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Trade Specific 100% Subs?

 
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:02 PM   #1
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Trade Specific 100% Subs?


First, I am not talking about being general contractors. That's it's own world entirely.What I am talking about is flooring, painting, drywall, etc...

Here is where I currently stand: I am taking on more work than I can honestly handle even though I want to grow in a completely different direction. I no longer wish to do apartment painting/drywall even though the money is pretty good and steady. Instead, I am going to be focusing on getting my bathtub refinishing business up and going in the residential sector.

So what I have done is compiled I list of reputable subs (so far I am at 4) that have agreed to my pricing that I can use for the apartment work. I present them with a non solicit agreement, and a price list, etc...and every monday they call in and let me know if they can take a job or two that week.

So far the scheduling has been a hassle. I would like to have scheduling software that my subs can log into where I schedule the work and they can volunteer for what they handle.

Do any of you out there do anything similar where you sub everything out? If so, how do you handle the scheduling aspect?
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:22 PM   #2
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


How about sending an E-mail calendar with all scheduled job to the subs---

I don't know if there is a way for it to be interactive---so the subs will need to e-mail a response--then you can update the calendar and send it out again---

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Old 06-07-2015, 08:31 PM   #3
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftweed View Post
(so far I am at 4)

So far the scheduling has been a hassle.

I would like to have scheduling software
If four candidates gives you problems half the time, how much will software improve this, do you think?

In other words, what fraction of this problem is only solved by having much more than 4 on your call list?
Related to this -
-how many of the four do you need for the job at hand, on average?
-how long can you afford to wait for an answer?
-what is the worst outcome?

When I call people, I get answering machines or no answer for a substantial chunk of the calls.

Schaum's Outline Series used to have a book called Quantitative Methods in Management that had many solved problems of this type.

A good analog to your situation is a model shop that has four machines where some are sometimes idle.
A job comes in.
How long will you wait for a machine to go idle?
How likely is it that the new job is immediately put on a machine?

This analog assumes that only one machine is necessary to do a job, but it can expanded into other situations.

Last edited by GettingBy; 06-07-2015 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:40 PM   #4
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


If you are doing apartment repaint work, are they reoccurring clients? how much notification can they give you?

You are building 2 different business here.
1 your bathtub painting business
2 your apartment painting clearinghouse business.
Either of them can be successful but both will require significant investment of you to get them going.
In order to be successful with the clearinghouse you need to get enough work to keep these crews busy at least 50% of the time. Then you become their bread and butter and you will have priority.
that and pay them FAST might help too.
I am a 100% tile sub and those are the things I want
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:41 PM   #5
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingBy View Post
If four candidates gives you problems half the time, how much will software improve this, do you think?

In other words, what fraction of this problem is only solved by having much more than 4 on your call list?
Related to this -
-how many of the four do you need for the job at hand, on average?
-how long can you afford to wait for an answer?
-what is the worst outcome?

When I call people, I get answering machines or no answer for a substantial chunk of the calls.

Schaum's Outline Series used to have a book called Quantitative Methods in Management that had many solved problems of this type.

A good analog to your situation is a model shop that has four machines where some are sometimes idle.
A job comes in.
How long will you wait for a machine to go idle?
How likely is it that the new job is immediately put on a machine?

This analog assumes that only one machine is necessary to do a job, but it can expanded into other situations.
You are a glutton for punishment, aren't you?
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:53 PM   #6
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftweed View Post
....
So far the scheduling has been a hassle. I would like to have scheduling software that my subs can log into where I schedule the work and they can volunteer for what they handle. ....
I know one guy in a different business who uses shared Google calendars to do something like that.

Be careful about removing yourself from the process, though. Profitable businesses don't run on autopilot, at least not for very long.
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:21 PM   #7
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


"I know one guy in a different business who uses shared Google calendars to do something like that."

Bob hit that right on the nail google is probably the easiest way to go about doing this not to mention everything else it can offer google drive is great for uploading shop drawings, work orders, Pay schedules ect.... anything that you would want to share or have your guys readily available to especially in the field just put it in a shared folder and its there all the time. If they want to have input into the calendar and block days they committed somewhere else. You now know what is available to you automatically eliminating a phone call to them which takes time out of everyones day.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:22 AM   #8
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


Driftweed,
remember you are talking about painting rental properties with subs.

I wouldn't expend a moments thought on solving this problem---because it will be wasted effort.

when your landlord customers realize that you are no longer painting the apartments yourself and are subbing them out--------- they will immediately cut you out of the loop and approach your subs directly
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:01 AM   #9
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen H View Post
Driftweed,
remember you are talking about painting rental properties with subs.

