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Free advice worth what it costs..


vtfireman85
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Been thinking about all the free advice i have gotten lately about business. Most of it has been well meaning, but from people who don’t seem busy enough themselves that they have time to worry about how to keep me busy. On a family trip i was getting wisdom from an inlaw about my rates, the importance of iron clad contracts and advertising. Another person says i need a website and a quick easy way for people to get “quotes” online from us. Some other pearls com from a closer in-law about local advertising and how I really need to get into alarm systems, how i am missing the boat and could really be capitalizing on the influx of city people. And still another wants me to send out mass mailings advertising my services based on local housing sales. 
all of these people don’t seem to grasp that if the phone didn’t ring again I would not run out of stuff to do until this time next year. 
i am sure some of you on here have received similar advice, since we have been here doing the same thing in our 3rd generation since 1963… i think we will be ok. 
now if these advisers want to come help me find the chain brake cover i took off 6 months ago and haven’t had time to get put back together so i can finish cutting firewood… that would be appreciated. 

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Anyone with a good reputation gets just about all the advertising they need by word of mouth.

Keep up the good work.

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4 minutes ago, New Englander said:

Anyone with a good reputation gets just about all the advertising they need by word of mouth.

Keep up the good work.

I have a friend who is a professional concreter is in that position.  His only advertising expense I'm aware of was some Xmas T-shirts about 20 years ago.  Their caption was

"Always going hard"

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I switched from full time heavy equipment mechanic and welder 10 years ago to full time truck driver. I work on stuff on the side when I have time, I don't advertise, I don't have to ask for work, and I rarely work for people I don't know. I have work for the rest of my life if I want it. I'd still rather drive truck now-a-days.

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They will also be the same people calling you an over zealous idiot when the advice they give you fails.

Keep being you and doing your thing. It’s working. 

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yep, Sounds just like all the business classes and service industry. All the tradesmen I know that are successful do it by word of mouth. The only exception used to be phone book adds.  I do a few boiler installs and  plumbing. Like most here i turn away enough work, why would I want more? Seems like the customers that are reached by this type of advertising are not the ones you want, but this advise is worth the same amount as your in-laws

 

 

 

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One good comment heard at the coffee shop is THE BEST advertising there is.... (and the price is right)

As long as you aren't worried about the next job, sounds like you are doing it right.
Good luck!

Mike

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Been mowing yards since 1996. Really have never done any advertising and I got all I can handle plus more.  Word of mouth is only way I've done it.  Haven't had a bussiness card for 17 years now and people still get ahold of me for work. Sounds like your doing okay. Good luck.

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If they knew anything about a business they would tell you to hang it up and work for someone else.....................collect the check and benefits, let someone else handle the payment department, purchasing department, complaint department, labor department, and alot of other departments I am missing...........From 3 pm on Friday with no worries until 7 am monday:lol:

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2 hours ago, Ian Beale said:

I have a friend who is a professional concreter is in that position.  His only advertising expense I'm aware of was some Xmas T-shirts about 20 years ago.  Their caption was

"Always going hard"

Love it

I have a subscription to this old house, and with it I can watch any show from the 40+ seasons on demand. Anyway, I think it was season 1, they had some painters on site with t shirts that said the company name on back, but on the front it said (mind you they're from New England, so I hear this with an obnoxious Boston accent) "How's About a Paint Job?"

I don't know why, but that's the funniest friggin thing. I'm laughing now typing it.

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3 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

Been thinking about all the free advice i have gotten lately about business. Most of it has been well meaning, but from people who don’t seem busy enough themselves that they have time to worry about how to keep me busy. On a family trip i was getting wisdom from an inlaw about my rates, the importance of iron clad contracts and advertising. Another person says i need a website and a quick easy way for people to get “quotes” online from us. Some other pearls com from a closer in-law about local advertising and how I really need to get into alarm systems, how i am missing the boat and could really be capitalizing on the influx of city people. And still another wants me to send out mass mailings advertising my services based on local housing sales. 
all of these people don’t seem to grasp that if the phone didn’t ring again I would not run out of stuff to do until this time next year. 
i am sure some of you on here have received similar advice, since we have been here doing the same thing in our 3rd generation since 1963… i think we will be ok. 
now if these advisers want to come help me find the chain brake cover i took off 6 months ago and haven’t had time to get put back together so i can finish cutting firewood… that would be appreciated. 

