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The One Man Show

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  • The One Man Show

    This is the schedule I have in mind for my new business once I start working at it full time:

    Four Days Paid

    Monday: 10 Hours, Field Production
    Tuesday: 10 Hours, Field Production
    Wednesday: 10 Hours, Field Production
    Thursday: 10 Hours, Office Management

    One Day Unpaid

    Friday: 10 Hours, Entrepreneurial Activities

    In other words, I’ll basically work 30 hours in the field the first three days of the week, and that work will also have to generate enough income to pay for the 10 hours of office work that I’ll do on the fourth day of the week. I won’t pay myself a wage for the fifth day of the week, but instead I’ll look for my reimbursement in the way of profits. I’ll use this time to continue developing ideas for my business, reading, studying, as well as reorganizing and troubleshooting the “business” side of my business.

    Since I plan on starting part time, it logically follows that each week I’ll spend 15 hours working in the field, 5 hours working in the office, and 5 hours brain storming. That’s essentially the full-time schedule cut in half.

    Off course, I’ll have to mostly provide services that can be executed within 15 hours at first, and after going full-time no more that 30 hours. Starting with finish work though – cabinets, then doors, then trim – seems to fit into the scheme of things.

    Does the plan seem doable?
    T.

  • #2
    Re: The One Man Show

    I'm a one man band and personally I don't like multiple long, drag ass days in the field in a row unless there's no way around it. I burn out, get tired and then tend to get hurt and/or make stupid mistakes.

    I aim for on-site production time between 9am-3pm Mon-Thurs and 9-1 on Fridays. Time in the morning for email, load the van, material runs, stop and look at another job, etc. Time in the afternoon to clean-up, stop and look at other jobs, do an estimate, etc. Friday afternoons are for the transfer station run, material returns, a handyman gig or two...

    It's a good balance for me but might not work for you, dunno.

    -Norm

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The One Man Show

      Anything is "doable" but is it realistic.

      I with Norm on the length of the work day.

      For me, since I am a very early riser, I knock out desk work in the morning. Maybe and hour or so, all depends.
      Then onto work starting about 8am, earlier if I need to stop by the lumber yard. We end the day not a second after 5pm. More like 4:30 we are cleaned up and on our way home. This is Monday thru Friday and never weekends. I like to give the house back to the client no later then 5pm.

      Your schedule will probably be dictated by your clients to a degree.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The One Man Show

        Say I start work at 7:30 AM with “material runs” or to “stop at the lumberyard.” Then I work from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM at the homeowner’s residence with the last ½ hour spent on cleanup. That comes to three 8.5 hour days. Then suppose I also throw sales into my entrepreneurial day to “stop and look at other jobs.”

        My schedule would then look like this:

        Four Days Paid

        Monday: 8.5 Field Hours
        Tuesday: 8.5 Field Hours
        Wednesday: 8.5 Field Hours
        Thursday: 8 Office hours

        One Day Unpaid (Except for Sales Commissions)

        Friday: 4 Sales hours, and 4 entrepreneurial hours (developing ideas for my business, reading, studying, as well as reorganizing and troubleshooting the “business” side of my business).

        1. Is it likely that I will generate enough income in the 25 ½ hours spent in the field to pay myself for the 8 hours of office work plus a 5% sales commission each week?

        2. Is it reasonable that I lowered my office hours to 8, since I not only lowered my hours in the field from 30 to 25 ½, but I also have already set aside four unpaid hours on Friday for troubleshooting and reorganizing?

        3. Is this a more realistic schedule?
        T.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The One Man Show

          Originally posted by JourneymanCarpenterT View Post
          This is the schedule I have in mind for my new business once I start working at it full time:

          Does the plan seem doable?
          No. Dude, I give you an A for effort for all your questions and desire for good planning. But have you ever heard of 'Analysis Paralysis'?

          You seem to want to be very methodical about many details, but its just not as cut-and-dry. Get a basic approach together, and get out there. Adjust as necessary. You'll have to.

          Tom
          1) Unconsciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows not that he knows not. He is a fool. Shun him.
          2) Consciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows that he knows not. He is simple. Teach him.
          3) Unconsciously Competent: He knows, and knows not that he knows. He is asleep. Wake him.
          4) Consciously Competent: He knows, and knows that he knows. He is wise. Follow him.

          May we all endeavor to progress from not knowing that we know not, to knowing that we know.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The One Man Show

            I have to move into your guys' fairytale world or "schedules". Despite my best efforts to stick to a schedule, I find that all it does is put stress on my to get to this place by such a time and be at the next place by such a time. It never works out because no amount of planning can account for the crap I encounter that is due to something whacky I find during demo or some materials that got screwed up.

