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Systems Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read all of the common contractor complaints: low ball bidders, hard to find good help, not enough leads, not enough time in the day, etc.

These complaints show up in poll after poll, year after year. Why is that? Why do contractors continue to have the same complaints?

I have some theories, but I may be way off base, so I'm curious what others think.

Brian Phillips
 

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Rock On
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Contractors just like to b*tch?
 

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The Lurker
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When it comes to help my theory is there are not enough good workers to go around. the trade today have become a dead beat job.. Kids grow with the notion that they are going to college and going to come out with a 100k job. The good guys in the trades are working.. The losers are not.. If we want to stoop down to picking up illegals there are plenty of them out there... I can go get some Hispanics, Polish, or Lithuanians in a heart beat but I know they aren't legit and they are living 10 to a house and sending there money back home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When it comes to help my theory is there are not enough good workers to go around.
That is certainly one of the common complaints. But I disagree. There are good workers out there. The challenge is finding them, keeping them busy, and paying them well. If you do those things, there is no shortage of good workers.

Brian Phillips
 

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FT painter/FT dad
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These complaints show up in poll after poll, year after year. Why is that? Why do contractors continue to have the same complaints?
why do overweight and unhealty people keep eating donuts/coffee/fast food, not exercise, smoke 2 packs a day, and then act like God?

...'cause it's easier to do that then eat healthy, exercise regularly, and be humble and realize we all have a lot to learn

ie-they do it because they choose to complain and feel the need to place blame on everyone but themselves

why is this such a mystery? everyone wants to take the easy road
 

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they do it because they choose to complain and feel the need to place blame on everyone but themselves

why is this such a mystery? everyone wants to take the easy road
That's so true. Since we're using finding good help as an example: it obviously exists but requires a focused and proactive approach, just like any other component of your business. You wouldn't post an ad on Craigslist and call it a day for marketing.

When I'm looking for help, not only do I post classifieds but I also put up fliers in just about every paint store, gas station, coin laundry, and apartment complex in town. Sure I have to sift through a load of BS, but the good workers eventually turn up.
 

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Epoxy Dude
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Rich... it's almost what I was going to say.

First, I'm not a contractor but 90% of my customers are. So, I get the inside scoop on what these guys are doing. Our products are 'high end' and so are the contractors who install them. Most of them are extremely organized, schedule their work 3-4 weeks in advance, and order their paint 3-4 weeks in advance with delivery about a week before. Occasionally we see a contractor that has those complaints
low ball bidders, hard to find good help, not enough leads, not enough time in the day, etc.
. What is funny, is that there is a correlation with how much advance notice we get for an order. Usually this kindof contractor places the order the day before he is going to do the job. Now, keep in mind we are talking about painting the inside of a chemical storage tank. It's not exactly the type of project that is 'last minute'.

Why is that? Why do contractors continue to have the same complaints?
First, not all contractors have these complaints as I illuded to above. BUT, it seems that the ones that do are too self-centered to take responsibility for their own short-comings (poor planning). Because they think the whole world revolves around them, they can't admit that they are not perfect. So, they make up excuses for their failure (by blaming others) in some kind of lame attempt to boost their self esteem. Of course, that leads to the lack of reasoning to change their behavior.

SO, since they make excuses and blame others... they don't perceive that they are doing anything wrong so they don't change the way they are doing things. And, we all know... Do the same things... get the same results!

Normally, those contractors are the ones that don't order enough product and call us in the middle of a job to get more. Then, they spend time arranging 'hot shot' services to rush deliver it to them. This usually costs $2.50 per mile and might be 600-2800 miles away. * Even one time we had to rush product to Hawaii from SC!

The point is that anyone who wants to succeed in business has to 1) See things as they truely are but not worse than they are 2) See things as they want them to be 3) Change their behavior to get the desired results 4) Go back to step 1...

The guys that don't plan ahead spend alot of time and money making up for thier poor planning or no planning. Just think how many more sales calls could be made instead of rushing to fix something you didn't plan for. That extra time equates to more sales, profit, happier employees who don't have to deal with a frustrate boss in a bad mood, and wives think it's hot! :thumbup:

I'm really having a hard time putting my thoughts into words tonight. AND, it's no ones fault but mine! lol... You guys get the picture...

Wolvie $ 0.02
 

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When it comes to help my theory is there are not enough good workers to go around. the trade today have become a dead beat job.. Kids grow with the notion that they are going to college and going to come out with a 100k job. The good guys in the trades are working.. The losers are not.. If we want to stoop down to picking up illegals there are plenty of them out there... I can go get some Hispanics, Polish, or Lithuanians in a heart beat but I know they aren't legit and they are living 10 to a house and sending there money back home.
This is so true.

Another complaint with new construction is chasing down the builder to get paid.
I have not had to do this as of yet. ( knocking on wood)
 

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Well said, Wolverine. I think the common theme for tonight is accountability.

As for the other complaints, they're also easily remedied.
(1) Low ball bidders = sell yourself. Our prices are where they are for a reason. Most likely the low ballers are low for the exact opposite.
(2) Not enough leads = Seriously? Get off your ass, hit the pavement. People always will need painting
(3) Not having enough time in a day can be a legitimate complaint. However, one has to reflect upon why the day seems to fly by. Is the day short because you're running to the paint store, calling customers, doing estimates, advertising, etc, etc, etc, AND painting? That's not owning a company, that's being run by your business. The most difficult step we can take is learning to delegate work and trusting our employees to follow the same standards we hold so high. Which brings us back to finding good help.
 

