Joe's plumbing business, and his life, really sucked! Does yours?...

We know you're busy with your plumbing business...

... running around like a headless chook trying to catch up with the paperwork or stressing because Mrs Jones said she'd pay you last week and she hasn't and now you have to ask your partner (or do it yourself) to send out another reminder..... 

Hmm, yep been there, done that and not going back....

Sadly there are still so many plumbers stuck doing business in the old dinosaur way and not claiming back some of their freedom (and saving $$$$) by doing business the new modern way.....  So with that in mind, we want to tell you the story of 2 plumbers....... Story number 1 is below, and story number 2 will be posted tomorrow.

1. Joe.

Joe has 1 apprentice and a tradesman working for him and they do a cross between maintenance jobs for homeowners in their local area, and repairs and maintenance for 2 different real estates agencies.  

The operation of his business:

a) He has a mobile phone number for incoming calls and answers them all himself - which doesn't leave him much time to actually do the jobs, and he's always frazzled because phone calls always come at the worst possible times - you're under a house, talking to a current customer, covered in shit from the drain you just cleared... you get the picture, and not to mention the calls that he misses who then go on to ring another plumber....

b) Notes and jobs are written in his Reece diary - which is fine until he has to go looking for something from last week.  He gets the boys to come to his place first up in the morning to give them their jobs for the day. Joe's wife hates this as the noise of the work trucks coming and going in the morning always ends up waking one of the kids or annoying the neighbours.

c) If any other jobs come in for that day and the boys are available, he'll call them to fill them in.  He has no idea what info the boys take down from that conversation or when they actually arrive at the job - I mean he trusts them, of course they're going to do the right thing by him.

d) At some point at the end of the day he'll get the boys to swing past his place again and drop off their paperwork - but they sometimes forget and then he'll need to ask them to bring it with them the next morning....but wait now they're saying they've left it at home, so he'll have to wait till the next day.  Hmmm not sure how quickly he'll be able to do up an invoice - but it's not looking good at the moment. 

e) When he eventually gets to do the invoice a week's gone past.  He's put his bank details on the bottom of it for payment. He'll have to remember to chase up payment from the customer, as they seem to be more forgetful than the boys...... Yep 2 weeks have gone past and still no payment - well at least it wasn't there the last time he logged in to his online banking which was 3 days ago.  Maybe he should ring them or maybe he should ask his wife to print out another copy of the invoice, put it in an envelope and run down to the post office to mail it.

f) Tradelink's just rung to say he's on credit hold as he hasn't paid his last statement.  Bugger, he thought that'd been paid.  He rings them up and gives them his credit card to run the payment through, hopefully there's enough funds on there for it to process.  He'll have to ask his bookkeeper why that wasn't paid already.

g) One of the Real Estate agencies has just rung asking him to breakdown the last invoice he did and saying that it's too expensive and he'll have to knock some off the price.  Well that sucks - it took them 90 days to pay the last one, hopefully if he can make the changes they want to the invoice quickly and get it sent out he'll get paid a bit faster.

h) It's pay day, the boys haven't given him their timesheets yet again. He hassles them up for these so the bookkeeper can do their pays.  The bookkeeper rings him to tell him there's not enough funds in the usual bank account to put the pays through.  Shit - now he'll have to transfer funds from his personal bank account to the business one so that they can be paid.  Or maybe it'll just be quicker to head to the ATM and withdraw the cash and just give it to them.  He'll ring the bookkeeper to find out how much they're supposed to get.

i) It's Saturday and his eldest daughters netball grand final's on and you wouldn't believe it, his tradesman who he asked to work this Saturday has bloody rung in sick. Shit, (probably hung over) now he's going to miss the game as there's an urgent emergency call out for the Real Estate that's come in.  He'll have to try and make it up to her......Not sure when as he's in the office most nights trying to catch up on all the paperwork and sometimes this runs over into his weekends too.  And now his wife's going to be pissed off again.  Well there's nothing he can do about it, he's trying to run a business and support his family - they'll just have to suck it up like he's had to.  Maybe they'll try for a holiday next year.

And so it goes on the same for the next week, and the week after, and the week after that.....

Make sure you check out Rob's story tomorrow......

SystemsSteve Piper