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  #71  
Old 02-19-2011, 07:35 PM
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PROCUT1 PROCUT1 is offline
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So I pulled off keeping the doors open.

Things starting picking up again. I tightened up payment terms and made do without credit.
I laid off a couple employees, spent some more time in the field myself.

The next season was pretty uneventful. Worked. collected money. Paid bills. Lived without credit. Did some decent sized work but didnt break any sales records.
I downsized the amount of snow work I did. And the winter was actually for the first time in my life not too bad.

At one point I had properties all over hell, trucks, loaders, 30 some sidewalk guys.....And thats when one of my foreman coined the new company motto. "Suicide or Spring, whichever comes first"

But that winter, I only had to handle 2 condo complexes. had plenty of equipment. Only needed 2 trucks. I drove one...A few shovelers...And overall, wasnt too bad. Money was still tight but I made it through.

Then came last spring. I start hitting sales real heavy in February usually.
So I start emailing the property managers asking for properties out for bid.

CRICKETS

After about a month of following up....They are getting back to me telling me that they dont have any properties that are going to sealcoat this year.

Manager after manager, coming back with nothing.
Its still early yet so im not panicking but Im starting to wonder at this point.

I went through all the condo complex managers and came back with a little crack repair here, and a little striping there. But no sealcoating.

I start on my shopping center managers. Crickets there too. They explain they are running high vacancy so theyre cutting maintenance budgets. Again, I get a little striping, a little crack sealing but no sealcoating.

My hotels. Same thing.

Now Im getting concerned.

I start on my list of properties that I sealed a couple years ago and are due again. One by one, "Sorry no money this year, call us next year"

All of my regular contacts that keep me busy with work are coming back with nothing.
I start my mailers and calls for new business. Thousands of brochures go out. 2 or 3 calls come in.

5 days a week Im spending on the phone all day..

NOTHING IS WORKING

Round 2 of mailers Nothing
Round 3 of mailers Nothing

Now im into my season. Its warm already. Normally my workers would be coming back from being laid off, theyre calling me. And I got nothing.

Ive got a week of little "work order" type stuff that I could do myself.

Not one single large sealcoat job.
I got a couple of small parking lots to do but not till later in the season.

This is the time of year that Im usually booked 2 months out.....And I dont have work for one day for a full crew.

Ive dealt with lowballers and competition in the lawn business. And I could usually overcome that pretty easy.

In that case, the work was going to get done. It was just a matter of convincing the customer to use my company. That wasnt too hard.

The problem im facing now, is not competition. Not lowballers. Its a complete drop off in the demand for the work I do.

I even started going after residential work. Thousands of mailers again. Door hangers. Phone calls. Door knocking. Got a few. But still practically nothing.

This was a new one for me.

If the job is going to get done. I do a pretty good job of selling my company and getting work.

But when there is no job to sell them on........Woah

You wanna talk about depression setting in
A slow sales day or slow sales week is one thing. But month after month of 15 hours a day, trying everything, triple efforts, and literally ending up with dust is mindblowing.

Well to make a long story shorter.......

I spent the year last year, for the first time in a long long time, out in the field myself, doing every job with a couple helpers. Like I was starting all over again.

My sales were DOWN 80% from the year before
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  #72  
Old 02-19-2011, 07:55 PM
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torotorotoro torotorotoro is offline
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do you think if the econemy ever turns around that you will be flooded with work from everyone who put it off 1 to 2 years longer then they should have.its like cash for clunkers but in reverse.or like the home buyers tax credit.it took buyers from two or three years out and bribed them to buy now.
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  #73  
Old 02-19-2011, 08:54 PM
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PROCUT1 PROCUT1 is offline
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I think the economy has a long long long time before it turns around. We havent even hit the bottom yet.

The economy took a toll on a lot of people. None of my friends are in business anymore. The "gang of the big boys" is gone. Ive been the last one sticking it out.

Ive decided to relocate my business to another state.

Ive been going back and forth between here and there over the past couple months and its definitly the right move.

