So it has been 4 months since i started the thread and i can officially say that i own my own legitimate business. After going through all the government red tape to get licensed paying the THOUSANDS of dollars to get insured and bonded. It has officially been two months since i went legitimate. I can honestly say it is not as easy as you think and it is not as glamorous BUT i honestly have never been this happy working like i am now. You cannot buy freedom. My first month was awesome i was able pay for all business related expenses with my income. Second month started out slow and has remained slow.(october) I picked up a used sprinter for a real good deal and am now able to be more efficent. I Started doing advertising on flyers, angies list, craigslist all have been somewhat succesfull but word of mouth has been the best. I am looking for advice on how to grow my business even more? What have been your best tools/ideas for growing your business?
Congratulations first of all, i also started about a year ago. started small with my personal F150 truck and a work camper on it. After a couple months and working hard at it, working weekends and when wife and i where on our way out or we were out and we would go back home and i would head to work. Remember if you put a customer off till tommorow he may not wait till tommorow and call someone else. now i work out of a F250 with service body and use old F150 as an install truck. Keep at it and dont give up, if your willing to work hard and go the extra mile for your customers you will always have work.
Word off mouth is by far the best for a small company, so as well as looking after your clients with good service, also look after your suppliers (they are people to!)as it is likely that these people, will often be asked "who should we use as a contractor" by potential clients.
If you have the money and tools to start a business, why wouldnt you? Even though the economy is slow if you have a great service, something that will set you apart, and marketing you will have no problems. Confidence is key. Believe it and achieve it.
If you do quality work at a reasonable price you will always have work. Do not compromise. clean up after yourself, stay educated on the latest methods etc. Some tips from personal experience.
Do not hire family members that have not been able to keep a job elsewhere. It never works out. You cant fire them without having to hear about it even if they are worthless, and they always think that you owe them something.
Don't make the mistake of lowering your price just to meet someone else's price. Sell yourself on quality, not price. You know what you need to make to make a profit. No sense working for nothing.
Only use quality equipment. If the equipment breaks down it is a multiple loss to you. This brings me back to a question for you. What is a decent brand of residential split system? All I hear from people who do HVAC work is that its all in the installation, like its rocket science or something. I am going to replace my own system. I am very good at soldering, sheet metal and electricity, and I am reading up on HVAC. All I see on the web is HVAC guys clapping each other on the back for what appears to me to be crap work. (No cross breaks in plenums, zinc straps on copper, etc etc.) I do quality work, or I dont do it at all, so I would like to know which unit I should buy. I am leaning toward comfortmaker because I hear it is made by Carrier. My neighbor just had a new carrier system installed and the condenser unit looks exactly like comfort maker. Also what about Goodman?
To OP - I don't know a whole lot about the specifics of operating a business; however I know a ton about warranties. From talking with contractors all the time there are a few key things to remember, among others:
1. If you don't offer a labor agreement/warranty to your customers, there are over 70 home warranty companies that will be more than happy to lock in your customers and send their repair business to your cheapest competitor. It's easier and cheaper to keep a customer than to acquire a new one.
2. Factory authorized extended service plans are generally preferred by consumers as opposed to in-house warranties. They are also much less risky from a state/federal compliance standpoint since you don't need to have an insurance underwriting license on top of all the other stuff you already have to do.
3. If the homeowner has a certificate of coverage with your business contact info on it, they will be calling you first when need arises for 5 or 10 years. Also that pretty much locks them in for annual PM as all warranties require it.
I know a lot of the ins and outs of that side of the business, in case you have questions.
Yes you should open your own business in this economy but that business must be according to the needs and wants of the customers. I would like to suggest you to start a buisness on small scale, business like coffe shop, garments wholesale or sweet & bakers shop. Believe me these businesses will give you good profit. further, Start any business with the consultancy of a business coach. Share your ideas
Your location states USA, yet your IP address traces back to "Faisalabad in Pakistan"