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FT painter/FT dad
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Rich... it's almost what I was going to say.

First, I'm not a contractor but 90% of my customers are. So, I get the inside scoop on what these guys are doing. Our products are 'high end' and so are the contractors who install them. Most of them are extremely organized, schedule their work 3-4 weeks in advance, and order their paint 3-4 weeks in advance with delivery about a week before. Occasionally we see a contractor that has those complaints . What is funny, is that there is a correlation with how much advance notice we get for an order. Usually this kindof contractor places the order the day before he is going to do the job. Now, keep in mind we are talking about painting the inside of a chemical storage tank. It's not exactly the type of project that is 'last minute'.


First, not all contractors have these complaints as I illuded to above. BUT, it seems that the ones that do are too self-centered to take responsibility for their own short-comings (poor planning). Because they think the whole world revolves around them, they can't admit that they are not perfect. So, they make up excuses for their failure (by blaming others) in some kind of lame attempt to boost their self esteem. Of course, that leads to the lack of reasoning to change their behavior.

SO, since they make excuses and blame others... they don't perceive that they are doing anything wrong so they don't change the way they are doing things. And, we all know... Do the same things... get the same results!

Normally, those contractors are the ones that don't order enough product and call us in the middle of a job to get more. Then, they spend time arranging 'hot shot' services to rush deliver it to them. This usually costs $2.50 per mile and might be 600-2800 miles away. * Even one time we had to rush product to Hawaii from SC!

The point is that anyone who wants to succeed in business has to 1) See things as they truely are but not worse than they are 2) See things as they want them to be 3) Change their behavior to get the desired results 4) Go back to step 1...

The guys that don't plan ahead spend alot of time and money making up for thier poor planning or no planning. Just think how many more sales calls could be made instead of rushing to fix something you didn't plan for. That extra time equates to more sales, profit, happier employees who don't have to deal with a frustrate boss in a bad mood, and wives think it's hot! :thumbup:

I'm really having a hard time putting my thoughts into words tonight. AND, it's no ones fault but mine! lol... You guys get the picture...

Wolvie $ 0.02
I'm nominating this post as post of the week... :notworthy:

"they don't percieve that they are doing anything wrong, so they don't change the way they are doing things"

If only people could really understand this and change the things they do that harm themselves and others
 

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Systems Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
SO, since they make excuses and blame others... they don't perceive that they are doing anything wrong so they don't change the way they are doing things. And, we all know... Do the same things... get the same results!
I totally agree. But when they don't like the results, why don't they question what they are doing? That's somewhat rhetorical, since you already answered it.

They are busy blaming everyone else-- the slow economy, poor employees, low ball competitors, cheap customers, etc. Personally, I just don't get that.

One of the reasons people start their own business is to have control over their future. Yet, when they don't get the results they want, they blame others. That in and of itself is giving up control. They are totally reactive, rather than proactive. They expect others to conform to their desires, rather than conforming their actions to service their customers, employees, and vendors.

They seem to totally miss the point of being in business, which is to create mutually beneficial transactions.

Brian Phillips
 

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FT painter/FT dad
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I'm glad I take responsibility for my own actions and learn from them the best I can. I am constantly adjusting to better myself and others.

I pride myself on not being one of these contractors who are always grouchy, unhealthy complainers. I feel much better just stealing work from them and continuing to press on.
 

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Systems Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm glad I take responsibility for my own actions and learn from them the best I can. I am constantly adjusting to better myself and others.

I pride myself on not being one of these contractors who are always grouchy, unhealthy complainers. I feel much better just stealing work from them and continuing to press on.
Rich,

It's not stealing if you earn it.

Your attitude will get you far. Learning from your mistakes is a good thing. Learning from the mistakes of others is even better (and far less costly).

Brian Phillips
 

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Epoxy Dude
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I think that we will probably not find that many of 'those' contractors in here. The fact that you guys are in here trying to learn and be better tomorrow than you were today speaks volumes!
 

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why do overweight and unhealty people keep eating donuts/coffee/fast food, not exercise, smoke 2 packs a day, and then act like God?

...'cause it's easier to do that then eat healthy, exercise regularly, and be humble and realize we all have a lot to learn

ie-they do it because they choose to complain and feel the need to place blame on everyone but themselves

why is this such a mystery? everyone wants to take the easy road
Thats funny
 

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When it comes to help my theory is there are not enough good workers to go around. the trade today have become a dead beat job.. Kids grow with the notion that they are going to college and going to come out with a 100k job. The good guys in the trades are working.. The losers are not.. If we want to stoop down to picking up illegals there are plenty of them out there... I can go get some Hispanics, Polish, or Lithuanians in a heart beat but I know they aren't legit and they are living 10 to a house and sending there money back home.

The sad thing is that most work harder and better the a leagle worker...................but i wouldnt use them. Where im from we have a slightly diffrent problem, AMISH. They all think there carpenters and skilled craftsmen and truth be told the all hacks!
 
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