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Thread: 2020 around the corner

  1. #1
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    2020 around the corner

    Lets hear what you have planned for the new year and what you plan to improve or change going forward.

    With just over a year to go... i need to start looking at a new goal... new venture etc... i need to find something that gets me up in the morning... makes me want to go to work.

    I want to start going looking back at what i would have changed if i could.

    To start with technology has come so far ...why are we still battling to get money out of customers... its not like they send the cheque in the mail which had a bad habit of getting lost.

    I want to find a job card system which is simple and easy to use ...covers the labour and material ...plus travelling etc ... so when i arrive on site the customer/ company is aware ...and before i leave the job card must be completed and handed to the customer with the invoice...ready for payment to be made... i believe this is one of the biggest downfalls in small business run by tradesmen.

    I want to find a way to get small companies to work with each other and not against each other... one of the downfalls to many small operations... is one day you have no work then the next day you have more than you can handle... if we could find a way to bring everyone together to tackle bigger projects when required ... i have done this for many years ...big companies get me in when they get a little behind... but as with all of us little guys ...my other customers take a knock... i have tried sub contractors in the past with little success... however i have a solution.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    My entire life revolves around work, my kids, other people's needs and their demands. (work work work....kids spend spend spend....) I lost my soul a long time ago and I catch myself wondering what it would be like to do something nice just for myself - I honestly don't know what that means because the only stuff that comes to mind are new tools and software. Ok - I would like to get an adventure bike and just ride off into the sunset now and then (but of course having drilled the dangers of biking into my daughters that isn't going to happen anytime soon and besides I can't afford to spend that kinda money frivolously)

    2020 - I'm going to try to find my soul somewhere in among the continual mental rat race.

    I do envy people that are not ultra driven - I envy their ability to switch off for a weekend and just vegetate. (Maybe one day when I am filthy rich)

    I'm not complaining.. I am just saying that my personal life is far more problematic that my business life and as such it is the most important thing that needs to change. If I can get my own thoughts and feelings right then the business issues are easy to deal with. I am a relentless machine when it comes to getting the job done and it seems to me (now and again when it bubbles to the surface) that it comes at the expense of my own soul.

    BTW: The whole thing with my daughter going to study in the UK fell through as well as the bursary for their friend. It is unfortunate but at least my daughter is finishing her studies in SA. I am not angry or upset - I do value whatever opportunities come our way and if the opportunities don't work out then we work with the cards that we have. Gratitude is a wonderful thing -no matter what happens in life - there is always something to be grateful for - your worst enemy can teach you a lesson and your worst experience can be life changing....

    I must get back to work - I spent the entire weekend working and my Tuesday deadlines are nearly met - another couple of hours and its done. ....then on to the next issue and the next deadline round and round.....
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    I want to find a way to get small companies to work with each other and not against each other... one of the downfalls to many small operations... is one day you have no work then the next day you have more than you can handle... if we could find a way to bring everyone together to tackle bigger projects when required ... i have done this for many years ...big companies get me in when they get a little behind... but as with all of us little guys ...my other customers take a knock... i have tried sub contractors in the past with little success... however i have a solution.
    Oh, yes! If I've found a supplier of a service, who arrives punctually, discusses the work with me, does what was arranged, calls me to discuss any deviations from that before doing them to check whether I'm okay with an additional fee, informs me properly about unavoidable delays and does their best to make up the time where possible, who gives me the proper documentation to show that the job is done, and leaves my space clean and neat before they go... then please, yes, I would like them to be the ones I could call for a recommendation of another kind of service provider.

    In fact, a one-stop-shop of cooperative, trustworthy small companies who know and work with one another... would be a super way to get jobs done properly.

    So please, tell us about your solution. Does it go anywhere along these lines?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyes View Post
    Oh, yes! If I've found a supplier of a service, who arrives punctually, discusses the work with me, does what was arranged, calls me to discuss any deviations from that before doing them to check whether I'm okay with an additional fee, informs me properly about unavoidable delays and does their best to make up the time where possible, who gives me the proper documentation to show that the job is done, and leaves my space clean and neat before they go... then please, yes, I would like them to be the ones I could call for a recommendation of another kind of service provider.
    This could explain why my small business is still operating 29 years later... throw in morals... standards and "doing it right first time every time" (My company motto) and that pretty much sums up my little business.

