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2 trucks vs 1

AZHome&Carpet

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Man I’m starting to wonder when a second truck is needed. I’m scheduling out pretty far, losing some good work already because I don’t have a second truck and can’t get to it. I started out with high prices, & keep raising them. I hate the thought of anyone working for me. My housekeeping company I’m letting 70% of my clients go because I can’t find good help no matter what I pay. I can’t ruin my textile cleaning co by hiring a knuckle head. Working 10-12 hrs everyday I tough on the body.
 

Tcoulter

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Man I’m starting to wonder when a second truck is needed. I’m scheduling out pretty far, losing some good work already because I don’t have a second truck and can’t get to it. I started out with high prices, & keep raising them. I hate the thought of anyone working for me. My housekeeping company I’m letting 70% of my clients go because I can’t find good help no matter what I pay. I can’t ruin my textile cleaning co by hiring a knuckle head. Working 10-12 hrs everyday I tough on the body.
When I took over my company, there were 2 employees already working for me. I am an owner/operator now, by choice. But I'm also 25. This work is hard on the body, depending on the services you offer. After trying both employees and solo, I personally prefer solo (at the moment).

I know exactly where you are coming from though, I can tell it's stressful to turn down jobs because you can't get to them. I have turned down SO much work because I simply can't get to people within a day or 2.

If you are nervous about having a new employee doing carpets for you, but still ultimately want the help, I would suggest hiring someone, and training them for a couple weeks. When you feel that they have got the hang of it, let them do some empty apartments on their own. That way, you can go in after their done, and no one sees, and you can check out the job they did, point out any flaws, etc. Then you go from there.

I was always stressed out when my employee/employees were in a nice house without me. They would sometimes call with some ridiculous questions and it just made me more stressed. I just wanted to do it myself. But I found my stress went WAY down when I started only sending my techs on empty units. If they had a question or made a mistake, no one saw, they generally enjoyed the work better, and it required basically no management on my part, just dropping by the units at the end of the day to make sure it all looked good.

This is probably what I am going to go back to after I get out of some debt. Eventually you will have a tech that really shines with the empty units, and you will feel comfortable having him take on nice houses himself, and you'll forget all about the times that you worried that your techs were going to screw up your company. Haha

Source: I started in this industry with step-dad when I was 14, started my own when I was 17, solo, and bought a different one when I was 21.
 
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AZHome&Carpet

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I have horrible ADHD and nearly everything I do I am almost a perfectionist or can care less if it’s of no interest. It is a blessing and a curse. Trust me, people talk about having ADHD like it’s cool. It can cause success but often life’s out of balance. I tend to do much better work then many around me. Sometimes at the expensive of something else.
I can appreciate @Tcoulter your point of view. I am the type that wishes I can say yes to everything. Causes a bit of stress for me to say no. I have raised prices but not to crazy high level as I’m still wanting to spread my name out there. But I’m getting fairly bold lately.
It’s a great idea if I opt to hire of course I’m huge on training. But to have them do non critical jobs. Today I worked in a $2 million dollar motor coach. I’d be paranoid if anyone went but me. I can fit in to any situation, or environment.
 

Todd the Cleaner

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Hire a helper to work with you on the van.

When you pull up to the job the helper immediately starts setting up hoses and mixing the chemical. You go inside and do the pre inspection with the customer while the helper is setting up. By the time you are done with the customer you are ready to start cleaning.

Have the helper pre vacuum the first room and as soon as he moves on to room 2 you start cleaning room one. When he’s done with the vacuum have him pull hose for you and move any furniture you are moving.

When the job is done have him rolling up the hoses while you do the post walk through with the customer and get paid. By the time you are finished with the customer you can walk out the door and drive away.

I’ve had a helper for the last 2 years now and I can’t tell you the difference it makes. You can add on at least one more job per day.

Have the helper work with you and start training them on spot removal and wand technique. As time goes on start switching off with him having him do the work you were doing. Train him in all aspects of the business and when the time comes next year that there is just too much work for the two of you on one truck you can buy truck 2 and put him on it.

At that point I would hire him a helper and try to put about 70% of the work on them leaving you to do the overflow and sales.

