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Online vs Offline Business

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneur Discussion' started by yyes, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. ryanbleau
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    ryanbleau Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Depends on your market. If $125 is what everyone is charging than charge $125. Most urban markets for carpet cleaning fluctuate between $40 and $75 but higher end markets can be around $150. That also depends if your guys have to move furniture as well. If your market is advertising $125 for a room moving furniture I'd advertise $100 and specify you need the furniture moved in small print. but full price of $125 if you move furniture
     
  2. eliquid
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I wouldn't charge less.

    Someone is always willing to go out of business faster than you.

    I'd advertise more value in some way before I would lower the cost.

    One cleaning company I know did this, and then had to raise prices when min. wages in that city went up. It's just always a bad idea to lower prices. Someone will come in and undercut you at some point.
     
  3. ryanbleau
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    ryanbleau Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    If you make your cleaning guys 100% commission they will actually generate more revenue. If they are in a house for one carpet they often can get more than 1 done by just talking to the home owner. But make sure your payment system is app based so they don't try to undercut you.
     
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  4. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Hi Ryan, I totally understand what you are saying. I posed the question because I don’t think the OP did any calculations when thinking through potential businesses.

    Saying I want to make $200-$400k and I want to get out of the rat race and then saying I’m thinking of a carpet cleaning business doesn’t quite go together.
     
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  5. ryanbleau
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    ryanbleau Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I've run the numbers on this particular segment so many times it hurts. My father at one time had 14 vans and over 30 employees. he ran a day shift and a night shift and was making ridiculous money. His accountant was shady and never paid taxes and my father took a hit they put him out of business. The guy that bought all his old equipment is still in business and I even worked for him for a time.
     
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  6. yyes
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    yyes Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    HI biophase,

    Why do you say they don't go quite together?
     
  7. Crexty
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    Crexty Contributor

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    I own a local service business. I hate to say this. But I haven't really added much value other than providing good quality. I haven't done anything extraordinary, and i'm just focused on staying simple and scaling.

    Not saying you shouldn't add value. But some of these businesses are just plan ol' raw business. Nothing special about them, just business.
     
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  8. eliquid
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    This in itself could be value
     
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  9. yyes
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    yyes Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    And do you feel you have differentiated yourself from others because you have provided good quality? Or are you just like the other companies?
     
  10. EasternMerchant
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    EasternMerchant New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    It's real important to block out the noise and take a chance. Think this "What's the worst that could happen?", on the other hand remember that if you do nothing, then nothing changes. This realization made me suck it up and do it. Look, scrutinize those people's lives and where they are...chances are they are not successful. Chances are they take no risks and live safe, boring lives, everyday the same, acceptance of defeat.
     
  11. yyes
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    yyes Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    But how do you decide what to take the dive on?

    For example , I personally struggle with what business to endeavor in and flip flop alot. For example, carpet cleaning is an industry that interest me but so is painting and junk removal.

    What catches my eye about junk removal is that it's more a necessity whereas carpet cleaning is a luxury.

    Junk removal seems the safer option because waste management is not something people like to do,, it's unsexy.

    But like I said, I'm constantly flipping flopping and it's something I hate about myself
     
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  12. WJK
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    WJK Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    If you do put together a blue-collar business, you can start out doing the work and then later hire people to do the "hands-on" stuff. Building from the ground up may make you get your hands dirty for a time. If you ever become too good to do the work, then you can count on losing the business soon afterward.
    My standard is that I'm NOT above doing any job in my businesses. The fact that I know how to do the different jobs and I'm willing to jump in to help when needed brings me a lot of respect.
    Even with an online business, there's still "grunt" work.
     
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  13. KeithWallace
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    KeithWallace Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Okay. So you're bright, probably a good problem solver and troubleshooter, you have IT support expertise and great customer service skills.

    How about doing something in the IT support sector, for yourself? Whatever company you work for now has obviously found a market that is profitable enough to employ you (and presumably many others) and still make a profit. You have experience in this area so wouldn't be starting from scratch.

    This is an idea I've been looking into to do myself, but I'm still stuck in the idea stage and action faking. But I'm getting there. If that interests you, these are the ideas I'd think about:

    From your job, what common IT support needs do you pick up? What problems surface time and time again? What are the common complaints? What do people value having fixed? Who out of your support team gets most compliments and thanks, and what are they doing to get that? What does your company do poorly that you would do better? What market is currently under-served? Is there a market for people at home that need IT support, or a business niche? Do people want a home visit, or can it be done remotely?

    I like the comments others have put on here about how you can set yourself apart from the crowd just by turning up on time. Here in the UK there is a company called Team KnowHow that does product and tech support, and their policies are aggressively sold when you buy an item from the large electrical store Currys/PC World. If you google reviews for Team KnowHow service, there are literally thousands of 1 star reviews saying how terrible they are. It's a goldmine for an entrepeneur. After reading a few, you pick up the common threads of why people hate them. It shouldn't be hard to be infinitely better than they are - mainly just turn up when you say you will, do jobs promptly and don't have a sh*t phone system that takes 20 mins to get through, only to then have a clueless buffoon not be able to find any record of your job. Simple!

    As for scaling and online vs offline, I guess you could go either way with something like this. Either employ a team of people to do the work for you and you manage it then franchise it if it gets big enough, or develop some automated online solutions or some online training to take care of the common problems.
     
  14. Bryan James
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    Bryan James Contributor

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    Plenty of off-line businesses still have some form of online presence; plenty of offline businesses often use the internet as a marketing tool in some form or another.
     
