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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

Too many clients


Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #11  
Old 12-28-2011, 05:55 AM
TiedemanLLC TiedemanLLC is offline
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What I used to do with my guys was instead of paying them hourly I gave them a percentage on the job. So if a driveway was $25, they made 70% of that. They loved it because they made more money compared to an hourly rate. I kept my guys happy, and kept them around all year round.

But in regards about too many clients it's funny you mentioned that because we just cut 9 clients. We overbooked way too much this year, and we didn't want our clients or our service quality to suffer, so we cut 9 of them. We weren't happy about it, but we couldn't justify stepping out to purchase another snow blower, and/or load our subs with more work (because they were already full too).
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  #12  
Old 12-28-2011, 11:24 AM
B-2 Lawncare B-2 Lawncare is offline
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Come on man, did you not know that it was going to snow this winter? Why have you hung on to so many clients if you can't handle the work load? And why are you still shovling?Our residential crew can plow a drive and sidewalk 5 min or less and that's a two man crew one running the tractor and one shoveling the step and corners. I would say a lot of your problems with not being able to find or keep some working for you are in the way you run you business.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:31 AM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Originally Posted by B-2 Lawncare View Post
Come on man, did you not know that it was going to snow this winter? Why have you hung on to so many clients if you can't handle the work load? And why are you still shovling?Our residential crew can plow a drive and sidewalk 5 min or less and that's a two man crew one running the tractor and one shoveling the step and corners. I would say a lot of your problems with not being able to find or keep some working for you are in the way you run you business.

I'm greedy. lol.

I'm also a sub contractor, so all of another companies work comes straight to me. It's either all or nothing.

As for why I'd rather shovel over plows/tractors. The competition rules, getting involved right now would be a complete waste of time. Most guys just choose who to ally with and assist them rather than start something new. Winter is also a huge loss here in my area, where companies spend more than they make. The big or 'older' guys have the power to do that, newer companies would soon be bankrupt. All of these big companies have lowered their prices so dramatically, the smaller guys wouldn't survive at all. We're talking minimum $100 for a single driveway, peanuts.

It's kind of like hockey. The best players from a place, all join into one team for the Olympics! Then we hate each other when the grass comes back!

/
Shoveling walkways isn't very popular in our area. Not a lot of companies offer this service, I thought I would be the one to really take advantage of it. The company I take work from offers it, so I thought I'd build up by taking what they've got.

//////////////

@bruces

Concordia is fairly distant. I wouldn't recommend for him to travel all the way out here from that area. It would be cruel. lol.

///

In short. I went out with some help today. We started at 7PM, and we finished at approx 3AM. It helps!
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:57 PM
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I think a lot of the forum members follow you and consider your ways when their are planning their next step.

Are you still glad you choose to do things this way this winter?
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:31 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I think a lot of the forum members follow you and consider your ways when their are planning their next step.

Are you still glad you choose to do things this way this winter?
There are a lot of negative things that pop up every now and then, but it's good to keep in mind that it's only temporary and I will be able to make improvements. It may not be now or next year, but the time will surely come!

I believe that there is always a way to simplify something, and I am always brainstorming for solutions to do better. As miserable as I can get, I somewhat enjoy putting myself into these situations and coming out smarter/stronger in the end. In a way I am thankful for the mistakes I've made because they usually don't persist.

I'm looking into getting a new GPS unit installed for the truck, with the ability to manage my routes better. Settling for the 'a to b' GPS isn't as productive as I had thought.

I know my area very well, but I notice under stress I couldn't find my way out of a parking lot. As a business owner, there is no escaping that 'panic/rush' feeling that can often lead me to be distracted. There is no reason not to invest in productivity.

Last night, I took an HOUR break to myself. Normally I would never do this, as I'm the 'eat as I work' type of person. By taking a break and not eating in the truck, I gave myself a chance to snap out of the 'work trance' and that alone gave me a pretty big boost to finish the workload strong.

Running a business is very stressful, the lesson I have learned is to pace yourself and make taking breaks mandatory. If we work like machines, we'll feel like a machine... It's very unhealthy.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:36 PM
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Running a business is very stressful, the lesson I have learned is to pace yourself and make taking breaks mandatory. If we work like machines, we'll feel like a machine... It's very unhealthy.
This is another great point you made Scott. I think a lot of newer business owners get into this non stop work mentality. There may be many reasons for it too. One of them however may be the struggle for survival. You figure if you just keep working, something good will come out of it.

The downside to that can be pretty large though. Burnout is always something that can happen when you work too much. Once you get to the point where you feel burnt out, you let things go and stop giving a ****. So the key it seems is to find that happy median between working and getting things done and taking a rest as well to not be all consumed by work.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:31 PM
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Steve you make some good points about balance of work and play.
What i find is the work consumes me and I find it hard to turn it off. I go shopping I am always looking for possible clients or ways to advertise if I go to a party I talk Business (you never know where your next new client is hiding).
A while back someone posted that you should go away on vacation and relax on a beach. If I had to sit on a beach every day for a week I think I would go crazy, don't get me wrong I like a break now and then and a night out or a long walk in the woods is great but anymore then that and I would be climbing the walls. I am with Scott I like to work I like to keep busy all the time That is what I love about owning my own company, there is just so much to do.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:39 PM
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It's strange, it's as though some sort of guilt comes to me when I'm not working or doing anything productive with the company.

It's interesting to realize that getting away from the business every now and then is actually what's best. I think everybody should take note of this.

Planning a date for when you can just pretend you don't own a company sounds tricky, but if you are able to actually go through with it, wow, imagine how much better a person could feel!
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:39 PM
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It's especially hard when your work follows you home and you have a family. You have to learn to when to break away from work, not only to spend time with your family but also some time for yourself. I have been up many nights until 3am in the morning working on a new marketing piece. Lately I have been getting back into reading again as my get away. It's really relaxing and I actually look forward to it now.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:30 AM
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Too many jobs is most time a good thing! I remember when I was a one man show, I don't know if my 41 year old frame could do that now. I sure do trip my guys out when they actually see me working..lol And good luck not bringing your work home. My wife already knows what I'm going to say, just by looking at me.
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