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Business survey LI

Chad_6Chad_6 Member Posts: 18
Thats a bit of a ride? 150 miles? Do you have accounts set up in these far away areas?


  • Rich_18Rich_18 Member Posts: 25
    Business survey LI

    Good afternoon all,
    How would you say plumbing & heating is doing on Long Island ? I for one am slow, I'm getting calls , but seem to be getting windowshoppers, they want prices over the phone some I believe are just checking prices against proposals they already have . I'm usually cool about prices & advice over the phone but lately I feel like I cant say anything,I also feel that if I go on an est. for a new install I should get say $30 for that est. being how your going to someone else to beat it! I was on an est for a boiler a month ago ,the guy was getting six estimates by the time I got there the HO was completly confused ,everyone offerd a different boiler. Or you go & talk to the people & find a plumber was there before you & one is coming after you [we'll call you] July is slow for me anyway so I'm getting ready to bite the bullet. Hope someone says something positive! please reply thanks Rich
  • Empire_2Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343

    I am at the other end of the state,..WNY. I think it's a combination of people looking for the cheapest, Not the best designed system (unfortunately). I also do A/C and this is the slowest I have seen it in NY and I think it has to do with everyone being tight on the budget even though they need repairs or equipment. YOU CAN THANK NYS for that my friend. I don't have all the answers, but I am trying to lower my price, but one thing I will not do is loose on a bid. You can only go down so far before it cuts into your operating costs.

    Mike T.
  • Rich_18Rich_18 Member Posts: 25

    Thanks for the reply,
    I find on big proposals people dont even call back to see if I can beat it, they just go low .I dont do forced air [being mainly a plumber] but that industry cuts my throat! I'll lay out a nice high eff. set up 2 zones of b board CI boiler w/ indirect tell 'em its state of the art & all they care about is AC & 1/2 the price on the install.I READ THE THREAD ABOUT FOLLOW UP CALLS HA! people dont even expect it! its not something I normally do so I tried it & all I got was 'uh ,uh can I call you back? never did call back
  • Empire_2Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Same here

    I don't want to be to pessimistic, but THAT"S NEW YORK FOR YA!!! I to feel the pinch when calling back and all I hear is We haven't decided yet. Never called back again. Don't ever know If I was Hi or Lo in their eye's, but I can tell you one thing,...."Only the rich can afford POOR heating/Cooling.

    Mike T.

    PS. Hillary,.How is the job influx into NY going.? NOT!!!
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 14,980
    Have you considered

    a Find a Professional ad? Costs you nothing for the first three months. See if it works. is Google's #1 site for the search word, "heating."
    Retired and loving it.
  • Rich_18Rich_18 Member Posts: 25

    True, true if they blow there $$ on heating how are they going to feel when the ac comes on!
    No thanks Dan, tried it ,yellow book seems to do better for me
  • Empire_2Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    New York State??

    What I don't think people understand is that the money flow or cash flow is at a closely watched stand still. I know outsiders have seen it in the papers and said what's the problem,.Well ask the customer. It would be nice if we all went to FLAT RATE, but not in NY. Oh no, it's the state that has a tumor attached to it's **** that can only be removed by NYS itself. Go figure. In NYS, if you are doing business, be prepared for the on slot of unimaginary bogus taxes or regulatory fee's/ code infractions/ insurance over obligations/ paying your taxes before they are due/ sales tax/user tax/ liability Ins which according to NYS is about and I quote: 1,200.00 per man and that is all depending on if you do residential or commercial. Oh did I mention Health Insurance???\
    In New York State: "Would the last one out please turn off the light's"?

    KNow you know. I'll probably get audeted for this if they get ahold of it.

    Mike T. Nothing but SMILES...
  • Rich_18Rich_18 Member Posts: 25

    Thats the ah , 'stuff 'thats about to put me down
  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,188

    Paraphrase Dan "People are always going to need heat" I've been in this business for 27 years,almost all self-employed and some times have been better than others but it all evens out. What better time to be selling efficiency than when fuel costs are front and center?

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  • Al CorelliAl Corelli Member Posts: 454

    All that stuff you mentioned is positively KILLING us. We do what we can, but the state gets more than we get each month.

    We compete against guys who work out of their van with immigrant (illegal) help. These guys jump from supply house to supply house, leaving a trail of unpaid bills that the vendors have to recoup from somewhere. Guess where? Yup, from the loyal guys like us. Now, I know that some of us started out in a single truck office with little help, so don't jump all over me about that.

    My partner and I were going over the numbers (we are a small 6 man shop)and we figured we could do less work and make more money (way more money) if we downsized the crew and each of us got into our trucks with a helper and operated like our competition. Operate just under the radar.

    It is really screwed up when your business sense has to be spoiled by silly thing like morals.
  • Tony_23Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
    Exactly, Robt.

