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waterheaterzone.com
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I am curious about how to gauge this. Do you just add a service truck when you are overloaded with work/phonecalls for a month straight? How do you know when its time to add a new technician/truck to the company? Plumbcrazy mentioned having 500-600 customer's per truck. I never heard that equation, but it sparked my interest in this discussion.
 

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We added our second truck when we were so busy that we risked losing our current customers. When business is busy (billing 30-40 hrs. per week) for a month that should be normal. If you are working an extra two hours everyday to fit everyone in, it's time to start the search. Your company has 50 hours of work per week. New plumber does 40, you do 10 and use the rest of your time is used to grow your business.

Of course, this is if you have the funds to invest in a new truck. Capital & volume of calls should both be considered. A lot of companies go under growing too fast. You need to have enough capital that if you had to let your plumber go, you could afford the extra truck payment, insurance etc.
 

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Carl,

This is a bit of a double edge sword. Employees can be an asset or they can be your biggest headache. In addition, the profitability of a one man shop often drops when it becomes a two man shop. The additional cost related to becoming an employer should not be taken lightly. However, the only way for a 1-man shop to become a 10-man shop is to become a 2-man shop first.

I'm not sure there is a number of customers per truck as the variables change with the seasons and conditions. As Plumbcrazy has suggested you are better off basing it on your billable hours per month. Often a good time to add a new truck is when a new contract or customer comes on line and you can anticipate the additional work.

Now unless you have a money tree in the backyard a new truck is not cheap to set up. The cost of the vehicle is one thing but then you also have all of the equipment, materials and tools to stock it. If you are thinking you are getting to the point where you are ready I would start buying backup tools for your truck which can later be transferred to a new truck.

Mark
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter #5
This is a bit of a double edge sword. Employees can be an asset or they can be your biggest headache. In addition, the profitability of a one man shop often drops when it becomes a two man shop. The additional cost related to becoming an employer should not be taken lightly. However, the only way for a 1-man shop to become a 10-man shop is to become a 2-man shop first.
This keeps ringing in my head Mark. I want to grow the company eventually, but the downsides are hard to ignore. Very good points here.
 

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All sorts of costs increase when you hire that additional plumber. So the basic question is whether adding an additional plumber will increase or decrease your overall profit. The basic principle is this: Adding an additional plumber (if you have the work) will always make the company more money untill the increase in gross sales requires the company to add additional office staffto support the field. Adding office staff will cause a dropp in overall profits for awhile until gross sales significantly increase.
 

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My boss added another guy without spending a dime to buy a truck and tools, by hiring me and agreeing to pay for the use of my truck and tools.
 

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Excellent thread by the way...just sitting in the back listening.
Mark has some VERY good points, and no matter how tantalizing the idea of growing might seem, it's not something I'd rush into.
 

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great thread, trying to figure out mymself on when to add the third truck, and how to increase marketing to keep the guys busy.
 

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My boss went to Los Angeles because of this link.

great thread, trying to figure out mymself on when to add the third truck, and how to increase marketing to keep the guys busy.
My boss spent five days in Los Angeles with this pcplumber to see if what he writes is really true. My boss was really excited when he came back and he shut down our company for two days to teach us the sales methods in this book and to get us new equipment.

http://www.contractortalk.com/f65/copy-our-business-software-50191/

I think this is like a 110 page book that contains a lot of links for free information and software inside the book.

I hope this information can help you. Tell me if there is a problem with this link and I will remove it. I don't know if you are allowed to mention other forums. I hope not!
 

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Excellent advice !!

One thing I DID notice when I had employees ,,, it WILL PUSH you to add work !

You will find yourself being much busier running down that next call or finding more work because NOW you are responsible for your other plumber AND ultimately his family.

It is exciting !!!! GOOD LUCK !!!!

On a side note ---- I've always liked NC and hope to move there in the next 10 years ,,,

Got my own tools , truck , uniforms and copy of quickbooks ,,,, need a plumber ??

Wish I could !!

Cal
 

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My boss spent five days in Los Angeles with this pcplumber to see if what he writes is really true. My boss was really excited when he came back and he shut down our company for two days to teach us the sales methods in this book and to get us new equipment.

http://www.contractortalk.com/f65/copy-our-business-software-50191/

I think this is like a 110 page book that contains a lot of links for free information and software inside the book.