I once texted you about a breaker box and you never invoiced me. Naturally I disregarded everything you said, because it was free?

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7 minutes ago, KWRB said:

I once texted you about a breaker box and you never invoiced me. Naturally I disregarded everything you said, because it was free?

Good idea, probably BS?

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The only possible option is to expand, bring in a good kid to help with bigger jobs or put in a van or truck and take on more, not sure if insurance and liabilities are worth the hassle?

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Seth,

The absolutely best free advice you will ever get, is what your gut tells you. LISTEN to that advice, it will take you far!

However, you must also learn the difference between indigestion, hunger pains and being gut-checked….

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55 minutes ago, Ihfan4life said:

Seth,

The absolutely best free advice you will ever get, is what your gut tells you. LISTEN to that advice, it will take you far!

However, you must also learn the difference between indigestion, hunger pains and being gut-checked….

But unsolicited free advice is so willingly given! 

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I have never advertised, turn away more work than we do. Run 2 trucks 5 days a week and I am in the shop the other 2 days except for now as I am taking care of momma. I am higher per hour than all the welders with in a 50 mile radius. I always tell people I cost more when we get there but less when we leave. Will not work for someone we don't know unless you can provide references to someone we know and we will call and check you out. 

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2 minutes ago, Finney said:

I have never advertised, turn away more work than we do. Run 2 trucks 5 days a week and I am in the shop the other 2 days except for now as I am taking care of momma. I am higher per hour than all the welders with in a 50 mile radius. I always tell people I cost more when we get there but less when we leave. Will not work for someone we don't know unless you can provide references to someone we know and we will call and check you out. 

Yep, a tradesmen that shows up, does the job correctly and moves on to the next job is money well spent

And the references are important, just like you, we need to know you or how you got my number.

 

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My best friend is an auto tech. Charges the most, or nearly the most of any non-dealership around. I pay it and don't bat an eye, because quality work, reliability and honesty IS worth more. He has the same issue. No advertising, no employees anymore, and more work available than he can take on. Coincidentally, it's another reason I am happy to pay a lot. I've told him before, I don't want any special treatment in terms of price. For one, why should the friendship be a one way street where I get all the benefit? If I'm your friend, who's to say I shouldn't pay more because I want you to have it? Second, I do like the special treatment of knowing my stuff's going to get done , and when needed, move up in the line.

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58 minutes ago, KWRB said:

I've told him before, I don't want any special treatment in terms of price.

I am long of the opinion if i ask for a service I expect to pay for it. I don’t  want favors, i have no time to reciprocate, seems a CT/MA/NJ thing “i got a buddy” is the common thing i hear… or “my buddy hooked me up”  usually means their “buddy” stole something from his employer. That particular phrase i hear constantly and it makes me absolutely crazy. 

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Recognize wisdom when you hear it.  Sometimes, wisdom just arrives during regular conversation.  I learned a lot of solid principles from wise business people during casual conversations without a specific agenda.

I remember getting unsolicited advice from a high school friend of mine about 20 years ago.  His advice was horrible and I took none of it to heart...if anything, I did the opposite of his advice.  That being said, this guy eventually got into residential real estate.  His tenacious drive and Type-A personality took him far.  He surrounded himself with people who had the tact that he lacked.  He made a fortune in it and sold his group after having a stroke at a young age.  He is now even quicker with unsolicited advice...c'mon, look at his track record!  I know that some tactics do not cross over into different industries.

I would say, "Stay the course".  Don't be afraid to adjust as things change, but keep it steady as she goes.  Trust your instincts.

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