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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, new here. Was wondering how you guys are doing in the Remodelig business. Dealing with subs, with your labor, with clients. Is it mostly stressful and frustrating or just on occasional bases?
Started our business 9 years ago, me and my husband. He was a tile guy but started a handyman business and we've been growing every year, he's very creative, knowledgable, honest, clean and really a perfectionist. So we've had pretty good growth, few years ago started doing kitchens and bathrooms and finally rebranded last year for design and remodel company.
More work, means more guys to deal with, running multiple jobs, and being everywhere.
My husband is getting overwhelmed and stressed more and more dealing with his guys and subs. Feels like no one does proper work, no one is really good and we spend time on redoing things. This obviously didnt happen when he was solo.
So does anyone have their story to share? Are we the only ones feeling this way?
Thanks
 

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John the Builder
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....Feels like no one does proper work, no one is really good and we spend time on redoing things....
That IS the business. New or remodeling, samo, samo.
 

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can`t find even one decent normal employee.
one new guy cut his hand almost completely off, the third hour on the job ,6 months back.
my 6 year employee , quit with not even a days notice ( right after he was out on a 3 week vacation because he has a bad back.
" COULDN'T YOU TELL ME BEFORE YOU WENT ON VACATION??!"

subs , work to their own time-line . either so hungry for work they call you when they need work , but when you need them , they are flooded with work , and cant get there when you need.
then they send their new , non - english speaking guy to the job, who doesn't do as good as the guy you expected to be there , the guy who has been doing your work for years.
and they don`t clean up after themselves.

clients want cheaper price , but expect perfection , even though , you can see the rest of their home was never kept up.some wont let us use their bathroom , so we have to drive to the gas station .want us to get there at 9 or 10 , because the want to sleep late , or take their kid to school.

supplies don`t come when they`re supposed to ( today , i`m waiting for the 5th day for typical shutter prices fro my supplier of 25 years)

i have no idea what your talking about :blink:

nowadays( and some won`t agree) construction and remodeling is a left over trade . i do`t know anyone who grows up saying " i want to remodel."
i want to be a tile guy"
i want to work construction"
it seems like " well i never stuck to one thing , i`ll get into constructions "
most have issues from the start
and hard part is . there is no certification for most of the carpentry trades
so you have to hire them to see if they know what they are talking about .
then it still takes 2 -3 weeks to see the real person , and all their quirks.

hey ,
in the big scheme of work-life you still have to ask yourself at that worst moment ;
" should i work for someone else ? work just as hard , and make less money? "
or just persist , and keep looking for the diamond in the rough guys
teach yourself not to stress over things you can`t control
does your husband stress on things in general , and is totally even keel ,but stresses over business?
you know the old " you can be good at remodeling , or anything , but that doesn't mean your good at " the business of " that same thing .

either persevere , or decide " this is not for me !"

neither one is wrong
 

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I am a greenhorn compared to some of the guys on here. Some things that have made a huge impact on my stress level-

1) Establishing great relationships with the subs who go the extra mile for me
----I don't necessarily award subs based on low price, and occasionally throw them a bonus if its warranted.

2) Knowing you can't control everything. Its way too easy to stress over any little thing that goes wrong, or not according to your Gantt chart. Accepting the fact that **** will happen, helps.

3) Managing your clients. This means, letting them know-
---There will be days with no one on site
---The schedule WILL change
---Subs are busy, but you will do your best.
Otherwise you'll be getting panicked phone calls when any of the above occur.


THE MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE IVE GOTTEN----

CHARGE MORE

It is much easier dealing with the BS of our day to day when you're making money...it also helps when **** hits the fan. Having the extra money in the budget for the inevitable things like-supplementing subs, gaps in scope, throwing a bunch of your guys on site to pickup the slack or punch a project out.....makes things so much easier.

