Episode 24: Layne Kilgore, Ladies Under Pressure

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About this episode

In our very first “handywoman” success podcast, we talked with Layne and Lisa w/ Ladies Under Pressure. They have been in business 15 years, and shared their unique perspective as longtime owners of a handywoman business.

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Audio Transcription

Hello friends welcome to another episode of the handyman success podcast. My name is Jason call owner of handyman marketing pros. We do websites and SEO for handyman businesses. I’m here with my co host, Alan Lee, owner of the handyman journey, which is a business coaching group for professional handyman and home improvement services, as well as honestly Handyman in Sacramento a real awesome handyman business that serves the Sacramento region. The mission of handyman success podcast if you’ve been with us for a while, you know, but we are here to teach and inspire you. And we do that by bringing on amazing guests that are successful in their own way in the handyman trade and through their stories, through you know, what they’ve been through how they operate their business, you can pull real applicable things you can apply in your business to improve and also just draw inspiration that you can get to where you want to go. 100% just takes a little elbow grease and learning from those who have gone before us. So all that being said, super excited today to have our first handy woman business on the show, here with Lisa and Elaine with ladies under pressure. Thank you guys so much for being with us today. If you could give us a brief introduction of yourself and where you are and a little bit about your business.

Okay, um, yeah, we’re, um, thank you for having us. We’re, we’ve been so excited to come on here. And I’ve listened to all the podcasts that have come before and gain something out of each one of them. Thank you for the previous people who have said stuff. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. anybody listening? Hang on to this, this is good stuff. Because when we started almost 16 years ago, there wasn’t this kind of support and having this out there is invaluable. Take it, listen to it, learn it. Have fun. We are ladies under pressure. This is Lisa lane. And like I said, we’ve been at this for almost 16 years. We have a pressure washing company. We have all the pressure washing equipment to do everything but we also do all kinds of handiwork remodeling you name it, and we don’t really have any employees but we do have people that are working with us we’ve got actually Lisa son whom we’re making into we’re actually deciding to grow just now we’ve only stayed small because of choice because of family obligations and some things that we’ve had to go through in our lives. So we’ve stayed relatively small, we brought in people before but we’ll get into more about that a little bit later. And we I’ve got actually my sister doing a lot of my administration stuff for me right now. And it’s been really good just sort of keeping it low key in the family.

Awesome. Uh, we’re okay, it’s where are you guys located and if you could kind of give us your kind of how you guys got started in this business kind of like the story.

Okay, we’re located in Lexington, Kentucky, beautiful state of Kentucky. We love it here. This is it is the central part of Kentucky. And how did we get started? Well, we decided that we were tired of making no money. And we were tired of watching all these men go out there and do the kind of work that we like to do and know how to do and make all the money so we just did it.

We did it. We were actually neighbors and I was I came here to go to college and I started working for a rental company and so it was doing all the home repairs getting homes ready for Section Eight housing and things like that. So then I started picking up a little side jobs here and there on the weekend. I’m like Jesus Christ, they’re paying me nothing. So do all the money we had together and which was not much Balsam insurance and went out there and just gave it a go got really stiffed on our first job. We built the nine decks for a lady and she didn’t pay us one penny

nine, nine, but she

she didn’t. She didn’t pay any other contractors. It was built like two two apartment complexes and and just driving by coming home every day we drive by buildings that she she built. So I’m always hoping to see her there just a way better and say thanks. He taught me a lot.

It almost ended before it began. Yeah. So that because we’re like, oh my gosh, this is terrible. Yeah, we had time we had money. We had resources into these decks and she did not pay us a dime.

My mom was like, Don’t you dare quit your job to do this. Now. So I was like, Hey, do it, see what happens. And bam, first job, I don’t know. So yeah. And

my, my background is in television and radio. So it was kind of a kind of a reach for me, but I owned a home. So I kind of was interested in it. And she actually did some work in my house. And I’m like, we got to be really good friends. And I’m like, Hey, we could we could do this, we could totally do this, let’s, let’s just make it happen.

So, had a couple of beat up trucks and just went out there and did her thing. So

not a lot of tools at that time either. And he had some tools, we had couple power tools, but just not a lot.

And then what we did have got stolen out of the back of truck at low. So we had to do that all over again, on some pretty bad licks in the very beginning. So and we actually just bought a house right across the street from where we built a big deck, a city inspector here gave us a really hard time on in eventually in the end. You know, I was like, You know what, write your ticket. I’m not putting another boat nowhere. I’m not screwing another piece of wood anywhere. So write your ticket via about your day. And he just come out and said You women need to know your place in this business. Wow. Yes, it was. Yeah. So it was it was an eye opening experience. I was pretty upset about that. Yeah,

we’re not sure if he still works in the code department are not. Oh, no, but

yeah, but there is some great code inspectors here. I just would refuse to work in his area just because of his attitude. So

that’s where we are.

A lot of it’s self taught my background. I went to college for diesel technology. I love working on heavy equipment, things like that. But we’re out there we do what we do. We don’t take any jobs we can’t do and

do what we do. And so you you guys have had an uphill climb for sure. Yes, pretty amazing.

Yes. And no. I mean, some of it comes actually fairly easily because we were you know, we do talk to people and we get we get in there and get to know people and that’s what it’s about. It’s the people and getting to know and that’s that’s really all it is. It’s a people business. The skills you know, you can learn those but you just you got to talk to the people.

It is rough building up building back up trying to get all your tools replaced. About six months ago, we had some more stolen and got a call from a detective in Texas. They busted like a big ring out there like several semi truck loads of tools and her tools ended up in Texas.

Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Because we put our name on everything so he called us up and he’s like, Are you Are you ladies under pressure? I said yes. He said Well, I’ve got your your job box radio here in Texas. I said what? out but he kept calling

me first and I just kept saying on interest that I was really busy and I thought it was hey, I’m gonna sell you some insurance that I’m not interested on that do stop calling me and so I called her and says Hey, she keeps hanging up on me but I’m gonna be like holy crap.

That’s really funny. So did you so you guys it sounds like you got started with kind of handyman type stuff and at what point did you like move into pressure washing as kind of one of your main gigs

we had to we did a lot of custom title showers and things like that. And I just kind of got down in my back had some back surgeries and had to dislike tone it down for a little bit. And so we were doing power washing also with the handy man stuff and so I just tone things down and what started going Layton toward more power washing and still do the basics for everybody. Just not so much of the heavy bending all that stuff. Because you know custom showers are a lot of work and like will dislike breaking down. But I’ve had five back surgeries and this this will get to you yet well as I got in a car accident I had actually an electrical guy hit me he was overworked fell asleep smashed me at a red light that I put a battery pack in my back. So I’m all set up now and control it with the iPad and go on to the

robot and how you know that’s why she can get going. But yeah, we had to tone it down because we we were kind of all over the place. And we’ve done we’ve done major major major remodels, mostly kitchen remodel, a lot of nice kitchens. Yeah, and we really do enjoy that but it just it just gets to be too much the older you get

That’s a common I know topic on the handyman journey, like in the Facebook groups is, I’m getting older and I’m getting really sore like what? You know, and you tip. So I think one takeaway from that is, look at your services you’re providing, and it’s probably not gonna be an overnight thing. But if you start focusing and putting forward to within your marketing and communications, how you’re talking to people that, you know, pressure washing and the importance of it, and you know, the exterior cleaning, driveway sidewalk, so, you know, it could be a transition to, you know, maybe you won’t be doing zero hard work. I mean, everyone’s got to work harder once in

a while. Yeah, we’re not opposed to hard work.

Yeah, but at least this make that transition to something maybe a little bit easier on the body. So I think that that’s really great. A great little insight there. So is that ladies under pressure, was that always your guys’s business name, or whenever you kind of had this focus on pressure washing, did you update your branding and marketing or

when there is we made, we made a major shift, and completely changed the name, the branding, the logo, the everything. I don’t know if that’s typical for people to do, it didn’t seem to hurt us as far as like, the people we can serve and stuff like that. In fact, it seemed to help quite a bit. And a lot of that has to do with reviews. And let’s talk about reviews for anybody listening, you got to do whatever you can to get good reviews. And that means you’ve got to really understand your customer and bend over backwards to see these people for the special people that they are. And I also am on the Facebook group where people post questions and all of that stuff. And I see a lot of people really not understanding, I don’t think understanding that aspect of it. And they’re like, Well, does the customer not understand that I have to go on vacation and that I have to do that. No, they don’t, they don’t understand that. And so you have to really take the high road the vast majority of the time, and put yourself out there and take care of your customer. Absolutely take care of your customer, they’re the reason we do this, you know, they are inviting us into their homes, their intimate spaces, we see things that their families, their doctors, their psychologists don’t get to see. And that is that is hard for people to let you in and do that. So if they have a little bit of attitude, or if they kind of don’t see you, as a family member from the very getgo, you’ve got to understand that you’ve got to make them know, love and trust you.

Yep, so that’s good. We always coach people on like, you should treat people like, like you’re talking to your grandmother, like you just need to care for them. You know, it doesn’t it like when you’re thinking about your grandma, right? She births either your mom or your dad, right? And they birth you like there’s a lot of respect that needs to go into that relationship. And, you know, they don’t necessarily need to cater to your wishes, you need to kind of cater to their wishes. And that’s really what it’s all about. Because without clients, we wouldn’t be in business, you know, and there would be no reason to do business without clients. So they’re ultimately the most important thing. Not that we need to, you know, get run over by people who, truly but we do need to, you know, be polite, be respectful, and really make that client happy. So,

yeah, it’s gonna fall within the parameters of like your business, obviously. But there’s a respectful way to go about that. So as far as like, so when you guys made that transition to the new brand, and everything, so you’re saying like, you guys have really great reviews and testimonials and everything already. So that made the transition, like much easier.

No, I’m saying the opposite. Well, it wasn’t that bad.

The thing is, if you if you link up, there’s a thing, I’m sure it’s everywhere. It was angie’s list at the time. And there was clients, well, I can’t call him out because a client people you’ve never met, never been their property or anything. And they can give you a bad review. And you can rebut that, but it’s still there and it brings your grade down. And there’s nothing you can do about that. There is now

on Google, they just added a support request for anyone listening that has a bad review that is not relevant. If you actually did serve the customer, you could still try to get it removed. But there is a way now to get it removed through Google support system. So if that happens to you, you can report the review. Like whenever you look at the review, there’s three little gray dots going to report there. But there’s also you need to go through Google’s support system if you look up, removed from I’d Google review support or something. There’s support tickets now you can have them removed, we actually just had a few clients that was able to get their these reviews removed. So anyway, that was just a little segue. Because people yeah,

that’s that is excellent, because like, we’re Oh, geez, you know, at this point, because we’ve been around a long time, like I said, there wasn’t the kind of support. And when when we first started, Angie’s List was just getting getting popular. And we were on there. And we got so much business, so much business until they changed the game and started making contractors pay, and then it wasn’t a level playing field anymore. So it just became kind of a bad, a bad situation with all of that. And you could not get things like that removed now.

