Hack thinking about going legit

LostElTee

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Oct 2, 2017
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Shane DeLuca
Hey all,

I picked up my first carpet cleaning job in college with a very well established small family company with a few truck mounts, using real chemicals and treating customers right.

I left to pursue "resume building" jobs and when I finished college I realized that I wasn't making the money I expected, and came across an ad promising $800-$1,200/week. It ended up being a local bait and switch company.

I stayed with them for six months and after buying a beat up Ninja at a pawnshop for $200 and completely rebuilding it I was making about that... Of course, I went through three vehicles and was doing about five splash and dash jobs a day, six days a week and making all of my money with high pressure sales tactics while bearing all of the cost of fuel, chemicals and maintenance.

After killing my vehicle, I was out of work for two weeks trying to get back on the road and had a falling out with the owner. I was already set up, so I started posting ads on facebook and cl to keep income flowing while I hunted for a "real" job. I'm really enjoying the freedom of being self-employed but I'm not ready to go all in.

I was a lurker for several months and found some great tips here on TMF and decided it was time to make an account.
 

MikeGaure

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Well....

Why aren't you ready to go all in?

Half hearted motivation will only leave you frustrated...
 

LostElTee

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Shane DeLuca
Mainly a financial issue at this point, ran myself broke making somebody else money.

The other side of the coin is that I spent a lot of money on a college education and can't deny the security of a salaried job with benefits.
 

MikeGaure

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Mainly a financial issue at this point, ran myself broke making somebody else money.

The other side of the coin is that I spent a lot of money on a college education and can't deny the security of a salaried job with benefits.

sorry there really isn't job security working for someone else. I did well until market crashed then i started my business with $1,500.00.

I've been offered a number of jobs i've turned them all down.
 
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MikeGaure

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Mainly a financial issue at this point, ran myself broke making somebody else money.

The other side of the coin is that I spent a lot of money on a college education and can't deny the security of a salaried job with benefits.
BTW if your education was so great and your salary position was so awesome why were you working for a bait n switcher?
 
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LostElTee

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Shane DeLuca
BTW if your education was so great and your salary position was so awesome why were you working for a bait n switcher?

I think my original statement may have been worded in a way that was confusing.

I completed my Bachelor's, couldn't find a stable, salaried, job offering reasonable compensation and began looking for ways to keep the light bill paid while I continue my job search.
 

MikeGaure

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I think my original statement may have been worded in a way that was confusing.

I completed my Bachelor's, couldn't find a stable, salaried, job offering reasonable compensation and began looking for ways to keep the light bill paid while I continue my job search.
what field
 

crash1big

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I think my original statement may have been worded in a way that was confusing.

I completed my Bachelor's, couldn't find a stable, salaried, job offering reasonable compensation and began looking for ways to keep the light bill paid while I continue my job search.
After almost 35 years in the business, with multiple trucks and 4 businesses; I have learned a few things that one can apply to almost any business.

There are basically 2 ways to run a business. 1) Bait-n-switch; going after the money only; undercutting everybody and getting it while you can stepping on everyone around you; or 2) Looking at longevity, security and customer retention by providing good, honest, professional services at a reasonable price.

Customers generally have an expectation regardless of the service. Meeting those expectations is paramount to success. Exceeding those expectations sets you apart. Detail is the key. From the phone call to the uniform to the truck and equipment to the end result; speaks to the customer.

I was setting tile on a job for a customer once who was a retired carpenter. He said " I can tell you are an exceptional tile setter." I said "hows that?" He said " You cleaned all your tools and put them neatly away. Only a good craftsman does that." I never really knew he was paying attention but I never forgot it. It reminds me to be detailed in everything I do. :)
 
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LostElTee

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Oct 2, 2017
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Shane DeLuca
Now that I'm on my own and not working for volume I've been trying to give better phone quotes and minimize the unnecessary on-site upselling. I'm running a portable out of a small beater SUV, but I haven't had any complaints regarding my work.

I prevac (Sanitaire Commercial vac), prespray (usually grime release pro or TLC branded by a local supply company), agitate with a brush then flush. For pet problems I spot treat with Sodium Percarbonate and flush with Skunk Out. I follow up with a thorough dry pass and while it takes longer, my results and dry time are meeting my standards and I take pride in my work.

I'm fairly confident of my abilities and don't get in over my head trying to do jobs outside the abilities of my equipment, but it is fairly limiting.
 

Rick Imby

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@LostElTee

The last thing you want to do is refer to yourself as a hack. In this industry equipment is not directly correlated to quality of work or the perception of the quality of your work (which is even more important).

In everything you do professionalism makes a big difference. Crash1Big just gave you the secret to success.
 

Rick Imby

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Continually trying to improve the quality of your work and the perception your customers get will lead to one thing in this business---success.

I think you are on the right track---also few things more stable than a frugal owner of a well run small business.

Take a critical look at your operation---not how expensive your equipment is----how well maintained you and your equipment appear to be---is your suv a pig sty? I have seen carpet cleaners with such a mess in their vans there is no way they could be impressing customers with their "professionalism".

Always remember the customer always has a ton of options---you want to be their number one option.
 

LostElTee

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Shane DeLuca
Rick,

It was really meant more as an attention grabbing title, but the practices employed at the last company I sub contracted for were definitely hack-ish. $7.95/room upsold to tickets of a couple hundred dollars or they get a splash and dash. My personal favorite example of this was when I had to do a ride along before starting and the lead tech was using Pinealin Max as his cleaning agent and using a Namco Scooter JR with a trash can as his fresh water tank. When I first started there I was told not to bother with "real" chemicals or I would go broke.
 

LostElTee

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Oct 2, 2017
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Shane DeLuca
The wand and hoses are new, the old Ninja has had new wheels put on it and got a thorough cleaning. I keep it wiped down with tire shine to hide the faded look of the plastic. The SUV is a beater and hopefully a temporary solution, but it runs well and has AC, though I am guilty of letting empty chemical jugs roll around in the back and the passenger seat is full of papers.
 
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Rick Imby

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Like Crash1big pointed out---it really is the attention to detail in your business world that make the difference.

I think you are on track to do well----Listen to Grant Cardone sales youtube videos also.