- This topic has 39 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated April 9, 2007 at 6:16 pm by .
- April 9, 2007 at 6:16 pm #251516Guest
1. What areas of business is your hubby not so good at?
a. finding the work?
He gets some work from referrals, but it isn’t enough. In the past he has paid to advertise in Supercoups, but I kept telling him it was a waste. I think he should get those magnetic signs that go on his truck.
If you have any other suggestions for advertising………..<<<
I disagree about the signs or lettering your truck or work trailer and here’s why: You’re basically telling every thief within 100 miles of you that you have expensive equipment that is super easy to pawn and all they have to do is pop a lock or smash a window.
Also, if he uses his truck for anything but business, (for instance, if he hunts, and leaves his truck parked on the side of a field somewhere while he’s hunting) he may lose ALOT of business from people that disagree with what he’s doing.
I know it sounds petty,but we have operated a construction business in 2 different states and we have found this with several other contractor friends.
What I do recommend is that you have T-Shirts & Sweatshirts made up.
Our kids ran around all summer with our company name and you wouldn’t believe the calls that we got for people wanting decks, new roofing, etc.
It serves 2 purposes, advertising & work clothes.
Another thing that works wonders is if your husband goes down to a couple of the local real estate offices and introduces himself to the Designated Broker and several of the agents within the office.
Real estate brokers know TONS of people that need to have work done, fix-ups, rental repairs, etc.
Generally, if your hubby can get in good with just 1 office he will have referrals until he’s too old to pound nails.
He might have to be willing to do some crap jobs at first, but trust me, he’ll get alot of work from it.
we started with repairing decks, stairway entrances, drywall holes, and ended up building spec houses for the brokers.
accounting/book-keeping? This is the worst! He doesn’t track stuff into Quickbooks.
Does this take long? I know I should do this every night, especially as we sit there at night watching a show or two before going to sleep. I just have to learn the program.
The other problem is his computer keeps crashing every other week. So, it is frustrating to keep having to reload everything every time it crashes.
No, it takes about 20-40 minutes per day.
I’m sure it could be done in about half that amount of time, but honestly I only do mine a few days a week now. It really really really pays to learn the program. i probably still only use about 1/4 of what’s available in it.
Another thing is, with us, we don’t carry an inventory. The prices change so drastically from 1 month to the next that it’s not worth it.
c. He finds the work, but then doesn’t work enough hours?
He works alot of hours, I’m just not convinced that he works fast enough. He always thinks a job will be done quicker than he can do it.
I try to encourage him to add more time to an estimate, but something always comes up.
This is where the Hour/Time keeping will come into play.
If you can get him to jot down his hours on a notepad and then you enter them into QB, he’ll change his attitude about his estimates. About the time he see’s he only made $2.12 an hour on one particular job, (& I track expenses like gas, vehicle maintenance, etc).
d. the contract aspect of the work?
He has a good contract now that we have gotten screwed last year(woman hasn’t paid us yet!).
And he is right in line with other contractors as we have seen other estimates for the jobs he has bid on and it is right smack dab in the middle!
Ok, this right here tells me that you aren’t getting your pay schedule correct.
From my experience over the past 10 years, this is what you can expect:
when you write an estimate you have 2 amounts: Materials & Labor. Before you step foot on a jobsite you should have received all the costs of materials up front.
you should never, never, never front someones materials for them.
Then, when you are halfway through you receive 1/4 of the remaining balance.
Then at the finish of the job, the remaining quarter. I think you’ve probably noticed, for the most part, your materials generallyend up being just about 1/2 of what your entire estimate is. (That will vary with larger jobs, like a new construction).
I’ve found this to be pretty accurate with siding jobs, roofing, additions, decks, etc.
Another thing you mentioned…. you’ve had to take out loans for this. May I ask Why??
Did he need tools?? He has all the tools he needs right now, but we had lots of cc debt and amex coming after us(among others) so we refinanced our house. i don’t use cc anymore, but he insists that he has to with the business.
but, after not paying right away, he ends up spending more on finance charges than he makes!
No, he doesn’t have to use cards. We don’t use a single card. We pay for the materials when they are delivered or within the 30 days.
The key is to get your money for materials up front. He is not a Bank, You are not a bank, it is not up to you guys to Fund someone elses home repairs. This is the key issue that it took my hubby a little while to get.
Finally one day I answered the phone and it was a customer of his and I told him that we would be happy to start his addition as soon as we received a check for the materials.
The check arrived the next morning and hubby has done business that way ever since.
They have a contract, it says right in our contract exactly what thecost is, when we expect payments, when they will be due, and whether we will continue to work if we haven’t received money.
(we won’t.) the only work i do for free is for the lions club.
>>Does your husband hate it though if you have to tell him that he screwed up and doesn’t have money for xyz?
First, Don’t tell him he screwed up.
Tell him, “Gee hon, I would love to us to be able to buy xyz for you, but I’m looking over our bills and the accounts and we’re in the red, again.”
For the longest time my husband was of the mindset that “if i need this tool or that piece of equipment, i’m getting it.”
no matter what, he would run out and buy it, whether we were broke, or beyond broke.
and i would scramble like a mad woman trying to figure out where to come up with the money to cover it to make sure nothing bounced.
Every Single day for a Month I posted a Page long note of what our bills were, and who called that day and before the poor man could take a shower or sit down for a meal it was under his nose.
he has learned that he can’t have all the latest gadgets, all the time.
Then I changed my own attitude a bit… I realized that some stuff he just has to Have. It’s pretty dang hard to tile a floor with out a tilesaw.
Ifyour hubby isworking slow it may be because he has inferior equipment.
Is he pounding nails when he’s doing a roof, or does he have a roofing gun?
I can tell you he can put on a new roof 3x’s faster with a roofing gun than he can by hand.
That’s just an example.
The key is getting him to purchase additional equipment (or replace older tools)as you can afford it, rather than all at once.
The other part, I’m sad to say, is to adjust your own thinking. For a long time I thought my husband was being petty and just “wanted, wanted, wanted”. I even went on jobsites with him and help him strip roofs, lugged and passed up steel, etc.
I guess my hands on experience with him is what changed my way of thinking.
Finally, you guys need to decide if you both truly believe he can make it in this business, because it’ll take both of you to make it work.
if not, maybe he could find another contractor in the area & work under him for awhile until you get things caught up and squared away.
In the meantime, we’ll see what we can do on list to find ways to cut the cost of living!
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