Oh, sorry, sorry. Well, I

just want to I don’t want to forget this. On the flip side of that, if you do get a bad review, you might want to look at it and ask yourself, What did I do? And how can I fix that? Don’t just, you know, say, well, they should listen to me when I tell them I’m going on vacation and all that? No, you need to really look into yourself and say, Gosh, why did I get a bad review? Could it have been something I did, because not everybody out there, out there is out to get you. A lot of people write bad reviews for a real reason.

And if and if I get a bad review, I’ll own it. If I if I if I was if I slacked or something I’ll say, Yeah, I was tired that day. And I could have done better. But the main reason for is, I just couldn’t do the work anymore. I just could not do it. I could not function I couldn’t get out of bed. It was it was tough. And so I was like, if we could just do the power washing for a while, it’d be great. Yeah. And I get bored with it very quickly, I say, Oh, look at this deck, it needs this. And he’s that, look at this house, I could use that. And so that’s what we just go in and do. And one of the great ladies we met here that became this basically came family. My son worked for a junk removal company and her ceiling had fell and he just said, Hey, my mom does this. And we went in and we took care of her the last five, five years of her life. And when she passed away, she left us her car, the contents of her home and her son’s a doctor in Indianapolis. And we actually still have her ashes here at our house, which is kind of bizarre, but he hasn’t had time to come in and take care of that. But anyway, we meet some great people. We love what we do. And the flexibility to be able to get my niece’s when I need to do for them, help my mom, things like that. It’s worth it to me,

I had to take some time out to my mom has Alzheimer’s, she’s she’s still with us, but I had to take some time out and navigate that disease and all that that entails. So that is the nice thing about this business and actually kind of remaining small, because we have, we do really good at like saving a bunch of money for the for the slow times or for times we want to take off or whatever. And so I was able to do that. And it’s it’s the only job that I know of that I could do that you know, and have that flexibility.

And then there is tons of money to be made. And there’s room out there for everybody. A lot of it. Some of the guys get offended because we’re women here, and we’re doing what we do, it’s getting getting a lot better. We pay cash for a home, the trucks are paid for all equipments paid for we owe nothing. So we work our butts off, and we get to do whatever we want. And we get to make people happy.

Yeah, I think you guys are I can tell that you guys really put a lot of love and the relationships with your clients. And it is a sacred place, you know, so it’s, that’s a parent. So I commend you guys for that. And one little quick thing I picked up on your pressure washing point was it’s super cool that I haven’t thought about this but when you’re pressure washing you can spot the problems with their debt or their siding. And so you know, there’s probably a lot of opportunity to to kind of bundle that with like a pressure washing plus like home checkup because you’re kind of cleaning things up in a way so I think that’s kind of neat little just something to think about as far as marketing communication perspective of something that you inspect the home you also wash it and get it all cleaned up. So super cool.

Why don’t we get up for their power wash? hear anything and you know, like I tell my son. If we see a problem that needs address, we will let them know whether they hire us to take care of it or not. They asked if we can do it. So absolutely take care of before you. That’s cool. But we if we see something we do make sure that they are aware that it really needs addressed. Yeah. And

once we’re once we’re in, or once they’re in our family, whichever way you want to look at it, they call us over and over and over and over and over again. I had one of my clients text me just a little while ago. Hey, can you slip this into your schedule? You know, on another? I mean, punches Francia both of them. I haven’t hit my personal phone. You know, it’s it’s me and them texting. I I don’t have anybody out there extra doing that kind of thing. I like it that way. But. But we’re thinking about shifting to going bigger, I don’t know. And we

we’ve been doing a lot of work for a guy from Italy. He came here. He’s been here like 60 years. And he owns like, 30 rental properties here. And it was so hard to, for him to say that women don’t do what do what we do in their world, I guess, as he explains it. And he every time he had a problem, if I’ve seen him somewhere, i Hey, I got this, got that. And I was like, hey, just just give us a shot. And that’s been four years ago, and he’s never heard anyone else. And

and he’s been our main customer for four years to be spoiled. Yeah. And he

and yeah, he keeps us he keeps us so busy. You know, we have to slip other people in. And then it’s like, he’s just like, Oh, don’t go to work for no one else. I’m like, Yes, we have to. But fabulous man, beyond several businesses here, pizza places, restaurants. And he was actually, he liked to always be a part of whatever was happening. He’s in his 80s. And I would pack a chair in the back of my truck. So he would have a place to sit. And always bring him a snack or something because he would always get hungry. And I’d have to stop. And I was never given somebody. But getting figured out we got to like each other figure it out. And he was on the job with us and went home that night had a stroke. He’s in a nursing home. And so we go see him every week. And we’re about the only two he’s not forgotten. So that’s, that’s very, very dear to me. Yeah,

yeah. Dad, I tell you what it’s, it has meant the most to me having these people in my life, they we, we treat everybody with respect. But having some of these super close people, it’s changed my life, it’s changed everything about who I am. Because of them. Because of the work that we do. And I find that amazing, I find it incredibly fulfilling. And watching someone with a pain point in their house or a problem in their house, or getting stuck as far as like getting stuck about, I can’t fix all this stuff. And I’ve got clutter all over the place. Watching a client go from like this little tiny bud opening up to a flower is amazing. It’s such an amazing feeling. So anybody listening out there who’s new to this, and you don’t feel that yet, keep going you will, I promise you, you will feel that and I Oh, from listening to your podcast to and listening to all the other people Handys have big hearts, they have big hearts me as they’re, they’re in it for the right reason. So if you’re out

there working on a job, and you see something like a screen needs re tucked or something, you know, have to charge for every little thing. This you know, we get a lot of old people, we get a lot of single mothers. If I see something simple, like they need a weather stripping return or something, I’m not going to charge them for that. I mean, that’s just that’s just who I am. If the if if little things like that, that’s how I’m gonna get to that million dollars I’ll never get there. So

