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View Full Version : What is the toughest part of your job?



Carlos Gonzales
07-03-2009, 12:01 AM
As a pressure washing business owner with some tenure under your belt, what would you consider to be the toughest part of being in the business of pressure washing?

Is it the actual work the drives you nuts?

How about sales and getting contracts?

Or is it your workers/employees? How many times do you have to tell them that the red tip is not used to write their name in window screens?

Is there enough time in the day for you and your business?

What about your famil? Do you often come home late a night only to find a note on the fridge that says, "dinner is in microwave"?

Lets here your thoughts!

Florin Nutu
07-03-2009, 12:14 AM
Its the juggling of aquired jobs, prospective jobs, getting new jobs, weather dependent jobs, employee issues and schedules.

Jeff LeCours
07-03-2009, 12:28 AM
Every year I want to grow over the year before, the constant struggle to maintain exsisting customers and getting new ones sometimes is a battle.

Employees can be tough, working up to a good crew has been a battle at times.

Its real nice foor me not to have to spray anymore, but I do everything else and it gets to be a lot at times


I love owning my own business and I will always do what it takes. I have someone starting in August to help me automate and systemise my office..I can't wait

I love this biz

Life is Good

Carlos Gonzales
07-03-2009, 12:38 AM
When all this "stuff' that we as business owners deal with get's a little too much...when do you know it is time to expand...bring in more people...hire a site supervisor and etc.? What "internal systems" do you have in place to help make the crazy days run a bit smoother?

A few years ago when I was out in the "trenches" I was on overload. I had no less than 5-8 concrete/landscaping jobs and many, many wash jobs going on at the same time. Was up to 12 guys working for me. I didn't do anything magic except surrounded myself around talented people and I allowed their talent to be used. My internal systems were not created on the fly. I knew what I wanted (in my mind) and had it mentally mapped out. So when the "influx" of jobs kept on coming...I just leaned into my systems more and more and allowed it to RUN the work. Towards the end of the summer myself and my crews were like a fine tuned Rolex...man we were hot! :got-hooligan:

Terry Miller
07-03-2009, 08:41 AM
The first question:
What is the toughest part of your job?
I would say it is the variable I cannot control. I can control the customer, supplies, employees, etc. I cannot control the weather, accidents, etc.
The second question:
When all this "stuff' that we as business owners deal with get's a little too much...when do you know it is time to expand...bring in more people...hire a site supervisor and etc.? What "internal systems" do you have in place to help make the crazy days run a bit smoother?
We expanded to 12 a few years back. Found the work to be tedious just to maintain the employees. Babysitting if you will! LOL I see companys today who brag about the # of employees they have. GOD Bless them. For our company, I fired 6 in one day and have no intentions to do that again. We maintain 5 employees and do very well with that #. Our business has been around for 12 years now and we have pretty good set of standards. Everyone follows them. Our employees are part of our family and they know the rules. A 32 pg. Handbook, which they signed. They know the results if they cross the line and what we expect. By doing so, we support them any way possible. Having these guidelines in place, we don't have to may problems. Thank you.

Roger Gothorp
07-03-2009, 04:07 PM
Maintaining personal discipline - staying on an even keel is the toughest thing for me. It's easy to get like a superball on steroids or hit the wall hard. Don't they make some medication to keep you level???

topcoat
07-03-2009, 04:59 PM
Balancing the internal aspects of the business with the external, and building the infrastructure to support both. Oh, and shutting off my mind from thinking about the business 24/7.

plainpainter
07-03-2009, 05:21 PM
The hardest thing is wearing too many 'hats' at once. Doing the marketing, advertizing, sales - along with doing the actual work is really hard. I can't keep up with 'spikes' in the leads department. Yet this business never seems to have a steady stream of leads - which is what I really need. Even though I get real slow at times - I am very resistant to increase my marketing - because when folks do call, I can't keep up. I wish the business was more 'even'.

John Tornabene
07-04-2009, 12:05 AM
The hardest thing is wearing too many 'hats' at once. Doing the marketing, advertizing, sales - along with doing the actual work is really hard. I can't keep up with 'spikes' in the leads department. Yet this business never seems to have a steady stream of leads - which is what I really need. Even though I get real slow at times - I am very resistant to increase my marketing - because when folks do call, I can't keep up. I wish the business was more 'even'.
Increase the advertising. Thats what I did and so far its been a banner year for us. Yes sometimes we only have enough work a week out but there are times we are booked for over a month and its mainly because we advertise alot and I have an excellent crew. My wife and I have it in our heads how much a day on average we want to make to keep our business pretty profitable so by advertising alot we stay busy. But to do this I can't do any of the physical work which I don't. If I powerwash 5 times a year it alot...except for when I use the Swabby then I'm out with my guys working. Get a crew and if your customers are pushed off a few weeks its just means that your that much busier and a good customer wants to keep you business if your good....and where good.

