Business Failing Please Help - Marketing & Sales - Contractor Talk

Business Failing Please Help

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-25-2019, 04:35 PM   #1
Registered User
 
Excavatorman42's Avatar
 
Trade: Excavating
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 6

Business Failing Please Help


Okay so I'm new on here but been reading post on here for a while now. So I'm in New Jersey and started an excavating company last year. Before that I worked for other guys for almost 7 years so I'm very good at what I do and I know how to price jobs and have a decent personality. Problem is.... I'm getting zero calls. I'm in Angie's list, have a good website, tried google adwords lost about 3k with no luck. I do good work and had some decent jobs last year and this year but not enough to make a living. I only get 1 job every month now if I'm lucky. So is New Jersey economy just completely shot or what? I just don't know what to do. Considering moving to North Carolina by Raleigh and starting fresh. Any tips are greatly appreciated. Thank you all
Excavatorman42 is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 07-25-2019, 05:02 PM   #2
Pro
 
KAP's Avatar
 
Trade: Custom
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11,339
Rewards Points: 35,204

Re: Business Failing Please Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by Excavatorman42 View Post
Okay so I'm new on here but been reading post on here for a while now. So I'm in New Jersey and started an excavating company last year. Before that I worked for other guys for almost 7 years so I'm very good at what I do and I know how to price jobs and have a decent personality. Problem is.... I'm getting zero calls. I'm in Angie's list, have a good website, tried google adwords lost about 3k with no luck. I do good work and had some decent jobs last year and this year but not enough to make a living. I only get 1 job every month now if I'm lucky. So is New Jersey economy just completely shot or what? I just don't know what to do. Considering moving to North Carolina by Raleigh and starting fresh. Any tips are greatly appreciated. Thank you all
If you don't have work, your job 100% of the time is going out and finding it until you do... waiting for the phone to ring does nothing...

A couple of considerations...
1. Contact the other guys you've worked for in the past, and who know your work, and see if they have any work they can sub to you, or put you in their reference file... if you have good relations with them, most guys are willing to sub work out and refer work to people they know and trust...

2. Define who your target customer is... how would you go about contacting them?

3. You could contact utility companies, road work companies, pool companies, etc.

4. Re-contact your past customers and see if they have any work upcoming they could use you for or if they know of anyone looking for your services...

5. Check your website's SEO...
Just some initial thoughts...

Advertisement

KAP is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to KAP For This Useful Post:
Pearce Services (07-26-2019)
Old 07-25-2019, 05:31 PM   #3
Pro
 
Big Johnson's Avatar
 
Trade: Contractor Grunt
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,232
Rewards Points: 4,712

Re: Business Failing Please Help


You should move here, excavators are overloaded with work and getting $12K+ to dig a small hole and fill it back in.
Big Johnson is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Big Johnson For This Useful Post:
SmallTownGuy (07-25-2019)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-25-2019, 06:02 PM   #4
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 11,964
Rewards Points: 11,798

Re: Business Failing Please Help


If food isn't walking in your front door and dropping dead on the dining room table, you need to go out and find it.

Same thing with finding work. You're discovering that there is no one-size-fits-all advertising method. Have you identified your target market? If so, what strategy are you employing to reach that market.

If you're just tossing ads out and expecting glorious results, your advertising is failing. Perhaps you should drop the dime and contact a professional to help you in that area.
__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.
480sparky is offline  
Old 07-25-2019, 06:37 PM   #5
Pro
 
MarkJames's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman Services
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 8,967
Rewards Points: 14,331

Re: Business Failing Please Help


Your marketing sounds passive, as in waiting for them to call you. If you start pounding the pavement and build relationships with decision-makers, it'll open doors.
MarkJames is online now  
Old 07-25-2019, 08:00 PM   #6
Talking Head
 
EthanB's Avatar
 
Trade: Poking Things With Sticks
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 5,324
Rewards Points: 306

Re: Business Failing Please Help


This book is worth a read and implementation. https://www.amazon.com/First-Days-Se.../dp/1517477689

The mindset to go out and develop business is one of the hardest things to develop but this leads you up to it one day at a time. 90% of my job at this point is developing sales, and I'm good at it, but it requires a lot of discipline and a lot of self-confidence, especially when things don't look so good.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaws View Post
Planer.....
EthanB is offline  
Old 07-26-2019, 08:11 AM   #7
Pro
 
Fishindude's Avatar
 
Trade: Industrial
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Indiana
Posts: 437
Rewards Points: 934

Re: Business Failing Please Help


Make personal contact with a good GC's that don't do in house excavation work and try to partner up with them on a repeat basis.

