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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all. I'm curious what some of you do when you hit a slow period when the phone is not ringing and work slows down? Do any of you have another part time business venture to fill in, or do you just put marketing into overdrive to get more work? Thanks.
 

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Assuming I have enough money to cover the winter... I sharpen the knife. What did I do right last year? What did I do wrong last year? What will I do next year? Plan and budget, my man!

Understanding the ebb and flo of your industry is important. For example I know this happens every year under normal conditions: Beginning of march through April = lots of leads, but not so much work. People are just getting started and take a little time to make a decision. April-June= decent leads and decent work. June-August. Very little leads and production slows down from the heat. September-November = some leads but lots of work from the procrastinators who waited until the last minute. Thanksgiving -February pretty much dead except some new construction and repair work.

When I experience a slow time during the regular months I identify WHY before I make any adjustments. Are there no leads? I may amp up my marketing. Are there leads but I am not selling? I will investigate why I am not selling before changing my sales approach... Basically the answer is there is no one size fits all answer to your question. I think a Saavy business person will adapt to the situation instead of using some kind of blanket approach.
 

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My phone rings so often that it impairs work in progress. I don't know where you are but I am swamped.
 

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Years ago in harder times I used to get slow periods, - - other contractors were always willing to take me on.
 

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DGR,IABD
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If you get in with a few landlords, they can always give some work to fill in the slow days/weeks. This is often notoriously low profit crap work, but it's better than sitting around watching Oprah and hoping the phone rings. I use work in rental units to fill out a day if I a guy gets done early and the work is no special emergency.
 

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...jammin
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Are you thinking about this winter?
Or did everything just stop for you too?
3 weeks ago I was 4 days behind
Now...not much going on
Same with my contemporaries on the shore and on the river
Looks like we got a little lull around here
 

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...jammin
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Oh hey I didn't answer your question
Sometimes I use the time to catch up
Sometimes I'll go down the list and call clients that I know had little stuff they wanted done
Or if anyone has said...Oh when you're slow maybe you could....
I write that stuff down and call them
I have some commercial clients, sometimes I'll call them up and say "Hey I'm lining up my schedule for the end of the month-anything you want done?"
Often I'll do a face to face with them, just pop in
Hi I was in the area how ya doin? Need anything? Anything coming up?
Also I'll call up my Buds and let them know I'm available for helping them if they need a hand
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. Nice to see you here. In the early 1970's my grandmother owned a home in Old Saybrook near the shore. Used to spend some time in the summers there. I still like to go there occassionally. The home is no longer in the family.

I'm up in the South Windsor Area.
 

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It is also a good time to clean and organize the shop,basement,truck,files,desk,repair tools,etc. Old timer who taught me always said "there is always something to keep you busy 40 hours a week". That way when the phone rings you are organized and ready to go! He said "going out drinking at noon didn't count!" :(
 

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Its funny to view it from this end. I can alway see a major spike in traffic to this site in the off season. I guess people have more time to surf ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks PG. Excellent thought as there is always something to do and things to fix.

Do any of you guys own/operate another part time business? I used to do some lawns to fill in but gave them up after awhile.
 

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Nathan said:
Its funny to view it from this end. I can alway see a major spike in traffic to this site in the off season. I guess people have more time to surf ;)
It beats television! And it's too late to make cold calls! ;)
 

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We tend to get slow between jobs were materails are not on time or we are waiting for our time on the site.

I let the guys go, we golf, fish, or just mix, or I will send them to a semenar or school if theres one around.

As we often work 6 days a week and that alone can be trying, so for us to have a few off, its OK.

If its going to be a few more than a day or 2 I will find something for them to do, I have so many of those " When You HAve Time"

BJD
 

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We always try and setup long term projects per year. Usually finding clients who want a large scale project done in increments, so they can pay that way. We then are constantly talking with people and asking about smaller 1-2 day jobs. A realtor friend finds clients, who end up being repeaters. Doing work for the realtor friend is a nightmare usually, but his referrals are always great.

We usually have 4-6 large projects, and then fill in with smaller ones when ever the time comes up. That way we have the "fall back" projects that are very large, and then have consistent work. Take off time for vacation during the hottest part of summer and a full month in winter.

In the spare time there’s always your own house to be fixing, adding on to, etc.
 

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...jammin
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Cubevan said:
Do any of you guys own/operate another part time business?
Working musician
That's funny, when answering your first question I was thinking sometimes I need it to be slow when my nights are booked up
 

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"Buy Quality, Cry Once"
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I have gone from being 3 weeks out 2 months ago to having not another job to go to last week. I paid my guys to go hang door hangers within 24 hours I had three jobs, those doorhangers never fail.
 

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The Deck Guy
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When you guys hit a lull, do you pay your hourly guys even if there is no work? I only have one full-time guy and it kills me that I haven't been able to give him 40 hours the past two weeks due to some lag time with job starts/inspections, etc... It's bad enough I have no income, but I feel guilty that he doesn't get a full paycheck either. If the work's not there, it's not there, but I don't know what the "industry standard" is for this situation.
 
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