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Advantages and Disadvantages of

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Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Devon07 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:05 am

What are some of your advantages and disadvantages of being an owner operator and dealing with your customers? I know most of the obvious, Im the owner and service will be great because im not some random kid cleaning etc.....but do you run into any disadvantages or advantages not so obvious?

I know you get tipped less as an owner operator....when they dont know you get tipped better. I had a lady tell me once when she talked with the owner he said you would help move this...it was true and she thought I was a worker...instead of telling her I just went to work (busy day) she tipped ...then over the years I tested this theory when it presented itself...and sure enough...better tips. I guess they think an owner makes enough to not get a tip....although I been tipped as an owner nothing like I have as a worker.


I have more but want to hear what you guys have as an advan/disad

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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by milspec6 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:13 am

Advantages:

1. You are seen as being a source of knowledge while the tech might be assumed to just be a kid earning a check. This is especially true if you are old...they assume you always cleaned for a living, so you must really be experienced.

2. You have ultimate control over the jobsite.
3. You are able to establish a "face" to your logo.

Disadvantages:

1. Nobody to blame if things go sideways.
2. Jobs take longer due to customer interactions which often would not happen with the tech.
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Devon07 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:29 am

Nice Rob.

You took one I was going to add later. lol it can be interesting being an O/O huh?


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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Mo on Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:51 am

One of the disadvantages is that you're income potential is limited because you can only do so many jobs per day.

When you get busy you start pushing the limits and then you body starts breaking down and you start getting burned out

It takes longer to get the bigger jobs completed as an OP with out a tech. How many times has a customer said, "Is it just you? Is anyone else helping you?" Does a customer really want us in their home 3 to 4 hours or more on the bigger jobs?

An owner OP wears too many hats and before you know it it becomes all consuming and your personal life and health begins to suffer.The when you step back some aspects of the business like record keeping, maintenance, marketing etc begins to suffer

The advantages? Way too many too mention.
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Davey Cracker on Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:50 am

One of the big things for me, that's easily forgotten is........

When I worked for someone else I'd often hear "But the person I talked to on the phone said this....."
I hardly ever get that BS now, and if the customer try's to pull that crap now, it's usually easy to put them in their place.....if not it's time to walk.

I don't miss those he said she said games.

It would be great to hear from some of the guys on this type of stuff that don't normally participate in it, I think? You know like Saiger, AAC, FM1. Instead of just the4-6 of us usual's talking to our self's.
wink

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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Mo on Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:02 am

That would be one of the advantages Dave having full control of every aspect of the business and its been working for you for twenty plus years.

It could also be a disadvantage for someone that is aspiring to be a multi truck operator.
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Davey Cracker on Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:03 pm

That is true..............but I'm not speaking in general, just my personal experience based on the O/O question.

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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Devon07 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:03 pm

Interesting.

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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by milspec6 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:40 pm

Trust me Davey, the others may not be posting, but the are reading. As Fat Albert would say, "If you are not careful, you just might learn something."

(A "Leave it Beaver" and "Fat Albert" reference in the same day.....I guess you know how I spent my youth and probably my retirement)
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Freemind1 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:47 pm

Advantages:
As pointed out already, customers have more trust in you as the owner. They trust you have the expertise to do what it is you are there to do.
It is also easier to point out things they should have done, as in upgrades of service or an add on they could use.
Lots of advantages as a business owner for us.

However there are also many downsides to it. As Mo points out, being on the job takes away from your ability to build your business bigger. It eats your time in the fact of all the hats you wear, and the silent requirement that your chit chat with customers.

But I guess those downsides are really only a downside to someone who want to build their business bigger.

But as the owner, especially in a small business, you never truly get a day off to vegetate. You are always on the clock, thinking about business, maintaining your business, thinking about marketing, remembering the things that need to be done.

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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Mo on Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:48 pm

@Davey Cracker wrote:That is true..............but I'm not speaking in general, just my personal experience based on the O/O question.

I hear what you're saying Dave. I was driving down the road a residential street going to the speed limit and there was a car backing out of a drive way while speaking to the occupant I gave a polite honk and the driver continued to pull out I had to slam on my brakes just so I would run into them.

Later that day I get a call front the owner of the house saying that my driver was speeding down a residential street. I asked for the location and let her know I was the driver and asked her to look before backing out on he street... she hung up on me.
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Davey Cracker on Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:53 pm

LOL, exactly people/customers try to lie threw their teeth!
I don't miss being caught in the middle, not knowing who said or did what, is all.

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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Davey Cracker on Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:58 pm

@milspec6 wrote:Trust me Davey, the others may not be posting, but the are reading.  As Fat Albert would say, "If you are not careful, you just might learn something."

(A "Leave it Beaver" and "Fat Albert" reference in the same day.....I guess you know how I spent my youth and probably my retirement)

Well, we're 1 for 3 of the guys I mentioned, so that's good so far.

Reading may help them?.......but doesn't seem to help anyone else.

