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Unfortunately I am not kidding, this business has gone down hill, and if you just opened up you are probably not going to be able to buy at a good discount, you will be lucky to break even on most jobs. What made you go into the glass business? Did you work at one previously?
i'm not sure you should be that dependent upon just one avenue of business.
if you are totally dependent upon insurance work, you absolutely need to spread out. it's like being to dependent upon dealerships, they are here one day and gone tomorrow, with the change of one manager, you can really loose some work. so never put all your eggs in one basket.
we are all slowly being gobbled up, in all areas of work we do, but i don't think we are alone. alot of people i talk to make more sales then the previous generation, we ar working harder, but the profit at the bottom line is nowhere near the ones who have gone before us.
you need to find the sucessful people and try and copy what they have done, although i'm not 100 percent sure that works either. finding a mentor to help guide you through pitfalls would be helpful, although i have yet to find one.
I have been in the autoglass business for ovre thirty five years. If I had the chance to do it over ,I would have chose the glazing aspect of the business. I do not encourage my sons to take over the family business. I have recently discovered that I am a dinosaur in this industry. Many customers ( insurance, dealer,cash) only care about the price. You can talk about safety till the cows come home. Find your niche in this trade fast or suffer a slow death.
If I waited for insurance referrals I would have died years ago. You need to sell to the people with cars. My best is word of mouth but that takes time, This year is my worst but I am losing weight, I just hope I am not on the starving to death diet and don't know it yet.
Mary, if I were you, i would zero in on the cash business A) because the money is instant B) because deductibles are getting higher C) because these customer's will spread your name faster than the insurance agents that are already locked into their own glass shops... unless you have the moola to spread around to the agents like the big guns.... keep your overhead down & your quality up --- GOOD LUCK!
Visit with your insurance agent and let him know you would like the opportunity for some referrals. Find out which insurance companies he represents and ask for names you can call at each company.
Visit other Insurance Agents in your area and let them know that you are in the neighborhood ready to help them with their glass claims. Ask who they represent and who the glass contacts are for each company.
Every where I go I will put a card on door between the glass and weatherstrip if I see chips or cracks. Lots of good from this cheep advertising. This is a small town about 2000, 10,000 in area every bit helps.