John Doherty
07-04-2009, 07:37 PM
Putting down the wand. Not because I love it but because I worry the guys won't do it the way I would.

John Tornabene
07-04-2009, 10:50 PM
Putting down the wand. Not because I love it but because I worry the guys won't do it the way I would.
That is the hardest step to ever take in this business and in most contractor type business that you can start as a lone employee. But putting down the wand is critical if you want to make alot more money and also if you want to stay in good health when you get into old age

Carlos Gonzales
07-05-2009, 12:05 AM
Putting down the wand. Not because I love it but because I worry the guys won't do it the way I would.

True...it wasn't that long ago that I would still climb up on the roofs to make sure that gutter lines were cleaned!

DJ Carroll
07-06-2009, 09:32 PM
Hands down for me its time issues.. . . which means getting up earlier and going to bed later ... im teadering right on that edge of having enough work to step back totally and concentrate on the "office stuff" ....

Ken Fenner
07-06-2009, 10:06 PM
Not having enough time to get to the bank to cash all these checks :Smiley-2035:

Just playing.. there's always time for that.

Jeff LeCours
07-06-2009, 10:09 PM
Hands down for me its time issues.. . . which means getting up earlier and going to bed later ... im teadering right on that edge of having enough work to step back totally and concentrate on the "office stuff" ....

I found it helped me to ween myself off the daily work/washing. Some day I worked , others I didnt. I still stayed in the field, but as time went on I walked away more and more from the washing until I didnt have to wash at all. It was a great relief and doing it slowly worked for me

Just remember quality control. I have some good workers, really good, but I check behind them often, daily. No one will ever care about your biz as much as you will

Ween yourself off if you are at the paoint, but stay on top of everything. I may not wash, but I wear a lot of hats still. I will tell you, its nice not to do the work and it definitly gave me time to grow my biz

Good luck DJ, congrats on what I see is some great success

Florin Nutu
07-06-2009, 11:05 PM
I am going to have to change my answer.....

For me it as been finding the lead man that I can have them help me step away from the wand. I have found plenty great guys that are "I point and they go" kind of guys. They will bust their hinds day in and day out but do not have the customer relation skills, profesionalism that I expect when I am not around or self motivators/thinkers. I will be trying out my 6th guy in two months tomorrow. He is young but a very smart kid. He is not from any contractor field that I have been hiring from and maybe that will be the answer. My hopes is to groom him into my role on the day to day jobs and put a couple guys under him.

James VanHandle
07-07-2009, 07:05 AM
I am going to have to change my answer.....

For me it as been finding the lead man that I can have them help me step away from the wand. I have found plenty great guys that are "I point and they go" kind of guys. They will bust their hinds day in and day out but do not have the customer relation skills, profesionalism that I expect when I am not around or self motivators/thinkers. I will be trying out my 6th guy in two months tomorrow. He is young but a very smart kid. He is not from any contractor field that I have been hiring from and maybe that will be the answer. My hopes is to groom him into my role on the day to day jobs and put a couple guys under him.

I would also have to say putting down the wand is a critical part in expanding your business. How do you expect to answer and see 6-8 people per day if you are behind a wand 8 hours a day. Train your guys well,Treat them well and they will intern work well for the company.Training is a huge part of the business. We will most likely wash over 350 homes this summer. I would never be able to do this myself behind the wand.

Jimmy V

John Doherty
07-07-2009, 04:40 PM
But putting down the wand is critical if you want to make alot more money and also if you want to stay in good health when you get into old age

So true John!

Terry Miller
07-07-2009, 08:49 PM
Hands down for me its time issues.. . . which means getting up earlier and going to bed later ... im teadering right on that edge of having enough work to step back totally and concentrate on the "office stuff" ....
DJ,
If you are getting ready to sit back and watch your biz grow, without working, you are the man. I have been working for 12 years and just the last 2 have not painted. I still have to run the biz and PW. You must be doing very well. Keep up the good work.

Marc Cournoyer
07-08-2009, 08:55 PM
That is the hardest step to ever take in this business and in most contractor type business that you can start as a lone employee. But putting down the wand is critical if you want to make alot more money and also if you want to stay in good health when you get into old age
Thats the problem I'm having right now ,I have one part time helper , I need Tommy John surgery , and the phone is ringing off the hook , not enough hours in a day and Im working like a dog (wounded dog).uggg time to take two advil and go to bed .