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Steve
05-05-2008, 08:41 AM
I am trying to get Craig from IrrigationTV.com onto the forum to tell us a little about himself and his new website. He sent me this article from the February Lawn and Landscape magazine article about himself.

Craig, please say hello! http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Steve
05-05-2008, 08:54 AM
Did you read the article? Have you ever used the sites Craig mentioned?

http://socialmarker.com/

I am checking it out now.

SprinklerRepair
05-06-2008, 04:25 PM
Hi Steve, this is Craig Borglum. Thanks for putting up something I could reply to, because for the life of me I could not figure out how to start a post!

The magazine interview came about from the EPA Water Sense article about me:

While talking to the interviewer about irrigation efficiency, somehow we got around to websites. When I explained that my site came up on the first page of Google for any sprinkler term with the word "repair" after it, as does my site for all of its search terms, they put in the magazine box about SEO. Search engine optimization fascinates me. I love watching sites I've worked on "magically" appear in Google! I know this sounds like bragging, and maybe it is, but for local searches (a city) I can bring up any site to the first page. That is something that I would like to talk to your readers about in the near future.

Right now I would like to explain a little about my new site
After 30 years of designing, installing and repairing irrigation I felt that I had a lot to offer someone who is trying to learn how to do it. Repair is an entirely different animal from installation. Most of it is pretty easy although there are tricks to the trade like anything else. I spent a fortune paying a movie company from Palm Beach to shoot the DVD. I even cleared a half acre of woods on my property to make a "film set" so that I could show ABOVE ground what is happening underground. That is the first half of the DVD. The second half is where I broke everything in a friend of mine's yard and went about repairing it.
Here was the problem: I had a thousand pages of reference material that I wanted to include with the DVD. It would be like mailing a telephone book! Plus, I wanted to continue to shoot (myself, movie guys are way too expensive) clips to add to the original film. The only answer was to put the whole thing online and call the DVD mailed to your house a "bonus."
I think the most important thing that I include with the DVD is what to charge. Lets face it, in this day and age you have got to make a minimum of $100 per hour for your time spent on the job. Otherwise your just making a paycheck. On the other hand if you tell a client that you charge $200 an hour labor they will laugh you off the property! So what do you do? You use "flat rate pricing." It is x amount of dollars to do this and x amount of dollars to do that. Problem solved, clients don't bat an eye.

So in essence the website and the DVD show you how to do it and what to charge. Basically a "business in a box."

If you read this post, stay tuned because I am going to work out a deal with Steve that members of his forum are going to get a big exclusive discount if they join IrrigationTV through him!

We will have it worked out soon.

In the meantime, enjoy the FREE videos at

Craig

Steve
05-06-2008, 06:52 PM
Craig,

I love all the content you have and how you created all the training for it.

Have you ever thought about creating a irrigation repair franchise that you could sell to lawn care businesses?

Do you think something like that could work?

SprinklerRepair
05-06-2008, 10:24 PM
Oh my God. I put up a post that took over an hour to write and I can't find it! It sucks to be new at posting on forums. I'm 52 years old. How creepy would it be for me to have a "My Space" page? On my blog I just hit "publish". This is frustrating but, if I can can learn to make Google my bitch, I can learn this also.

As to franchising, thats kinda what I'm doing with. I'm showing how anyone can replicate what I do. The difference is that I'm not greedy. If 100,000 guys pay me $97 bucks, Costa Rica here I come! ####, if 1000 guys pay me at least I can take a year off and let my back heal.

My project did not stop at the one hour DVD. I've already got another hour in the can, which I could edit if clients would just stop calling me with their sprinkler problems! I'm booked out two weeks already.

I know, in times of recession I should not complain about too much work. But it's always the same: too much work is a problem, too little work is a problem. I will bitch either way.
Sue me,
Craig

Steve
05-07-2008, 08:52 AM
Craig,

Feel free to make some trial posts as you learn to do this. I can always delete test posts. I am glad to see you are trying this out.


I think you are onto something with your videos. When most lawn care business owners start up, they just don't even think about offering irrigation repair. I bet they feel it's outside their scope.

In fact I rarely ever hear of any newer businesses talk about it. I think with your videos and your know how, this could be changed and anyone who is just starting could offer this service.

Have you found that to be the case as well? New lawn care business owners don't realize how easy, once they know how to do it, it is to add this service on to their business?

SprinklerRepair
05-07-2008, 07:38 PM
I think most people, whether they are homeowners or landscapers, believe that irrigation is a complex thing.

Now, I do need to differentiate a little here. Irrigation design, when done correctly, is a highly complex and mathematically complicated process.

However, 99% of the systems that I see are designed incorrectly. They are just made up of sprinkler heads throwing water in the air.

I do not advocate unschooled contractors designing systems. That is the problem that we already have. This problem can only be solved legislatively by requiring water audits of all new systems. We will do that once it is too late and all the water is gone.

Sprinkler repair is another game altogether. Repairing leaking pipes and valves, replacing broken sprinkler heads, moving heads out of shrub areas that have grown too tall, raising rotors, etc., is well within the range of someone who can figure out why a mower won't start.

And the best thing is, and this is the honest truth, the easy work pays the best, and the easy things are the most prevalent repairs that need to be done.

For example, Mrs. Smith says "I've got a brown patch of grass over here. Whats the problem"? You turn on the sprinklers and see A. the shrubs are higher than the sprinkler, so you move the head B. the nozzle is clogged and you replace it C. You add a head, D-E-F-G! It is much simpler than most realize.

