Here's a post from another website that gives one man's experience in how to succeed in business by really trying...http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?threadid=23559<<I use to hear all the time, "you can't do it" "it takes a lot" "you don't have the kind of money to start your own business". I have heard it all from fellow techs, owners that I worked for, My own brtothers and my father who BTW was a very successful contractor. My own fricken pop. I moved to Detroit with my wife. I did not know squat about the area. I still get lost trying to find places. Did not know one wholesaler. I went to work for a few places and was flat out convinced I would not be happy until I tryed my own gig. I had about 8 grand and a prayer. I went and bought a small van which was in great shape, I went and got incorporated, business license, tax license. Retained an accountant, lawyer and insurance lady. I interveiwed about three different ones for each category. I told them "look, what do I need from you to start a business, I am broke so know that right now". I was flat out arrogant and naive to them. They set me up well. I began to print flyers, business cards and designed my own logo. I think a combination of a newsletter on card stock, a sheet of paper listing what we do, another sheet of paper listing all of the points we can offer by way of maintenance and what we do. Stuck in a 9 x 11 envelope, with logo. A sticky mailing label with the address of prospective customer, a business card and a 34 cent stamp. 500 the first go round cost me about 5 hours of time and 190 bucks and it was just as professional as anyone who I would have had doing it for me. I went to every type and kind of place and handed out a card and some information on what I can do for them. I created my own mailing lists by using the internet and copy and pasting to mailing labels. I have over 1000 now. I'll do it for fun now. I don't spend a dime now on advertising, not even the phone book. I don't beleive in it. We get all of our work by referal from our other work. I have very few deadbeat payers and I think this is the reason why. In fact I turn down more work than I should. I only do what I know how to do. I only do what I can garuntee I can fix. I only do work thart I know will pay. I got lucky cause right down the street from us we had a office depot going out of business. I bought my first desk, a ton of office supplies for ten cents on the dollar. My first software program was One Write Plus a 3rd grade version of Quickbooks. I got it for 40 bucks. I read the book, I knew how to do my books. I did not have any stock on the truck, not even wire nuts. Every trip to the whole sale house I bought an extra of what ever I got. In my first three months, I got extremely lucky. Was it luck or did I just go after it????? I got called to a popular beverage distribution center and did 20 grand inside a month trying to fix all kinds of crap, not to mention I swapped out 1 ten horse discus with crane and all, and a 60 grand BTU evaporator. I hired my first guy who was a apprentice, still with me and doing great. He was green but he was a good grunt that I needed. That place reffered me to damn near everyone they delivered their product to just because the drivers liked me cause I would talk to them while at the facility. I walked around the place like I had been there for years. They have about 200 employees. I have been to over half of their homes. Then I was out at lunch one day at a certain fast food chain Resturaunt. My food was bad, and I went to talk with the manager. I said my food is bad, and BTW I also noticed the A/C in the dining room is not working. He says, I have had that thing looked at three times in the last week. I said here don't worry about the food. Here is my card. I'll bet you if you allow me to I can look at it for free. I'll be down in ten minutes and I'll tell you whats wrong. It was a trane voyager RTU with a condenser that needed to be split to clean. The thing was popping on high head. A two stage and one pump was fried. Split it and a flannel shirt like something else. It took me about 9 minutes. I brought the guy up cause he wanted to see. Well I got that work allright, plus his other 26 stores. He was the owner pinch hitting that day. Anyone that says it can not be done, is a wus. Hard work and solid know how of the trade. I am not talking about just knowing how to fix things. If you have been a tech for a good period of time say like 5 years or so, you know how to deal with people, you know what hat to wear with certain types. You know the el cheapos, the asssholes, the conservatives, the ones who don't act like it but have a ton of money and want things done right. It is a natural instinct that one learns. That all makes sense if you truly cared about what you were doing. You heard the trials and tribulations of the office, you noted the mistakes they made at the office. You seen the not getting repair quotes out, you seen the office forgetting to go back to a call. I mean all this stuff use to bother the crap out of me. I took it personal. When I worked for others and I was the guy out there and I said something to them, I meant it. Then to only have the office not follow through cause they did not know the one really important thing that makes our type of business work very well. CUSTOMER SERVICE! CUSTOMER SERVICE! CUSTOMER SERVICE! Dude, I have ten employees now. They all are very good. They all know I am my way. I am 30. I am very secure financially. How? Because someone told me i couldn't do it. Screw them. You know what I have found. there are a lof lazy people in this business. There are a lot of people that are dirty in this business. There are a lot of people that just want to get by. Be honest, be frank and tactfull, price yourself just like the largest union company does. Be enthusiastic and stay motivated. Talk the talk and walk the walk, back it up. Kn ow your targets and get on with it. Good Luck...>>
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