few of those, I started asking her what else needed to be done before I left.
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Old 06-03-2018, 03:21 PM   #7
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Re: Your First Customer


First real, non side hustle while in college, was warehouse mezzanine deck for Menards. Back shed where they kept the overhead doors. Sweet deal, bought a 5hp gas compressor, 1/2 impact and had a few hundred leftover. Busted my arse for 2.5 days, and haven't stopped for the better part of 32 years since.


Curious part is about six months before that, I throw the monthly sails pin and name tag at my assistant manager there. Realized retail really really wasn't may gig and I stayed there way tooo long. Guess that was kind of obvious. As I hung out my shingle former coworkers started giving referrals. And of course the store manager was the one who asked if I'd like to do warehouse mezzanine deck.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:06 PM   #8
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Re: Your First Customer


Got offered 125$ to mow a lawn for a management company. Sight unseen.

Get there, its a half acre, four feet high.

Two days later I was done.

Been keeping my word ever since.

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Old 06-03-2018, 05:33 PM   #9
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Re: Your First Customer


My first customer was a GC 29 years ago at $200 per day.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:48 PM   #10
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Re: Your First Customer


Yeah it's funny looking back at the first job, replaced a tap and shower head thought I was in the money getting $50 bucks an thought if I do 5 of these a day it will be $250 a day that's almost $1250 a week!!! 5 grand a month 60k a year!! oh how delusional I was,,, haha
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:17 PM   #11
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Re: Your First Customer


My first project was replacing a shingle roof, about 20 sq the main house was 10:12 pitch, with dormers,

Of course I had done some roofing with my prior employer, and knew how to do the job, but no business experience, but with help of a friend he let me borrow his dump truck for garbage, and let me use his ladders and picks,

The thing I remember the most is, after I paid for all materials and any labor help, I went to the bank to pay off my truck and I owed a little over 5,000, I was really proud of myself!!
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:23 PM   #12
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Re: Your First Customer


I have to admit I worked without a license for awhile.


Mike.
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:32 PM   #13
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Re: Your First Customer


I got a referral from a high school friend who was helping out his girlfriend's father who was a carpenter. Client needed a TV mounted and a few wires run. Been doing work for him ever since, I believe he's 91 now.
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:47 PM   #14
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Re: Your First Customer


I was 17 and built a fence for my girlfriend's neighbor.

As I recall my labor was like $3 bucks an hour....

Mark up????....WTF was that....

Overhead?...anything I had to reach above for...

But I got a fist full of dollars and was happier than a pig in chit....

my girl friend was VERY happy also....
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:43 AM   #15
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Re: Your First Customer


a little old lady who lived alone needed some light maintenance done. I wasn't really in the residential business then my main focus was industrial equipment repair but I knew my way around a house and it was a little bit of out to dinner money. $100 here and $100 there but over time she didn't really trust anyone else in her house so I it became a four time a year visit to change a light bulb, hang a curtain, or have a cup of tea.

It was a money loser everytime although she was loaded and she would have and could have paid me anything I asked for. ( I did a job for $1000 once and she wrote me a check for $10000 which I made her tear up and write again.)

Anyway, I went there for the last time last month and I caught her on a rare good and lucid day as she knew who I was and we had a nice chat but she needs full time live in help and I'm pretty confident she'll never see me again.

The two of us had a good run.
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Old 06-04-2018, 07:05 PM   #16
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Re: Your First Customer


Ripped and re roofed my friends parents garage. I was 16. Black tamko 3 tabs. Still on the roof today


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Old 06-09-2018, 06:43 AM   #17
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Re: Your First Customer


not my first job, but my first with a crew.

i`m a big shot 30 year old with a crew!
sent my 3 guys to a dentist office to replace drop ceiling tiles
i came in , at the end of the day, they did the tile work in each room
but there were finger , and hand marks on all the walls in each room ,which were all painted a baby blue.
the guys just didnt think and leaned on walls while on ladders and scaffold
had to re-paint all the 5 or 6 rooms over at my cost ,
which was more than the whole job cost
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:00 AM   #18
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Re: Your First Customer


Mine was a fire job. Nothing structural other than a small portion of subfloor in the bedroom that caught fire. The rest was smoke damage. That was 20 years ago, thankfully I've learned a lot more about pricing jobs correctly since then.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:28 AM   #19
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Re: Your First Customer


Quote:
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That was 20 years ago, thankfully I've learned a lot more about pricing jobs correctly since then.
Same here. Took seven or eight years of scraping by (more or less) before I finally had the balls and the skill level to charge a grown-up wage and make the kinda money my dad raised a family on.

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Old 06-09-2018, 06:37 PM   #20
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Re: Your First Customer


I barely remember what I did last week, there is no way in heck that I could remember my first customer.

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