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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by dp1 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:24 pm

You guys covered pretty much a lot of them, one negative I can think of is for customers to think of your company being too small when the owner is working in the field, this might go both way being positive or negative I guess ?
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by ACpower1 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:26 pm

advantages of o/o

more money in your pocket per job,    people usually go lightly on you if there is an issue,   exercise,   quality control,   lower stress if business is not your strong suit,    if you have a slow month its only you who feels it,     can do only 1 job a day for 250 and be done getting the bbq ready...   still making what many workers make.

disadvantages

rarely can ever sell the business,   long hours,    lots of wear and tear on your body,   when your done the business is done cant pass anything on to your family usually,    business growth is very limited if any at all,   loans are more difficult to secure because most find themselves writing off most everything to avoid bigger tax bills,     cant focus on bettering the business,     sometimes customer service is limited because its difficult to answer the phone while working,    call backs or job issues are harder to deal with being solo,    you lose some customers who want their cleaning done sooner than your able to do,      can only clean so many carpets in your lifetime so if you do the math the life long numbers are not impressive for what you can bring in during your career,    any time you take off = money lost from jobs you cant take,     if you get sick or hurt or just dont feel like scrubbing carpets you dont make a penny,      hard to build up a substantial amount of reserve money to buy newer better equipment or buy new equipment when things breakdown,     very difficult to retire....  

the list goes on but thats just to name a few


personally I lean HEAVILY on not o/o for too long.. many carpet cleaners say "I tried multi truck and it didnt work" but thats just because they lack business skills and having redundant systems in place to maintain quality control and quality employees OR because their market just doesnt support it.


if your market supports it, I see absolutely no reason to be the one digging the ditches all day long. Nothing wrong with being on every job answering the phone, making sure it goes smoothly, maybe helping with a few hoses, talking with custys


If youve been in the landscaping business you wouldnt understand it either, I almost never was the one digging the ditches, hauling the rocks, etc but I always was there doing the important parts.




Last edited by ACpower1 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Davey Cracker on Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:30 pm

I use that one to my advantage, DP....

Stating they will deal with me start to finish. Talk to me on phone, I give quote, I will be doing the work, and if they have any problem I'll come take care of it. Seems most like hearing that, since many have had less than great experiences with large co like SS.

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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by ACpower1 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:33 pm

just think if your not the one out scrubbing carpets all day, you can start another small business...

amazon store, ebay store, etc etc There are so many ways to make money in this country which is what makes it great.


I want to make 2000/day and probably will reach my goal within 5-7yrs if I work hard and work smart
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Davey Cracker on Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:36 pm

I hope you do my friend, that would be wonderful.

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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by milspec6 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:47 pm

There was an old "Magnum PI" episode (yes, I'm doing it again) where Tom's character talks about the best part of being self-employed is that you never feel like you are stuck having to do something that you don't want to.

As a guy who has always tried to keep a day job alongside of my business, I can sure agree with this statement. I hate working for dumb managers and doing things that were pointless while watching the clock.

I do agree with AC (good post, by the way) there are many disadvantages to this business and even worse if you are on the truck, but at least you never feel trapped.....and the dumb manager is yourself. Very Happy
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by ACpower1 on Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:59 pm

nonetheless getting 250.00 a day for less than 8hrs of work is a win for a lot of people.

My friend is a firefighter in Escondido Ca, he makes a little more than that but works full time.

so its a good job, but the business can be taken much further than that.

most that fail going bigger try to grow too fast and do it with big loans, which can be a nightmare.

Im going to roll as long as possible with zero loans
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Mo on Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:01 pm

Yeah AC slow and steady is the way to go. But leveraging is not a bad word
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:51 pm

Wow.
Really good comments. Hit the nail on the head. Spot on.
I am in control of my days; good and bad. As I see fit. Wouldn't trade it for?
22 years, tic-toc.

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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by ACpower1 on Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:04 pm

the difference with someone who makes 250-300 a day like a firefighter is they will retire for sure,    plus they get benefits like health care,  dental etc  


also they have work everyday,    even in the middle of winter.    


This is why I dont agree with going o/o for too long if your market supports otherwise,    being self employed with some good days and some no work days you need to set the bar higher to make up for the slower months.

500$ days really isnt that great if you have a few weeks here and there with only a few jobs, some slow months, some mondays with no work.


a steady 250 a day adds up real quick compared to a 900/day with some slow months.    

but if your slow days are 500.00 and busy days are 1500-2000,    then you find your self financially comfortable...   maybe not rich but definitely not sweating some bills coming in or larger business expenses.


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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by dp1 on Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:05 pm

@ACpower1 wrote:the difference with someone who makes 250-300 a day like a firefighter is they will retire for sure,    plus they get benefits like health care,  dental etc  


also they have work everyday,    even in the middle of winter.    


This is why I dont agree with going o/o for too long if your market supports otherwise,    being self employed with some good days and some no work days you need to set the bar higher to make up for the slower months.

500$ days really isnt that great if you have a few weeks here and there with only a few jobs,    some slow months,   some mondays with no work.    


a steady 250 a day adds up real quick compared to a 900/day with some slow months.    

but if your slow days are 500.00 and busy days are 1500-2000,    then you find your self financially comfortable...   maybe not rich but definitely not sweating some bills coming in or larger business expenses.



Couldn't have said better !! $ 1000 gross daily is a good number in my opinion with 1 full timer and 1 part timer, and to achieve this, we would have to gross out higher than that from June through December cause January through March is pretty hard to reach 1000 per day.
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Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of

Post by milspec6 on Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:59 pm

You're lucky, down here it is hard to reach any level after Thanksgiving.

The last 3 years, it has been dead for residential from middle of November all the way until the middle of March.

That doesn't leave much time to stockpile in the warm months.
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