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I have started a Master Commercial Handyman business doing Renos,Repairs,Plumbing,Drywall,Painting etc. At this time I cant afford to advertise so how can I find out WHO and WHERE my Clients might be for this type of service?
Hope somebody out there can tell me how to get the ball rolling!

With Thanks Wayne at [email protected]
 

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Telephone book...

Hello Ms. Receptionist, I was wondering if I could speak with whoever is in charge of facility maintenance at your office.

Hello Mr/Mrs. Facility Manager I wantred to introduce myself. I am a contractor in your area and I believe I can be of service to you.
 

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I have dropped commercial altogether, everything is by commitee and quality means nothing. Prepare for many beatings. Commercial people have no values, they will show your proposal to competitors, anything to save a buck.
Wish you luck.
 

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Welcome to the forum Wayne, doing only commercial work can be rough for sure, I do very little, except for repeat clients.

I've found that no advertising leaves only cold calls for business, tough sleddin for sure. Lots of luck. Grumpy seems to have the best suggestion thus far.
 

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wayne said:
...At this time I cant afford to advertise...
You better be able to afford anything you need. In business, you borrow the money when you need something. If you don't have the balls and the connections to do this, you won't last long.

As for the customers, you go out and get them. TODAY. You'll figure out who they are while you're out there. If you can't figure out who they are, or where they are, by yourself, then you're doomed.

Sorry to be so blunt, but that's the way it is for all of us.
 

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Easy Mike! I never borrowed a dime on any of my businesses. They are MINE all MINE! I'm damned proud of it! Every single one built from the ground up with the theory that if they can't stand alone, then they deserve to close. All are profitable.
wayne, maybe you have found a niche that have eluded the rest of us. I have made a very nice living in locating niche markets. I wish you nothing but the best. Let us know how it goes.
 

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I have had good luck sending an introduction letter to businesses which includes the following:

2 business cards
2 lists of services
1 copy of general liability and workman’s comp
1 copy of company 1099 to keep on file.
After my websites are redone we will put them on disc and send them out also.

The reason I send 2 copies of the business card and list of services is because the Store Manager normally will not think to make copies for the Regional Manager…..but if you do it for him he will proudly pass it on as some big find.

These people do not want to put forth a lot of effort in finding a contractor for small type repairs. If all of your important information listed above is already on file, where it is easy to get to, you stand a better chance of at least getting a phone call.

Best of luck

Jesse R. Kirchhoff

Kirchhoff Handyman Solutions LLC
“Making Your Life A Lot Less Complicated”
www.midmohandyman.com

Advanced Power Washing and Restoration Services LLC
Professional Products ~ Professional Service ~ Professional Results
www.advancedpw.com
 

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Teetorbilt said:
...Easy Mike! I never borrowed a dime on any of my businesses...I'm damned proud of it!...
I've borrowed over a hundred thousand dollars at a crack without batting an eye. I'm damned proud of that too!
 

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Yea, you have to pay it back with interest, right?
I owe no one. Any of my businesses could fold tomorow with nothing but formal probate which would amount to nothing.
 

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"Jack of all trades, Master of none". Specialize and be the best! Word will get out. Target your audience and do as Grumpy says - press the flesh. Do not underestimate the value of face time.
 

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Well i also just recently started my own painting buisness. I also do not have much money to advertise, and like teetorbuilt i do not believe in borrowing money.

First thing i did to advertise was to design my own logo ( I am an artist)
I then went to my local office supply store and had 1000 buisness cards made for only 40 dollars. I have been going door to door knocking on doors offering my services. Its a gamble that i get called but its better than sitting at home doing nothing.

I threw my logo and phone number on my van by myself with proffesional lettering enamel. Saved me about 500 dollars.

The way i see it, your advertising doesn't have to be the most expensive thing,

go out and do it the old fashioned way, talk to people and get to know them.
 

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Teetorbilt said:
...Yea, you have to pay it back with interest, right?
...
Recently, interest rates on borrowed money haven't been much higher than the inflation rate. The money is almost free. Sometimes borrowed money can be leveraged for big profits fast. It's not always smart to pass up these opportunities. Once they're gone, they're gone. Borrowing money is no substitute for creativity, but sometimes there is no substitute for borrowed money to make a large business move. We all know people who have become very successful by wisely using borrowed money. It is the rule, not the exception.