    I still dont have a business plan... dont advertise... nor am i a good entrepreneur... but i think all the stuff mentioned above is what has kept me going all these years... and a whole lot of stubbornness.

    I believe... like the school education system ...bussiness should also be revamped ... looking at the fail rate ...it doesnt seem very effective ...for the bank manager to tell me i wont last 5 years ...maybe Nedbank should rethink their stratergy ...Nedbank wouldnt be my first choice for a business account... they still think they are operating in the 50s (slowly catching up ...but a long way to go)

    I did move to Standard bank... but they also getting left behind... still to this day you cant make an appointment to meet with a business banker ...you still have to go and sit and wait (talk about backwards banking)

    FNB seem to be the right bank... my wife has a personal banker 24/7 and she is not even a business ...looking at moving soon... also all the benefits ... FNB just seem to be more on the ball than the rest.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    Lets hear what you have planned for the new year and what you plan to improve or change going forward.
    Today I celebrated my 61st birthday anniversary with a paintbrush in my hand.
    How privileged I am to be able to climb a ladder and paint the roof. Mommies happy
    I know of many electrical contractors who cannot climb ladders anymore and rely on their apprentices and trade hands.

    As far as 2020 is concerned, on my side nothing is changing. My recipe has worked for 30 years so why change it ?

    Being a good electrician is not the only attribute required to go it alone, but it helps.
    Honesty, integrity, punctuality, friendliness, fairness and compassion are some of the qualities needed for success. The money comes last and it will come.

    Many of my best friends I met through being called out for an electrical fault.

    After repairing that fault, take the time out to maybe enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with your client.
    More often than not, that little chat means more to them than the fact that you've just repaired that faulty cable or replaced that faulty plug.
    Listen to the toppie. He knows. Follow up with a courtesy call 2 or 3 days later to inquire if everything is still in order. That call will secure a customer for life.

    Time is not only money. Time is life.

    The customer is NOT always right. Whoever came with that is an idiot. The secret, if the customer is wrong, is to let them know in a way that does not offend them.

    Lastly, have compassion. For those who do COC's for houses being sold, remember that most houses are being sold not because the seller wants to sell, but because they have to.

    As far as banks are concerned, the least said the better. They are all crooked. You know the story of giving you an umbrella when the sun shines but wanting it back with interest when it rains.

    I am fortunate to run a cash business and the least I have to do with a bank, the better.

    Anyway, for me nothing changes in the new year. I carry on as I have been for the last 30 years.

    To all the regulars here on the forum, thank you for all your assistance and input over the last couple of months.
    One of my 2019 highlights was when I googled something and stumbled onto the forum.

    Cheers and peace out.

    Derek

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    Hi Derek
    Thank You for wise words and Congrats on the birthday, you are one lucky man that can do it at 61 still with a paintbrush in hand. I hope I can be blessed like that when I get so much time. I am on my happiest when I can do something around the house, whether it is working in the garden or mixing concrete for some little project at home.
    On my side I don’t think much will change except the date and “ amount of time”��

    Regards
    Gerrie

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    2020... This is a bit of a vent but let me have that.
    I have worked very very very hard (to many hours, sleepless nights, stress, 18 hours days the norm etc etc) to save for my own four walls - my little business is always busy.

    In 2019 I had numerous tradesmen through my door doing what I can't because of either lack of skill/knowledge/tools/time.

    After having these numerous tradesmen through my door I have decided to increase my prices a fair bit.
    I'm very happy to pay a good trades man a good price. I'm a kind of "rather spend R1000 that waste R800" kinda guy. I'll buy a Bosch drill over a Ryobi. That kind of thing.
    I'd say 75% of the tradesmen who walked through my new door were at best - not very good at all and half were completely inept (some there needs to be a new word invented for them as they were that pathetic).

