Good morning, guys. What’s going on this morning. I hope everybody is doing excellent today. I apologize for the lack of content out here recently. I’ve been busy while we were working, and we’ve had a lot of vacation in between. I was at the beach for about five days, and then went off to the big airshow up at Oshkosh Wisconsin. Aaron did go along on that show, so we will have some great content that will get shown at that airshow. While I was gone, we were slammed busy. We did have some truck problems. We’ve since gotten them resolved. We get one truck still down, but everything else is still rolling right along. We’ve got lots of jobs, we’ve been very busy. There were no major issues other than a couple truck maintenance problems, and everything rolled right along while I was gone. That was great to hear.
What I want to talk to you today about is, I mentioned the truck problems we were having, I want to talk about problems. A lot of people get scared away from business ownership. One of the key things that people say if you’re telling your friends and family that you want to go off and start your own business, it’s like all the problems are always your problems, you’re never able to get away with them, you take them home with you. All those statements are true, but they are looking at problems the wrong way. You only have problems when you have business.
So, if you’re not busy, then you don’t have people, you don’t have vehicles that are running, so the vehicles can’t break down, you can’t have people issues, you can’t have somebody no showing and are not doing what they’re supposed to do, but you’re not making any money. When you don’t have problems, you’re not being successful, your business is not running, you’re not getting jobs, you’re not making money. Every single time you have a problem, you need to approach it differently. Be like “Damn, I’m glad this is happening. I’m glad I’m having this issue.” If you’ve got rental property, you want somebody calling you at midnight about fixing a toilet, with junk removal, you want trucks to be breaking down from time to time. You want to have people issues from time to time. That means you’re busy, that means you’re making money. I have a couple of examples right here: we had a customer call us yesterday. She had us out about two weeks ago to give a quote on some yard waste removal. She’s a previous customer, she’s done several jobs with us. She has never had yard waste before, just general junk, and household debris, and that sort of stuff. We gave her the estimate and she said “Well, let me think about it.” She called us back, she wants us to come out and do the job. The next truck crew that gets on site quotes the job a lot higher, and proceeds to tell her that she could get it done much cheaper somewhere else. So, she calls us, very disappointed, said that it’s obvious that your guys just don’t want to do the work. I’m not happy, I don’t want to recommend your company to anybody else, I won’t use you again. We said “Well tell you what, how’s this for a price. We’ll do it for free.” This is a load and three quarters. She was very happy with that. We got out there and we took care of it. I told Christian, I said “You figure who was on my job you fire that man.” I don’t think he’s going to do that. I think he will likely talk to them and make sure they understand very clearly that that is not how we handle customers. We should never tell our customer that she can get a job done cheaper anywhere else, and we should always be willing to tackle that project. If we ever over quote just because we don’t want to do the job, they’ll be let go again. It’s just incredible to me on that level of laziness. Now, that brings up another issue to keep that problem from occurring. What you don’t want to happen is a lot of customers will call and tell you. We’ve got a system in place where we follow up with customers. We just hadn’t gotten to that particular customer for the follow up call yet. She called almost immediately after the truck, or the crew had been out there. They didn’t do the job, and she calls us up immediately to let us know. We were able to fix that situation. A lot wouldn’t call. If you don’t have a follow up program in place, then that customer just simply wouldn’t use you again, could post a negative review, could talk bad about your company to friends and not recommend you. It’s a bad situation. You got to cut that stuff out as soon as you can, so always follow up with customers.