...I owe no one...
I have also made a lot of money by loaning money to other people. I still hold mortgages on several commercial properties. Sometimes I have borrowed at one rate, and been able to loan it out at a much higher rate. That's easy money, and I'll take all of it that I can get. It's a nice feeling to go to the mailbox and take the checks out. A few days of hard work can yield a steady income for 30 years.
 

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mikesewell said:
Recently, interest rates on borrowed money haven't been much higher than the inflation rate. The money is almost free. Sometimes borrowed money can be leveraged for big profits fast. It's not always smart to pass up these opportunities. Once they're gone, they're gone. Borrowing money is no substitute for creativity, but sometimes there is no substitute for borrowed money to make a large business move. We all know people who have become very successful by wisely using borrowed money. It is the rule, not the exception.
In regards to borrowing money to run a business... in my business that really isn't necessary. It's hard not to make a profit. I lean towards the side of agreeing with Teetor but I have seen one company get go from family owned to industry leader in Chicago by borrowing money. I wouldn't necessarily say that I will never borrow money; but I will say it's an ends to justify a means and a last resort.

It is very easy to go into deep debt, especially at the start of a business. I personally feel in the beginning stages one should NOT borrow money until they get a feel for their business and it's numbers. This takes a full year in my opinion.
 

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mikesewell said:
I've borrowed over a hundred thousand dollars at a crack without batting an eye. I'm damned proud of that too!
You should be. It proves you are more than a crack head in a beat up Datsun Brat truck! :cheesygri

I see nothing wrong with borrowing money to fund or expand a business. Where I come from no real business can not function with a line of credit to draw from to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves or keep people employed during a slow or emergency period. I'm a cash or I don't buy it guy in my personal life, but not in business, they are not the same thing.

I think any well run business can get to the same level of success and be debt free over time, however prudent borrowing of capital can get you to that point much faster than a business that won't borrow.
 

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Mike Finley said:
I think any well run business can get to the same level of success and be debt free over time, however prudent borrowing of capital can get you to that point much faster than a business that won't borrow.
Other than lines of credit with my suppliers and subs my business doesn't have any credit and probably couldn't buy a truck on my business credit.

I've considered a credit card for memergency cash flow issues such as a large upaid receiveables. The problem with borrowing large sums of money to START a business is that it is somewhat difficult to put together accurate predictions unless you have spent a few years in the same industry already. Even then your predictions could be off base, and that could get you into troule with your creditors when you start paying late.

My company was founded on just under $20k of my personal funds. I paid myself back within 5 months. I am now using my revenue to fuel my growth. To be honest if I grew any faster I'd be very scared, as it is I need help and I am having a hard time finding qualified candidates for my open positions, and have had to pause much of my advertising temporarily.

I know I will get to a point where I hit a growth hump and I won't be able to get over without a cash infusion. At that time I will need to make a decision "Am I good where I am at, or should I borrow to grow?" The answer depends on my circumstancs at that time, but GROWTH is apples-oranges when compared to START UP, in my humber opinion.
 

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Grumpy said:
Forget sending. Show up and hand deliver them to your contact.
Hey Grumpy,

I am working myself up to that. I have never been good at “in person” sales or public speaking. This new R.E.E.P program I have going for the Realtors will soon break me of that insecurity I guess. Nothing like jumping into the fire.

Thanks

Jesse R. Kirchhoff
Kirchhoff Handyman Solutions LLC
“Making Your Life A Lot Less Complicated”
www.midmohandyman.com

Advanced Power Washing and Restoration Services LLC
Professional Products ~ Professional Service ~ Professional Results
www.advancedpw.com
 

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Grumpy said:
Forget sending. Show up and hand deliver them to your contact.
:Thumbs:
It's a PEOPLE business. You should become FRIENDS, not PEN PALS.

You will also find that most of your competition STARTS with an adversarial relationship with these folks. IF YOU DON'T DO THAT, you will kick your competition's a$$!
 

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Grumpy said:
... as it is I need help and I am having a hard time finding qualified candidates for my open positions, and have had to pause much of my advertising temporarily.
That's my daily dilema. I'm coming to the conclusion that qualified people don't exist any more, at any price. I can, will, and can justify paying higher than anyone in my area, and I still can't find guys who'll show up on time prepared to work. Yes, I am a little particular. I want the person to know their trade, and show up as scheduled to perform it. Maybe that's asking too much. That's a thread topic for another day.
 
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