Get out and see people face to face, don't count on adds to find you work.
Fishindude is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Fishindude For This Useful Post:
Jaws (08-03-2019), SmallTownGuy (07-26-2019)
Old 07-26-2019, 10:16 AM   #8
General Contractor
 
greg24k's Avatar
 
Trade: New Home Construction-Additions-Remodeling
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,563
Rewards Points: 8,258

Re: Business Failing Please Help


In what part of Jersey you at?
__________________
I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!
greg24k is online now  
Old 07-26-2019, 11:01 AM   #9
Pro
 
EricBrancard's Avatar
 
Trade: Builder/Renovator
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 6,723
Rewards Points: 1,116

Re: Business Failing Please Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by greg24k View Post
In what part of Jersey you at?
*phrased in the most ‘Jersey way possible.
EricBrancard is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to EricBrancard For This Useful Post:
DaVinciRemodel (08-03-2019)
Old 07-26-2019, 11:15 AM   #10
Registered User
 
Excavatorman42's Avatar
 
Trade: Excavating
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 6

Re: Business Failing Please Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by EricBrancard View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg24k View Post
In what part of Jersey you at?
*phrased in the most ‘Jersey way possible.
I am in central jersey by somerset. Seems like a lot of foreigners here in Jersey now where I'm at and they are the cheapest people on earth. Maybe that has a lot to do with it??
Excavatorman42 is offline  
Old 07-26-2019, 01:00 PM   #11
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 11,964
Rewards Points: 11,798

Re: Business Failing Please Help


It's hard to crack into a market flooded with unlicensed hacks. The local populace quickly gets trained on how to circumvent the 'legal' way to get things done.

Maybe be more pro-active in your marketing. Mostly, you're in this for the long haul, not someone hanging their shingle out just long enough to make pizza and beer money for the week.
__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.
480sparky is offline  
Old 07-26-2019, 02:08 PM   #12
Pro
 
VinylHanger's Avatar
 
Trade: I'll do that for 500 bucks.
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 9,865
Rewards Points: 10,762

Re: Business Failing Please Help


What type of equiptment do you own.

If you were rural, lots of field work, leveling, drainage and pasture work to at least bring in some money until you get established.

If city, you need to get with General Contractors and sell hard to get thier business. Not too many homeowners call for just excavation work.

If they do it is usually small stuff. There is a niche for small excavation work with the smallest of excavators and Bobcats, etc.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
__________________
Your emergency does not constitute a problem with my Constitution.
VinylHanger is online now  
Old 07-26-2019, 03:40 PM   #13
Registered User
 
Excavatorman42's Avatar
 
Trade: Excavating
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 6

Re: Business Failing Please Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by VinylHanger View Post
What type of equiptment do you own.

If you were rural, lots of field work, leveling, drainage and pasture work to at least bring in some money until you get established.

If city, you need to get with General Contractors and sell hard to get thier business. Not too many homeowners call for just excavation work.

If they do it is usually small stuff. There is a niche for small excavation work with the smallest of excavators and Bobcats, etc.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
. I got 2 dump trucks, 1 backhoe, a 20 ton tag a long trailer, and a case 145 excavator. I worked for builders in the past and never again. I thought it'd be good because they always have work but they are just looking for the cheapest guy possible, and if you do get the job when it's time to pay up they always seem to disappear. I'm really starting to think my Location is the problem. This is literally the worst state trust me
Excavatorman42 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Excavatorman42 For This Useful Post:
VinylHanger (07-26-2019)
Old 07-26-2019, 05:44 PM   #14
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 11,964
Rewards Points: 11,798

Re: Business Failing Please Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by Excavatorman42 View Post
. I got 2 dump trucks, 1 backhoe, a 20 ton tag a long trailer, and a case 145 excavator. I worked for builders in the past and never again. I thought it'd be good because they always have work but they are just looking for the cheapest guy possible, and if you do get the job when it's time to pay up they always seem to disappear. I'm really starting to think my Location is the problem. This is literally the worst state trust me
Generals who only are interested in cheap subs shouldn't be your target market. There's good GCs out there who are willing to pay for good subs. You'll need to seek them out, separating the wheat from the chaff.
__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.
480sparky is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
BlueRidgeGreen (07-26-2019), Bull Trout (07-26-2019), Calidecks (07-28-2019), Jaws (08-03-2019), Justin Rhoades (07-27-2019), Metro M & L (07-26-2019), TxElectrician (07-31-2019)
Old 07-26-2019, 07:57 PM   #15
Pro
 
rrk's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: new jersey
Posts: 5,713
Rewards Points: 1,860

Re: Business Failing Please Help


You are in an area that is flooded with Asians, who don't think working with your hands deserves any money. Also most of the small excavating companies are gone, now just the really big companies are left along with all of the landscapers who all do their own excavating. There are thousands of those with 1 machine, a mason dump and 10 guys.

If you decide on staying I would go to electrical & plumbing supply houses and put business cards or fliers up there for starters. They need excavators for sewer line, water line replacements and new electric to out buildings. You are going to have to work with GCs at some point because what homeowner just needs an excavator and nothing else?

You could target the areas west and north with the larger properties for drainage work or some of the horse farms but many of those are tight with the money also
rrk is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to rrk For This Useful Post:
Fouthgeneration (07-26-2019)
Old 07-26-2019, 08:00 PM   #16
Pro
 
Fouthgeneration's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Middle
Posts: 2,417
Rewards Points: 8,633

Re: Business Failing Please Help


Can you hire out your trucks & drivers to busy companies?
Deliver heavy equipment with the truck and trailer?

