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Buisness what to do now

darkstar

Rockclimber/ treeclimber
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
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chattavagas
We are getting more calls than we can handle.I have an excellant crew working near 10 hours a day 5 days a week ,and i usually bid all day on saterday.Everybody seems alittle burned out ,but we are paying the bills.The hack competition in the area has increased to dramatic levels and if it were not for our refferals i think we would be working for peanuts.
Im at a point where i lose track of the calls and customers because there are so many coming in.All i do is bid and bill and occasionally drive trucks and or loaders.I have absolutly know idea what i should do now to either continue growing or move into something else.
I feel like im digging a deeper hole by expanding the tree buisness
What im thinking is i need to continue running my tree service as is but at the same time start up somethning else.But what?
I could get enough jobs to keep the crew running eaisly leaving me time to start up a side buisness.
Im great at sales but cant settle on an idea ?
Any suggestions would be appreciated, i honestly do not want to in the tree buisness for the rest of my life ,but aint giving up my bread and butter untill im onto something else.
I know alot of you people on here have sap for blood but i dont .
I would not even be in tree service if i hadent been a long time rockclimber.
It was always easy money while on the road rockclimbing
Now its become a full time occupation i never inteneded to go this far with it .
So please dont diss me for thinking of getting out of tree buisness ,but if you have a cool buisness idea that a tree service owner might migrate to id love to hear it.
Since i began writing this short post ive had about ten new incoming calls i freaking cant handle it :O
I need to find some balance.
I know im lucky and blessed for getting so many calls we do good work.Either im going to have to delagate responsibilty and slowly move into another line of work or im gonna go nuts.:|:
 

sotc

Dormant hero!!
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Dec 6, 2005
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So. Oregon
not sure as to where to send you but try uping your price up a bit. fewer jobs and more money is 8)
 

darkstar

Rockclimber/ treeclimber
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chattavagas
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  • #3
That is great advice.
I recently did just that and even though i bid only about 10 to 20 % higher i did not get even one job.
This place is cheap city.They go for the lowest bidder almost every time.
 

darkstar

Rockclimber/ treeclimber
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  • #5
Lately ive been so busy ive even been drinking to much at night thats how bad its getting.Like i need a break and i got it good to my crew is freaking awesome i just e mail the work order and they get err done im just not feeling fulfilled at all.
It sux but its paying the bills and its good to me i could deffinatly retire in about 20 years .Maybe sooner if things kept at this pace.I know i should be thankful but id really like to get into something else like equipment sales or manufacturing a food item . Something normal.hahaha
 
B

Banned by Squirrels

Guest
Start a firearms training center, then get some guys you can contract out, shmooze up to some politicians and poof, you're Blackwater...
 

sotc

Dormant hero!!
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Messages
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Location
So. Oregon
Nice web site Sotc
thanks.
do you just bid or do you sell? i spen lots of time with folks if they are inclined, free advice, compilments on unusual plants on nice settings. it sells work and usually brings a higher price. someday ill get called names for my record profits;)
 

darkstar

Rockclimber/ treeclimber
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chattavagas
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  • #9
I spens hours with my clients some times .Ill advise them on landscaping and ofetn refer other contractors they may be lookinmg for which works well.Last weeks work was all from two bids both of which i did many follow up calls.I even tore down a deck and scraped up the gravel as an added bonus to get the job . So yes i sale ,sale sale.
 

Paul B

I dig hammocks.
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
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12,712
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Burnaby BC
I spens hours with my clients some times .Ill advise them on landscaping and ofetn refer other contractors they may be lookinmg for which works well.
Dont forget that your knowledge and experience is a sale-able product. I stopped giving it up for free long ago.

free estimate: I show up, you provide or we write up a scope of work, I leave and email you the estimate later (landscape install jobs cannot be priced on the spot unlike pruning work etc).

Consultation: I show up, we chit chat or discuss the property and its possibilities / deficiencies in earnest, charged at an hourly rate, one hour minimum. :D
 

darkstar

Rockclimber/ treeclimber
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chattavagas
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  • #11
I try that approach here and they always decline.Everybody wants their free estimate.
Hey Burnham cant wait to hear your reply .
Or do i dare?
My advice to myself, suck it up and do what making you money.
 

treesandsurf

Treehouser
Joined
Nov 30, 2006
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Location
Hawaii
It sounds like you're willing to do whatever it takes to land the job but then you are struggling because you have too much work??