I know Alan, for you guys is maintenance checkup that you guys do when there’s like little things like I remember one time you mentioned like a sliding glass like, you know, closet door was off the hinge and you just kind of pop it back in and things like that doesn’t have to build rapport. Right? Like

yeah, I’ve had people they call me out for an estimate. And yeah, they need you know, they’re like, oh, yeah, this this closet door isn’t working right. And while you’re there, you’re like, oh, it just needs to be popped up on the hinge or popped up on the track and they’re like, super grateful and it like took you like five seconds, you know? So it’s kind of those things that really establish rapport with our clients for sure. Last

night, and you literally can change their life and reframe it for them. And then they can, they can look at things differently just from that simple little fix. Just the other day, we were at a client’s house, and I was going in and out of their door a lot. And it was squeak and really bad. I’m like, yeah, that’s, that has got to be driving him crazy. And so I took my WD 40 and oil the door and I came back in and she said, Oh, I didn’t hear you come back in. I said, Oh, okay. Yeah, I didn’t say a word. Just fix the door.

Yeah, they live in a great they live in the historic district downtown. And it’s so beautiful down there. And one of the door inserts the whole hinge set up the novel that ticket out it was broken and searched antique shops for it fit in order a new one, none of it matched up. So finally, after about three weeks about one and a garage at Giovanni’s house, the guy who owns a rental properties, found it there and popped it in their head do a little bit just

works just fine. Yeah, that’s the above and beyond things that that I hope people can see to do. Because it didn’t really take anything extra for us to sort of look when we’re looking around for the little extra part, you know, isn’t if we did charge for the work? Of course, yeah.

And it is next door to Goodwill, we always pop in and goodwill. antique shops are that just love what you do? Treat the people good and just do people right and be in it with your heart. And things always happen nicely.

And that’s beautiful. So how do you guys? How do you guys market your business? Like how do you get clients?

Oh, well, in the very beginning, when we when we first started, I printed up a bunch of flyers, and walked neighborhoods. And I hear a lot of the Handys asking about that, too. You know what’s the best way, when you’re first starting out walk flyers, you still gotta hit the pavement, and walk the flyers, it’s still one of the very best ways. We don’t do that anymore. Right now I’ve had a lot a lot of success with next door. And with thumbtack, found some really great clients through thumbtack, and they’re not very expensive, you know, I’ve spent over the last month maybe $150. And I’ve gotten like 16 new clients from that. And they’re all right, in my demographic, they’re right there. It’s just been a really nice match for me. I hear a lot of people talking about both of those two platforms. And thanks, hey, oh, well, you only get you know, this kind of person or that kind of, but I’ve gotten really, really a lot of good success out of that. My website SEO is starting to really pick up. So that’s why we’re you know, we’re trying to decide, do we want to start branching to the bigger bigger? Probably because we’re getting so many people. I’m starting to go that direction.

And then we’re booked about two months out right now. Yeah. Wow. Yeah.

So So can we go back to when you were doing the flyers, because I think some of the guys would be interested in that, like maybe first started up? How did how did that go? Like, did you just put them on the front doors? Did you ring the doorbells? Did you talk to people? Like what was that? Like? And how many would you say you put out? Like,

oh my God, we’ve put out 1000s 1000s? Well, we

were talking like 100 Yeah, we’d take 100 at a time and walk a neighborhood. You know, there’s we kind of know Lexington really well. So we would pick up a neighborhood in the hamburger area or Hamburg in October Carlsberg or wherever and walk that out. And she’d be on one side street, I’d be on the other. And we would put it do not put it in people’s mailboxes. We’re not allowed to do that. We’ll do that you will get in trouble. Yeah, um, but you can put them in their in their screen door, you know, someplace where they’re going to be able to see it. You put it up onto the mailbox where their newspaper is, if they still get newspapers. That was 1516 years ago. Yeah.

I would say a lot of the neighborhoods that were that you would think you would you would gain a lot of business out of a lot of times. I would go in before I would go to school and just hit a neighborhood and not get one call from that neighborhood. Yeah. And then you go in like a hello request neighborhood and about a 50 flyers, you may get 10 calls. Yeah, I mean, it will just be a hit and miss and you know, Dr. Child’s Berg area, you go up there and every five $6,000 home you see the side of it’s green. You’re like oh yeah, though. They’ll blow this up. powerwashing we’ve probably got like three power walking jobs out of that place. We’ve got a couple that’s always consistent every year. Come and do my job. Come and do my job. But

