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EXECUTION Auto Glass Business - Path to scaling up

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rjrobbins2

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I posted about this is one of the other subs and they mentioned it I should post about it here so I can update everyone and discuss execution.

My cousin started a mobile auto glass business 12 years ago. He has grown it into a six-figure business by word-of-mouth and providing a valuable service at a lower price than everyone else. It also helps he does the work at people's home, work, the mall, or wherever else. I built him a website late last year along with setting up all his social media and online directory stuff like Google Maps. It didn't take long for him to have to hire 2 new part-time techs to handle more business.

He has been begging me for 3 years to help him grow it and I always shrugged him off because he doesn't have a lot of business sense. But, I sat down with him and went over all his financials and we discussed potential and I realized there is a potential goldmine here. People always need new windshields, door windows, side mirrors, etc. He built a six-figure business just by going out and providing value to people. He didn't even try to grow it. He started with $70 and a mismatched colored Ford Ranger. He now has 2 full-time trucks, 2 part-time techs and just got a cargo van to have another. I had another offer on the table for another wage slave job but I am taking the jump to do this. He is paying me a salary for now but he is going to pay me in equity and profits if we are successful. This may very well be my Path to the Fastlane.

Today was my first day on the job so I don't have a lot to update and don't have a lot of knowledge but I thought I would post about some of my plans.

1. Our main goal in the immediate short-time is to take us from an average of 35 jobs per day to 50 jobs per day.

2. I am working on setting up all online profiles and steady social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, and maybe Instagram (I've never used it - thoughts?)

3. We signed up for a network that allows us to take insurance jobs. Previously, he cashed jobs as he charges $150 to $200 for most windows. He charges $100 more than the glass cost on any job.

4. He does all jobs for two major car dealers, two fleet places, and some mechanic and body shops. Once I know enough to discuss the business, I will call and visiting every place I can to get more business.

Long-Term

1. Expand to other cities but getting jobs and farming out to other techs in the area. We get jobs from some bigger companies this way. No reason we can't do it too. Some places don't even have any techs at all. They take orders, buy the glass and send the jobs to people like us. The make money simply by connecting the consumer to the provider. We want to be that company.

2. Increase valuation to where we can sell and move onto other projects. We discussed that number being $5 million. He got an offer for several hundred thousand a couple of years ago. The big guys don't like when the small guys get too big.

This is all I know right now. I will post more next week. Thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns are more than welcome.

I am thoroughly enjoying this forum so far and everyone has been encouraging and welcoming. So thank you to everyone.
 

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rjrobbins2

rjrobbins2

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I thought I would post an update this morning:


We had a busier week last week as we are getting more jobs from my work growing our online presence. We have gained business from our website, Yelp, Facebook, and Google Maps. The traffic to our website has grown from 4 visitors to 10 visitors a day. We are tracking every single person who calls for a quote and how they heard about us. A vast majority of our work is from existing customers and referrals. This tells me that our customers are pleased with our work so they come back and tell others.

I just had a half page flyer made on Fiverr that has our warranty, aftercare information, and information regarding our website, Twitter account, and a barcode to scan to leave a review on Google Maps. We are going to stapling to the invoices.

I am also going to start calling customers a week after the work is done to check on how we did and try to get people to leave us reviews and refer others. This will also allow me to learn what we can improve.

Challenges and Forthcoming projects:

1) Scheduling - We have 2 to 3 trucks out working each day and an auto glass job takes anywhere from 15 minutes to over and hour. It is often difficult to plan a day and get there when the customer expects us. We also dont know when we schedule customers where the other jobs will be that day. We cover an area that is about 60 miles wide to 60 miles north and south. So, last week our biggest challenger was getting to customers when we told them. We give our customers a choice of 10 to noon, noon to 2, and 2 to 4 or they can tell us anytime is fine. We had a couple of busy days last week and missed our targets.

To solve this challenge, I am searching for software that will schedule and route our jobs. It will also allow us to track our trucks so we know where everyone is on their route. Any recommendations?

