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Discussion Starter #1
Can you guys check out these two pages and tell me what you think both from the standpoint of a contractor but also a consumer...

http://www.reliableamerican.us/services/residential/cedar-cleaning.htm

http://www.reliableamerican.us/services/residential/gutter-cleaning.htm

I am hoping I can lock a good number of customers in on service contracts for the two above services. Maintenance is free money IMO.

These are the two services I plan to use to build a customer base. Neither takes too long and both can be done on the weekends so I can keep a full time job. As soon as I have a good cusotmer base and built a good repuation I will branch out and promote my other services hard, like total roof replacement.
 

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Grump - I've never heard of either service before. People in your area actually pay someone to run a hose in their gutters @ a buck a foot?

Looks like both could be nice profit makers.

My only question is why go through all the trouble of marketing these services to step up to what you want to do which is roofing? Why not spend that same time and money and just market for roofing and do what you want to do?

You certainly don't need a customer base, nor a good reputation to start getting roofing jobs.
 

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If the houses are huge and the clients have tons of cash, I can see them paying that kind of money easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
LOL yeah mike. Gutter cleaning is very very common. Two story buildings? Most home owners don't own anything higher than a step ladder nor have the balls to go 30' up. Senior citizens and single mothers are another target market for this service. Also what Florcraft said is the nail on the head. Rich people will pay anythign to keep their house looking nice and their hands clean. I'm actually amazed they don't have gutter cleaning where you are at. I thought they had it everywhere!

Good question and here is the answer: A) build a customer base. It's easier to sell $150 to a customer and earn their trust than it is to sell $5000 to a customer and have ZERO refrences of completed work. B) State liscensing is required and the test isn't for another two months, plus the insurance for roofers is through the roof so I'd like to put that off as long as possible, and that is April 05. c) This is part of my long term plans to keep customers happy and in my palm so gutter cleaning and roof maintenance will always be part of my service offerings. d) I want to build my reputation as a cedar expert and since all the other cedar roofing and siding companies clean cedar, that means I have to as well ;)

I don't need a customer base or reputation to get leads, your right. But I need a customer base and reputation to sell those leads for a good profit.
 

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Grumpy said:
I'm actually amazed they don't have gutter cleaning where you are at. I thought they had it everywhere!
They probably do have it, I'm just not aware of it is all. Now everywhere I look I will probably notice gutter cleaning services. :D
 

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In regard to what's holding you back. I'll just say where there is a will there is a way.

References won't hold you back unless you let them. I have found it is a numbers game, if you talk to enough people somebody will listen to your story and give you a shot, the 2nd is offering to do your first jobs at a price they just can't refuse.

Many times I have advised people just starting in other businesses to forget about profit when you are starting. Do your first 2, 10 or 50 jobs at cost, whatever it takes to get you working, the profits will come.

As for your other problems, if you really want to overcome them, I bet you could. If not having the seed money is problem, I would get some small roof jobs and swing that hammer all by myself on the weekends and put that money in the bank until I had enough to get going.

Probably sound like I am preaching to you, and that is not my intention, but I've advised so many small business people over the years, I see analysis paralysis set in on lots of people. It's great to have a plan and a timetable, but I've seen lots of cases of some guys just going for it without much of a plan at all and making it, while the other guy never gets out of the starting blocks because he is always able to find another issue that he has to attend to before he feels he has all his chickens in a row.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Mike I will admit that I am spoiled. You are right I can probably sell to customers with zero refrences but I have made it such a big part of my presentation that I'd be a hypocrite now to do exactly what I have told home owners to look out for.

Also I don't like cutting my price. I'll never offer a price they can't refuse because that means I'm damned near doing the job for a loss. I want to build a reputation on quality not affordability. I have a mortgage company that needs money and dont forget I am getting married soon. I hear those wives like to spend their husbands cash.

It's all great advice but the bottom line is I cant do roofing yet anyways even if I wanted to. I can't without a liscense or insurance. I cant get the liscense until I take the test in October. I can't get insurance until I have a lisecnse, not to mention roofing insurance is damned expensive.

Read it now and write it down and check back with me April 2005. I WILL BE DOING ROOFING BY APRIL 2005 AFTER I RETURN FROM MY HONEYMOON.
 
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