Yeah, the flyers, it reminds me a shout out to pulp a Chico Pj is our first interview on the show. But yeah, never like anytime I hear people talk about flyers, I would think of Paul because at the time he had like four or five technicians. They’re all working on doing dryer vent cleaning everything. And then I see him on Facebook driving around with flyers. He’s always marketing in and you know, he’s booked out, they’re super busy. He’s always marketing and always handing out flyers driving his dog. And so anyway, shout out to Paul, he’s does really well. And even when times are busy, like the walking around, and just in handing out flyers and drop them off at doors and neighborhoods that you know, your ideal clients would be there around other clients. It’s kind of tried and true, you know? Yes, it’s

absolutely yeah, always keep keep a stack of business cards in your pocket, not in your truck and your purse in your pocket. So that when you’re talking to people, because this naturally happens, you will be talking to the cashier at the grocery store and he or she will be like, just chitchat and and then something comes up and you’re like, Oh, well, here’s my card. I can’t tell you the number of clients we’ve gotten like that. And so always have business cards on you. They’re they’re cheap. They’re easy to make, have your business cards on you. Put your business cards and or flyers up in the grocery store bulletin boards, up in the whole foods, bulletin boards, you know people allow a lot of businesses allow you to put your business cards in your fliers I’ve gotten tons of clients that way

Habitat for Humanity put on put on there. Another thing too, you want to always present yourself as if you have a client will watching you like a potential client is watching you. A friend of mine that owns a painter’s place here, Antoine Adams painting. He’s he’s pretty big. He does a lot of historic stuff. And I was sitting at a red light and watched one of his guys and his company van flipping people off at the red light. And hey, you need to like put your guy in check. You know?

Yeah. And Antoine was like, Oh my gosh, yeah, I’ll make sure my my guy doesn’t do that. Yeah, cuz he’s real cool. He’s, you know, yeah,

he does. He does a lot of big high powered jobs around here and in the historic district, and you just can’t, you just can’t have people out there running around, do that. And we did get also a lot of businesses, we took a piece of all thread and ran it through a pink hardhat and mounted it to the top of our old man that we had when we first started. And then we I was taking down a chimney off of this edition we were doing and seen a trailer over into the woods end up buying it off of this guy. We grinded it down, sanded it down painted it pink just drove it around town.

Now your trailer so I got that goes a long ways. And she got a ton of work. So yeah. On that note with the with, you know, act as if someone’s watching you, when you’re in the client’s house, when you’re in and around the neighborhood in their yards, whatever. Assume you’re on camera with everything you say and do yes, these days, you probably are. Don’t walk out of the house, you know, like talking bad about your client talking bad about other contractors and stuff like that, because you’re likely to be heard

now, we have subcontracted out some windows in the very beginning. And I don’t have a problem rolling up and in sending some guys home because I’ve done it. When I roll up and you’ve got your shirt off their cigarette butts in the yard, you’re going behind the shirt thinking you can take a leak there things like that. When there’s a marathon with and seeing distance, I will send you home really quickly. And we’ve had to do that. And they don’t think that oh, they’re women, they’re not gonna do anything. And so until your name is on the top of that check that pays you I will tell you what to do. So you will not be risk disrespectful. And that is total disrespect. You do not take your shirt off on a jobsite. I just it just blew my mind. I had to throw that out there. Because I see that every day here. Nobody wants to see that keep your clothes on. You’re at a person’s home. That is you’re doing work for keep a close eye on this.

I imagine that over the 16 years you guys have taught a lot of lessons on judging people by their character and their work and their actions.

Then you run across. We did have a guy, we went into his house and he wanted us to do painting in his basement. But he said I have to walk you down there. Whoa, we’re not we’re not even doing that. Here’s what he said. I said, Why, what are you talking about? He said, Because of the fumes, so Oh, no, we can’t help you today.

He does. He said, We gotta walk down there. I’m like, Are you Christ? No, like, it’s hard for us to know, if it’s really all that different for men and women, because there’s not a lot of women in the business. But listening to a lot of these men talk on your podcast has made me realize that there’s a lot of similarities, and there really isn’t a difference. I mean, the work is the work, you know, the, the biggest difference will probably be in the way strength, you know, a man strength is typically stronger than a woman. As far as the physical ability.

We have had. We’ve had a couple of wives to get jealous. No, yeah, has happened. And that was, I mean, the work was completed did a custom shower for these. I think he kind of acted on a little bit. But it was seriously nothing. I was outside cutting some tile that I look up and She’s peeping at me through the pine tree. Like, I’m like, what is happening? And then she gets on to him for sitting out there talking to me. So you have to just judge people as they are. I mean, yeah, there was we’ve had people wives get jealous of us. And that’s

we’ve had not what we’re there for. We’ve had girlfriends of girlfriends get jealous. We’ve had boyfriends have boyfriends get jealous, it’s really weird people thing, I guess, maybe it’s a tension? I don’t know. I don’t either never hit on anybody. I swear, we don’t know,

it’s a lot of there’s a lot of stigma, you know, and, you know, men versus women and like, the the old time rolls and stuff like that. But I think it’s good that you guys are doing what you’re doing. I think I mean, it definitely shows that there’s not a whole lot of difference out there there is. And really, we need to be a lot more open than kind of what we have been in the past. So

absolutely. We do and have had, though, I think probably more of a close ratio. As far as like the number of people that we’re able to get, I think ours is probably a little bit higher. And the trust factor seems to be somewhat higher, too, as far as like trusting, like the single women in particular trusting someone in their home. And we’ve had them tell us that, you know, I’m so glad you’re women. You know, I don’t I don’t trust men in my home.

We’ve gotten people’s kids off the bus before. That’s probably the one thing that sticks out in my mind the most, we were doing a taking out a cast iron to put new tub and doing a bunch of tile in this bathroom. And this lady had left her newborn baby with her mother. And her mother was too old to take care of the baby. So we ended up taking care of this baby until she came home like at 830 in the night. And we had we had a good conversation with her and say, hey, look, we noticed this about your mom, she can’t take care of this baby. So you might want to find a different, different bill, you know, but I don’t know I’m sure a man would have picked up on that as well. Maybe, maybe not.