2) Getting reviews - I have been working on getting legit reviews on Google Maps and other places. I want more reviews than all of our competitors, especially the big dogs like Safelite. We have 13 reviews and it feels like pulling teeth to get people to review our service.

To solve this challenge, I am using both the flyer mentioned above and calling customers to check on our service.

3) Getting Twitter followers - We have 4 followers despite using the methods recommended such as following and responding to local celebrities and providing responses to trending topics such as Game of Thrones. I have never used Twitter much but I cant see to get follows for us. This is especially challenging when it needs to be local to have an impact

4) Slow Days - we had a couple of great days last week where we were beyond busy but other days, we are nowhere near our target. I am working on getting us signed up as an official provider with insurance companies but it takes a lot of time to get approved and on their list.
 

Raoul Duke

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So, Monday - Friday, how many windshields, are you replacing?
 
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rjrobbins2

rjrobbins2

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We are doing about 60 to 70 jobs a week. Our immediate goal is to hit 20 jobs a day consistently. Once we do that, we will work to 30. Once we hit that, we will raise our prices. We ordered setting machines which help the installers set the window and shave down both time and warranty issues.
 

Thomas Chauvet

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Thank you for the updates !
Be careful with equity, I don't know if you get well with your family but this is essential to fastlane. However, the experience seems very valuable anyway!

Envoyé de mon SM-G955F en utilisant Tapatalk
 

Roli

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He is paying me a salary for now but he is going to pay me in equity and profits if we are successful.
If you haven't already, get this in writing. Many a friendship/partnership has gone south on the strength of "oh but I thought you meant..."
 

Jeff Noel

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Do you guys have an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) from the moment the employee jumps in the truck to the point he's done ? Establishing an SOP, then working your way through optimization (Kaizen principle -
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su9CulCZTBg
) can help you shred 5 minutes off of each job.

That's 19 minutes per job instead of 24 minutes per job (20 jobs/8 hours == 24 minutes/job). That means going from 20 jobs/day to 25 jobs/day - a 25% improvement that will be seen into each of the company truck on the road !

The end goal is not to make the job faster. It's to make the job more efficient - easier on your employees and easier on your time schedules.
 
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rjrobbins2

rjrobbins2

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I am working on SOP. I have been doing ride-a-longs to learn the actual job so I have enough knowledge to do it accurately.

I am familiar with Kaizen but didnt really think to apply it here. Thanks, that video is informative.

If you have any resources to help with writing SOP, I would love to check it out. I have always written guides and SOP for office jobs. This is a bit different than I am use too.
 

Jeff Noel

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Here's what I would do for the SOP (disclaimer: I have no experience in that field):
Considering the scope would be the employees doing the manual labor, steps would be straight to the point, short sentences (less time wasted reading through paragraphs).

Have an SOP for the actual jobs dones, and an SOP for the management of your resources (ie.: Telling them how and where to note their time of arrival shouldn't be in the same place as "How to fill holes in windshield").

If possible, technical steps would include a picture with the text.

You don't want the guys having to read through 25 pages, so if there's different types of jobs, each "SOP/field guide" should have visible separators to easily find the right procedure.

That's what I would do.
 

nickgraham1234

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Since the main leads you are getting are from referrals, try to make it as easy as possible for the refferals to happen. For example, leaving a business card or flyer with the customers, maybe offer a coupon if they give you a review on yelp/google
 
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rjrobbins2

rjrobbins2

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Since the main leads you are getting are from referrals, try to make it as easy as possible for the refferals to happen. For example, leaving a business card or flyer with the customers, maybe offer a coupon if they give you a review on yelp/google

Yes, we give out tons of cards to our customers. We have tried the discount with reviews and it has only gotten us a couple. I am starting to do calls out a week later to do a quality check and find reviews. I also just had a flyer made up that has post-care instructions and asks for reviews and referrals.
 

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rjrobbins2

rjrobbins2

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It has been about three weeks since my last update, so here we go. We have seen improvements but also still have struggles.