            For instance, I had to frame a 5' wall with metal studs to stick a 4-0 bifold in. Also had to replace a 5-0 bifold at same location. This is not hard work. How do you account for the fact that the Home Depot I was going to get everything from in one shot was out of 2-0 bifolds? Get all the crap and go to another HD to get 2 2-0 bifolds. There's 45 minutes wasted, but it gets better. Everything is framed, rocked, taped, trimmed. I go to open the last of three bifold doors (one of the 2-0's) and the damn door is crushed under the cardboard where I can't see it. I am all set up to cut down the bifolds with a variety of tools. Now I have to cut the day short, pack up all the tools, go BACK to HD, get another door, set up all the tools again (this time INSIDE because of 8" of snow), set up dust collection.

            Does this stuff only happen to me?????

            I am convinced I spend more time loading and unloading than working some days. For instance, here's what I had to drag out just to install 4 bifolds.

            TS55
            1 Rail
            Vaccuum with 2 hoses
            Table saw
            Paslode 16
            Air Filter
            Drill
            Impact
            Tapcon kit
            Broom
            Toolbox
            Probably other stuff I can't remember...

            What a pain in the neck!
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            • #7
              Re: The One Man Show

              Originally posted by TSJHD1 View Post
              Have you ever heard of 'Analysis Paralysis'
              After reading Gerstel's "Running a Successful Construction Company" as well as Gerber's "The E-Myth," I am convinced that the vast majority of small businesses fail do to lack of planning. I tried the "just do it" philosophy the first time and it didn't work. Now I'm going to try the businessmen's philosophy.

              Besides, what else am I going to do while I'm waiting for capital to build up in my bank account for the next three years?
              T.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The One Man Show

                Originally posted by Greg Di View Post
                For instance, I had to frame a 5' wall with metal studs to stick a 4-0 bifold in. Also had to replace a 5-0 bifold at same location. This is not hard work. How do you account for the fact that the Home Depot I was going to get everything from in one shot was out of 2-0 bifolds? Get all the crap and go to another HD to get 2 2-0 bifolds. There's 45 minutes wasted, but it gets better. Everything is framed, rocked, taped, trimmed. I go to open the last of three bifold doors (one of the 2-0's) and the damn door is crushed under the cardboard where I can't see it. I am all set up to cut down the bifolds with a variety of tools. Now I have to cut the day short, pack up all the tools, go BACK to HD, get another door, set up all the tools again (this time INSIDE because of 8" of snow), set up dust collection.
                I'm guessing that that is not your average scenario. Wouldn't including a 5% contingency into each bid cover things like that by the end of the year?

                Originally posted by Greg Di View Post
                I am convinced I spend more time loading and unloading than working some days. For instance, here's what I had to drag out just to install 4 bifolds.

                TS55
                1 Rail
                Vaccuum with 2 hoses
                Table saw
                Paslode 16
                Air Filter
                Drill
                Impact
                Tapcon kit
                Broom
                Toolbox
                Probably other stuff I can't remember...
                Thanks for bringing that to my attention, it gives me something to think about. However, you do estimate for setup time in your bids don't you?
                T.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The One Man Show

                  Originally posted by JourneymanCarpenterT View Post
                  After reading Gerstel's "Running a Successful Construction Company" as well as Gerber's "The E-Myth," I am convinced that the vast majority of small businesses fail do to lack of planning. I tried the "just do it" philosophy the first time and it didn't work. Now I'm going to try the businessmen's philosophy.

                  Besides, what else am I going to do while I'm waiting for capital to build up in my bank account for the next three years?
                  No, you've got the right idea. You're just trying to find these answers that really will only come as you get out there and do it.

                  Look, how can you say you will need 1 day each week for office work? You may get a job that is T&M, with the owner supplying materials, and all you have to do is show up every day, and invoice them every 2 weeks. And that job may last 4 months, so you wouldn't necessarily go on sales calls every week.

                  Other jobs may be volume materials you get all delivered--no trips to the lumber yard at all.

                  Etc.

                  Tom
                  1) Unconsciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows not that he knows not. He is a fool. Shun him.
                  2) Consciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows that he knows not. He is simple. Teach him.
                  3) Unconsciously Competent: He knows, and knows not that he knows. He is asleep. Wake him.
                  4) Consciously Competent: He knows, and knows that he knows. He is wise. Follow him.

                  May we all endeavor to progress from not knowing that we know not, to knowing that we know.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The One Man Show

                    Time management is king.

                    If I relied on HD for my materials it would probably add about five hours to my work week not to mention all the problems that go along with a company that could care less about quality materials and customer relations. I am in and out of my main supplier so fast it would make your head spin. If it’s not in stock they get it fast and I get at call on my cell the moment it comes in. But I will always check before the job starts so all material is in and checked for accuracy. Are they more expensive, yes but actually the are cheaper because they save me time. Besides, material quality is superior. You need to line up all your ducks early before the project starts. Each job must be well orchestrated.