Here sometimes the local government, city county hire trucks for gravel hauling and snow removal....

Get out the map and draw a bigger circle, 45 miles radius is ~ twice the area/customers as 30 miles max circle... price in the dead heading of course.

Maybe a weekend shift with semi-retired/young guys with full time day jobs to increase hours in use annually for your machinery?

Night -shift ?

Join a few construction related orgs to Network? Try the big box stores for jobs? leave biz cards at contractor desks everywhere.
Dodge reports etc... local permits......land sale.s....

Check the internet for a bad reference?

Every rain day non-working Business day cold calling IN person all your local General contractors that don't do it in house. Maybe even GC with dirt machines might have jobs they have turned down...

5 minute spiel, one page brag sheet with pictures of Equipment and a few jobs on back, maybe a shot of the gang.

Do your trucks match? trailer painted? diggers maintained with out oil leaks and fresh paint?

Signs on EVERY job. phone # on every machine....
be safe, use shoring as required, fines aren't deductible...

Pay your taxes and payroll mandates, If you can't, Get out before you are broke. meet with an accountant, develop a decision matrix, with a defined target for staying in business, and a PLANNED exit strategy if needed to maximize the value of your equipment/plant.

Most small businesses fail, don't take it personally, act rationally for you and your family and employees. Don't hurt your loved ones and friends.

Get legal for operations in Pennsylvania and other states? Offer to sub-sub for a couple of the big boys in NJ?
__________________
I might be an Idiot, but I know things that You don't: Please wait till after you get my know-how to insult me....

Last edited by Fouthgeneration; 07-26-2019 at 08:27 PM.
Fouthgeneration is offline  
Old 07-26-2019, 08:11 PM   #17
Registered User
 
Excavatorman42's Avatar
 
Trade: Excavating
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 6

Re: Business Failing Please Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by rrk View Post
You are in an area that is flooded with Asians, who don't think working with your hands deserves any money. Also most of the small excavating companies are gone, now just the really big companies are left along with all of the landscapers who all do their own excavating. There are thousands of those with 1 machine, a mason dump and 10 guys.

If you decide on staying I would go to electrical & plumbing supply houses and put business cards or fliers up there for starters. They need excavators for sewer line, water line replacements and new electric to out buildings. You are going to have to work with GCs at some point because what homeowner just needs an excavator and nothing else?

You could target the areas west and north with the larger properties for drainage work or some of the horse farms but many of those are tight with the money also
exactly man these Asians are terrible. And Indians too. They are probably 60% of the central jersey population no lie. Just sucks I was born here if I move I have to start all over. But hey better now than later I'm 29 so I got a few more years until I'm old right?
Excavatorman42 is offline  
Old 07-26-2019, 08:54 PM   #18
Pro
 
KennMacMoragh's Avatar
 
Trade: Repair/Remodel
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 3,906
Rewards Points: 3,278

Re: Business Failing Please Help


Show us your website, post it in your signature on here. Run it through Websitegrader.com, it's a good tool to help see how your website is actually doing. If leads is your problem, getting that score to go up is probably your surest way to get more calls.
KennMacMoragh is offline  
Old 07-26-2019, 10:21 PM   #19
Particulate Filter
 
Metro M & L's Avatar
 
Trade: Flooring
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4,402
Rewards Points: 1,424

Re: Business Failing Please Help


If you want to rank on google you have to give them money consistently. Year in year out. 3k in ads for a new business ain't shi. It takes time to build a business; no short cuts.

Four ways to grow your business guaranteed!

#1 Always on time. Every meeting, every project.

#2 Clean up your mess. If you make a mess clean it up. This applies to all problems. You must be ruthless in holding yourself accountable for the consequences of your decisions.

#3 Give a little extra. Find some way on every job to take your clients needs or desires into account and give them just a little extra AND MAKE SURE YOU TELL THEM THAT YOU DID.

#4 Keep your promises. If you say something is going to happen; make absolutely sure it happens.
__________________
"A smart man learns from his mistakes; a wise man learns from the mistakes of others."

www.portlandhardwoodrefinishing.com
Metro M & L is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Metro M & L For This Useful Post:
Fouthgeneration (07-27-2019), Jaws (08-03-2019), rblakes1 (07-27-2019)
Old 07-26-2019, 11:54 PM   #20
back doors to hell put in
 
Irishslave's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Google knows
Posts: 3,974
Rewards Points: 964

Re: Business Failing Please Help


It pays to have a secondary source of income besides your primary business. Most of the ones with staying power around here have other investments because it's inevitable there's going to be times where it's slim pickens. Limit your debt and find another source of income the more passive it is the better. This way when the schedule is packed again all your passive income can be banked or re-invested for the next crunch

Advertisement

__________________
Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site.
Irishslave is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Irishslave For This Useful Post:
Jaws (08-03-2019)


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?