The information available at covers all that plus a lot more.

More importantly, you increase the value of your services to your customer because now she does not have to call me in separately to address the situation. Plus, if you are in Orlando, I'll probably tell Mrs. Smith that you are cutting the grass too short with dull blades http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

And a 100$ or more dollars an hour never hurts. I charge $50 to move a head. It takes me maybe 10 minutes, including the time to walk back and forth from my truck,and costs me about five bucks in parts. Move 10 heads on a property, which I did just today, and you just made in an hour what some people work all week for.

Soon Steve will be offering a big discount to his guys for this course. Wait until then to buy it. The course will cost less than your first hour on the job.

P.S., I was talking to my brother today. He told me that a Subway franchise costs around $150,000., and a husband and wife team can expect to realize a combined first year income of $65,000. We both got a big laugh out of that!

You can easily make $65,000 repairing sprinklers with a $5000 truck, a $500 valve locator and $1000 in parts, and take 3 months off.

I show you how to do it and what to charge. If you don't get it the first time, watch it again in slow motion!

P.P.S, how did the dancing banana appear? I didn't do it .Its like magic!

Steve
05-07-2008, 07:55 PM
I like it.


Craig, when you first got started, how long did it take you to figure this stuff out and how did you learn it?

I a guessing there was nothing available like your product to train you.

What got you interested in irrigation in the first place?

SprinklerRepair
05-08-2008, 05:40 PM
Well, I came up old school. You work for a big company digging like a gopher 60 hours a week on commercial installs. You ask questions "why are we doing this that way", etc. Then they let you start piping laterals. If your fast, they let you start piping and wiring mainline, under a watchful eye. Then you learn to read prints, layout zones, and at some point a foreman will call in hung over one to many times and you get his job. Later you run multiple crews.

I read book after book on hydraulic theory and irrigation design. I worked as a full time designer for a big company many years before I ever got my IACID.

I don't recommend this approach to anyone. Start your own business NOW! If you succeed and get big, you can hire experience and brains as easily as you can hire muscle.

When I started there was no internet or training videos to jump start you on how to do this. I've purchased a couple of irrigation installation DVD's just to check out the competition. I'm not impressed with any of them. Because every irrigated area is different, you would have to create a 20 DVD set at the very least to cover the design basics.

Why bother? The easier and faster money is in repair. I get installation requests constantly and I turn them all down.

I can't possibly say it enough "the most money is in the easy and fast repairs". You are there for an hour, collect your $300 bucks and go to the next job. Do that four or five times everyday and vacation in the Bahamas. I'm going in June.

Steve
05-08-2008, 08:58 PM
Quote[/b] ]I don't recommend this approach to anyone. Start your own business NOW! If you succeed and get big, you can hire experience and brains as easily as you can hire muscle.

I agree with your view on this. I feel it's so much more important to get something started today than to put things off until you study more and get things perfect.

Get started today and learn as you go.

Craig,

Have you noticed that when lawn care businesses get started, they tend to want to add on services like fertilization? This is something they will need to pass tests to accomplish and it can take quite some time to get to the point where you can provide these services.

How do you feel the earning potential is for a lawn care business owner considering fertilizer application versus irrigation repair?

WHy should they choose one over the other?

SprinklerRepair
05-09-2008, 06:39 PM
They should NOT choose one over the other. They should both.
Tru-Green and Valley Crest do everything related to horticulture. That is the business you are in.

Customers are busy taking their kids to soccer, working on their MBA, video-confrencing on weekends, etc. They want ONE company to take care of all these concerns. That does not mean that you trim the Poodle and clean the pool while your on property. It means that you are THE guy for all their landscape needs.

In terms of irrigation licensing, you need a license to pull a permit for new construction or installing back flow prevention devices.

This is NOT what you want to do! You want to take care of the broken heads, malfunctioning valves and controllers, remedy the dry spots, in other words, FAST, EASY and PROFITABLE!

If your client puts in a pool and wants you to re-design the system, you tell them you do not have time for that project. Why? Because you do not want it! Too difficult, not enough money in it. Fix the neighbors broken pipe instead. Less stress, more money. Please take my advice on this, I know what I'm talking about. Do not be tempted by a $1500 job that will break your back, when you can do 5 or 6 $200 "quickies".

Tape this on the cover of your work calendar:

Fast, Easy, Profitable.

You won't regret following this advice.

Steve
05-10-2008, 10:32 AM
Craig, I really appreciate your insight into all of this. I hope others reading this benefit from all the knowledge you have shared as well.

gmoney55
05-10-2008, 11:39 PM
This is some great information. I just started my lawncare business and eventually wanted to get into irrigation installs and repairs. I live in louisiana and the permits and tests you need to get a license are ridiculous. You really need to know someone who can help you obtain this or you will be stuck forever trying to get all the right information. It took me over 4 weeks of calling people everyday to find out exactly what is needed to be able to apply for and take the test. It seems nobody knows what the heck they are doing down here. I was totally discouraged by all of this and had decided not to pursue it anymore. but you have just seriously changed my outlook on irrigation. I see that you are going to do some kind of special for forum members. Is there any news on this yet? I will definitely sign up. I also checked out your website and it looks very good can't wait to start learning about irrigation repairs. thanks

SprinklerRepair
05-11-2008, 08:06 AM
For information in Louisiana, contact the Louisiana Irrigation Association at \

Become a member and take some classes. They will give you a cool sticker for your truck http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

The place to start is sprinkler repair. And the best place to start learning repair is \