I hope this information can help you. Tell me if there is a problem with this link and I will remove it. I don't know if you are allowed to mention other forums. I hope not!
A first hand account! I have read PCPlumber's info. on another forum and it seemed half thought he was a genius and the other half a quack.

So, he is the real deal??? I know you already have said as much, but "if it seems too good to be true . . ."
 

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A first hand account! I have read PCPlumber's info. on another forum and it seemed half thought he was a genius and the other half a quack.

So, he is the real deal??? I know you already have said as much, but "if it seems too good to be true . . ."
I don't know. Maybe he knows how to run a business and is crazy at the same time. I don't run our company so I am not really up with the numbers. We are using his sales methods in his book and we are selling more and much larger jobs on our service calls. I think we are selling about twice as much as we were a few months ago. I think pcplumber had two articles written about him in Contractor Talk magazine a few months ago so someone thinks he knows what's up. I think a lot of people think he is crazy because he gives copies of his software and ideas for free. He mentions other forums in one of his posts and does not say anything bad about anybody except to say that members in another forum were not friendly. I've never read where he said one bad thing about anybody. What I find strange is he never write posts in the plumber's threads, but I am positive he knows about plumbing because he has a picture of his shop on his web site so he is really a plumber.
 

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Water Whisperer
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There's a point where a service company outgrows their area due to population limits and competition. Washington is chock full of blue collars and its about the population of a California county.

If I ever find the magic formula that works for me, I would have to expand/move to the big city.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter #18
PCplumber is definitely the real deal. He has some excellent ideas when it comes to marketing and sales. But he also has an extremely arrogant attitude and has problems communicating in a normal, friendly manner. He rubbed a lot of people the wrong way at the Ridgid forum, including me.

Anyway, back on topic. I am really in a pickle. I am now so busy that I can't possibly handle all the calls, and I have been turning away calls almost daily all month. I am working a ridiculous amount of hours, and even making some mistakes as I am so overworked. It seems my marketing plan has worked a little too well! On the other hand, I am still not sure about adding a truck. I don't have the capital to buy a truck and set it up for cash, and I am still scared of the idea of hiring a fulltime employee.
The way I see it, I need to either:
A) Start interviewing immediately and shopping for a loan for a second truck and tools despite my fears.
or
B) Start filtering out all the extra calls, by only going on certain jobs and being very strict about my policies (trip charge, etc.)

I like the B) idea better but I am afraid it will may make me look unprofessional to be turning so many calls away. Thoughts?
 

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PCplumber is definitely the real deal. He has some excellent ideas when it comes to marketing and sales. But he also has an extremely arrogant attitude and has problems communicating in a normal, friendly manner. He rubbed a lot of people the wrong way at the Ridgid forum, including me.

Anyway, back on topic. I am really in a pickle. I am now so busy that I can't possibly handle all the calls, and I have been turning away calls almost daily all month. I am working a ridiculous amount of hours, and even making some mistakes as I am so overworked. It seems my marketing plan has worked a little too well! On the other hand, I am still not sure about adding a truck. I don't have the capital to buy a truck and set it up for cash, and I am still scared of the idea of hiring a fulltime employee.
The way I see it, I need to either:
A) Start interviewing immediately and shopping for a loan for a second truck and tools despite my fears.
or
B) Start filtering out all the extra calls, by only going on certain jobs and being very strict about my policies (trip charge, etc.)

I like the B) idea better but I am afraid it will may make me look unprofessional to be turning so many calls away. Thoughts?
Arrogant? Geez, go figure...:whistling2:

If it has been one month, I would hire a helper. If its been longer than that, find out why you aren't rolling in cash. A good rule of thumb is if you can pay cash, then it's not a huge gamble.

If you're getting tire kickers, charge them a 45.00 service charge to come out. They usually hang up within 5 seconds anyway.

What's your marketing plan? :yes:
 

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Plumbing and Gas SCO
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Hiring extra help is a big expense and difficult.
But worth it. The trick is to get the employee invested in the company. My best guys are the ones that want to see the company succeed. They know they succeed with me.
Turning away the customer now drives them to your competition. Maybe its a small bs job today. But tomorrow when they need the big expensive job done who will they call? The plumber who helped before.
 
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