But, Im still a greenhorn
 

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Registered
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I am a greenhorn compared to some of the guys on here. Some things that have made a huge impact on my stress level-

1) Establishing great relationships with the subs who go the extra mile for me
----I don't necessarily award subs based on low price, and occasionally throw them a bonus if its warranted.

2) Knowing you can't control everything. Its way too easy to stress over any little thing that goes wrong, or not according to your Gantt chart. Accepting the fact that **** will happen, helps.

3) Managing your clients. This means, letting them know-
---There will be days with no one on site
---The schedule WILL change
---Subs are busy, but you will do your best.
Otherwise you'll be getting panicked phone calls when any of the above occur.


THE MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE IVE GOTTEN----

CHARGE MORE

It is much easier dealing with the BS of our day to day when you're making money...it also helps when **** hits the fan. Having the extra money in the budget for the inevitable things like-supplementing subs, gaps in scope, throwing a bunch of your guys on site to pickup the slack or punch a project out.....makes things so much easier.

But, Im still a greenhorn
Could not agree more! For us, the hardest thing is finding reliable and honest subs to work with.
 

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Registered
Custom
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12,618 Posts
Like the old saying goes...

"If it were easy, everyone would do it..." ;) :laughing:


One of the things that may help make the stress more easy to handle (sometime endure) is having an end-game... Most guys (us included early on) are focused on the today aspect of their business because it's what takes up most of their time dealing with issues...

Does your business planning include the long term things that make the journey worth it? Things like... retirement/closing the business, health insurance, savings (emergency, school planning for kids, personal), scheduled vacations, business growth (and at what point is your peak to maintain the balance between life and profitability), sub-relationship development, etc...

Sometimes just grinding it from one paycheck to another (or lack thereof) while owning a business can grind down your enthusiasm and make it seem more stressful than it really is and get you wondering if it's worth it... Expanding your vision beyond the day-to-day provides another level of motivation that can suppress some of that stress knowing you have something your working towards...
 

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One of the things that may help make the stress more easy to handle (sometime endure) is having an end-game... Most guys (us included early on) are focused on the today aspect of their business because it's what takes up most of their time dealing with issues...

Does your business planning include the long term things that make the journey worth it? Things like... retirement/closing the business, health insurance, savings (emergency, school planning for kids, personal), scheduled vacations, business growth (and at what point is your peak to maintain the balance between life and profitability), sub-relationship development, etc...

Sometimes just grinding it from one paycheck to another (or lack thereof) while owning a business can grind down your enthusiasm and make it seem more stressful than it really is and get you wondering if it's worth it... Expanding your vision beyond the day-to-day provides another level of motivation that can suppress some of that stress knowing you have something your working towards...
This is great advice no matter what business you are in.
 

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not everyone is cut out to run multiple crews/subs/jobs.

if you were happier & less stressed as a one man show, so be it...

life is too short....

take some time to enjoy it...
I was going to say, if you don't have people skills, management or multi-tasking skills.....you will go nuts. And you are stressed because of lack of skills in handling those situations, and/or, staying out of those situations to begin with.
 

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How much time does he still spend working in the field? It seems that what happens to a lot of people is that they feel they are needed in the field 50 plus hours a week. They also feel they are needed to run the business 50 plus hours a week. The result is a very long week and never feeling like you can keep up or catch your breath. Finding the right balance here might help if any of that resonates.
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #15
can`t find even one decent normal employee.
one new guy cut his hand almost completely off, the third hour on the job ,6 months back.
my 6 year employee , quit with not even a days notice ( right after he was out on a 3 week vacation because he has a bad back.
" COULDN'T YOU TELL ME BEFORE YOU WENT ON VACATION??!"

subs , work to their own time-line . either so hungry for work they call you when they need work , but when you need them , they are flooded with work , and cant get there when you need.
then they send their new , non - english speaking guy to the job, who doesn't do as good as the guy you expected to be there , the guy who has been doing your work for years.
and they don`t clean up after themselves.