Another example of problems: Altitude Hauling in Denver just opened up two weeks ago today. He has averaged about four or five jobs a day since opening; six days a week. He’s been bringing in well over $1,000 a day, and just absolutely killing it, but he’s been having some problems. Number one, he’s been working 80 hours a week on the truck, and he’s wearing down. It’s hard work from the beginning of the day to the end of the day. They got a young son that they’re raising. She just quit her job to run the admin side of the junk removal business a lot sooner than expected. He’s just done great going in there and absolutely killing in on the jobs. He’s making money, making pretty good money especially right at the start. That’s good, but he’s got the problem that he’s wearing out. He’s also got a used truck, and his truck is kind of breaking down. He was talking about going out to buy a new vehicle, and I said “I think you’re going to need to add a second truck here soon just to keep up with demand, but I would not do it at this point of the year. We have a Denver winter coming up, and we need to see how the market does in Denver through the winter. Let’s get your truck fixed and let’s keep rolling along, and then next year as you come out of winter, let’s make a truck purchase. At that point, we’ll know what’s the full cycle business is like in Denver.” Just because you have one problem don’t go and make a drastic measure. The truck just wouldn’t start, when it started it ran fine, so he determined it was a fuel issue. He put a fuel pump on it and it would run fine. Then, it went out again yesterday and they diagnosed that the filter is clogged. What we’ve determined, if you watch my previous video on Isuzu trucks, with the gas truck, the fuel tank is rusting. That tank has likely been rusting, it’s been contaminating that fuel filter. it has been restricting fuel flow to the engine. Engine isn’t going to run without fuel. That problem, he’s rectifying it by buying a fuel tank, going to put a new fuel tank on is replace the fuel filter. Hopefully the fuel pump hasn’t been messed up from sucking that rust up in it, but that’s unlikely. As long as he rectifies that issue soon, he’ll be good to go.
He’s also short staffed because he’s so much busier than expected. One of the things me and his wife will be talking about today – we get about an hour of phone call today – is to make sure his books are getting up to date, helping her out with that if needed. We’ve been answering his calls while his wife was still working. Our call center has been booking all the jobs free of charge when scheduling all those jobs. We’re going to transition that over her and make sure she’s good. We’ll talk about expansion, and we’ll talk about hiring more people. She’s already got the Craigslist ad that we put out the script for that, she’s going to put that out. We’re going to touch on the whole hiring process and we’re going to get them some more people, so he’s not running so ragged.
Again, guys, you want problems. What I told him last night is “Man, this is awesome. It’s awesome that you’re having problems with your vehicle and that’s making you stressed out, because you’ve got jobs that have to get done.” What he’s mainly stressed about is as he gets up in the morning, he cranks the truck up, he’s got an 8 to 10, a 10 to 12, a 1 to 3, and a 3 to 5 job he’s got to take care of, and he’s in here worried about the truck not running. Luckily, he does have a pick up and trailer, so he took the pickup truck and trailer, got the jobs done, got a mechanic to come figures out what was wrong with the truck, and got his truck up and going. He handled those problems great. Those are the issues you want to have. As you grow, problems get easier to handle. You have more resources to handle, you have more trucks, you have more people. So, if somebody calls out sick, you got a backup person in place. If you have more trucks, one goes down, it’s a lot easier to make up for those jobs than when you just have one vehicle. If you just have one vehicle and it goes down, you run a truck or use a pickup truck and trailer.
The key to problems is to expand through them, is to push through them; don’t retract. That’s a very common problem, I know a lot of business owners that get to a certain size, and when you get to a certain size, you either need to push through and keep growing, or you’re going to retract. If you retract, you’re never going to have a viable business. If it’s going to be a single one-man operation, the business is always going to rely on you. You’re going to get to a point where you have to push through, and that means hiring people before you necessarily really need them. That means spending more on advertising so you get more business. That means buying a truck before you necessarily have the money or the business to require a full time second truck. You’ve got to make those sacrifices, you got to take his chances, you got to push through, you got to be tough, you’ve got to be committed to get through to that next level. Don’t run from problems, embrace problems. When you get problems, be happy you have them. I know a lot of contractors that were complaining in 2006/2007 about not being able to get equipment, not being able to get help, not being able to meet deadlines, because they had so many houses going on. They were always complaining about problems. I guarantee you, a year later when they’re sitting in their living room just watching TV because they got no work to do, their houses get foreclosed on, they’re declaring bankruptcy. When they happen, you don’t think about it that way, but if you have an issue say “God, I appreciate you giving me all these problems because that’s a great thing to have.” You got to push through them, though. Don’t retract. Make sure you push through them, and everything will turn out great. Embrace problems, push through them, grow larger – they’re easier to handle when they’re larger – and you could have a successful business. Thanks guys, we’ll talk to you soon.