Set a bar for yourself and your company and don't negotiate, meaning figure out what you deserve to charge and what the market will bear (within reason, not too low) and charge that. If you've got some time on the side, why not educate yourself and start consulting, tree risk assessment and tree evaluations and the like?

I like Willie's idea of raising prices, then you get the people who are willing to pay more for better quality work.

jp:D
 

Burnham

Woods walker
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
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Western Oregon
I try that approach here and they always decline.Everybody wants their free estimate.
Hey Burnham cant wait to hear your reply .
Or do i dare?
My advice to myself, suck it up and do what making you money.
Why me in particular, Jerry? :)

I think Willie has it right, up your prices...I know you said you tried that and got no takers, but it seems hard to understand how you could have all that referral work without something besides price point giving you the good rep. That's what you need to market and utilize as your selling point to upscale both your clientel and correspondingly, your prices.

Thin out that herd of customers by screening out the low profit jobs, the pain in the azz customers, and the low price shoppers.

And I agree with Paul, too. Charge for your expertise. You say you spend lots of hours on bids, giving advice, etc., other stuff besides just selling your work. That needs to change, imo. Charge for your time, brother.

If all this means less work, then perhaps you'll be happier with your business.

Hell, what do I know about it...I'm foraging at the taxpayer-funded gov't employee trough :D.
 

darkstar

Rockclimber/ treeclimber
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chattavagas
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  • #15
Well Burnham like a few others here you generally provide cold hard truths of advice.
 

brendonv

Tree Hugger
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Mar 6, 2005
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7,156
Location
Oxford, Connecticut
I have no employee's, so for me this is easier to say. I up'd my prices about 25%, so now instead of getting pissed from the underbid jobs, I prosper in the over bid jobs. I'd rather work 1 good paying job than 2 underpaying jobs. Someone tolld me..."if they are gonna underbid you, then are gonna be way low anyway". So as we speak I only get 25% of jobs I look at. That's fine with me, still making $$.

Like I said, this is easier for me to say because I have low overhead, no full timers, just my bro helps.
 
D

Drella

Guest
I feel like im digging a deeper hole by expanding the tree buisness
What im thinking is i need to continue running my tree service as is but at the same time start up somethning else.But what?

Utility pole inspection.

I worked with an old Missouri farm boy who did this for a living. Then he settled down and started a family and came to work with our tree company. He mentioned working for Osmose and being shipped all over the country,, though I'm sure you can easily find work locally through them... http://www.osmoseutilities.com/?gclid=CIbY647i-ZQCFR6gnAod7Fn6rg
 
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Husky D

TreeHouser
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
117
Location
UK
As you mentioned that previously you were into rock climbing could you explore that as an avenue again? Is there any market for recreational climbing courses/corporate climbing days to keep you doing something I take you enjoy but putting another slant to it whilst still pricing your jobs and keeping your staff running your tree work? Difficult to suggest things as many here do as you say have sap in their blood so would find it hard to think of doing anything else. Just tring to think out of the box alittle but wish you well in your quest.

D
 

Canuck

Rogue Trader
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
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365
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Al Bird A
My 2 cents.... If you don't have time to do what your doing how is starting a new biz and all the time and effort that takes going to make things better?
 

darkstar

Rockclimber/ treeclimber
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Aug 5, 2005
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chattavagas
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  • #23
My 2 cents.... If you don't have time to do what your doing how is starting a new biz and all the time and effort that takes going to make things better?
The new buisness will become my source of income and ill be out of tree work.
this last week tree work has been good.

No i dont have enough equipment i need another mini , chipper and big truck.
Then we could run two crews.
 
D

DTW902

Guest
Have you thought about hiring someone to answer the phone? They could take all the info, plan out your bidding schedule, and try and route the bids. That would leave you to concentrate on the customers. Even a part time person to start with.
You go do the bids turn in the bid sheet to them and they contact the customer and schedule the work based on your work load. And as stated above raise your prices when you start running low on work you can then lower your prices some if need be. Just my 2 cents worth.
 
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