One of the worst things about New York is the cost of living. Its much much higher than most other places in the country.

Ive been working on building a business and selling work over the past few months in my new location and the demand is there for sure. Im very excited about it.

If I were going to stay here. I would have to find a different line of work. I dont have the time, or money, to wait out whatever we are going through right now.
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  #74  
Old 02-19-2011, 10:47 PM
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Greyst1 Greyst1 is offline
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I spent the year last year, for the first time in a long long time, out in the field myself, doing every job with a couple helpers. Like I was starting all over again.

My sales were DOWN 80% from the year before[/QUOTE]

Honestly Procut1, i thought that was a big part of your ongoing problems. I think you need to be in the field. Did you do any sort of training when your weren't in the field?

I know one man can't be every where but i feel your knowledge can be through training and education. Not micro mgmt
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  #75  
Old 02-19-2011, 11:00 PM
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torotorotoro torotorotoro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyst1 View Post
I spent the year last year, for the first time in a long long time, out in the field myself, doing every job with a couple helpers. Like I was starting all over again.

My sales were DOWN 80% from the year before
Honestly Procut1, i thought that was a big part of your ongoing problems. I think you need to be in the field. Did you do any sort of training when your weren't in the field?

I know one man can't be every where but i feel your knowledge can be through training and education. Not micro mgmt[/QUOTE]

you should read the book e-myth.you might think different
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  #76  
Old 02-19-2011, 11:33 PM
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JayD JayD is offline
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I have one question here.....If your credit was so great as you put it, then why when you was late on credit payment, as you stated, jumped up 5% to 35%? If you had such great credit, then why were you at a 30% interest rate to begin with?
I don't get this part?
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  #77  
Old 02-20-2011, 01:03 AM
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PROCUT1 PROCUT1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyst1 View Post
I spent the year last year, for the first time in a long long time, out in the field myself, doing every job with a couple helpers. Like I was starting all over again.

My sales were DOWN 80% from the year before
Honestly Procut1, i thought that was a big part of your ongoing problems. I think you need to be in the field. Did you do any sort of training when your weren't in the field?

I know one man can't be every where but i feel your knowledge can be through training and education. Not micro mgmt[/QUOTE]

Fortunately I had a great crew that had been with me for years that I trained. Production in this case wasn't a problem. I could never grow to any substantial size if I worked in the field. Its much easier to train someone to push a broom than to negotiate big dollar contracts. To replace a $15 an hour laborer with myself would have been counter productive. Who's selling next weeks work if um playing machine operator this week?
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  #78  
Old 02-20-2011, 01:08 AM
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PROCUT1 PROCUT1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayD View Post
I have one question here.....If your credit was so great as you put it, then why when you was late on credit payment, as you stated, jumped up 5% to 35%? If you had such great credit, then why were you at a 30% interest rate to begin with?
I don't get this part?
I might have mistyped. I had very low interest rates. 5% or so at the time. When I was late they jumped from 5% to the default rate which last I opened a credit card bill was 25 or 29%.

That's how the banks work with you. You have trouble making a payment. They help you out by doubling your payment and jacking the interest. All the other banks can follow even if you're not late with them. Its called "universal default". So now all your cards double and they wonder why people give up and file bankruptcy. They force you to do it.
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  #79  
Old 02-20-2011, 04:21 AM
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JayD JayD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PROCUT1 View Post
I might have mistyped. I had very low interest rates. 5% or so at the time. When I was late they jumped from 5% to the default rate which last I opened a credit card bill was 25 or 29%.

That's how the banks work with you. You have trouble making a payment. They help you out by doubling your payment and jacking the interest. All the other banks can follow even if you're not late with them. Its called "universal default". So now all your cards double and they wonder why people give up and file bankruptcy. They force you to do it.
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Oh, OK, thats makes sense now...

You should name your bank so all can see and know to stay away from them...
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  #80  
Old 02-20-2011, 07:28 AM
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Lefet Lefet is offline
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Interesting read for early on a Sunday morning. Subscribing to glean whatever information I can to help avoid pitfalls.
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