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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been reading posts for quite some time now and they have always been very helpful, I just read more than I post. I have owned a painting company in NC for 10 years now and it has done pretty well. My advertising works well, I know my price, and I do turn a profit. I run 3 crews at an hourly rate and they really enjoy working for me and I treat them well. It has taken me 10 years to finally learn business and forget that I ever held a brush. My question is for people that run multiple crews.

HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO IT?

Like I said above, my advertising generates lots of leads, I can keep 5 crews busy if not more but I could not imagine the stress. How do you guys handle the stress load of all the problems generated by multiple crews.
Im not talking about bad work, or poor performance Im talking about personal problems, car troubles, and other issues that cause absences that intern make for a scheduling nightmare.



The funny thing is, I have had the same question asked to me before.
I laughed... shook my head... and said "Thats business....get used to it, it only gets worse"

Thanks, Alex
 

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The more employees you have the more problems your gonna get. If it were any easier, everybody would be doing it. I try to have 3 projects going on at the same time also. I have 6 sometimes 8 guys working for me and only one has a car. Two take public transportation, two get a ride from the guy who has a car, and the others are picked up by me. When my guy with the car calls off sick i am down three guys. This businees sucks and thats why i love it so much. When you find out how to have more than 3 projects going on, please let me know.
 

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I have been dealing with this for 6 years. I've gone through so many employees and for some reason i keep moving forward. It's all about the eye of the tiger. lol
 

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Alex, hey Im in NC charlotte area, whear are you??? I run two small crews, the crew leaders have been with me for a long time, one leader know's exactly how long things take, and when he says things are going to be finished they are, the other does a great job but usually over estimates how fast he can do something. Im pretty good at figuring it out though. as far as cars breaking down and people not showing up, I dont tolerate it, if it happens a couple of times fine, i will help out, but anything more then that, forget about it your done.

Alex how many leads a month do you get?? what type of work do you do?? we do just repaints, and avg about 24 leads a month, and that is barley enough to keep two samll crews bussy.

thanks
dave mac
 

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The funny thing is, I have had the same question asked to me before.
I laughed... shook my head... and said "Thats business....get used to it, it only gets worse"
It doesn't have to get worse.

The solution is systems. If you have specific ways of performing each task, train those methods, have incentives for following the systems, most problems go away.

You apparently have systems for marketing and sales. Maybe all you need are systems for production.

Brian Phillips
 

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It doesn't have to get worse.

The solution is systems. If you have specific ways of performing each task, train those methods, have incentives for following the systems, most problems go away.

You apparently have systems for marketing and sales. Maybe all you need are systems for production.

Brian Phillips
I agree with Brian.

We have a full time production manager, that does not paint, who coordinates crews and subs, administers test patches for paint colors, manages paint deliveries to job sites(make your vendors do some work for you too, your spending alot of money there), does job site quality control visits and customer walk throughs, books upsales and change orders, and collects final payments.

Its really nice, as soon as we book a job, we put it in the computer with as much detail as we can and he can access the information remotely from the internet, and can take the job from there.

Without having to worry about sales, painting, etc, he manages anywhere from 4-6 jobs at a time.

he is working on a system so that we can hire more people like him and run 8,12, 16, etc jobs at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I guess thats my problem. I dont paint much, but I do all estimates, supervising, scheduling, bookwork, payroll, taxes.........I do everything
I desperately need to outsource something and hire more

Thanks for all the answers
 

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I guess thats my problem. I dont paint much, but I do all estimates, supervising, scheduling, bookwork, payroll, taxes.........I do everything
I desperately need to outsource something and hire more

Thanks for all the answers
Alex, we outsource almost everything. Some people would argue that paying $150 a month for somebody else to do your payroll is insane(or your taxes, or books, or whatever) because you can do it for "free:, but what is your time worth? Could you book one more job in the same amount of time it takes you to figure out how to do the books and all that other stuff?

I don't know if they're a local company or franchise or what but we're getting a quote from a company called "Net 30" you get all your bills sent to them and they'll do your A/R, A/P, bookkeeping etc...

We just might go that route.

Anybody else read the book, The Four Hour Workweek?

Ethan
 

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All you systems guys out there!

How do you "present" the production system to your painters so that they follow the same procedure for each job, particularly sub-contractors?

I mean, I've had painters who are not great in the reading stakes and so written instructions might not get followed. But explaining a system to be followed on each job won't be remembered either!

Maybe you just train new painters from scratch in the way of the system, but you still have to communicate revisions, new methods, etc.
 

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Plush, that's easy!

Gotta have a system, or a project becomes chaos, and thereby, unprofitable.

I was taught to work in circles, same way, every time.
...and be ready to make changes, as things almost always come up.
Deal with them in the order of their importance and continue working.

If someone is incapable of participating in YOUR system, find someone who will.
r
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alex, we outsource almost everything. Some people would argue that paying $150 a month for somebody else to do your payroll is insane
I would cry if I found out that after all these years 150.00 is all it costs, I would have payed that much easily. Its a shame that I dont even have the time to get a quote on payroll services.......hell, I dont even have time to pay my bills on time, and the sad thing is....I actually have the money for the bills.
I used to think getting out of the bucket was my goal
 

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Brian you have the right idea- systems is the way to go. And Ethan mentioned 4 hr work week (which is a great book) I would also recommend reading "the e myth revisted." If you are like me and dont have any time to read, you can download them to an ipod or alike. I try to listen to a few books a month. While you are driving, taking the train, painting etc. Works great instead of listening to radio commercials. Both of the books are a must read for a small business owner
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thats an excellent idea I never thought off. I am so tired at night, when I try to read I fall asleep.

Time to get a mp3 player:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Since my last post, ive already joined audible.com, downloaded 2 books ive been wanting to read, and I am looking for an mp3 player online:thumbup:
 
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