As business continues to grow repeat the process of having a helper work with you and train him for truck 3, and truck 4, and so on.
 

Tcoulter

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I have horrible ADHD and nearly everything I do I am almost a perfectionist or can care less if it’s of no interest. It is a blessing and a curse. Trust me, people talk about having ADHD like it’s cool. It can cause success but often life’s out of balance. I tend to do much better work then many around me. Sometimes at the expensive of something else.
I can appreciate @Tcoulter your point of view. I am the type that wishes I can say yes to everything. Causes a bit of stress for me to say no. I have raised prices but not to crazy high level as I’m still wanting to spread my name out there. But I’m getting fairly bold lately.
It’s a great idea if I opt to hire of course I’m huge on training. But to have them do non critical jobs. Today I worked in a $2 million dollar motor coach. I’d be paranoid if anyone went but me. I can fit in to any situation, or environment.
Yeah I know where you are coming from. I have high anxiety with my business and want everything to go right, and I can get very stressed worrying about what my employees are doing (when I have them). If you want to make a lot of money, try to fight those feelings as much as possible. They aren't really beneficial for business. Being conscientious is, but being anxious isn't. If you aren't concerned with making a ton of money and really just want to make a pretty good living with low anxiety, then just keep doing what you're doing, maybe get a little help, and you will probably really enjoy your time. I guess it's all about finding the balance. I'm still trying to find mine. I am much more at peace with each day now that I just turn work down if I can't do it, and don't have to follow around my employees, checking up on their work.
 
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AZHome&Carpet

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Well see both points of view clearly. It’s crazy my 11 yr old loves textile cleaning. Some know here already he’s attended a lot of education already in his life in our field. Today he stayed home from school. Last week of school he woke up with “allergies” and had to take off lol
The kid works so hard I got about a job and a half more done today then I normally ever can.
Working my my son is a blessing beyond compare. I honestly trust him more then anyone I could hire. Kid made $100 today helping his dad not bad at 11 and ate at 2 restaurants today. He’s doing pretty good! Lol He’s saving up for you Rug Dying Classes this summer. And rug plant tour/class in Michigan next mtn.
 

Ken Raddon

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It's an all to common situation. Owner can't find help, owner must turn down work because he can't get to it. What you're having stress over should be celebrated. You're in a position to turn down work. That's a good thing. Just say "no" don't think it's a business sin.

With that said I'm with Todd again. Just hire a helper and stop trying to hire "yourself." That's the best thing I ever did and it sounds like Todd agrees. And guess what, it's easier to find a helper than a tech.
 

PistolPete

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I've reached a point where I don't answer the phone. (It was stressing me out!)
VM says leave a message with name, scope of work and area of town the house is in.
Most people leave a message.
Then when I'm sitting down at my computer I call them back and schedule estimates depending on location.
I'm running consistently 2-3 weeks out for work.
Sure feels good!
 

AZHome&Carpet

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If someone would help me filter the 100 robot calls I get that sure would be helpful lol
 

OxiFreshGuy

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What do you consider as good pay? I know owners who complain that cant find help at $12 an hour which they think is so generous...

Truth is I find good techs at $45,000 or higher in pay. If that sounds like too much consider a truck can pull $120,000 a year with one tech. Supply costs at 4% , gas at 10%, maintenance 4% and everything else you get to keep without worrying about quality and not having to manage him closely.

If I send the truck out and he does all the work but I get to keep $30,000 extra at the end of the year that's a good deal.
 

AZHome&Carpet

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What do you consider as good pay? I know owners who complain that cant find help at $12 an hour which they think is so generous...

Truth is I find good techs at $45,000 or higher in pay. If that sounds like too much consider a truck can pull $120,000 a year with one tech. Supply costs at 4% , gas at 10%, maintenance 4% and everything else you get to keep without worrying about quality and not having to manage him closely.

If I send the truck out and he does all the work but I get to keep $30,000 extra at the end of the year that's a good deal.
$45,000 a year would be no issue. We live in the 6th biggest county in the US. It’s very rural. It’s very seasonal. The same labor market shows up at $10.60 a hr to $30.00 a hour. I start housekeepers at $15.00 while training and yet am giving up 70% of my accounts now due to a poor labor market. Business owners in my area all suffer this.
 