There’s no way we can know and would have picked up on that or not.

I’m like no one’s getting that baby. What’s the Doom? You know, you’ve got to cut some towel, change a diaper and make a bottle. And it was it was nuts. But I’m a mother. You look for those things. And I’m sure

there’s no arguing like the you know, the biology differences between male and female. And it’s really interesting to hear you guys have stories and see like where the female instincts motherly instincts can kind of shine out in your hand handy woman business. Yes. That you know, it’s it’s just really, really interesting and really cool to hear that. You know, you don’t hold that back. And you guys are just who you are just like how any handyman to you. They’re just who they are. And yes, absolutely. But certainly, you know, carrying sitting with a baby till 8:30pm What most guys probably recognize, you know, who knows, but a mother’s instincts. It’s like 100% of time we’re gonna stay there.

Yeah, yeah, there was no way he was only like two weeks old. Like baby teeny, weeny baby and she was obviously searching for suffering from early onset of Alzheimer’s or something. And she just couldn’t hear him crying upstairs and stuff like that. So we’re just like, hey, let’s go to with

you, whatever. This was long enough ago to that dementia, Alzheimer’s and the whole shebang. There wasn’t as well known and well understood. I mean, this was what maybe 1213 years ago so it’s different times now and here’s

something we’ve done also. Like say for instance, like we’re her mom is, you know, go out there and donate a donate a small paint job, kind of paint a room or something. You usually see like some kind of fundraisers going around. You can you can throw in You know, locker, room redo or something. And that always leads to extra work we did that for was something down here at Rupp Arena for AIDS research, I believe it was, it was a vaulting table. We donated a bunch of work through through that and met some cool people. But just just go throw it out there. I mean, you don’t always have to get paid for every little thing.

Yeah, I mean, if you, if you donate work, or whatever comes by nine times out of 10, it’ll come back big for you big, big, big, big, like Habitat for Humanity. That’s another good one, to get your exposure to get your name out there.

And you have, you have the tools, you have the skills, go out there work for those people one day, because it’s gonna be a home for a family. And because I was home, go to families and just go out, you don’t get to kill yourself, just go out there and throw up a wall or two. That’s it.

So moving on, kind of more operation your business. I know time is flying here. I know. I told you how do you guys if you could kind of explain your estimating process and also your guys’s like pricing? Like, how do you estimate and then price jobs for your clients? All right, well, I’ve

got a perfect example, we typically still go out in person, one or both of us will go out in person. And here’s why. Estimating has gotten a lot easier with like Google Maps and the PVA is you can definitely research your customer before you get there. In fact, I highly, highly recommend it find out as much about your customers they know about you. You know, look them up on Facebook, do all the things that they’re doing for you. But we like to go out in person. I had a lady, she’s an older client, I mean, older as in, I’ve had her before. She called me up and she said, I really really need just a little bit of my patio pressure washed. It’s the birds have pooped on it. And it’s this spot and this spot. If I send you a couple of pictures, can you give me an estimate? And I said, Sure. And she did. And so I gave her an estimate. And it was reasonable for what the amount of work was. Well, I sent her her son, our tech out to do the pressure washing job. My fault, I didn’t explain to him exactly what needed done. But he likes to do a really good job. And he’s a very, very thorough person. That’s why we like him working for us. And he went out there and washed like the whole set of her house and the patio and all this stuff. That was way more way more than I would have charged. I mean, even 16 years too into it, you can still make mistakes like that, and go out there

and meet the person go out there, even though

I’ve been to her house before. And she told me it was just a little part where the birds pooped. But it ended up being a whole lot more and she didn’t stop him, you know, so

you can’t charge more. You can’t say up. Yeah, charge more.

There’s my fault. There’s my fault. So went

out there person took a look at it. So be as I’m sure that you can, you can hire someone to go estimate jobs or whatever. But we’re small. So we go do it ourselves. And if it’s something we that’s happening behind a wall or something we do let them know if we run into an issue, this is what it is to do this job. But if there’s something else going on, we stop immediately and bring them and explain it to them. This is going to be your difference in your price. Always do a change order form. It gets messy if you don’t do a change order no matter what.

I know that

you guys prefer a very thorough estimate process.

Typically, yeah, because I like to see what I’m getting into. Because even if the client takes pictures of what they’ve got going on and everything, the client doesn’t know what they’re looking for, they don’t know what the pitfalls are going to be they don’t

You don’t know if you know, in a picture, you’re not going to be able to tell if all the grout is gonna blow out or whatever concrete is going on. It’s gonna break and bust and go on. I like to go see it for myself. Yeah, I do too. And eventually

we might put an estimator on it. But I don’t know.

And then you got like a kind of set deal if it’s lights or outlets, ceiling fans. Yeah. Those are set. Yeah, if you if you build a 10 by 20 deck, something like that. It’s kind of set depending on how high up is off the ground, all that stuff.

In other words, we don’t charge hourly never have probably never will. Because there’s just a perception of an hourly rate that just lowers your, your grade, so to speak, in people’s minds, you know what you need to make an hour but you don’t need to necessarily advertised.

Yeah, it’s like it’s like, just like watching Oh, you’re taking off a long time get that screwdriver out of your truck. What’s happening? Yeah, you just, we don’t wait, it

looks at the clock rather than the quality.

Exactly. Right, exactly.