  15. WJK
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    WJK Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I needed a customized data base system for my Trust Deed business. I couldn't find anyone to build it locally here in Alaska. I ended up hiring an IT guy in Canada. He built me one on a public platform that I'm still using. Yes, he has updated it as I needed his services. You can find a nitch IF you look for one!
     
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  16. Robert Williams
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    The matter is not our opinion, but what actually matters is what you think you are best fit for whether you had a capability of doing 9-5 rat race, or you have the capability to make others do that 9-5 rat race for your benefits.
    Understand yourself and then decide whether Online or Offline...
     
  17. Duane
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    Duane Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    There is no way your profit will be $45 per room unless you're cleaning them yourself, getting gas for free, fixing your cleaning vans for free, and etc. Always start from the get go including everything into your calculations.

    If you average $50 per room and want to profit $200k, you need to be grossing around $700k. That's 14,000 rooms per year. I google searched this, but your average house cleaner can clean 13-15 rooms per day. Lets be really conservative and say they clean 3 3-bedroom houses per day for $150 each (a low price for my area). They can do this 5-6 days a week and lets stay being conservative at 5 days a week, you're looking at 15 houses a week or 750 houses per year (giving two weeks of no cleaning a year). That's $112k gross per full-time employee or around $33k profit per year per employee. So you need 7 cleaning vans (a backup cause a van will always be breaking down), probably around 12 cleaners, a secretary, a solid manager, and 90 houses a week being cleaned in order to reach your goal. That is doable from one location in a major city. You could run the business from a house with a garage until you have like 4 cleaning vans tbh.

    Carpet cleaning is a hard service business because you're dealing with minimum wage workers that are constantly coming and going, and you need some serious volume in order to actually make something (cleaning 90 houses a week is going to be tough to manage).

    Coming from someone that's in the service business, there is a trade off. It's that you're out in the field sweating and dirty until you get enough consistent work to hire employees. Then you're managing the employees and doing all the office work until you are getting enough volume to cover hiring a virtual assistant company or a secretary/manager. That takes years and a bit of capital, but you don't need to have multiple locations to run a million dollar cleaning company. Just having one location in a large city can be enough business to get you to that point. There are thousands of houses being cleaned every week in every major city.
     
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  18. WJK
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    WJK Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Everybody I know, online or off, who own successful businesses, start out working their a$$ off -- 60 to 70+ hours per week. They do it without knowing the business will take off. I don't think you will be exempt. It's just part of the normal business cycle.
     
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  19. IceCreamKid
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    IceCreamKid With Great Power Comes Great Electricity Bill Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I think the answer depends on your personality. If you enjoy the idea of funnels, optimizing ad campaigns, creating e-mail campaigns, etc then go the online route.

    If you like face to face business and talking with new people daily then go the carpet cleaner route. Btw the highest grossing Stanley Steemer van in the country averages $900k a year in revenue...one van. With that said, I’ll say this: most carpet cleaners don’t make much money at all, but the ones who do really make a killing.

    You have to think of yourself as a marketer who happens to sell carpet cleaning services. Otherwise you’ll always be like everyone in the industry who struggle to hit 6-figures. If you search truckmountforums you’ll find a case study where the owner showed how he started up in a new town and got to $700k/year revenue after year 2.

    The secret is to learning how to provide and communicate what I call the Ritz Carlton Experience. That means:

    - a text message 30 minutes before arrival including real-time GPS location

    -all technicians are properly dressed, clean shaven and wearing booties when entering home

    -laying out drop cloths to avoid scratching hardwood floors

    -wearing white gloves when carrying furniture

    -a follow up call 48 hours later then a handwritten thank you card 1 week later; Chocolates during the holidays for the A+ customers

    -a customer retention system

    -a rewarding referral system

    -most importantly a damn good cleaning

    Communicating and providing the Ritz Carlton Experience allows you to charge far more than what everyone else is charging. By charging a lot more, you’ll have better margins to be able to pay your employees well and keep them happy while you scale. Never compete on offering the lowest price.

    Good luck.
     
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  20. WJK
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    WJK Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I have had a similar experience with staying at Ritz. It's wonderful.
     
  21. yyes
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    yyes Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    I've been in those forums and it's crazy how pessimistic people are in there. They all say it's impossible to get rich and that I'm delusional. That in itself is discouraging because these are people that have been in the business for years sometimes decades

    But then I remember that many of them are one man crews, have limiting believes, and other stuff that hurts them.
     
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  22. GoGetter24
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    How much would it actually take to get on with this and test it?

    Choose one specific type of junk. Check it by using google keyword planner and seeing monthly searches for things like "how to dispose of [x] in [city y]".

    Let's say for the sake of argument it's fallen branches.
    So you'd need:
    • a pickup truck, chainsaw, and work clothes (inc. goggles etc)
    • knowledge where your local landfill is
    • a simple paper receipt pad and a pen
    • a simple website that says "Yyes's [city] fallen branch disposal" with your phone # / email
    • a google ad for it
    • liability insurance (in case you poke someone with a branch or whatever)
    • if your city is a bullshit "regulate and license everything to death" city, a visit to a lawyer to run it all by him
    Everything else is just add-ons, right? And the pickup truck and chainsaw could just be rented to begin with to confirm demand. If there's demand, you can make a logo, give the pickup truck a paint job, get a better website, get a portable credit card thing, set up a formal business structure, more ads, assistants, expanding into other types of waste, etc. But the actual core test is pretty small.
     
  23. Restless8
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    Restless8 New Contributor

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    Online business is much interesting rather than offline business. But online bussiness helps you to get lots of customers globally for the business.
     

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