Happy New Year to you also Dave, and everyone else!!
Myself, just a few so far:
I will not do projects on the hand shake anymore, we took quite a beating last year and then as noted in other threads ended up with a real pita but stood my ground and all worked out. In the past I have done the hand shale for several different types of projects through out the year, but as with everything else, times have changed.
I also need to work on the marketing side of things more. All I did last year was the HBL direct mail program and that was a total bust. Against HBL's theory, I do not particularly like residential work, I should say I prefer commercial to residential as all my residential clients are really great people! Last year I tried and tried to get my bucket truck lettered and it didn't happen no matter how many companies I called, also wanted new graphics on the back window of my truck and that didn't happen either. I am considering pulling the graphics completely off of one pick up as they have been pealing, and as much as I like them (color is awesome) I am not paid to advertise for HBL so some more thought to be placed there.
I am very happy with the mini LED's i am currently getting, and am eliminating the incandescent unless the client insists upon it. I have spoken with a couple others on hear with regard to c-9 and will be requesting several samples form different manufacturers and putting them through the test through out the summer. I very well may say with c-9 incandescent. Even though we went through all the mini lights - incandescent, had everything completely working, as I was installing them, I had to have spare bulbs right with me as the d*mn things had bulbs out.
Man power, my son will graduate this year, and is more than capable of handling a crew. The obstacle there will be college, he is going to be attending locally (less than a mile away). He is extremely attentive to detail, extremely courteous and the clients love him. We hit a point this year where I just didn't have anything left (spirit and energy wise) and we either will need to significantly expand so I can pay a couple more guys and still cover my over head and what I need for the winter, or we can not really grow at all. I know a couple of the project I currently do - my two big ones are going to do a large add on next year, and I may try to get the monument project I have mentioned here but that will be the max.
With a large expansion in mind, that will incorporate another truck, probably 60'. Of course there is equipping that, lettering it etc.
I have been giving lots of thought to a show room for the past 3 years. Much more thought will need to go into that. I am not so sure this will be the year. The investment of the display concerns me greatly and with some of the information that has been passed along to me by others, sounds as though good quality product is also becoming an issue.
Lastly, apparently there is a company out the calling themselves Celebrations. If I has a dollar for every call and email I have gotten from people that have purchased product and gotten junk, I would not have to worry about things for a bit. I definitely believe that it is time to put together an e-commerce site as most manufacturers will drop ship and some will also repackage. I will also establish relationships with more companies to further enhance this idea as well as eliminate the middle man so to speak on projects.
I as well plan to build this year, have owned the property for a few years now and need to get it done.
2007 Ram 2500 with the 6.7
2001 Ram 2500 opec proof gasser with the 360
1996 Mack RD Tri-Axle Dump Truck
2000 Cat 312B
2000 Cat 304 CCR
2000 Hyundai H70
2012 Scag V Ride
2009 Ferris IS3100 z
Brown Bed Edger
Multiple trailers, hand tools and smaller stuff
A son to teach the value of life, business and honor