View Full Version : Hello From Michigan
09-03-2009, 09:05 AM
Hello all! My name is Jon Smith (if you can believe that) and I run a gutter maintenance firm in Grand Rapids, MI. We clean out gutters, put in a gutter protection, install new gutters, and do a little power washing as an add on service. I saw everything on the forum about gutter cleaning and figured I should join. I've been in business for myself for about three years and have been around gutters for a total of just about six years.
I look forward to learning from everyone on the forum.
09-03-2009, 04:56 PM
Welcome to our forum.
What got you into that business? How do you like it? Have you ever run any other businesses?
Do you have any advice as how to go about bidding gutter cleanups and also do any of those devices to keep leaves out of the gutters work?
09-04-2009, 08:27 AM
My father started manufacturing a foam gutter protection in Grand Rapids about 5 or 6 years ago. He's got a couple of businesses and I've always wanted to run my own business. I started running all the local quotes/installs etc and that turned out to be pretty good. My father then decided to take the money he was putting into the local market and further invest the money into the national market (gutter protection dealers with a return on investment far greater than the local market). That's when I broke off on my own- we already had the trailer, ladders, experience, etc. I will tell you (I'm a little biased) that I truly think our gutter protection is one of the best out there. I do not tell my clients that it is perfect because I have yet to find a perfect gutter protection. Our product is a foam gutter protection (www.gutter-care.com is the product website).
Last year with the economy and some research, I decided to add on gutter cleaning. I used to quote gutter cleaning by the foot, but now I quote it by the hour. I charge around $65 an hour. This way that gets rid of the whole, "Can I walk on the roof or not? How full are the gutters?" I then bill out on the actual time on the job, which I promise will never be over the quoted number of hours. I have been fortunate enough to get into with some property managers and condo associations, which keeps me business for a couple days on hand. Any other questions, feel free to ask!
09-04-2009, 10:07 AM
Oh that is fantastic!
With all of your father's success in business, has he offered you a lot of advice that helped you get started?
Does any of the advice he offered stand out to you that you feel other new startup businesses tend to miss?
Do you do any upsells if the wood behind the gutters is damaged and needs to be replaced? Or roofing or anything like that?
09-04-2009, 06:20 PM
Jon welcome to the forum, It is great to have you here!
09-08-2009, 08:27 AM
I think the largest thing when starting up is to keep costs down. The hardest thing for me is keeping the costs down in the summer months because in the winter I am not doing a whole lot. It's not easy, especially with the economy of Michigan, so it's just working your butt off to get some business. I do not deal with any facia work behind the gutter, but I have a builder that I refer home owners to.
09-08-2009, 10:12 AM
Do you offer snow plowing services in the Winter or is that something you are considering? I'd figure in your area, you would get a lot of snow.
09-09-2009, 10:42 AM
I have thought about it, but there are a ton of snow plowers in our area already. I would have to get a different truck, my truck is not really set up the best for slow plowing (too long). That is maybe something in the future I may do, but as of right now, no. However, I have done some ice removal from people's homes. Typically pretty expensive, so most people will not go for it.
09-09-2009, 11:19 AM
Who knows, maybe in the future you can expand your gutter & lawn care business out and franchise it or something :)
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