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GoodluckChuck

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Sounds like you should look into Al Levi. MJ mentions him in unscripted. I've been talking to lately and he seems like the perfect guy to help you. It's worth a look.

Al set up the processes in his family trades business before exiting to train other business owners on setting up processes. His website is 7 power contractor. Check it out!

 

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hawktoy85

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Good point, there isn't online courses for plumbers so far though. I reckon the reason is that it's a service business and the candidates needs to get their hands on it if you know what I mean. I can't see how you can become a licensed plumber without been on the tools.
Especially gas related works I wouldn't give a license online mate. The trader has to prove that he knows what he does.

Can do the theory online but on the practical side I would need to be 100% sure that the candidate follows the safety regulations when installing boilers, gas fires, etc.

I see what you're saying. But maybe the course would be more for practicing plumbers. Guys who are working for a plumbing company and doing your courses at night.
 

Soundmaxx

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Hi everyone. I've been a plumber in NJ (US) for a bit over 11 years. I've left, dabbled with other business ventures/investments and came back to get my license to bring the plumbing into the fastlane. I'm not sure about the UK (OP) but in the US you get licensed by state. The license holder has to own minimum 10% of the company. That's the only way to legally start a plumbing business in New Jersey. To go national is possible but seems like a big headache. Usually the statewide companies are niche in the industry. For example, they focus on pharmaceutical plants, power plants, stadiums... I don't really see statewide guys going for the residential or service work. It does seem tough to go fastlane with a trade though. One way to scale is by going after bigger jobs. However, if you under bid a big job, that's all it takes to put the company out of business. It happens quote often over here. A company grows and gets big and gets one bad luck job that puts them under. I don't think there's any way to protect the downside for the contractor. I think that's how it is as long as you're working under a General Contractor.
Hi mate

Here in the UK as a qualified plumber you have to get registered with ''JIB-pmes '' if you want to work as a sole trader which I've already done since I moved in the UK.
I don't know much about setting up a plumbing company, I'll find out next week.

Bigger jobs is an absolute nightmare! You are depending on the contractor and his decisions. (no control)
The company I work for now as a subcontractor, they had to laid us off for 2 months as the contractor didn't pay the bill on time. Keep in mind the company it's been operating for 10 years and this is the first big job they took on (300 new built appartments). We came back from the Christmas holidays and the boss told us they are really struggling moneywise. I don't want even to think about how much dept they are into! Definitely not something I would like to get involved.

What I've got in mind fulfills all 5 commandments so ill stick with it.

Don't forget water is a physiological need which are the most urgent needs to fill ;).

I'm a music producer as well. That means I can work from home and reach millions of people but the barrier to entry nowadays is not too high. I'm running it as a side hustle, it does get me a passive income but I'm not a pro in the field. This is why I want to chase the plumbing business, more than 17 years of experience.

Thanks
 

Soundmaxx

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Sounds like you should look into Al Levi. MJ mentions him in unscripted. I've been talking to lately and he seems like the perfect guy to help you. It's worth a look.

Al set up the processes in his family trades business before exiting to train other business owners on setting up processes. His website is 7 power contractor. Check it out!

Brilliant, I'll check it out thanks mate :thumbsup:
 

Thoelt53

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I work for a commercial door company. It’s a bit of a niche in the construction field. Being on the supply side, it’s harder to underbid a job than it is if you were doing the installation and run into problems along the way.

We don’t install openings or anything like that, the company is more of a middleman. We strictly supply materials: doors, frames, hardware, etc. With that being said, our costs are relatively fixed. You know what your shop labor cost is, you know what your supplies cost before you bid, you know what your delivery costs are, etc. Your margins on materials are better than margins on labor will ever be.

I know nothing about plumbing as a trade, but I will say from my perspective a quality plumbing supply company is the better problem to solve.

Here’s a bit of inspiration for you: History | F.W. Webb Company

FW Webb is a privately held plumbing supply company. They operate out of 88 locations with 1500 employees.
 

Soundmaxx

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I work for a commercial door company. It’s a bit of a niche in the construction field. Being on the supply side, it’s harder to underbid a job than it is if you were doing the installation and run into problems along the way.

We don’t install openings or anything like that, the company is more of a middleman. We strictly supply materials: doors, frames, hardware, etc. With that being said, our costs are relatively fixed. You know what your shop labor cost is, you know what your supplies cost before you bid, you know what your delivery costs are, etc. Your margins on materials are better than margins on labor will ever be.

I know nothing about plumbing as a trade, but I will say from my perspective a quality plumbing supply company is the better problem to solve.

Here’s a bit of inspiration for you: History | F.W. Webb Company
Yeah I know what you mean. I've thought about plumbing supplies as the problem is massive! I just want to stick on what I'm good at for now and I'll put it on my "to do" list. I'll defo check the link.

There are so many problems out there and people keep asking for ideas! Just look around you guys in your field!

All the best
Chris
 

Stargazer

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I am curious by what you have written so bear with me! :)

Penzance to Newcastle is 500 miles.

