I have built a highly successful service company with over a hundred full time employees by following these principles. I think you will see a lot of success if you do this too:
- Basic business practices:
- Provide every prospect a email estimate. Do your best to judge how much cost you will have in materials, labor, and any other costs that go into it. Try to estimate on the high side.
- Don’t start work till you sign a simple written contract and collect partial payment upfront. Tons of template contracts are online, you could find one in an hour and customize it with another hour of work. Not having a contract is very dangerous as a client could refuse to pay and you would have no recourse, or even an honest dispute might arise (for example I thought our project was 1200).
- If the scope of work changes from your estimate / contract, let the client know in writing via email. This keeps everything clear and will help you in event of disputes.
- Have designated points when the client needs their next payment to be paid. For me, you could have done it this way:
- 25% upfront for labor and materials getting started
- 25% prior to duct installation
- 25% prior to air filter installation
- 25% upon completion
- Basic marketing:
- Build profiles online on Yelp, Google Business, and other sites using lots of words related to your business… plumbing, hvac, etc.
- Ask every client who gets done for a review put on Yelp, Google Reviews, and other sites if they liked it.
- Basic personal habits:
- It is impossible to run a professional business if you don’t have your personal life in order.
- Do the basic things to take care of yourself – go to bed early, eat healthy, avoid drugs / alcohol / too much caffeine
- Look professional – basic personal hygiene, get a cheap coverall uniform you and all your guys can wear and keep them clean
- Hold yourself accountable to get work done – get to job sites at a specific time (8 or 9 am). Also make sure you have some healthy downtime – at least one full day a week doing fun stuff away from work.
Following this advice above has helped my business to grow massively, reduced my stress and worries, and ultimately made me much happier and more relaxed.