new business

Discussion in 'Other Trades Talk' started by hammer, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. 12benny

    12benny New Member

    handy, thank you for the good info. As regards the est/quote, believe me the legal definition is that there is no difference. Although most people accept that an est. can run on the law doesn't.
    Here's another possible trap: once i advertised "Free Est's" but on a site visit the area was inaccessible so i told the customer that he'd now have to pay for my time in opening up the area. He agreed, three hours later he wouldn't pay. So i took him to small claims. He produced my ad. for free est. but the judge accepted my version and but awarded me less than i had claimed and no costs. I ended up at a loss.
  2. panlid

    panlid New Member

    its what you deserved you numty!!!!!
    over that??????
    its called live and learn!!!!!!

    dear oh dear benny!
  3. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    benny, i dont need to know any legal definitions........its an estimate!! I might add my jobs go from 1hr to 1 week normally. Its not 4K jobs!!

    1 day at a time is normal, with various jobs to do. I estimate it at 1 day, they pay at the end of the day, thats it!!
  4. bathstyle

    bathstyle Active Member

    You're a lucky man if you get good cashflow like that, I haven't had a penny for 4 weeks :(
  5. jolly bodger

    jolly bodger New Member

    last time we moved house it was 150 miles, i.e completely fresh start.

    Pukka business cards are vital - target affluent housing estates (mercs, bmw's, caravans/boats in the driveways) and drop them through the letterboxes: people will keep a business card whereas they'll bin an A5 flyer that drops from the local paper and you'll also get some healthy exercise and local knowledge into the bargain!

    Property Maintenance is a far, far better title - with respect to the various people on this forum who trade as "handymen" I'd say the only problem with calling yourself a handyman is that you're pitching yourself against all the "bob-a-job" retiree's who don't have a wife/child/van/morgage/PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE PREMIUM to support and as such are seen as a cheap way to fix a loose cupboard door but nothing much beyond that.

    I neverever quote there and then, but always ask for an email address to send a quote to, 'cos:-
    a) most people have one these days
    b) a properly laid-out quote with logos etc looks impressive and inspires confidence
    c) it protects you as everything is down in writing and any subsequent "job creep" ("while you're there could you just etc etc...) can be charged for at your discretion.
    d) it gives you another means of contact along with mobiles etc

    P.S - handyman, purely out of interest, if all your jobs are so short'n'sweet how do you find time to buy in supplies for the myriad jobs you must face?
  6. limestone cowboy

    limestone cowboy New Member

    It's not a problem because he only uses silicnut sealant.
  7. Well-Known Member

    I started up just over 2 years ago, and have enjoyed almost all of it.

    Had a couple of rouge customers- always be wary when someone says someone else failed to turn up.

    I give a quote which I stick to -assuming nothing has been added.

    Quotes vs Estimates,
    A quote is a firm price / contract
    an estimate is a best guess

    I usually put things down in writing using a form I made up on my PC.
    Here is a link to a copy

    It's a word doc so save it and change it to suit yourself

    I give customer original and take a digital photo for myself to keep.

    Use your instinct if you get a bad feeling about a customer walk away.

    Not to put you off >98% of customers are excellent, its the minority you have to worry about.

    I always take a deposit and give a receipt, It makes you look more professional and separates you from the cowboys.

    Always give 2 or 3 cards as they can give one to their friends / family etc.
    I (as an electrician) also stick my sticker (company name and tel no.) to the consumer unit so they can always get my number
  8. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    i dont waste any of my on a computer making quotes up.

    is £30 first hr, £15 after this, poor pay??

    I never need to chase money, i get it at the end of each job.

    As for materials, i'm just organised
  9. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    forgot to add....

    'property mainance and repair' men are handymen, and nothing more
  10. panlid

    panlid New Member

    up here we call them jobbers......

    or scousers;)
  11. panlid

    panlid New Member

    or gypos:)
  12. panlid

    panlid New Member

    seriously i look at property repair people differently than handymen.
    i think p.r. companies do a basic job on alot of rental type or cheap houses and offices etc where the quality is not much bothered about.
    they are always darting about, quick in quick out and ive never seen a top drawer job yet.
    normally untrained labourers who can buy all the cheap tools and earn more money than cleaning windows.
  13. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    good handymen are required, just look at the jobs that good tradesmen will not touch. In every walk of life there will be gipo type people.

    I, at least, just call myself a handyman. I must be doing something correct as I have loads of work. All above board.
  14. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    confusion is starting here, Property repair?? seams to be a company with more than one employeee, where as a handyman works for himself??
  15. three-twenty

    three-twenty New Member

    the bald sparky gives good advice for a well run professional business. handyman the reason you have loads of work is that you are earning about £22000 per year (with only 4 weeks holiday allowed)every tradesman i know is earning more than this on the cards, even labourers. i would listen to the bald wise one if i were you
  16. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    the difference o wise one, is i wouldnt enjoy being a ladourer!! I'm enjoying what I'm doing and getting much better at it, hence the prices are going up.
  17. three-twenty

    three-twenty New Member

    thats fine but that is when a customer will want a quote FIXED PRICE not an estimate. this is another skill that has to be learnt by tradesmen.
    ps i was stating that the electrician was wise, not myself and that you should listen to his approach. if you are cheap you will always get work, even if you do a bad job (i am not suggesting you do a bad job, just stating a fact)
    when you start up a business, business cards may be enough, however, you will lose customers as your prices go up so the sparkys approach is spot on.
  18. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    Mmmmmmmm, how do you think i manage a full book........with poor estimates?? Jobs would run over and others would be let down.
  19. jolly bodger

    jolly bodger New Member

    Property Maintenance is EXACTLY the same as a Handyman, but without the quaint associations of a local fella in a white painters bib humbly helping out the ole’ folks!

    - i.e you can pick n’choose the nice stuff the tradesmen consider small beer whilst pitching yourself between both.

    Handyman, no offence, but hat’s off to you for being so organised and I’m happy your proud of your rates - personally my 7month pregnant wife is running around picking up paints and phoning in from merchant’s yards asking what the hell my scrawl is supposed to say ‘cos I’m so disorganised and busy, but at least I’m making more than you to equip the nursery! (If I could only find a reasonably intelligent multi-skilled brick-shifter or log-smith to employ…sigh!):)

    Seriously though, Cowboys appear in all fields, be it builders, chippies, etc same as in all walks of (unregulated) life so I guess those with full diaries must be doing something right or we wouldn’t all be busy with recommended customers.

    “thats fine but that is when a customer will want a quote FIXED PRICE not an estimate. this is another skill that has to be learnt by tradesmen.”

    Spare me! Most “tradesmen” I’ve had through my door couldn’t find their ar$e with both hands…! If the Prop Maintenance/Handyman fraternity were so poorly experienced we wouldn’t stay in business for all the reasons already quoted, I’e ridiculously under-estimated jobs leading to horrendous knock-on effects leading to disappointed customers and a disasterous cash-flow

    Anyway, apologies for the rambling nature of this post but boy-oh-boy was the 15th local beer festival a good event…
  20. handyman.

    handyman. New Member

    JB, you make a lot of sence, even though your half cut ;)

    Only thing is, im not a tradesman, so therefore shouldnt be earning as much as you.

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