OxiFreshGuy

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I find it difficult to believe every business is having the same issues. Find the ones who aren't and try to discern what their culture is like, not everything is dollars and cents
 
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DakotaG

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What do you consider as good pay? I know owners who complain that cant find help at $12 an hour which they think is so generous...

Truth is I find good techs at $45,000 or higher in pay. If that sounds like too much consider a truck can pull $120,000 a year with one tech. Supply costs at 4% , gas at 10%, maintenance 4% and everything else you get to keep without worrying about quality and not having to manage him closely.

If I send the truck out and he does all the work but I get to keep $30,000 extra at the end of the year that's a good deal.
Finally someone who really gets the bigger picture! Spot on dude ...and ur second comment too is true, it's not all about money always..not always, but often, the type of techs that people would like to have don't want to work in an unorganized, rough on the edges looking, unfriendly, etc type job..so everyone who wants golden techs at the company should look at themselves and their company and make sure it's desirable, not just decent money for the tech..

in my area for a helper/tech $15-$25 would be really good pay..start at 15 and work their way up..

Possibly salary instead of hourly can be good for both the employee and you

Direct deposit

Add in insurance paid full by the company..

1-3 weeks paid vacation..

Paid holidays

Nice uniforms

Employee phone or tablet

Good van and equipment


Do all of those and your gonna get A LOT of interested people..yes you will have to weed your way thru them for the good ones..

Yes all those are expensive but IF you all are as profitable as everyone says they are, your company (not you) can afford it.. especially for the extra $25000-$35000 in company profits each year as oxy pointed out..
 
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DakotaG

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Something else for the 0/0 trying to train people...try to train them as a manager, not a owner ... O/O who try to be perfectionists with their techs arnt normally a great thing..you don't and can't expect your techs to be perfectionists, instead teach good and effective SYSTEMS ..with a great system even crappy workers can do decent things.. i.e. Walmart
 

ACP

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What do you consider as good pay? I know owners who complain that cant find help at $12 an hour which they think is so generous...

Truth is I find good techs at $45,000 or higher in pay. If that sounds like too much consider a truck can pull $120,000 a year with one tech. Supply costs at 4% , gas at 10%, maintenance 4% and everything else you get to keep without worrying about quality and not having to manage him closely.

If I send the truck out and he does all the work but I get to keep $30,000 extra at the end of the year that's a good deal.
supply, gas, maintenance but your forgetting some type of marketing to keep the truck busy enough to pull 120k... it can be done with no ad $ spent but that takes time to build up and typically is more of an owner operator model.

To run multiple trucks pulling 120k each that is more than likely going to take a good amount of marketing.

The rest I agree with, I was completely off the truck for 2 years.. income was almost completely passive as I was only taking a few calls here and there the rest was taken care of.

Passive income imo is worth at least 2x non passive income, and worth 4x non passive hard labor intensive income i.e. trading your wear and tear on your body for $$
 

mrotto

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depends on your life goals. We started out small, then grew to four trucks, then expanded into Water/Fire Restoration (all over a 17 year span) Finally figured out that growing big (what an owner is *supposed* to do to retire) wasnt for me and since 1999 I have been an O/O and book out 2-4 weeks except for February.

SO much happier now!
 

DakotaG

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depends on your life goals. We started out small, then grew to four trucks, then expanded into Water/Fire Restoration (all over a 17 year span) Finally figured out that growing big (what an owner is *supposed* to do to retire) wasnt for me and since 1999 I have been an O/O and book out 2-4 weeks except for February.

SO much happier now!
Yes sir, everyone has different plans and goals..for some carpet cleaning is the majority of their focus, and for others it's just a small piece of the plan.. glad you found what makes u happy tho!
 

ACP

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o/o can be a great job and great income for sure.. also too many employees and also doing resto work can get really stressful.

2-3 trucks running full time built with a solid foundation and high pricing, paying just few techs really well, running it near hands off can be very low stress with lots of freedom
 
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