clients want cheaper price , but expect perfection , even though , you can see the rest of their home was never kept up.some wont let us use their bathroom , so we have to drive to the gas station .want us to get there at 9 or 10 , because the want to sleep late , or take their kid to school.

supplies don`t come when they`re supposed to ( today , i`m waiting for the 5th day for typical shutter prices fro my supplier of 25 years)

i have no idea what your talking about :blink:

nowadays( and some won`t agree) construction and remodeling is a left over trade . i do`t know anyone who grows up saying " i want to remodel."
i want to be a tile guy"
i want to work construction"
it seems like " well i never stuck to one thing , i`ll get into constructions "
most have issues from the start
and hard part is . there is no certification for most of the carpentry trades
so you have to hire them to see if they know what they are talking about .
then it still takes 2 -3 weeks to see the real person , and all their quirks.

hey ,
in the big scheme of work-life you still have to ask yourself at that worst moment ;
" should i work for someone else ? work just as hard , and make less money? "
or just persist , and keep looking for the diamond in the rough guys
teach yourself not to stress over things you can`t control
does your husband stress on things in general , and is totally even keel ,but stresses over business?
you know the old " you can be good at remodeling , or anything , but that doesn't mean your good at " the business of " that same thing .

either persevere , or decide " this is not for me !"

neither one is wrong
Thank you for sharing this, it's helpful to know how others are dealing with issues and to see that we are not the only ones with this problems.
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #16
I am a greenhorn compared to some of the guys on here. Some things that have made a huge impact on my stress level-

1) Establishing great relationships with the subs who go the extra mile for me
----I don't necessarily award subs based on low price, and occasionally throw them a bonus if its warranted.

2) Knowing you can't control everything. Its way too easy to stress over any little thing that goes wrong, or not according to your Gantt chart. Accepting the fact that **** will happen, helps.

3) Managing your clients. This means, letting them know-
---There will be days with no one on site
---The schedule WILL change
---Subs are busy, but you will do your best.
Otherwise you'll be getting panicked phone calls when any of the above occur.


THE MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE IVE GOTTEN----

CHARGE MORE

It is much easier dealing with the BS of our day to day when you're making money...it also helps when **** hits the fan. Having the extra money in the budget for the inevitable things like-supplementing subs, gaps in scope, throwing a bunch of your guys on site to pickup the slack or punch a project out.....makes things so much easier.

But, Im still a greenhorn
Thanks for sharing your tips. We will definitely try those.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
How much time does he still spend working in the field? It seems that what happens to a lot of people is that they feel they are needed in the field 50 plus hours a week. They also feel they are needed to run the business 50 plus hours a week. The result is a very long week and never feeling like you can keep up or catch your breath. Finding the right balance here might help if any of that resonates.
He's gone from 7am till about 5 or 6pm, then he comes home and after dinner spends few hours on preparing the estimates and working on the schedule. He doesn't do the actual work as much, I would say he works 50% of the time, but he's running on every project, checking things, and then seeing new clients. So during the day, he takes no time to work on the business. I do rest of the work, typing up the estimates, doing the designs on the computer, managing office, bills, etc... I feel we need a project manager but the problem is that I don't think we can afford one, but then maybe we should do it anyways?
 

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He's gone from 7am till about 5 or 6pm, then he comes home and after dinner spends few hours on preparing the estimates and working on the schedule. He doesn't do the actual work as much, I would say he works 50% of the time, but he's running on every project, checking things, and then seeing new clients. So during the day, he takes no time to work on the business. I do rest of the work, typing up the estimates, doing the designs on the computer, managing office, bills, etc... I feel we need a project manager but the problem is that I don't think we can afford one, but then maybe we should do it anyways?
Wow, Im in the same situation as you. I spend most of my day following up/sending out estimates, keeping track of bills, the back end stuff etc. My brother who is my partner goes to appointments, coordinates subs etc and we're at a point where a project manager would help so much, but debating if it's worth it, and also how hard will it be to find someone we can trust and rely on....:rolleyes:
 
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