The Biz and other scams

Unca Jones (best-smith@TRIAX.COM)
Sat, 28 Nov 1998 20:08:23 -0800


There are a few questions I need answered before I can best advise you.
Bear with me on this, a lot depends on what state you live in.
1. What state do you live in.
2. What size city, large, small?
3. What are you charging on the following? And how long is it taking you
to complete the job.
   Apartments, maid service, house keeping, janitorial, porter, what
strength maintenence skills: electrical, plumbing, drywall repair,
appliances, painting (brush, roller, spray)?

     My wife Lynn and I will be happy to share our info on your
subjects. We are currently reformatting our basic manual on cleaning so
it will be another week or two before we'll be able to E-mail it.
     I can attempt to post a few tips as they come to mind:
 1. Lynn contracts her houses by square footage, a four bedroom 2 1/2
bath w/garage and hauling should run $250 and take upward of 6 to 8
hours total. A cakewalk (good condition) 3 bdrm 2 1/2 bath can still get
$150-$200 and take 2 to 4 hrs (if you're real lucky 1 1/2 hrs).
2.  Relocation companies (large corporations importing short term
foreign workers), check your phone book. We charge $25-35 on maid
services (1/2 hr.), and upward of $100 on resets.
3.  Would it amaze you if I said we do on average 80 maid services and
80 turnovers (move outs) as well as 2 or 3 houses per month. With TWO
people (plus a helper).
4. We bill an average of $7000. per month - higher in the summer.
5. I run our painting dept. (all one of me, I do maid services three
days a week, part-time). I charge $50 for touch-ups (30-40 min), $65 to
$210 depending on ceilings, up to $350 for trim, doors. Most apartments
take 3 to 6 hrs, although if you've been with a property for awhile you
can be in and out in under an hour and still charge full price (that's
where experience - a few tricks I'll go into in future - counts).
6. Free rental guides will allow you to pick and choose advertising in
your area, keeping travel time to a minimum.
7. The right chemicals and techniques, tools etc. Lynn will probably
cover some of that and the rest will be in the manual.
8. Painting can be a breeze or a nightmare, I'll send you a list of
tools to get (under $100).
9. Jumping from job function to job function (painting to cleaning to
maintenence) will only tire you out, you need to concentrate on your
biggest money maker and sub-contract the rest out, taking typically
25-35% of gross, subs should submit bills on the first of the month and
receive checks three weeks later.
10. Most large firms deal with 30 day billing cycles; submit your bill
and thirty days later you receive a check in the mail. Taking on new
business always consider if they pay promptly, late pays will sink a
company. Good pays kick out checks weekly (after an initial 30 day wait)
others lump sum regularly each month.
11. As a "woman owned" business you qualify for tons of government
assistance.

     If it's alright with everybody, I'ld like to post up everything as
we go along . That will save me the time of having to print all this
stuff over and over again. This material will be free for nonprofit use
and remains sole property of Best-Smith Services, Inc. (that being said
in case I have to squash some fatcat like a bug) - please distribute
this material, accompanying ownership info freely. Pardon my french, but
ten years of financial friggin freedom FINALLY gave us the life we
always wanted; a house in the suburbs (we wanted that for our kids)
we've been in 4 1/2 years, and cars that run seven days a week (1 truck,
1 Minivan, an Audi sedan), we own two of the three outright. Not bad for
being on welfare ten years ago, on the street a couple years before
that.
     Nuff said fer now,
     Unca Jones