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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

Cash4Trash Intro


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #1  
Old 01-30-2009, 05:02 AM
c4trash c4trash is offline
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Default Cash4Trash Intro

My name is Frank am 62 years old
I live downunder in Wellington New Zealand
My company is called Cash4Trash
This is a play on words
That is pay me $s and I remove your trash

My business consists of three areas

Property Maintainence for Homeowners, Property Companies Real Estate Agents and individuals
I dont get into domestic mowing its too boring and very cut competitive with all manner of individuals, franchise owners unemployed etc either cutting each others prices or working long hours to make money
With my limited customer base I can offer a 24/7 service depending on weather and turn jobs round quickly and charge accordingly because most Property Companies Real Estate Agents want the places turned over quickly for sale or re-renting
I mow lawns, weedeat, cut trees, trim hedges, waterblast clean gutters and clear rubbish or furniture left by vacating tenants (I some times make a good money on selling left behind furniture or scrap metal )
I have 3 movers 1*Toro Personal Pace 2 * Masport President Mowers (Have a look here http://www.masport.co.nz/Default.aspx?tabid=256 ) 1 * Stil FS 90 Trimmer with Auto Head and Blade and a Husky 323L trimmer with Hedge Trimmer, 2600psi WaterBlaster and a van and trailer
Bin Hire for private individuals where I hire out 44gal drums to regular customers at US$7/ Empty I do a run once a week and manage to complete a run in 2 hours emptying 20 bins
Started the business in 2004 and being single only work an average of 20 hrs / week and charge US$30 for my basic services with a 100% surcharge on top should someone want a job down same day
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2009, 11:32 AM
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Hi Frank,

Welcome to our forum!

That is a very neat setup you have there!

What advice do you have as far as coming up with a price to charge for cleaning up after renters? Do you suggest by the hour or by the job?
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2009, 02:20 PM
c4trash c4trash is offline
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Default Charging for cleanups after renters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Hi Frank,

Welcome to our forum!

That is a very neat setup you have there!

What advice do you have as far as coming up with a price to charge for cleaning up after renters? Do you suggest by the hour or by the job?
In each instance jobs are unique so I personally inspect the job and quote on it
I price as follows
I estimate the rough cubic feet of rubbish needing removal and charge either per trailer load to landfill if it is within a reasonable distance from the job (this price covers landfill travel and unloading charge) or by Skip if its smelly disgusting household rubbish (my local waste company gives me a good discount)
I then price per hour for no of man hours based on how many extra casuals are required
I also charge an additional price if lawns or gardens need doing
Mileage over a certain distance from base plus travel time is added (in some cases I may add a little extra for going and doing the quote)
If the job requires me to do it urgently and I have work in progress I may add a fee (depends on customer)
Normarly if I am using skips I either drop my casuals off at the job and go and do any other local ones myself or because I trust them get them to take their own vehicle for which I pay travel and petrol and give them a price job and finish to do it which allows me a profit plus ensures they dont drag the job out
When I do the quote it is important not to itemize items on the quote this way the client doesnt benefit from any savings we make by working smarter ie stacking skips or trailers, savings on landfill fees or labour
If the customer wants reciepts for these I tell them they may need to pay a deposit equivalent to my estimates I may then tell them it changes the quote from a fixed price to a labour plus expenses price which could increase the price and wont be as conciensious when it comes to loading the trailers or skips
Be careful about offering reciepts for those items because as a contractor you cant claim back any taxes you pay for them at the end of the year
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2009, 02:34 PM
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Very interesting!

Do you have any pictures of your vehicle / trailer set up or your area? I'd love to see them!
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2009, 06:32 PM
c4trash c4trash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Very interesting!

Do you have any pictures of your vehicle / trailer set up or your area? I'd love to see them!
Nothing special here Im only a small fish in a big pond
I found a gap in the market and after doing some networking and marketing got enough clients to make a regular income before that was on the dole (Unemployed Computer Technican)

I have a 20yr Old Toyota Hatch back were I keep all my loose gear and weed eaters etc and an 8 x 6 trailer I salvaged from the local landfill did up added a mowerboard for 2 mowers and a foldup frame I use in it for holding Wool sacks where I dump any clippings and miscellaneous rubbish
Easier to empty than having sides on the trailer and then having to drag stuff out when I empty it
50& of my equipment is obtained via recycling from landfills recycling depots, donations etc except for new weedeater chainsaw and recently a Toro Personal Pace Mower
I am of the view unless you have the work for things dont lash out on new equipment unless you have confirmed signed contracts which over the length of the contract will pay for that item

I wouldnt embarrass myself by showing pics of it LOL

Last edited by c4trash; 01-30-2009 at 06:38 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2009, 02:51 AM
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I appreciate your view!

