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Old 10-11-2019, 02:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Small Business Owners - What's your schedule?

My welding shop equipment and 2 employees have gotten to the point where "put out the biggest fire" isn't a great way to organize my day. Almost all of the production is handled by employees, I do all the mechanical repairs on equipment and sales. Improving the production process and products is a big part of my days as well.

I'd like to hear from more experienced managers and business owners on how you organize a basic day or week.
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Old 10-11-2019, 03:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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"Plan" to not have fires to put out. What kind of fires are we talking? Material shortages? Machine breakage? Employee errors breaking deadlines? Truck's out of gas? If you are short on time, delegate. It'll take longer in the beginning. Don't think that you don't have time to train someone. It'll pay off.
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Old 10-11-2019, 03:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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12 hour days.
I have 14 employees in a high-production collision shop.
I get to work 5:30-5:45am.
Surf Pirate for a bit.
Then I get my day organized. I know what needs to happen, what problems I might have and what measures I need to take when the normal day begins. I have everything planned out and organized by 6:30 or so.
Once that is done the day sort of takes care of itself. Small fires at most.
Stay at work until 5:15-5:30 tying up loose ends.

No secret to it. 95% of success is showing up and simply working all day.
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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...simply working all day.
The essence.
Make sure employees have stuff to do.
More work = faster running clock

A human will be productive between 20% and 300% of your daily needs / expectations. The individual decides how much ACTUALLY gets done.

Most, when not watched directly, will do around 50%. One out of 50 will push and pull everyone around them for the good of the company.

Give out jobs, have a quality control, everyone done with they daily tasks gets to leave after quality control. Adjust as necessary.
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sleep til 8, walk out to my shop around 9, work til 11, go get some lunch in town, come home and play on computer for a bit if its hot, hang out with family until after dinner around 5, go back out to the shop til midnight. Evenings are far more productive for me. come in, shower and in bed around 1 am. I'm self employed mostly because I hate normal schedules.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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And for fucks sake, stop micromanaging. Tell someone what to do, not how to do it.

Owner here stopped me from going out to check inventory. Twice, because he was going out to do it. I needed to order some materials for one of the jobs. I ordered some other things in the meantime. He's been back in my office two separate times for different things and still hasn't done it even though I reminded him both times. When I was freed up, I went out and found out what I needed. It took literally three minutes.

He also told me of an email that he got last night and is 'going to' forward it to me. He had the fucker open last night. Why don't I already have it. It took more time to come down here and tell me what he was going to do than it would have to actually do it. Fuck, Don't be a retard.

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Old 10-11-2019, 07:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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We have around 70 open tickets at any given time. I have a spread sheet and for the most part its "first come first served" there are exceptions such as watermen and law enforcement that go to the top the list. Different colors mean different things. The only people that have editing access are myself and the parts girl to update ETAs and Back Order info.

I found very early it's the only way. If you do the "biggest fire" or loudest complainer then all you are doing is skipping over someone that is waiting there turn and making them a big fire and loud complainer. It works VERY well and keeps everyone on the same page. At a glance I can see the basics of every job and its status without pulling tickets.

Every monday we sit down and go theought the entire list with everyone. (Its amazing how many "details" and "oh yeah about that job" get brought up) then the priority jobs to be finished get marked in red and we have our goal for the week. Then those jobs go on a dry erase board for the guys with initials for who is assigned what. When one job is completed or at a stop point for parts or the customer you just go to the top the list again and work on the first open job that can be done (has cust aprocal/parts are in/needs to be troubleshoot/etc)
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sadly this. You cannot ever shut it off. Did not get any sleep in the last two nights. Been worrying if I made enough stone for the landfill haul that’s going on. 12 trucks on a 40min turn makes a huge dent in the piles.

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Old 10-11-2019, 10:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Lots of free time when you own your own business! RIGHT!!
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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When I was younger I talked a lot to a successful family friend who was a business owner. In the end I decided that being a business owner was something that I didnít want. Living my job doesnít sound appealing.
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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When I was younger I talked a lot to a successful family friend who was a business owner. In the end I decided that being a business owner was something that I didnít want. Living my job doesnít sound appealing.
Give 50% for the rest of your life, or give 200% for a few years. You pick.
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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My self employed friend says "the biggest problem with working for yourself is your boss is an asshole".

Sick, snow, knee surgery he is still on the phone getting the job scheduled.
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Give 50% for the rest of your life, or give 200% for a few years. You pick.
False.

How many business owners here have only been one for a few years?
How many employees never retire?

My family friend died still running his business.
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I don’t own the business, I run a branch office for a construction industry contractor that is set up like it’s my own business. I make 100% of all decisions and hold the contractors license. We are not a huge branch, I average $5-6million in annual revenue and 12-25 employees.
My days are 12-14 hours long. I like to get to the office at 5am, check the news, run through emails, check messages. If anyone needs to vary from what they were originally going to do for the day I send them a message to let them know. Then I put together a rough schedule for myself, and by 7am it’s balls to the walls. I spend 1/3 of my day putting out fires, the rest is spent estimating, project managing, billing, and meetings. I typically leave for home around 5-5:30pm. Go home, eat supper and spend some time with the wife and kids, then catch up on paperwork or emails for an hour or two before bed.

I’m right on the edge of adding a project manager to lighten my load and increase efficiency, but hate to add the overhead.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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My self employed friend says "the biggest problem with working for yourself is your boss is an asshole".