Penzance to Norwich is 400 miles.

So the extremes of North to South or East to West is not that great a distance in England.

Yet Plumbcenter, Wolseley, Screwfix have 1800 branches between them and that is just three I can think of off the top of my head. I am sure you know others.

Are these what you mean by suppliers? As an outsider like me considers them to be the place you would go to to get your things.

So I just keyed in some sort of heating cylinder system and Screwfix website tells me how many are in 6 different branches with in 7 miles of me.

So they have stock management systems so surely must have automatic re-orders from a central Warehouse to keep branches stocked based on buying history of that part.

Just trying to figure what you mean by supplier problems as you have mentioned a couple of times that the problem is massive.

If Persimmon are building 900 homes and the plumbers are delayed in fitting whatever they do then that has a knock on effect to the flooring people who would come in after and then the painters, decorators and furnishing people and therefore the date of completion for buyers cash transfer. ie The problem will run into £millions if not £tens of millions nationwide.

So in your expert opinion where am I going wrong with this quick analysis? (If you feel like it)

Dan
 

Soundmaxx

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I am curious by what you have written so bear with me! :)

Penzance to Newcastle is 500 miles.

Penzance to Norwich is 400 miles.

So the extremes of North to South or East to West is not that great a distance in England.

Yet Plumbcenter, Wolseley, Screwfix have 1800 branches between them and that is just three I can think of off the top of my head. I am sure you know others.

Are these what you mean by suppliers? As an outsider like me considers them to be the place you would go to to get your things.

So I just keyed in some sort of heating cylinder system and Screwfix website tells me how many are in 6 different branches with in 7 miles of me.

So they have stock management systems so surely must have automatic re-orders from a central Warehouse to keep branches stocked based on buying history of that part.

Just trying to figure what you mean by supplier problems as you have mentioned a couple of times that the problem is massive.

If Persimmon are building 900 homes and the plumbers are delayed in fitting whatever they do then that has a knock on effect to the flooring people who would come in after and then the painters, decorators and furnishing people and therefore the date of completion for buyers cash transfer. ie The problem will run into £millions if not £tens of millions nationwide.

So in your expert opinion where am I going wrong with this quick analysis? (If you feel like it)

Dan
No problem mate, happy to break it down.

Distances compare to the US are not great you are right.

Forget screwfix, they don't sell commercial/industrial parts. Screwfix customers are DIYers, individual plumbers and electricians.
Wolseley is part of plumbcentre. We are using them but as I said there are always items to follow on the delivery note and takes 2/3 days minimum to fulfill. In London it can take a week or more.
BSS is the king on industrial supplies but also is the worst on delivery times. Obviously they can't keep up due to the thousands of contractors they serve.

Of course the job falls behind and affects every other trade on site as you mentioned.
Dry liners walk in first, plumbers and electricians next.

There are systems in place but there is room for improvement.

If someone comes up with a similar to amazon's order fulfilment system, next day guarantee, guess what! :cool:

Or to think out of the box, another option would be get the plastic parts (waste pipe fittings and ducting, the most important for first fix) 3d printed on site but 3d printing is still on early stage and takes way too long.

Thanks
 
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Muller21QQQ

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I see what you're saying. But maybe the course would be more for practicing plumbers. Guys who are working for a plumbing company and doing your courses at night.
totally agree with you
by the way, it's not so easy to do these courses...
 

aeden

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I have asked various tradespeople in my local area to set up recurring contracts with me, and none of them are interested. I'm basically saying: take my money! and they won't. It's ridiculous. They want me to contact them every x months to schedule an appointment. And this is for basic maintenance stuff like cleaning out water filters, doing basic electrical upkeep, pressure cleaning the exterior of my house. I'm dying about how many opportunities there are to turn these businesses into subscription models and there just don't seem to be any takers here.
 

Soundmaxx

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I have asked various tradespeople in my local area to set up recurring contracts with me, and none of them are interested. I'm basically saying: take my money! and they won't. It's ridiculous. They want me to contact them every x months to schedule an appointment. And this is for basic maintenance stuff like cleaning out water filters, doing basic electrical upkeep, pressure cleaning the exterior of my house. I'm dying about how many opportunities there are to turn these businesses into subscription models and there just don't seem to be any takers here.
Hi mate

This sounds absolutely crazy to me!

Here in the UK there are a couple of big companies who does all that. I don't see why the local tradesman wouldn't want to set up a recurring revenue business.
I had this idea before I even read MJ's books. It makes absolutely sense to have contracts in place.

May I ask which country do you live?
 

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aeden

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May I ask which country do you live?

I'm in the US, down in Florida. Seems like there are services in major metropolitan areas, and at least one VC-backed company in SF trying to build this at scale.
 

Soundmaxx

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I'm in the US, down in Florida. Seems like there are services in major metropolitan areas, and at least one VC-backed company in SF trying to build this at scale.
Well, my idea is try to find more people in your area with the same need and either set up a company with you being the ceo/founder and hire tradesmen or sub it out, or get a list with potential clients and "sell" it to a tradesman.