Also keep in mind a lot of us have never been to your country so it's exciting for us to hear from you! New Zealand seems like a beautiful place!

Do you have any advice for newer business owners as to what kinds of pitfalls they should try to avoid?
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2009, 04:12 AM
c4trash c4trash is offline
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Smile My advise for newbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I appreciate your view!

Also keep in mind a lot of us have never been to your country so it's exciting for us to hear from you! New Zealand seems like a beautiful place!

Do you have any advice for newer business owners as to what kinds of pitfalls they should try to avoid?
1 Avoid buying into a Franchise or an existing business the only people who make any money from these are the sellers in all cases you pay whether you are working or not

2 I think if you do your research and see who is currently doing what in your area you can always find a niche in the market

Some examples are as follows
Some larger contractors wont go out of their way to do little extra jobs for customers
Dont be too fussy about the jobs you do (some of my cleanups have been frankly disgusting but I charge accordingly)
Customer always comes first and if the work requested ie trimming weeds in the driveway, cutting the hedge cleaning the gutters, water blasting or taking away some rubbish is only going to take you an extra 10-15 mins then do it no charge dont be greedy
I have several regulars which I charge a fixed price for their lawns and do these little extras for and without exception they always give me a little extra in appreciation
If it is new customer and you think you need more time you can suggest to your customer it may cost a little more because it wasn't included in the price

3 NEVER and I mean NEVER say to someone it will cost $Xs to do something unless you quote it first
I used to get caught out in the early stages by quoting over the phone or in person only to get to the job and find the job was 2-3 times bigger than it was and a quote is a quote so you are obliged to do it for the price
Now I can look at a job and mentally calculate the price including all extras within 5-10% of actual price
In a lot of cases where rubbish removal or manual work is involved I charge for myself and a casual and like I have said in an earlier post leave the casual to do the job while I do other local jobs or go and buy materials or do a letterbox drop in the area

4 Always have a good network of other contractors (like yourself ) ie Arborists, Builders,Plumbers,Painters, etc so that should a customer need something else you can refer them to someone
Likewise those people can return the favor

5 Dont think to big in the beginning most of my jobs have come in by Word of Mouth referrals or from various people renting propertys whom pass my card or number to the owner or landlord of their property
6 When I started out was only working 4-6 Hours a week My current business plan only involves working about 20 Hours a week and I make a reasonable living from that because I keep my overheads down and dont spend money on repairs or fancy new gear
If I need to work more hours I have a couple of casuals I can call on
7 Like I said in a previous post where you can obtain recycled gear and if you are competent check it out before your buy or accept it in case you need to have it fixed and it costs money
If you are buying secondhand make sure its demonstrated by the seller prior to paying for it
I prefer always to obtain mowers with Alloy or Plastic bodies and Briggs motors
I also always ensure where possible the styles of bodies and motors on mowers are the similar this way parts are interchangeable this means when something breaks down I don't have to be held up or buy spares also catchers are normally interchangeable
Hopes this gives some of you an incite into how I operate
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:36 AM
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Oh that is great!

Quote:
Always have a good network of other contractors (like yourself ) ie Arborists, Builders,Plumbers,Painters, etc so that should a customer need something else you can refer them to someone
Likewise those people can return the favor
A lot of newer business owners have no idea how to go about building such a network. Can you give us some advice on how best to go about doing this?
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2009, 05:13 AM
c4trash c4trash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Oh that is great!



A lot of newer business owners have no idea how to go about building such a network. Can you give us some advice on how best to go about doing this?
Networking is Networking and part of basic business protocol
In most cases you will meet these people in your day to day life either in the street at your church local sports club etc or while working on jobs Its a matter of evaluating what you see and deciding if they are self employed or work for a company
I tend to ask those who dont work for big companies as they dont have the oppurtunities to do independent work
The other option is to find people that work for bigger companies that dont mind doing perk jobs when they get time
What ever you do dont approach them if they are part of a team on a job site thats a No No
I say this because the person you maybe talking to maybe the boss which is a big mistake
You can normarly judge for yourself who you can chose by talking with them first without actually asking them to do jobs

Last edited by c4trash; 01-31-2009 at 05:17 AM.
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