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Bad Commitment

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Bad Commitment

Post by milspec6 on Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:06 pm

Since things are so slow, when I got a call from an old customer asking if I would clean his pontoon boat Saturday, I agreed. It isn't much, but it only takes about an hour and he lives about 20 minutes from my house, so just something to do really.

Well, he just texted me saying that his wife was really impressed that I was willing to drive 3 hours round trip just to clean a boat. Shocked He retired 3 months ago and moved 90 minutes away and I had already gave him by minimum charge quote. My only hope is to try to find some work with his neighbors while I am there, otherwise, I will be practically paying him to clean his damn boat.

If life was Monopoly, I would definitely be the Shoe and never passing Go.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by dp1 on Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:06 pm

Wow, just tell him that you didn't know he had moved and that your minimum charge is more than that for his area ? Or just tell him you don't service that area since it's too far ?
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by Freemind1 on Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:17 pm

What DP said. If he moved and you didn't know, it changes the deal. I would not do the job myself, without some kind of incentive.

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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by milspec6 on Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:07 am

Well, it is now 2 am, and I will have to get up in about 4.5 hours to get loaded up. I called him back and voiced my thoughts, but he told me that he has already talked to his neighbors and thinks I could probably pick up a couple of houses as well......you know how that one is likely to go.

I will not be happy about it, but I guess I will go. That may not make any sense, but I don't have any other jobs scheduled until Tuesday and taxes are coming fast. If I can pick up a house or two on this trip, it would be well worth it. If not, I will be looking for something to strangle.

I would really like to see things pick up soon so that I don't feel compelled to take jobs like this one, but until it does, call me the cleaning whipping boy.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:29 pm

I feel your pain. Weathers nicer, why dosn't the phone ring more; like it usually does this time of year. Yesterday I tested my 3 ph#s to see if the call forward was still on and the calls went thru. A few years back my VoIP pH service did an upgrade on the system and the call forward was deactivated. Took me 3+week to figure it out. Missed out on about 15 calls because of it. 2-3 people ended up trying my cell directly. Found out 1 guy from Hawaii had a rental he wanted done, by his 3rd call he was pissed I didn't return His call.
I've been sending postcards to churches, some businesses, and past customers to help spark the issue. Nothing yet!!! Literally, no responses from the cards.
I did 1 section of a church on Tuesday. Previous job before that? Same church I did a section in Feb. I did have a call to clean a place that had mice odors.
For the quarter: down 66%. With 25% of the year almost gone. Boy that's a lot to make up. No vacation for me.
PS: I don't really like vacations anyway so I have an excuse now
Gonna hit the churches and businesses hard this year with postcards. $300-1000 a pop. That's my plan

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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by milspec6 on Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:58 pm

I am seeing the same issues Matt, but today actually turned out pretty good.

I got there at noon (it was still below freezing today until about 10 am) and took care of the boat.  While I was cleaning it, the owner of the house next door asked me to clean his boat....then his house, then the neighbor wanted his house cleaned, and his neighbor.  It was Dawn of the Dead out there with people coming over asking me to clean something.

I just got home, I cleaned 3 pontoon boats, 4 houses, a Sofa, and a camper and still had to tell 3 people that I didn't have time to clean their homes today....all scheduled for next week. Very Happy

None of these people replied to phone calls or responded to flyers (my friend posted them on their doors a week ago) but boy did they come running like I was the Good Humor man on a hot August day.

They were not big ticket jobs, just small beach houses (3 bedroom homes), but it was a steady flow.  Most were just $250 tickets, a couple threw in a $50 tip, so it was a pretty good day.  I am exhausted and sore, but a good day.

I don't know why the phones aren't ringing yet either and it worries me, but   this neighborhood sure was active and I almost refused to go down there.

My favorite quote of the day came from a guy that the neighbors warned me about as being a jerk.  When I inspected his house, he kept staring me down and asked me "How much?"  It was a simple 3 bedroom house with a living room, the rest was wood floors.  When I told him $225, he replied "That's really cheap, do it.  He was also one that tipped me another $50.

I did throw a few franchises under the bus that had been working in that area previously.  I don't generally do that, but when the customer tells me that their carpets were wet for 3 days and smelled like bubble gum the last time they were cleaned, I can't help but to rant a little.

So, Matt, the moral of the story is simply that you never know when an explosion will happen.  I expected a miserable day today, but it ended up being probably my best one in 6 months.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by dp1 on Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:21 pm

Wow, I regretted my advise, I sure glad you didn't listen to me, good for you Bob.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that's still wondering why is it so damn slow Mad
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by milspec6 on Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:34 pm

No Dp, your advice was correct....I just caught a break on this one.