So so how do you guys figure out how to charge for things? I mean, say you say something looks like it’s gonna take you an hour? How do you know what to charge for that?

I just look at it and say, Hey, how much how much work is it going to be to me to do this job, basically,

we’ve been doing it long enough that we can pretty much size up how many hours it’s gonna take. And you know, we can do like a, like a quarter of a day type of thing a half day, a full day, I’ve heard other other Handys say that too. And it’s a really good way. And we’ve started adopting that more through this podcast, I really liked that

well. And also, if I have a set rate, if, say, if I’m going to paint a painter standard deck for, say, $2,000, and I go out here and someone really needs it. And I know they can’t pay that they may be able to pay $1,800, then I’m going to adjust things so they can so they can keep their deck and not have to rebuild the thing in a couple of years or whatever. So that’s why we like to go see it, see it meet the people see kind of how their life is you can tell you can tell

that so you guys are have been using a quarter day, half day full day to like for most jobs. And

she’s adopted that like I’ve adopted it lately. We haven’t always done it that way. But I

feel like this has changed her life. I’m sorry, I haven’t I haven’t listened

or listened to one yesterday.

She’s like, okay, okay, I didn’t get stuck. And so super focused on workout is just so I don’t

know, I just I forget which which one said that, but I really liked that concept a lot. So I have been sort of trying to incorporate that a little bit. With what we’ve been doing with this, the one particular client for so long, we sort of have a different scale with them. Because so much work, they have given us so much work, I mean, to the point where we can’t do anything else, so much work enough to support us to a couple $100,000 A year type of work. Yeah, so

we do all their maintenance and all the rental properties, anything breaks, we fix it. And they would be like a set flat rate when people move out, this is what the paint job would cost to go in, get it in get out. So but I mean, they, they throw us off, we get all we everything, the building of the fences, the decks, the paints,

all of it. Yeah, having one. I mean one a relationship like that with a big property manager or someone who owns a lot of rentals that can really be a game changer for the business. And it’s something that I don’t mean Alan always advocate for, you know, reaching out and trying to build those relationships. Because once you have it it’s to can be a lot of work. And a lot of it’s really predictable. As far as you know, regular maintenance items.

You do get lazy in your marketing though. And so if you do if you do plan to grow, and you do want to take it to, you know, whatever the next level is for you. You kind of want to keep some people in your pipeline so that you have a little bit more to fall back up back.

Another thing another thing too, there’s here, I’m sure it is everywhere else as well. They have a thing called the landlords Association and they meet here every first Tuesday of the month. If you can go in and meet a lot of the landlords and the people who owns a lot of these buildings and complexes, you will get wrapped up in work.

Yep, go in there and hand out your your business card and you know, get stand up in front of them and give a little blurb of you know, what you do and who you are. A lot of people are really shy about doing that kind of thing. Get over it.

Giovanni got Giovanni took me to a few of those usually go to Golden Corral, or, or some Chinese restaurant and they all get together be about 100 people there. And so a lot of spring a pocket full of cards are gonna get you’re gonna get some business. Yep, that’s awesome.

So what would you guys say are like your 16 years? And what are your goals? Like where do you? Where do you see this business being in 16 more years? Because you’ve talked a little bit about, like on the theater of like, should we grow? Should we not? Should we hire people? What are your guys’s thoughts and like, what are your ultimate goals?

That’s an excellent question. I’m glad you asked that one. We I see myself in the coaching position. And one of the things I’ve been thinking about lately because our ICA are typically women, single between age not necessarily single but women between the ages of 40 and 85. We just had that one was 95 the other day. And um, some of the women want to do the work themselves, but they’re super afraid to ask a man, they’re really glad when they need us, they want us to teach them so I’ve been thinking either either and going that route and I would like to coach other Handys Okay, that’s one direction we see it going the other direction is to hire out, you know, bigger teams, get

some more trucks and learn my son kind of let her

let her son be a team leader and and go from there and grow in that direction.

I don’t see myself doing coaching. Really? No, she I am a hands on. I have to be in there. I don’t take my truck to any garage or change my own oil change my own brakes. I am in there. I want to be a part of it. And

what’s your degree in diesel technology term degrees in diesel technology? So she does all that stuff herself. And she you know, love it. Love it? Yeah. She’s in it hands on every day. So I don’t know. We’re sort of in a in that phase right now. Oh, no. I love social media. And I love being part of social media. So I want to work with that as well.

Yeah, get it done. So we’ll see. We’ll see where it goes. I’m really, I’ve my son was kind of stuck. He’s stuck. He was stuck on fishing for a long time. So now he’s kind of where he needs to be and trying to leading him in that direction, teaching him a lot of things. He laid his first laminate floor the other day and did a really good job night and it felt good to for me not have to lay it and just to pay you go do the flooring, and I’ll go on about something else. And right now, we picked up a few mo jobs because older clients needed someone to cut their grass guys that bought a mower. He’s out mowing yards today. It’s just I don’t know. It seems like older people attract to me Yeah.

Applause it’s nice to really well, it is nice to give him direction. And it’s nice to have somebody on our team

that can trust rust. And let me elaborate on that we had someone that worked for us that was an amazing painter worker. We went and picked her up every day worked for us for about three or four years. And now

they’re female with us great

girl. She went into a state troopers house and stole from him. Wow. Yeah. And you know, and that broke a lot of trust. And so immediately you’re done. Oh, yeah, she died that moment you are done. And so it’s, it’s when I bring someone in, I kind of have that trust issue with him. I kind of watch them. Are they going to take something? Are they going to do something because he could have very well posted our website Hey, it came in my house and stole something and that will destroy it. So he knew who was eating his home and he knew where she was and he knew what was taken and she did what she did.