Improvements/Progress

1) We have more work coming in. I am in the middle of running numbers, but we have been busier the last couple of weeks and we are pulling in people from our website and social media.

2) We got signed up Glass.net which sends us solid leads.

3) I believe I found software to help with our routing and scheduling issues. It is called Jobber and does everything we need. I have a conference call with them on Thursday.
4) We have multiple applications in to get insurance jobs.

Struggles:

1) Inefficiencies - everyone I work with lacks technological skills beyond very basic things. Up until March, they were doing nearly everything by paper. I get pushback from nearly everything I want to do.

2) We had to fire an installer who was drinking on the job. We have a driver without a driver's license, and this was his partner. He is riding with the owner now, but we are working on getting his license re-instated. Until then it makes us a bit shorthanded some days.

3) Reviews - I have been trying to hit 20 Google Reviews since I started when we had 2. We are sitting at 19 now but it is like pulling teeth. We have tried discounts, social media, and other ways. I had a flyer made up that has aftercare instructions and it includes a barcode and two mentions of reviews.

4) Twitter - I have never been a big Twitter user and my personal account only has like 12 followers. I have been doing all the recommended stuff, such as following the big local people, posting about trending topics, responding to people on trending topics, and more. Nothing seems to work. We have three Twitter followers and one is my personal account which I use to retweet.

Up Next:

1) Working on efficiency in every facet and making some official instructional and policy documents. Jobber will help as long as I can get everyone on board including the owner. Fortunately, they provide training.

2) Trying to get some local fleet deals and becoming an auto glass supplier for other automotive businesses. Car lots make horrible customers, but we get a lot of work from mechanics and body shops. We probably get half of our work from those shops. Individual customers are great but hard to get because a person can go their whole life without ever needing a window replaced on their vehicle or at least go years between jobs. To grow to the level we want, auto business partners are the future.

As always, feedback, suggestions, and comments are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to follow.
 

Thoelt53

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It has been about three weeks since my last update, so here we go. We have seen improvements but also still have struggles.

Improvements/Progress

1) We have more work coming in. I am in the middle of running numbers, but we have been busier the last couple of weeks and we are pulling in people from our website and social media.

2) We got signed up Glass.net which sends us solid leads.

3) I believe I found software to help with our routing and scheduling issues. It is called Jobber and does everything we need. I have a conference call with them on Thursday.
4) We have multiple applications in to get insurance jobs.

Struggles:

1) Inefficiencies - everyone I work with lacks technological skills beyond very basic things. Up until March, they were doing nearly everything by paper. I get pushback from nearly everything I want to do.

2) We had to fire an installer who was drinking on the job. We have a driver without a driver's license, and this was his partner. He is riding with the owner now, but we are working on getting his license re-instated. Until then it makes us a bit shorthanded some days.

3) Reviews - I have been trying to hit 20 Google Reviews since I started when we had 2. We are sitting at 19 now but it is like pulling teeth. We have tried discounts, social media, and other ways. I had a flyer made up that has aftercare instructions and it includes a barcode and two mentions of reviews.

4) Twitter - I have never been a big Twitter user and my personal account only has like 12 followers. I have been doing all the recommended stuff, such as following the big local people, posting about trending topics, responding to people on trending topics, and more. Nothing seems to work. We have three Twitter followers and one is my personal account which I use to retweet.

Up Next:

1) Working on efficiency in every facet and making some official instructional and policy documents. Jobber will help as long as I can get everyone on board including the owner. Fortunately, they provide training.

2) Trying to get some local fleet deals and becoming an auto glass supplier for other automotive businesses. Car lots make horrible customers, but we get a lot of work from mechanics and body shops. We probably get half of our work from those shops. Individual customers are great but hard to get because a person can go their whole life without ever needing a window replaced on their vehicle or at least go years between jobs. To grow to the level we want, auto business partners are the future.

As always, feedback, suggestions, and comments are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to follow.
Any updates @rjrobbins2 ?
 

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