Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fortunately I've been blessed with a lot of work so far this year and couldn't be happier about that but now I'm running into a problem.

I've been losing projects when I tell the homeowners it will be roughly a month until we can start their project. In this business most people are reactive rather than proactive so a month is a long time.

Any thing I can say to these people to keep the business? I don't want to lose jobs just based on being too busy because eventually a month will come up and there won't be any jobs there. I've also already split crews and hired more which is something I didn't want to do in the first place.

Any ideas for these good to have problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,654 Posts
I've had times where the minimum wait was 3 months and up to a year and everyone waited for me. Sometimes I'd run into a job where I would squeeze it in working nights and weekends if possible.

Right now I'm getting a lot of " We would like this done before such time" I don't make promises unless I'm certain I can keep them. More often I hear they went with a contractor that promised a start and completion date and got neither.

I would explain to them why you are booked weather it be your pricing or quality of work or both. Leave them a business card and ask them to consider you again in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,099 Posts
Raise your prices when you hit this point - as you define it. Limits the time based rejections and increases profit.

It's a good control and if the bottom drops out of your schedule - Good discounting potential if you'd need it to keep the pipe full.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,654 Posts
Sub em out.
That's not always good advice unless you have complete trust in your subs. I don't know how many jobs I've lost because the customer believed the other contractors were using all his own employees which simply wasn't true.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,654 Posts
Raise your prices when you hit this point - as you define it. Limits the time based rejections and increases profit.

It's a good control and if the bottom drops out of your schedule - Good discounting potential if you'd need it to keep the pipe full.
That's exactly what i did, even if I really didn't want the job I would price it high and stiil got them. Main problem I ran into every job went over time schedule usually due to added work. So I would have to constantly keep customers down the line updated on my schedule but I never lost any of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
I have had the same problem for awhile. My mentors also say sub it out but I am not ready for that for various reasons including quality control.

One thing that helped me a lot was to reset my belief that no one would want to wait. Several successful contractors I asked about this problem told me that limiting belief was in my head and I was wrong. I gave a new perspective a chance and they were right.

I now ask every customer in my qualifying process what their time frame is. Many have a longer time frame so I sell the project for that time frame without ever mentioning your situation. If the time frame is longer I simply say we can accommodate that schedule. He who mentions a time frame first loses if you are super busy. Asking that question is taken various ways but usually it is that you are busy so the customer tends to offer you a worst case scenario for their wait time willingness.

Another thing that helped as to accept I can't do it all and the more success I have the more leads will come up. I can now pick and choose more than ever the projects I want based on location, interest, visibility, customer type, ease or complexity, etc.

Third thing is raise your prices. That will thin things out and you will make more money.

Fourth if you do decide to sub out think about the complexity and which crew is the best for the easy roofs versus the complex roofs with lots of detail work.
 

·
I'm The BOSS
Joined
·
1,904 Posts
I explain that I have a revolving list. Once the contract is signed
and a deposit is paid, your on the list. I explain that's how I do it
and it is the most fair for everybody.

When They ask questions like that I try to confirm that they're
interested in My company doing the work. I also let them know
that "IF YOUR GOOD, YOUR BUSY " and that someone that can do
it quicker may have issues. Let them read between the lines.

I'm book until fall and have customers that have wait a year for
they're project to be 1st on the list.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
just think how much more work you'd have if you shaved your beard???

anyways....time to raise your prices or hire on more workers.....those are the only 2 choices i see....why lose customers because of wait times??? lose them because your too expensive instead

congratulations!!!...not a bad problem to have

im never more than 7 days out.....if i were any more id lose customers...i get tons of calls from people needing me tomorrow.....or even right now!.....lucky your in a type of business that anyone would wait 30 days for.....it must be nice knowing your schedule that far out....i dont know what im going to do 9 days from now...my calendar is completely blank from there on
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,831 Posts
Fortunately I've been blessed with a lot of work so far this year and couldn't be happier about that but now I'm running into a problem.

I've been losing projects when I tell the homeowners it will be roughly a month until we can start their project. In this business most people are reactive rather than proactive so a month is a long time.

Any thing I can say to these people to keep the business? I don't want to lose jobs just based on being too busy because eventually a month will come up and there won't be any jobs there. I've also already split crews and hired more which is something I didn't want to do in the first place.

Any ideas for these good to have problem?
Same place here, but im further out as my projects arent a day. A month is pretty booked for roofing :thumbsup: Way to go.

I reffer work to buddys when they wont wait, which is 50/50. It sucks, but they reciprocate.
 

·
Talking Head
Joined
·
5,388 Posts
I'm out until September. I have to lay the groundwork immediately or every call is a waste of time. Roofing is VERY different than remodeling.

I think the two suggestions on here that have the most merit are to schedule the customers who aren't in a rush so that you always have a couple of days free next week and to charge more when you're slammed. If nothing comes in then you can start the job a couple days early and have a happy customer. If something does come in then you're making a better profit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah another difficulty is that we've had terrible weather to deal with so it's made things more difficult. Some people are fine with waiting and others aren't. I hate losing out on work because we are just too busy. Majority understand so maybe the ones that don't get it, I shouldn't worry about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
Yeah another difficulty is that we've had terrible weather to deal with so it's made things more difficult. Some people are fine with waiting and others aren't. I hate losing out on work because we are just too busy. Majority understand so maybe the ones that don't get it, I shouldn't worry about.
id be willing to wait a month, but not much more

i think being 30 days out is pushing things too far

ive waited 4 months for remodels....but a roof is different
 

·
Always Learning
Joined
·
8,720 Posts
It sounds like you are one of the good ones Bam. You price correctly and know how to run a successful roofing business.

We do new and remodeling projects. We are 5-6 months out right now. Some of those projects will involve a new roof. My roofer is usually 3-4 weeks out. We talk about when the project I need him for is comng up and he knows to hold a spot.

My point is a good roofer is worth waiting for. If you are happy with the money you are making and your work load, why change something? To add subs to take on more is always a risk and can add a lot to the stress level. Its not for me.

As far as raising your prices, others have said raise them until the works slows a bit. I agree with that to an extent, but its better to look at your close rate vs number of estimates. If you are closing 75% of cold leads you need to raise prices. If its closer to 30% that's usually a good range. Referrals IMHO should be a higher close rate.

I think the industry as a whole is in a big upswing right now and the total number of people needing/wanting work done is high. Growth is a scary thing. We have decided as our small company to take on what we can, ask people to wait, and if they don't, we move on.
 

·
water re-locater
Joined
·
7,511 Posts
What a great problem to have..Id probably just keep doing what your'e doing. Sounds like its working..I can think of worse reasons for losing a job than a customer saying he was just too busy. Busy usually means your very cheap or very good. Sounds like youre one of the good ones
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top