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Starting Your Own Business

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This topic contains 47 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Matthew MRenes 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #7488

    Ok you veteran carpenters . . . What is the SINGLE BEST piece of advice you can give a new guy starting out?

    #9180
    Avatar of Jeff
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    do not give attitude, its the first thing that will cost you your job. no elder will even look at you let lone take the time to teach you anything. always be early. be eager to do things but not over eager.. dont rush the task get it right, learn how to do good work dont worry about speed until youve done something hundreds of times. ask questions, technical ones . just be sure you get your in with a group of hacks you’ll become a hack also. get in with high end guys and learn to master the trade and honor it by doing the best work you can do and try to better than the next time ou

    putting down subfloor with glue and screws, so i called dr smith and the robot too!
    #9227

    Great tips Jeff. Who else has advice for 5the new ROOKIE on the job site?

    #9249
    Avatar of Jeff
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    Dont buy dewalt. buy bosch so joe can put his kids through college :p

    putting down subfloor with glue and screws, so i called dr smith and the robot too!
    #9250

    … and buy me drinks at the next media event! Thanks Joe

    #11100
    Avatar of Jeff
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    coffee robert coffee.. gotta been on the ball when selling to clients

    putting down subfloor with glue and screws, so i called dr smith and the robot too!
    #11107
    Avatar of Rob
    Rob
    Participant
    Birmingham, Alabama

    Find a Master carpenter (Pro) and work with them.

    #11269
    Avatar of Jack
    jackkohler
    Participant

    Establish a relationship with your client up front. Very important that they like and trust you.

    #11882
    Avatar of bob
    BobSmononcle
    Participant

    One piece of advice I got over 40 years ago. I’ve regretted it almost every time I’ve not followed it.

    “Don’t buy cheap tools. They don’t work well and you will probably have to replace them and buy multiple times.”

    My advice: “Don’t go to bed without getting the day’s paperwork done. Receive payments, record expenses, write bills, and respond to inquiries” Nothing worse than “what did I buy at Lowe’s for $23.32 on the tenth of the month?” unless it’s not billing for work done.

    #11883
    Avatar of John S
    supimeister
    Moderator

    i would have to second – don’t buy cheap tools*

    *with the exception on tools you do not think you will use often (defined by what you do “often”)

    John S
    #11897
    Avatar of Dan
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    I agree completely. Cheap tools are a bad investment and just lead to frustration. There are some exceptions with things that you will either hardly ever use like John mentioned or things that you want to not worry about losing or wrecking. I have a cheap Mastercraft torpedo level that I keep in my tool belt if I’m working on scaffolding so that if I drop it several floors down it’s not the end of the world. My expensive levels stay at ground level with me.

    When you run a business you have to make all your tool dollars count but a good quality tool is a solid investment that will make you money in the long run.

    #11908
    Avatar of Brian
    parenos
    Moderator
    Honesdale, PA

    always return phone calls even if you can not do a job. You don’t know how many people tell me, I called 4 guys and you were the only one to call me back. even if you are not able to take on their project. That sticks with people.

    #11966
    Avatar of Dan
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    You’re right on with that Brian. I find that good communication is key with running a successful business. Whether it’s calling people back that you can’t do a job for or keeping people in the loop with the progress of their project, people really appreciate good communication. The other thing is showing up when you say you will. I know that’s one thing that drives me crazy when I have a trade in my own home like furnace repair or phone service and they don’t show up when they said they would and don’t bother calling to let you know. Sometimes you can’t make it for the time you scheduled with a client because of something out of your control but a phone call goes a long way just to let them know what’s going on.

    #12980

    Spot on Dan / Brian

    #13243
    Avatar of Brian
    parenos
    Moderator
    Honesdale, PA

    Learn all that you can, you can learn just as much from someone doing it wrong, as what not to do. Also get some good magazines.

    #18998
    Avatar of MANUEL ALBERTO
    manuelalbertodelfado@yahoo.com
    Participant
    Fresno, ca

    those are great. especially calling a customer back stating you could not do the job for whatever reason. believe it or not it does help. and they WILL continue to call you

    #19639
    Avatar of Dave
    DaveG.
    Participant

    “Attention to detail”

    #19656
    Avatar of John. L
    cranbrook2
    Participant
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    Don,t listen to anyone who says you can,t do it and be original, don,t be afraid to think outside the box .Always try to go that extra mile to define who you are .Details , details , details…

    As far as cheap tools go some of us are not as fortunate as others to able to afford such luxuries . You can still be successful with crappy tools if you know what you are doing :-)

    #19788
    Avatar of Dan
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    Dave & John, I agree, you have to have good attention to detail to be successful. People really notice when you pay attention to the small details. They know that if you care about the small details then you’ll care about the big ones.

    I like what you said John about going the extra mile to define who you are. There have been lots of little things I’ve done either on a job or to promote my business that I haven’t necessarily gotten paid for but it helps define who I am and what kind of work I do.

    #19800
    Avatar of Jeff
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    dan, that can also help determine your client base as well. those who wnat you do work will be the ones who are more than willing to pay. you can some times weed out the nightmare clients just on the first phone call or two. about 6 years ago i had someone call me looking to get a set of built in book shelves built.. when i went to actually look at the space they then wanted a complete electrical upgrade, 2 walls moved and the bathroom completley gutted and redone… i told them im only here to look at the shelving

    putting down subfloor with glue and screws, so i called dr smith and the robot too!
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