I wouldn't expend a moments thought on solving this problem---because it will be wasted effort.

when your landlord customers realize that you are no longer painting the apartments yourself and are subbing them out--------- they will immediately cut you out of the loop and approach your subs directly
Stephen
Yep. They'll cut you out fast as lightning. They don't need a paint sub broker who is detached from the jobs.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:46 AM   #10
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


With four subs who each work half the time on other jobs,
one will be available for you 25% of the time when you call.
Two: 40% of the time,
three: 25%,
and all four, 6%.

6% of the time all will be unavailable when you call.

If this is unacceptable, you need more subs or they need to be employed less than half the time on other jobs.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:51 AM   #11
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpenterSFO View Post
You are a glutton for punishment, aren't you?
glutton1
[gluht-n]
noun
1.
a person who eats and drinks excessively or voraciously.
2.
a person with a remarkably great desire or capacity for something:
a glutton for work; a glutton for punishment.

Seems like you are right.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:18 AM   #12
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeswoods View Post
How about sending an E-mail calendar with all scheduled job to the subs---

I don't know if there is a way for it to be interactive---so the subs will need to e-mail a response--then you can update the calendar and send it out again---
I think with a little research Google Calender could assist with something along these lines...
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:51 PM   #13
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


A more optimistic view of the same situation:
94% chance that at least one sub will be available
70% for at least two
30%, at least three
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:28 PM   #14
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


I have used http://schedulebook.com with good results for a number of things.

Seems like it may be what you are looking for.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:44 PM   #15
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
Yep. They'll cut you out fast as lightning. They don't need a paint sub broker who is detached from the jobs.
Thats why I have them sign a legally binding non solicit contract. They cannot accept if asked.

More subs are on the way, I'm just at four at this moment. I generally get 1 weeks notice or more because I am proactive about scheduling. I dont wait for them to call, I ask the client first. This avoids last minute emergencies.

I will still take calls and deliver paint, etc.. just not do the actual work.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:51 PM   #16
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


I'd be curious how much it would actually cost to take them to court over it if they did go around you. I just dealt with a similar situation but there were no contracts...still dirty business though. Usually the guys writing the checks don't like middle men if they feel they are not earning it. Many are quick to cut out the middleman and even find the most minute situation that would qualify to make breaching the contract legal.
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Old 06-09-2015, 01:32 PM   #17
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftweed View Post
More subs are on the way, I'm just at four at this moment.
Got curious about the sub's employment and their availability.

If your four each work on other jobs 2/3rds of the time then it's at least 1 sub avail 80% of the time, and
2, 41% and
3, 11%.
This spreadsheet is way more tedious than having them work half the time.

In principle you could trade off
the number of subs vs. the frustration of not having enough guys for whatever job pops up.
Also you can answer the question: How many subs for 50%, 95% or 99% availability?

Last edited by GettingBy; 06-09-2015 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:22 PM   #18
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


Curiousity: Why not employees instead of subs? Your name stays on the shirts, more money stays in your pocket. Can it be that hard to train somebody to paint a rental?
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:46 PM   #19
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
I'd be curious how much it would actually cost to take them to court over it if they did go around you. I just dealt with a similar situation but there were no contracts...still dirty business though. Usually the guys writing the checks don't like middle men if they feel they are not earning it. Many are quick to cut out the middleman and even find the most minute situation that would qualify to make breaching the contract legal.
The subs never come into contact with the customer. I answer the phone, deliver the paint, inspect the aftermath, invoice, etc.. So in essence I do earn my cut of the pie. Also, this enables me to go directly to corporate and take on ALL their properties. Here, flooring companies, lawn care companies, and even the plumbers do exactly that. If you get in good with corporate, screw who the local property manager wants, they are stuck with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Gibson View Post
Curiousity: Why not employees instead of subs? Your name stays on the shirts, more money stays in your pocket. Can it be that hard to train somebody to paint a rental?
I can keep payroll much more simpler this way, as well as reduce insurances like worker's comp. Also, everyone's a painter By using subs who's work can be verified through their customer's/portfolio/etc... I can also rest assured I am hiring experienced pro's who DON'T rely on me exclusively for work.
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:38 PM   #20
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Re: Trade Specific 100% Subs?


With four contractors you should expect that at least one is available between 80% to 94% of the time.

With five it's between 87% to 97% of the time.

If you see results much different than this I'd like to hear about it.

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