    Ups, downs, it all evens out.

    I've been selling efficiency as a front-line item for 6-7 years. I still do std eff work, but less and less all the time. Now that fuel costs are so high, most people want high efficiency. I already have the knowledge and experience that the "low bid guys" don't have. It's really paying off :)

    I found that trying to compete for low bid just isn't as profitable as I'd like. You run around spewing out quotes, getting 20-30 % of them, and the ones you get don't pay well because you're LOW BID. Remember, the lowest bidder makes the least amount of profit on a job.

    I sell efficiency, dependability, service, and a job well done. I have over a month's work ahead of me, and could use another experienced man but will turn down low bid shoppers instead. I ask them right up front what they are looking for, lowest price or best quality.

    As far as blaming NYS for your woes, EVERYBODY in NYS in business has the same issues to deal with as far as taxes, etc. That cry doesn't wash. Figure out your costs, all of them. Price your work accordingly. If you're not getting enough work or money you need to look at you, not them. Set yourself apart, above the competition. People will then call for YOU, not a low price.

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  • Empire_2Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Ouch Tony

    Your last paragraph, although true is just a-little rough. I am not making excuses, but I guess I am frustrated loosing bids over 2 to 300 and less. I you don't have a problem with NYS you are clearly going along with the status quoe... I guess in a perfect world all would be easy and VERY profitable, but I guess not. Believe me, my CO. makes money but I also have to deal with UN-liscened people under cutting me all the time. I would love to put a stop to it.

    Just venting Tony

    Mike T.
  • Tony_23Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033

    It takes "rough" to make someone really look at things from a different perspective.

    I too got tired and frustrated at losing jobs for even $50 on a $3000 quote. I figured out that if I price-match I can get beat up, if I outdo them on quality price is no longer the issue. Then it becomes how to finance it.

    And, I didn't say I LIKE how NYS does things, I just said I adjust for it. That's not really going along with the status quo, it's being realistic. I bet other states have their own issues to deal with, they all tax and they all ride the backs of the businesses.

    My area has NO licensing requirements, try dealing with that. I've seen a guy painting a house one week and installing a boiler or furnace the next. You know the guy, he's the one who lets you buy equipment from the hardware store and installs it for $200. When it has a problem, he calls at 11:00 P.M. crying for help because he's been there since 4:00 and can't make it work and you're supposed to feel sorry for him. NOT.

    There, that's my rant.

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  • Empire_2Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Tony, Appreciate the reply.

    My area also does not require License unless you are doing work in the city. That's OK with me. I accept your reply as my own as I have seen botched jobs,.And I really mean botched. When the customer does call me, I always ask who, when, Where. Not to criticize but if I see something that is incorrect or out right DANGEROUS I include a dig that makes them re think who they have doing the work. I only want to help and make it right!

    Thanks Tony: You are a wise man.;-)

    Mike T.
  • Tony_23Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033

    We're all in this together, right ?

    Glad I could help :)

    Where are you located ?

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  • Empire_2Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Buffalo, NY

    Just outside in the surrounding counties. Hamburg to be exact. I usually will travel up to 100 to 150 miles for work as most customers are referrals or friends of friends. I can actually Hit Ralph Wilson Stadium, Home of the Bill's in about 20 throws,.of a baseball;-) including the bounce;-) Well maybe when I was 25 to 30. Now it takes me getting into the van , drive up to the complex and giving it my all....;-)

    See Ya Mike T. Empire Mechanical
  • Empire_2Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343

    It is only 4 large commercial complexes and it's usually 2 days worth of work Ea.. It's worth the drive.

    Mike T.
  • Tony_23Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
    My Sister In Law

    Lives on Big Tree Rd. near the underpass. Don't recall the name of the development right now.

    I do a lot of business with Bflo supply houses. NE, Johnstone, Irr, ABR, Jordan, SH.

    However, my preference is Gander Mtn off Colvin Blvd followed by roast LI duckling at The Deerhead Inn on Clinton :)

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  • Empire_2Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343

    Brooke Gardes Estates?, Eaglecrest? Winter Brook apts?, Victorian Dr? Just a few. I also do business with your mentioned vendors. Deer head on Clinton, that the bar that has a condenser sitting on a window ledge?

    Mike T.
  • Tony_23Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
    Brook Gardens, I think

    Only been there once, she just moved. AquaPexed her MH in about 5 hours :)

    Deerhead Inn is in Gardenville. Don't think I've noticed a condenser on a window ledge. They've got 2 on the ground.

    "Time to make the donuts" See Ya

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  • Mad Dog_2Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,464
    Most of Nassau and Suffolk are solid middle to upper class

    two people working in the household, boats, summer homes, Catholic schools.......BUT they need to be beaten over the head with logic...and STILL you will only get a small percentage that will be smart enough to INVEST in their energy future. Work those leads! Mad Dog

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