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Owen14 03-04-2013 06:11 AM

New here!
 
Hi everybody..
I'm doing my first steps of starting my own home improvement business!

Would love to get some tips and ideas about how you are dealing with your customers..

I'm having really hard time getting new ones.. :(

oh'mike 03-04-2013 09:17 AM

Welcome-----You may find our sister site 'Contractor Talk' very useful---link at the bottom of the page-----

We have a number of contractors here along with other self employed members----Good luck--get your post count up to 20 so you can PM--and then PM me---I'll be glad to help if I can----Mike-----

Owen14 03-04-2013 03:48 PM

Hi oh'mike,
Thanks for your help!

I will set up an account with 'Contractor Talk' and try there as well...

I'll get some mileage here and there and talk to you guys!

Thanks again!

oh'mike 03-04-2013 08:58 PM

You will learn a lot here---and get to make a few friends along the way----Join right in---

Gymschu 03-04-2013 09:05 PM

It's always tough picking up new customers. People really want to see if you're going to be a guy who is going to be in business for the long haul........at least that was my experience starting out. Best of luck to you Owen.....once you get established the phone will literally ring off the hook!

Owen14 03-04-2013 09:14 PM

I sure hope so!

Thanks Gymschu

roofingquotes 03-08-2013 08:07 AM

Hi! I'm also new here from Roxbury, MA.

Owen14 03-08-2013 02:40 PM

Welcome roofingquotes!

:)

soarwitheagles 03-11-2013 12:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Owen14 (Post 1129542)
Hi everybody..
I'm doing my first steps of starting my own home improvement business!

Would love to get some tips and ideas about how you are dealing with your customers..

I'm having really hard time getting new ones.. :(

Hi Owen! I worked in Silicon Valley for many years. There is lots of fierce competition there now, but you can make top dollar due to the home prices.

Here is what worked for me:

Always do your job with excellence
Treat your customers really good even if they are not so nice
Be totally honest with people, but no need to tell them every last detail
Be competitive with your prices, but remember, people will pay top dollar in the Bay Area if you do quality work, so don;t work for pennies.
Remember, one small job done well can turn into a massive contract that lasts a very long time
Put your advert. signs out on the job sites IF the customer is ok with it
Last be thankful, the weather in the Bay Area is considered some of the best weather in the world and you can work year round.

Good luck buddy!

Soar

Owen14 03-11-2013 01:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by soarwitheagles (Post 1134341)
Hi Owen! I worked in Silicon Valley for many years. There is lots of fierce competition there now, but you can make top dollar due to the home prices.

Here is what worked for me:

Always do your job with excellence
Treat your customers really good even if they are not so nice
Be totally honest with people, but no need to tell them every last detail
Be competitive with your prices, but remember, people will pay top dollar in the Bay Area if you do quality work, so don;t work for pennies.
Remember, one small job done well can turn into a massive contract that lasts a very long time
Put your advert. signs out on the job sites IF the customer is ok with it
Last be thankful, the weather in the Bay Area is considered some of the best weather in the world and you can work year round.

Good luck buddy!

Soar

Hi Soar and thanks for helping out!
Your advises are great! I'll take it much into consideration and implement in my
day to day activities.

On a different note, been talking to some customers recently about getting more positive reviews on site such as Yelp.
What's your take on that?

soarwitheagles 03-11-2013 01:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Owen14 (Post 1134342)
Hi Soar and thanks for helping out!
Your advises are great! I'll take it much into consideration and implement in my
day to day activities.

On a different note, been talking to some customers recently about getting more positive reviews on site such as Yelp.
What's your take on that?

I personally never tried Yelp, but the way I see it, the more the advertisement, the better possibility you have of landing work.

Heck, I know a carpet guy that built a massive customer base by using Craigslist in the Bay Area.

No harm in trying different forms of advertisement!

Good luck Owen!

Soar

Owen14 03-11-2013 01:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by soarwitheagles (Post 1134346)
I personally never tried Yelp, but the way I see it, the more the advertisement, the better possibility you have of landing work.

Heck, I know a carpet guy that built a massive customer base by using Craigslist in the Bay Area.

No harm in trying different forms of advertisement!

Good luck Owen!

Soar

Thanks Soar!

You're saying you're not advertising at all?

soarwitheagles 03-11-2013 08:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Owen14 (Post 1134349)
Thanks Soar!

You're saying you're not advertising at all?

Owen,

I do use advertisement, but the large majority of my customers came in through personal friendships.

Also, I was serving as a teacher in a private school in the Bay Area. On weekends, I would do the maintenance on all 5 of the schools. Suddenly, I had the parents of students asking if I would do work on their homes. Next thing I know, a brand new business had begun.

I soon discovered that any job over $500 in labor and materials requires a California Contractor's License otherwise I could be prosecuted for illegal contracting and the penalties were severe...

So I took some classes and passed several tests and that enabled me to have a General B Contractor's License, a C-2, and a C-33...3 licenses in all.

Would you like to know why I obtained these licenses?

Here is why:


1. To maintain a clear conscience by not breaking the law.

2. To avoid severe fines, jail time, and my tools being permanently confiscated [The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) began to aggressively go after people who were illegally doing work without a California Contractor's License...this was done by incredible sting operations throughout the state. The state would purchase a run down house, then advertise for all trades to come...once the everyone was on the job, the CSLB agents, the local police, and sheriff would swoop in, handcuff everyone, and if you did not have a California Contractor's License you would be arrested, taken to jail, tools confiscated, and severe fines. Owen, this began to occur all over the state and they still do it today and even though I was not caught during my time of ignorance, it scared the heck out of me when I read about it on the front page of our local newspaper].

3. Peace of heart and mind [now I need not stress at all about being arrested].

4. Customers that do not know me nearly always ask me for my California Contractor's License number and they often go online to see if I am legit.

Finally, you asked if I advertise...

I have my company logo, CCL number, and phone number on my truck. I also am still working on creating three websites for each of my companies. Finally, I do my best to always keep business cards on me because many people ask me for my company card.

Well Owen, I hope I have answered your questions...:thumbsup:

Have a great day!

Soar

PS Here is a Utube video of one of CSLB sting operations from last spring: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/GeneralInform...ws20120316.asp

People caught more than once face mandatory jail time...


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