    I have realised I'm always busy because I'm to cheap. People are happy to waste my time as its fairly priced.
    I'm very good at what I do. The paper work side of things does need improving but as for getting the lights one, the sockets powered up and having shops and factories running efficiently and reliably - I'm your man.

    I have always worked on the theory that its better to be consistently busy. Running costs don't stop if you are not working.
    Whats the point in making Rxxxx's on Monday if you are not busy Tuesday - Sunday. That's what I used to think. Not anymore.

    I still want to be functioning at 61 which, at current rate of decay, is not going to happen.
    So 2020. After realising most trades are pretty useless, I'm putting my price up. Not going to work myself to death.
    You either spend the R1000 on me or you can waste R800 on on someone who may or may not be any good (not my hourly rate but you know what I mean).
    If i lose a few customers - so be it. It will give me chance to gain new ones as I will not be running around with "waste of time" jobs.
    I'll work hard but I'm not going to work myself to death anymore.

    Work to live guys an girls.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingsparks View Post
    You either spend the R1000 on me or you can waste R800 on on someone who may or may not be any good (not my hourly rate but you know what I mean).
    ....eishh.....

    I have a lot to say about this but I will rather just stick to: JaWellNoFine
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingsparks View Post
    2020... This is a bit of a vent but let me have that.
    I have worked very very very hard (to many hours, sleepless nights, stress, 18 hours days the norm etc etc) to save for my own four walls - my little business is always busy.
    I'm very happy to pay a good trades man a good price. I'm a kind of "rather spend R1000 that waste R800" kinda guy. I'll buy a Bosch drill over a Ryobi. That kind of thing.

    I'm very good at what I do. The paper work side of things does need improving but as for getting the lights one, the sockets powered up and having shops and factories running efficiently and reliably - I'm your man.

    So 2020. After realising most trades are pretty useless, I'm putting my price up. Not going to work myself to death.
    If i lose a few customers - so be it. It will give me chance to gain new ones as I will not be running around with "waste of time" jobs.
    I'll work hard but I'm not going to work myself to death anymore.
    We (small business) all have the same story to tell... i have been doing this for 29 years and i am tired...1 year to go to reach my 30 year goal.

    What i did was unload the bad payers first ...even if they are long time customers... they kinda expect you to just accept that they pay when they pay ...it is their right because they have supported you over the years... dump them.

    Then dump the ones who believe because you do work for them they have a right to speak to you like they speak to their kids or staff... it is such an awesome feeling telling an a Ahole like this to shove his work where the sun doesnt shine.

    Then the ones who always make out like they are bloke and expect you to always cut your price and not charge for things like travelling etc... yet they live in a 10 million rand house but tell you that they want you to do the work because they like the way you do things... they want a Koenigsegg job at a mini price... Like negative people they will just use you and drain you for whatever they can.

    Beware of false documents... had a so called sparky come with a long CV and a book of certificates... useless... i put all his certificates on the table and the first thing i noticed ...the border was the same ...which sort of already looked suspect ...but where he really screwed up ...he forgot to change the dates
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    I have been spending some time considering where to from next year once i reach my 30 year goal.

    Of all the challenges i have experienced in past 29 years of business... the one i fear most is not how to source and secure customers.. get finance to take on bigger projects... dealing with slow payers... etc etc ... the one thing which is holding me back from going big ...staff ...employees ...labour or whatever you choose to call them... i believe it is the biggest challenge trying to find the right people to share the dream or goal.

    No matter where i go on my daily routine...every single employer i speak to has the same problem... so is it the employer or employee who is the problem? I am fortunate because i get to be the boss who speaks to the boss and the worker or is in with the workers getting my hands dirty ...everyday... they complain about each other... This is going to be the next challenge for this year ...trying to figue out how to resolve this problem so that if i do decide to go big next year.

    Do i employ or sub contract the work? small one man operations would normal have a motivated owner ...compared to a employee who just come to work for pay day.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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