Sick, snow, knee surgery he is still on the phone getting the job scheduled.
Haha. Iíve used that before. ďI donít have enough time to take a vacation, my boss is an asshole.Ē
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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My welding shop equipment and 2 employees have gotten to the point where "put out the biggest fire" isn't a great way to organize my day. Almost all of the production is handled by employees, I do all the mechanical repairs on equipment and sales. Improving the production process and products is a big part of my days as well.

I'd like to hear from more experienced managers and business owners on how you organize a basic day or week.
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"Plan" to not have fires to put out. What kind of fires are we talking? Material shortages? Machine breakage? Employee errors breaking deadlines? Truck's out of gas? If you are short on time, delegate. It'll take longer in the beginning. Don't think that you don't have time to train someone. It'll pay off.
This is where Iíd start. Itís tough when small problems turn into big ones. Have a game plan for each employee along with clear instructions, details, etc. Youíve got to be extremely specific or they will fuck it up. Also, have a plan B to keep them busy and productive if you run into obstacles on jobs.

Regarding the shop stuff, there should be a 15-30 minute service/maintenance schedule for stuff every day, so itís not randomly breaking down and falling apart.

The other thing is if youíre having emergency calls/meetings/etc on a daily basis, schedule that time into your day. Lunch time usually works well because people can run home or talk. So block off 12-1 for customer fires that will pop up, and either eat outside that time, or cram a Jimmy Johnís sandwich in your face as you drive between the jobs like the rest of us business owners do.
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Old 10-12-2019, 02:04 AM   #18 (permalink)
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"Plan" to not have fires to put out. What kind of fires are we talking? Material shortages? Machine breakage? Employee errors breaking deadlines? Truck's out of gas? If you are short on time, delegate. It'll take longer in the beginning. Don't think that you don't have time to train someone. It'll pay off.
Material shortage and machine breakage were our biggest problems. Material supply has improved substantially, having my employees do all the welding has given me the time to catch up on maintenance and repairs. It is tough to find a mechanic that can work with equipment from the 60's and 70's.

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Sleep til 8, walk out to my shop around 9, work til 11, go get some lunch in town, come home and play on computer for a bit if its hot, hang out with family until after dinner around 5, go back out to the shop til midnight. Evenings are far more productive for me. come in, shower and in bed around 1 am. I'm self employed mostly because I hate normal schedules.
I can relate to your schedule, 90% of my stupid and expensive mistakes are made before 10am. Working all night doesn't phase me at all. Makes it tough to be a good manager when I'm never at my best to start off the day.
Living 50' away from my shop does and doesn't help.

Quote:
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We have around 70 open tickets at any given time. I have a spread sheet and for the most part its "first come first served" there are exceptions such as watermen and law enforcement that go to the top the list. Different colors mean different things. The only people that have editing access are myself and the parts girl to update ETAs and Back Order info.

I found very early it's the only way. If you do the "biggest fire" or loudest complainer then all you are doing is skipping over someone that is waiting there turn and making them a big fire and loud complainer. It works VERY well and keeps everyone on the same page. At a glance I can see the basics of every job and its status without pulling tickets.

Every monday we sit down and go theought the entire list with everyone. (Its amazing how many "details" and "oh yeah about that job" get brought up) then the priority jobs to be finished get marked in red and we have our goal for the week. Then those jobs go on a dry erase board for the guys with initials for who is assigned what. When one job is completed or at a stop point for parts or the customer you just go to the top the list again and work on the first open job that can be done (has cust aprocal/parts are in/needs to be troubleshoot/etc)
I like all these ideas. I was amazed how much a chalkboard and a whiteboard improved our weekly productivity. I always try to make sure my best customers and best workers get more of my attention. Keeping the A-listers going at 100% helps a lot more than constantly whipping the slow workers.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:07 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I've owned businesses since I was 14. Filed my first Schedule C when I was 15.

My schedule has varied over the years, but it has almost always involved work seven days of the week. Not always a full day every day, but I enjoy what I do so ... I do it.

Typically wake up around 5:30. Work out. Shower. Grab breakfast and get a little office work done before heading in to the actual office.

Take care of what needs to be done in the office.

Meetings with clients, prospects and "partners" at various times on various days.

Evening meetings with clients, prospects and "partners" 2-3 evenings a week.

Try to shut down, for the most part, by 9:00 p.m.

OP, it seems what you may be lacking is a proactive approach to your business. Plan out your year, month, week, day. Plan in time for a fire here and there, but if you're constantly fighting fires, something is intrinsically wrong with your business. Figure out what that is and fix it or ... find someone to help you figure out what it is and help you fix it.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I may have worded my first post wrong.
The fires are less common now than ever, and I actually have some time to work on the company rather than in the company. Planning a week or month isn't too bad, I'm looking for some starter ideas for a one day rough schedule.

A bad example of what I'm after would be :

8 am - plan day for employees
9 - employees arrive, toolbox meeting
10 - call suppliers/shops
11 - check in on employees work
and so on

Right now I've got

- Wakeup
- work/call/check/plan/fix/sell
- eat
- bed

It works, but I bet I'd be more efficient organizing these basic jobs into pieces of a day.
Other than the last few years of self-employment, I've never really worked at a 'normal' shop. Being an unorganized workaholic raised by unorganized workaholic farmers, I have no idea what a normal starting point would be.
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:42 AM   #21 (permalink)
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My first business I worked 16 hrs a day 6 days a week for the first year then started reducing that as I got more people in place.

I am starting something new next year and plan on 12 hours a day 7 days a week for the first year.

Success, to me, takes hard work.

However, it really depends on the level of success you want.

I have been running a small car lot this year and I work less than 16 hours a week doing it, I also do not make very much money.
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