If you whould approach me with a list of people who needs my services on a monthly/annually basis, I would pay you to get it and also I would offer you free services for life! (terms and conditions apply) :rofl:
 

Parks

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I have asked various tradespeople in my local area to set up recurring contracts with me, and none of them are interested. I'm basically saying: take my money! and they won't. It's ridiculous. They want me to contact them every x months to schedule an appointment. And this is for basic maintenance stuff like cleaning out water filters, doing basic electrical upkeep, pressure cleaning the exterior of my house. I'm dying about how many opportunities there are to turn these businesses into subscription models and there just don't seem to be any takers here.

Yeah usually the problem is these people are Mom & Pop companies that aren't aspiring to do anything more. In fact there problem is having too much work and not enough good employees.

I'd be willing to bet probably that they are similar to me and don't even advertise anymore and have a lined schedule for the year.

Most of them (owners/leaders) never get out of the "Putting out the fires" phase.

In fact two of our renters is a Commercial Electrician and a Sign Company, both don't plan on growing past 1-3 employees anytime soon.

Though the companies that do end up adopting better models and choosing to franchise/grow their a$$ off, end up at the top.

One example is TruGreen (Annual Revenue 2016-19 1billion+) subscription spraying service.

Upcoming company will be Monster Tree Service.

If there's anyone who see's this alongside me it's probably @Johnny boy
 

Johnny boy

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Yeah usually the problem is these people are Mom & Pop companies that aren't aspiring to do anything more. In fact there problem is having too much work and not enough good employees.

I'd be willing to bet probably that they are similar to me and don't even advertise anymore and have a lined schedule for the year.

Most of them (owners/leaders) never get out of the "Putting out the fires" phase.

In fact two of our renters is a Commercial Electrician and a Sign Company, both don't plan on growing past 1-3 employees anytime soon.

Though the companies that do end up adopting better models and choosing to franchise/grow their a$$ off, end up at the top.

One example is TruGreen (Annual Revenue 2016-19 1billion+) subscription spraying service.

Upcoming company will be Monster Tree Service.

If there's anyone who see's this alongside me it's probably @Johnny boy
Employees suck. Even if you give them the easiest jobs in the world and pay better than other places. But I get decent guys sometimes. It's about having a large enough margin that you can hire too many guys and then whittle it down once you have good ones that stick around. Next spring I'll be hiring 3 per crew. Just for redundancy.

All we do is subscription model 12 month contracts with a 2 month cancellation fee. We have 85 people right now going into the fall/winter. We'll be saving up all winter to dump a lot into advertising this next spring so I can double in size hopefully.

We've gotten to the point where if we hire someone that shows up and can use lawn care equipment at a basic level, the business runs very very smoothly. During the summer I had a couple guys who worked great and I let them do everything. It was amazing. They had to go back to school unfortunately.

My nightmare is to be in the same place year after year. It's imperative to grow the business and get more and more customers added to the schedule. If other companies can hire low wage workers and can build a business out of it, then so can I.

The whole industry around where I live is mexican brothers and relatives running a little business out of their old pickup trucks. If you've ever watched "The Founder", it's like all of the little shitty burger joints Ray Croc went to before stumbling upon McDonalds. It just feels like there's a giant white space that hasn't been filled yet, and I want to be the McDonalds of lawn care. Build one location, franchise it, grow. That's the goal.
 

andrea532

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Mar 14, 2020
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Hi there,

It's been a year and a half since I joined the forum but I haven't come accross any thread about construction.

I'm a plumber myself and my plan is to turn my existing customers into annual maintenance contract, outsource it, etc.
I have already asked a couple and they are more than happy to sign up.
That's the only fastlane model I can see in this trade.

If is there any tradesman in here that have done something similar or have any kind of fastlane idea feel free to share!

All the best
Chris
if a can say my, if you read the book uncripted.
already own a business, in this case you could differentiate yourself by finding the flaws of your competitors as: customer support, faster service,booking via site and all other flaws of the competitors
 

Soundmaxx

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Aug 25, 2018
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Uk
if a can say my, if you read the book uncripted.
already own a business, in this case you could differentiate yourself by finding the flaws of your competitors as: customer support, faster service,booking via site and all other flaws of the competitors
Hi, thanks for your reply.

Since the covid started I haven't done much, although I've done some research on competitors and designed the website with all the "bells and whistles" like book online when suits you, live chat and all that.

May I ask what kind of business are you into?

Thanks
 

andrea532

New Contributor
Mar 14, 2020
14
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Italy
Hi, thanks for your reply.

Since the covid started I haven't done much, although I've done some research on competitors and designed the website with all the "bells and whistles" like book online when suits you, live chat and all that.

May I ask what kind of business are you into?

Thanks
Yes i am currencly an aspiring entrepreneur, in fact i admire you a lot, my suggestion was based on the many business books read.
i'm currencly tryng to take the entrepreneurial path by studing web design after work
 

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