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  1. bidding help

    I realize is almost a year later, but I just ran into your reply to another colleague on how to calculate for pricing on small office cleaning jobs. I do have one question concerning that, if I may ask. Concerning your calculation per sq ft... could you further explain that? So, say there's an office of 3000sq ft, then what would the per foot charge be and does it include wages, overhead and supplies on that fee? Thanks for your response, Rob
  2. Residential questions

    JBRUNO, I own a small to mid-size cleaning business in the Washington, DC Metro area. If you have questions related to starting a house cleaning business, I'd be more than happy to answer them. My direct e-mail is: Rob@Houservices.com
  3. Before Hiring Immigrants read This NOW......

    I think these anti-immigrants would do well to remember that their ancestors were also immigrants to this land that belonged to the Indians for thousands upon thousands of years, they are living on stolen land. Europe and the world would never had begun colonizing this territory had it not been for Spain and all the work it did with all the explorers it sent here in the 1500s. This is a site to share our professional opinions, suggestions about this industry. Perhaps these anti-immigrants should find an anti-immigrant board, I am sure there are many to spew their bile and hatred. They don't fool anyone with their extreme and obvious bias. New York City’s Republican mayor, Mike Bloomberg may have summed up best when he wrote the following in today’s Wall Street Journal: “In New York City, 500,000 of our more than three million immigrants are here illegally. Although they broke the law by illegally crossing our borders or overstaying their visas, our economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deported. The same holds true for the nation… Now, instead of pointing fingers about the past, let's accept the present for what it is by bringing people out of the shadows, and focus on the future by casting those shadows aside, permanently.” Just a few links to educate, these "not-so professional" members: http://benevolus.typepad.com/benevolus/2006/05/this_whole_immi.html http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=leg_legislationd397 http://www.dnu.org/service/grist-oct05.pdf#search='immigrant%20misconceptions'
  4. NEWB question

    I am the sole owner of my company and prefer not to do business with friends or family....as said before....doing business with them, it's a good way to lose them. I chose to become a Limited Liability Corporation from Sole Proprietor that I was before, because it protects my personal assets. The same with a Corporation. A Corporation however, is a little more complex: there are attorneys involved, minutes to keep, and different people to title (President, VP, Secretary, etc.). I'm not sure if most States give you the choice to become an L.L.C. but look into the Pro's and Con's for your specific needs.
  5. Self Or Cpa ?

    I still do my own Accounting, I have limited experience that still allows me to handle my own books and taxes. These two softwares are user-friendly enough to handle it on my own + my limited experience in the field. Perhaps when the business gets larger I may not be able to handle it but for now it works. Turbotax asks me more questions about deductibles and other stuff than most Tax places (H&R Block, etc.) have ever asked me and have ended up not deducting things that could've been. I'm in the House Cleaning (Janitorial) business and for the past 2 years been blessed to gross in the six figure category and still use the software...it also helps you estimate your quarterly taxes so that you don't fall short and be surprised at the end of the year. Now for Payroll is a COMPLETELY different story...that I let my Payroll company handle that and they send "Employer's Taxes" to the State & Federal agencies as needed. Too many different times & places to send those taxes for me to remember on time.
  6. Screening estimates

    I agree with Beth and Rod about using a Mapping Software to map your estimates/jobs together by physical location...especially with gas price$. Keep in mind though, that you can also use Mapquest (free online) which would do the same and you can access it from your cell phone; provided you have online service on it. I'm brand new to this forum and haven't yet done any jobs in this field. I own a small House Cleaning (janitorial) company and can relate to the feeling that most clients want a discount. The way I usually handle it, is that I thoroughly explain to the client the process that it takes to get the job well-done. By educating them and clearly explaining it to them what it takes, they better-understand the reason for the price and most would book with me. Now if the client's first words are related to $$ or mention the price too many times, I get suspicious that they're trying to get a discount or are shopping around for the lowest price. I personally don't "compete" based on price but instead on quality; and this is what I tell those clients that want to nag about price. I politely and briefly explain to them the steps that it takes, materials and time...and if after that they mention that someone else would do it for less...I just let them know that they have to look no further then; but if I could be of any assistance in the future to not hesitate to call me.
  7. Advertising

    Hi ya'll ! I'm new to this forum and would like to share my experience with Service Magic. I must warn you, my experience with them is in a different field: House Cleaning (Janitorial). Yes, that is correct- there is an annual fee of $99, PLUS there is a fee for each lead that you ACCEPT. As I understand that ACCEPTANCE fee ($$) varies according to each industry. The one good thing about my business is that I pay that fee but I have a repetitive customer (weekly/bi-weekly) due to the business that I'm in. I know it would be different in this field (PW) cuz you'd pay for the lead and if the client is satisfied you will be called monthly or seasonally, etc. Now keep in mind: you must select, not the counties/cities that you operate in but instead you need to supply them with a list of ZIP CODES that you service. Also, you are not the only contractor who is receiving the lead. Depending on how many other contractors are subscribed to them in the same area; there will be 3 or more contractors getting the same lead for the same job. So sometimes is a matter of who retrieves the lead and contacts the customer first but MOST IMPORTANTLY who sells their service best to the client. That's why it's important to keep up with technology to retrieve the lead by computer (best) while on the road, cell phone (not as much info for us to make accurate decisions). If you are NOT chosen by the client, you STILL pay for accepting the lead eventhough the client might have decided to go with someone else. As I understand, they try to supply the client with a few/more choices (contractors) so they can better compare. I hope this has been helpful...and I know this is just general info and not specific to this industry. Overall the response that I've gotten thru Service Magic has been helpful to my business. SORRY IT WAS SO LONG. Rob Arlington, VA