But you don’t want to steal from anybody but I feel like a state trooper is certainly someone who don’t want to be stealing from someone else if

you’re gonna do it that’s what I said to anyone it was medication that she stole

Yeah, it wasn’t like he was hammer he was a cancer patient. Yeah. It just kept getting worse for her and and I would say I was extremely upset with her over that and it was probably good that it might have came to blows I will honestly say that it may have had because I was so angry because we worked so hard to build this and and to help you because your husband didn’t work so we helped you work to every day picked you up gave you a ride to and from work and you come in and you still you do something that’s stupid. So well that’s

something that comes to mind what you mentioned like teaching and growing you know which one do we do but you know, any business that grows like teaching as part of it, because you’re teaching exactly will grow. There’s a lot of quotes out there about you know, leadership is just about growing everyone around you. So there’s a lot of like synergy between you know, those two kind of passions of you know, working in the business and growing it and and teaching people so I think that there’s just a lot of opportunity there for you guys.

Yes, I agree. And I love it. I I have one girl I coach right now she’s not in the handy business, but I do coach her as far as like she’s trying to get a business up and running and I coach her and she’s so thankful and so grateful and I’ve watched her blossom, you know, and it just it’s amazing. It’s an amazing feeling to get that synergy. Anybody new out there to listening there is more work to do. then can ever be done by all of us put together. Don’t compete with your other Handys don’t compete with the other people in your town. Work together. Yeah, we’ve had people just

take our signs down. Yeah, they take them down, throw away.

Yeah, we put up some bandit signs, just recently new bandit signs and

we can’t power wash all the greenhouses just so you know. Yeah, we can’t

do any of ourselves. But they just

it’s thrown away. All of them’s gonna accept one. Oh, wow. What are you gonna do? That’s okay. We

haven’t found success with bandit signs. Personally, I don’t know a lot of people do say they’re great. I don’t know. I don’t like him.

Awesome. Awesome. Well, so I got one more question for you guys. So what how would you define success for your particular business? your guys’s particular life? There’s a lot of other lot of people who be like, Oh, once I, you know, make a million dollars, I’ll be successful, or, you know, whatever it is, what, what’s your guys’s definition? And do you feel like you’ve reached that point in your life yet? Or is it something you’re still aiming for?

Oh, gosh, I feel successful every morning, getting getting up to go do this. I really do. And now I haven’t always felt that way. Because there have been some hard years, there have been a lot of hard things that I’ve gone through. But I think just the mind shift that I personally have gotten to where I realize that there is an abundance out there when I realized that the synergy of going back and forth and helping each other is really where it is. That’s really what makes you successful. That’s success for me. And I know that I’m in the right place because I enjoy going and meeting these people. I met a new client yesterday, she was delightful, you know, and she rescues kitties. And you know, she wants her wants her patio pressure washed and everything. I really enjoy meeting the people that feels fulfilling and successful to me. And of course, the our long term clients that we’ve had, you know, our our older folks that we’ve had, and of course, our lady who passed away they’ve changed my life and they’ve made everything come full circle for me and I feel like that success. Yeah. Is money part of the success? Well, yeah, absolutely. And we do make a lot of money you know, and we we’ve obviously made enough to support ourselves and pay cash for a house and pay cash for vehicles and stuff like that. So that’s that’s a big portion of it, too. So don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of money out there. And that is part of my success to Well, I live comfortably I do what I want to do.

Yeah, I think we’ve we’ve are very successful. Going from where we started to where we are now. Yeah,

even if we never did grow any bigger. But I would like to pivot just a little bit maybe not grow so much. But pivot,

we had a s 10 truck and I’ll beat up van when we first started and a couple of hammers Yeah. When we first started and then we got some new Silverado setting out here, and they’re they’re paid for we got five trailers. Plenty of tools to do anything that we want to do to a home.

But you lead with

the relational side of the success but I think the tea probably go hand in hand with treating

with the relations because that’s that’s where it’s at.

Yep. Yeah. No, this treat people right and you’ll be successful. Do the right thing.

stay productive and the money will come. Yeah. Okay.

Great nuggets right there. I feel like I feel like we’re getting educated by just some loving mothers like this. Like, this is what you need to do, sonny.

Well, that’s, I’m sorry. That’s the way it comes out. You know, I have a great, I have a very lovely 34 year old son C 34. Yeah. 34 year old son, and he has two children. And so something’s going on their son’s going right.

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, thank you guys so much. We’re gonna be wrapping up here. Thank you guys for being on this podcast. This has been fantastic. There’s so much that we didn’t get into I know you guys. So we definitely got to have you guys back. In fact, let’s ask the audience audience if you guys want to have ladies under pressure back, leave us a comment like blow it up so that we can get them back on here. It’s going to be fantastic. So just want to say thank you guys for being here again. Jason, thank you so much for being a co host with me if you guys want to get in touch with Jason check him out over at handyman marketing proz.com He’s fantastic at all things marketing. If you want to reach out to me, check me out at handyman journey.com I would absolutely love to talk with you. You can schedule a time to talk with both Jason and I at our respective websites. We are an open book we would absolutely love to help and I’m sure you can reach out to Elaine and Lisa as well if you have any questions thank you guys so much for listening whatever platform you’re listening on like this video or like you know like the audio and also leave us a comment thank you guys so much and one