Thursday, May 29, 2008

My First Dollar

When I last left you I had just found out that we got our first job. It was for a contractor who was redoing a very nice house. He had to coordinate a TON of different work crews, each needing time in various rooms. For my part...wood floors, we seem to conflict most with painters. They need to paint without dust flying around and well...when you're sanding a floor you make LOTS of dust.

So while we were ready to go ASAP, there were days we had to wait until some paint dried to get into a room and get our hard wood flooring swerve on. Then, after we get the floor sanded and stained, everyone needs to stay off the floor for the stain to set. THEN, after the stain sets, we have to put a finish on...usually two coats and guess what? Crews need to stay off the floors while the finish dries. That means other crews must find another way around from one end of the house to the other because they need to STAY OFF THE FLOORS!!!

But they don't. They do for a bit of time, but then they apparently get fed up and decide "eff it I'm walking where I want" they ignore the giant X of neon green tape blocking the doorways and go ahead and walk on the floors with their dusty, gritty workerman shoes.

Bleh, I say. I think I will much prefer working in a home where it's just my crews. The homeowner is ONLY having his or her floor redone, not an extreme home makeover.

Despite the orchestrated dance with men in dusty shoes, we got the job done on time and I got a check!!!

It's official...I have been paid for my first job!!! And trust me, it's a good check!

Now I just need to pay my subcontractor and then I'll have my net profit.

You know what I want to do with the money? I'm going to combine it with my tax refund (If I ever get it...don't EVEN get me started) and get a professional logo designed, try to buy a used vehicle and get said coolio logo put on the work van so that I'll at least have rolling advertising, since I can't afford TV ads yet.

I think it's a good, realistic short term goal...logo and coolio work vehicle. Yep, that's doable.

Now I need to find my next gig.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My First Job

I got the job!!!

The contractor called me Friday. He needs it done by the 22nd, but told me he couldn't let my crews in until the 19th. There was no way the job could be done in 2 days. Turns out he didn't realize that the day he needed me to start was actually the 19th. I think he freaked a little bit.

But he decided to put the push onto his painters. We were able to start sanding in the two front rooms Saturday. The painters will finish up in the great room by Wednesday. We should be done with the two front rooms by then and will be in the great room late Wednesday afternoon.

This is awesome, awesome, awesome and I'm a nervous wreck! My boyfriend and I went to the job site with the crew to look things over. These guys need little instruction. You just tell them what's needed and they get right to work. We found a couple of trouble spots, but they were easy enough to fix.

We are doing something of a combo type of job. This house has an old floor in the dining room that the owners wanted saved and redone. The rest of the area had new floor installed by another wood floor man, but he got sick and could not finish the job. So we're also doing a sand and finish on new wood floors installed by someone else. We had to be careful and make sure any installation flaws were noted before we started work, so that we wouldn't be blamed for any imperfections from installation.

My crews are onsite today...just working away.

I hope this leads to more work. I'll be taking pictures of the finished job to post here. The home is beautiful, so I think the photos will be really great to use on my website.

Speaking of my website, I've been so busy with my day job that I haven't had time to mess with it. That's a huge problem. I need to get that sucker up and running.

Oops, and I also need to get my workman's comp papers sent to the contractor. I can't believe all the little details you have to keep track of just to work!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

No Networking, No Job, but It's All Good

I'm not going to join the networking group right now. I think I need to be more established for that group than I am at the moment.

My resources shall go toward finding a great, comfy spot in the OKC hardwood flooring market, a niche if you will, and settling myself in for a long stay.

I never heard back from the contractor about the estimate I submitted. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. I am. I hope the contractor didn't take the lowest offer. His desire to match the
yet-to-be-installed floor to an existing older wood floor and newly installed pre-finished flooring will be tricky. He'll need someone with experience. The crews I'd use have that experience and they'll work on it until it's as close a match as it can be. If the contractor cuts corners in order to increase his bottom line his clients will suffer. I can see him telling them, "This is the best you can expect." When, in fact, he could have done better.

If only I could bypass the contractor and go straight to the homeowner. Oh well, that isn't the only job up for grabs. My boyfriend is excellent at staying positive and he never cries over lost jobs. He's always looking forward, focusing on the possibilities, not the lost opportunities. It's one of his best traits. He never takes anything personally. If a repeat customer suddenly stops using him, then comes back years later, he's just happy to hear from them. He never asks why they left in the first place.

When that happens to me, it will drive me insane. I'll want to know why, so I'll likely do more "feedback" stuff. I'll send out feedback requests after every job and, maybe...hmmm, would it be too much to ask for feedback from people who do not accept my estimate? I'd like to know why they didn't choose me.

That might not work though, because they'd probably give me fake answers as opposed to a real reason like, "You really rubbed me the wrong way when I met you. You come across as a tart." Or "I was just acting like I was getting estimates for my client's sake. I planned on using my cousin, Jethro, the entire time." I guess I'll just stick to feedback from actual customers.

Note: I bought myself a work belt this weekend. That should really cut back on any possible "tart" impression.

Okay...I'm off to work on my webpage.