                    Greg,
                    It’s not a fairytale schedule for me. I believe I have time management down to a science and I believe it’s due to my experience with doing the same projects over and over. When we work, we really move and we only take maybe 30 minutes total breaks during work day. Not that we can’t take more, but we eat very light and get right back into grind. Plenty of time to eat when I get home.

                    As for time going on estimates. I don’t run around like a nut anymore chasing tire kickers. I am very straight forward on the phone during first conversation.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The One Man Show

                      Originally posted by JourneymanCarpenterT View Post
                      I'm guessing that that is not your average scenario. Wouldn't including a 5% contingency into each bid cover things like that by the end of the year?
                      5% here, 10% there, before you know it, you have priced yourself out of the market. I charged these people $2,600.00 for that little job. It actually came out to be $2,900, but they are family friends so I cut it back a bit. $2600 is still an awful lot of money for something that required $200 in materials and $300 worth of helper to get done.

                      As a remodeler, you can't plan for everything. It's impossible and you'll go nuts trying to plan. If I "think" something will take 1 hour, reality is it'll take 2 hours. What I do try to do when I estimate and think the job through in my head and anticipate the worst that can happen. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. I never know until I'm done. Maybe I'm a schmuck...I don't know.



                      Originally posted by JourneymanCarpenterT View Post
                      Thanks for bringing that to my attention, it gives me something to think about. However, you do estimate for setup time in your bids don't you?
                      No I don't.Too much micromanagement. I'll put down 8 hours for "framing" something because whether or not I'm nailing for 6 or 7 or 8 hours that day, all I'm doing is framing....you know what I mean.
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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The One Man Show

                        Originally posted by GaryJR View Post

                        Greg,
                        It’s not a fairytale schedule for me. I believe I have time management down to a science and I believe it’s due to my experience with doing the same projects over and over. When we work, we really move and we only take maybe 30 minutes total breaks during work day. Not that we can’t take more, but we eat very light and get right back into grind. Plenty of time to eat when I get home.
                        Gary, I don't eat on the job. I don't take breaks. I work from the minute I pull up to the minute I leave. While some jobs I have down pat like bathrooms, I do a lot of one-hit wonder jobs that you do once and you'll never do again. I try to be efficient, believe me. When you are one guy, there's on a lot to contain and manage.
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                        Remodeling and Home Improvements in Bergen County | EPA Approved Lead-Safe Contractor
                        Techno Metal Post: Helical Foundation Piles in New Jersey
                        Follow us on: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The One Man Show

                          I firmly believe you need to spend some time every day getting new business. I have a Four Point System that works something like this:

                          1 Point for getting a lead, referral, an introduction to a decission maker
                          2 Points for getting an appointment to meet the decision maker
                          3 Points for meeting the decision maker face to face
                          4 Points for getting a commitment to close (a job)

                          I use any combination of the above to achieve four points for the day. So one meeting with decision maker and one referral is my point quota for the day.

                          Early morning is great for paper work office stuff since there are not a lot of distractions. I find evenings best for giving estimates and signing up deals, although I will meet and time I need to in order to schedule a meeting to close a sale. It just requires more planning in my scheduling so I'm not having to close up shop in the middle of a job to go give a quote. Fortunately for me, I can sometimes ask a few questions and give a hard quote right on the phone, but that's pretty rare. Even if they agree, based on input I have received from other threads, I will be heading out to sign up the deal and get a deposit to help cut back on my cancellations.

                          I try to cut out earlier than 5pm so I can spend time with the family before bed (I get up at 3am). So I certainly don't like scheduling long days onsite.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The One Man Show

                            Greg,

                            One guy wearing all the hats is tuff. The set up and the break down is time consuming and breaking down is worse because it includes cleanup as you well know.

                            I don’t work alone, although I did once and I don’t like it. I have a partner and helpers. If he is not on another project he is with me and vise versa. We work out very well and we are assets when we land a large project. It makes it so much easier spreading out the responsibilities.

                            Seriously, take at least ten minutes to let your head relax during the day. Sometimes we don't take breaks but the younger help can't keep up with us if they don't rest.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The One Man Show

                              Originally posted by Greg Di View Post
                              Does this stuff only happen to me?????

                              !
                              yes greg this only happens to you because customers know how it iratates you and like to watch you go crazy!!!!

                              and yes that is nuts when you go to HD and they are out of stuff, that they should have in stock. or you get it back to the job and it is messed up. like mirrored closet doors, that are cracked and then have to return them

                              but a good part of our days are full of unloading tools and loading them up again.
                              Kreg
                              www.builtinking.com
                              youtube channel: builtinsbykreg
                              if you do not have fun every day... why?
                              get up.... get out there..... get going ! rocking all day long
                              remember to give out 10 business cards a day !

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