I really don't know why it is so slow, nearly every cleaner I speak to reports the same...at least on residential. What-ever it is, it is on a national scale.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by kevinj6121 on Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:15 am

Good story right there, glad it worked out in a positive for you, I would have said what Dp said. Your friend posted flyers for you and that was nice of him, guess he must have felt guilty that you had to drive so far just to do his boat and figured it was the least he could do for you. All's well that ends well
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by milspec6 on Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:15 pm

It is good to still have friends around who give as much as take. I can't believe how sore I am today. Winter destroyed my cleaners fitness, so I better start getting ready.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by Mo on Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:37 pm

Good story Rib same thing happened to me when I scheduled a cleaning at a mobile home park out in the boonies. I ended up cleaning  2 more. .

maybe that can be an idea for an ad campaign 
. send postcards to an 
outlying area not service d by other cleaners and offer a discount if more that  3 or 4 people clean that day

Been a slow month for me too little more this week and hoping for a big week next week to save the month

Good timing on the postcards Matt send the last round of cards two weeks before Easter

Don't panic guys it's just a late hibernation year. It will pick up.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by milspec6 on Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:51 pm

If you guys don't panic, neither will I.

I just spent 3 hours on the phone with an investment management company that wanted to discuss their various condo facilities. This company is a major player in this area and around the world for that matter, hard to drive a single block in Omaha without seeing one of their buildings.

It was an odd conversation and I don't really know who gave him my card, nor am I certain why he called. He spent most of the time talking about all their properties and investments, but never really got to the point as to why he was calling me in the evening.

He referenced the need for carpet maintenance at many buildings and we talked about what that should consist of.....then he started asking about my business goals and how I was doing? Felt like I was talking to my uncle.

In the end, he thanked me for my advice and verified my contact information....then gone like the wind. Really not sure what to make of it, was it an informal job interview or just someone looking for free advice?

Really strange. Shocked
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by kevinj6121 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:43 am

Maybe a combination of both an informal job interview or just someone looking for free advice, they most likely talked to other cleaners too. But if it was an informal job interview I hope they choose you in which case you may just have to hire a helper.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by dp1 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:25 am

If you get that account, I might just move there and do half of the work for 80% of what you charge him ? That's guaranteed work all year long man, hope you get it. And you might even get 2 trucks busy all year long with half the business from him.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by milspec6 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:02 pm

You might be right gang. To give you an idea of what this company is like, when Russia started to collapse in '91, this company purchased nearly all the shipping ports in St. Petersburg.....it is that kind of money.

I am just scratching my head as to who recommended me to them? Not a normal referral at all.

I guess I will know soon enough, but I would be happy with just picking up a few jobs from it.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by milspec6 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:21 pm

Spring may have just sprung for me.

Despite driving in a near blizzard this morning and freezing rain forecasted for the rest of the week, I had 6 contacts today...4 booked for next week.

That may not sound like a lot to you guys, but that was a big change for me, especially when 3 of them came through my website email. So, not only did I book them, but more importantly, they are finding my website!! Wine
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by Mo on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:30 pm

Thats great Bob see how quickly it turns around? Hopefully you dont get another blizzard next week Very Happy
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by milspec6 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:35 pm

I hope not as well!!

It has been a really good day. Several jobs rolled in and I have been receiving lots of compliments from those out at the lake last weekend as well as the house I cleaned today. I love those kind of texts. Airborne

A far better feeling than I had for months.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by dp1 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:07 pm

@milspec6 wrote:That may not sound like a lot to you guys, but that was a big change for me, especially when 3 of them came through my website email.  So, not only did I book them, but more importantly, they are finding my website!! Wine

That's more than I have for next week, I only have 1 Shocked Mad
LOL, I'm happy for you Bob !
I know pretty soon I would be complaining of too much work, if not then I can still sell both my vans for 50 grand and buy a sign that says "will work for food" or better yet, I'll stand on Home depot ground looking for work, lol.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by milspec6 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:21 pm

That's classic Dp, I actually said something similar to my Brother last week. He asked me what was my backup plan if things didn't improve? I told him that I would shut it down, sell it all off, pack a couple of suitcases and move to the coast.

If you are going to be a bum, be a beach bum. They never have harsh winters and it doesn't sound so bad.
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Re: Bad Commitment

Post by milspec6 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:27 pm

Bad video and not the best song, but this is pretty much my plan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NumiB11wVLw
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