That having been said, it (like floor cleaning) is not easy work. Personal protection and safety is critical. Slips, trips, and falls are the #1 killer in these jobs
The video talks about de-greasers and gloves but shows the guy wandering around in a pool of degreaser with tennis shoes, no gloves and short sleeves, so im guessing he hasnt had a major accident yet. Degreaser is a base, so it is very slick. It reacts with fats to form soaps, so it only gets slicker. Do not wear keys on slick surfaces, or youll be picking them out of your leg after a fall.
The idea that any of these blue-collar jobs "print money" is laughable. We get overtime, sure, but we can also get canned quickly if we dont agree to take it on. Expect to work nothing but third shift as a floor cleaner. expect guys like me to yell at you when you move a rack or a tool chest and dont put it back exactly where it was before.
To anyone whos thinking of doing this, Scrub your driveway every day for a week and see if its still appealing.
It's the same point that's made in Fish https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&key... which is that you can turn things that sound really boring into a labour of love and make a profit along the way.
In other words there are opportunities all around us which can be turned into a more interesting business even though they sound really unattractive.
Now apply that to technology (something like Pingdom.com as an example) and you might just have changed your perspective enough to get an idea you didn't have before.
Scrubbing your driveaway for yourself isn't really comparable to supporting yourself financially scrubbing clients floors. 80% of jobs aren't sitting in front of a computer and most of them are not a joy to do for most people either.
It’s the same in tech. If you don’t have passion, you’ll bounce around tech companies, never moving up, always making money, but never enough. But it’s the passion that gives you the edge to deliver something 1% better than the next guy, and so you get the big bucks.
Be passionate and the money will follow.
Edit: uhh did I say something wrong? Why the downvotes?
Feels bad, but I gotta eat.
While I wasn't crazy about the 05:00 starts and shifting hundreds irrigation pipes twice a day isn't a whole lot of fun (but great fitness training), I did find tractor work to have a zen of its own. Around and round and round a paddock ploughing, sewing or mowing was pretty therapeutic and allowed my mind to think on all sorts of things.
At one point I seriously considered following a more agricultural focused career. Ultimately I didn't go this route, but still often wonder about my life if I had of made that choice.
Everytime the guy was mowing it, there would be someone taking a break looking out the window watching the guy. It was sort of our Koi pond.
Thinking about another career.
$100/hour is actually fairly standard/reasonable. My father always shot for $150/hour as his standard rate (he had no employees). 30 years ago he wasn't making this but for the last 10-15 he was.
The assertion that his supplies and overhead are essentially "nothing" is hilariously naive. I watched his video, he has equipment, not to mention the other costs of running a small business (insurance etc.) I get that he's just starting but it's just silly to assume no overhead if you're looking to emulate.
Reading further, he says "I think you can get started for less than $15k". Expect to spend at least that every year.
Cleaning floors is hard work. Much of my father's focus in the later years was spent on reducing fatigue, and streamlining the services offered. It's good, decent work, but not easy physically and mentally (worrying about equipment failure)
Lastly, my father worked for some restaurants. The % of restaurants that never clean their carpets is huge. There's a good chance that most of your local restaurants have never cleaned their carpets.
Then you add insurance. No idea what that costs, but between risk of injury and liability, it's probably not pennies.
The biggest risk of all though is that there's a much greater chance any injury can ruin your income potential, as opposed to office or desk jobs where many times you can still keep working. And overtime, rote physical activity will wear away at the body, especially bending over or being on your knees and carrying heavy things on your back.
Health is wealth (quite literally too in the USA), and if you have an option of being well paid without sacrificing it, I suggest taking it.
Image of wand: https://www.worldwidecleaningsupport.com/media/catalog/produ...
He says he's been doing this for 5 years.
Machine maintenance was his largest cost, and because he had to perform most repairs himself (due to financial restraints), it kept him up at night.
When he started the business again after we moved, he saved enough to buy a new truck/machine which helped ease him mind. However a machine you use everyday stops being "new" rather quickly.
If that's the case, I'm guessing he learns a thing or two if he ever expands to the point where his margin gets compressed enough to need to be managed.
I knew the floor cleaner of one of the larger chains I worked for. He was making $100k+ cleaning 5 or 6 restaurants and this was during the height of the recession. He put maybe 60k miles or more a year and had to get a new car often. The work required him to work 7 days a week overnight. It was extremely hard for him to hire reliable people. His marriage failed in his late 40s due to the hours and never having a vacation.
He did not like the work and it was very backbreaking. The overnight hours ruined his marriage and friendships. Once he had enough money he was going to retire to Costa Rica. One thing he did like was getting new trucks after about 80-100k mikes.
Billy Joel, "Movin' Out" (1977)
Not a bad idea. The US is a terrible place to retire.
Your lawyer story is similar to theirs including trying to immigrate her to the US. Once they decided to get a US lawyer things actually started to happen and they got answers about the US process.
Personally, I'd rather retire in someplace like Europe, where you get all those nice social services. America might have those things, but they're completely unaffordable if you're in a nice city: even if you own your house, the ever-increasing property taxes will force you to move out at some point, to some low-cost area, but that place will be full of Trumpers and generally not be a very interesting place to live; you'll just be sitting in your house waiting to die.
And even here, if you have that much money saved, why on earth would you go to the US? The public schools here are terrible, generally the worst in the developed world (some of them in extremely high-cost-of-living locales are ok). Of course, you could send your kids to private schools, but if you can afford to not work at all, live in the US, and send your kids to really nice private schools, then by definition you are extremely wealthy.
Many wealthy people don't realize how unusual they are, because all their friends are the same. It's like the story of a PhD student joyously exclaiming he was graduating and the professor replies, "That's nothing special. All my friends are PhDs."
On the opposite end of things, a friend of mine refused to believe the proportion of US citizens who are millionaires. He explained that he knew about 1,000 people in his hometown and none of them were millionaires. I couldn't convince him that things were different in other places, partly because of the number of beers we'd drunk that night.
The most successful part of this industry were the outfits making their own soaps, detergents, etc and providing them to the cleaner/cleaning companies.
There is no easy money unless you know someone who can help you get some big contracts. Otherwise you will be chasing the same nickle the other 10 guys are.
The work was very physically demanding though. He wanted to hand the whole business to his son but the son wasn't interested. Ironically, his son is a phd at the University of Chicago studying ancient turtle teeth, or something like that, and can barely pay the rent for his apartment.
I'm not saying you can't get away with less equipment, staff, etc, but you aren't able to scale the work up.
One of the best business models is, selling something that is mandated. Like cleaning restaurant floors (health and safety rules).
I never got used to switching from day to night and days off were spent mostly sleeping.
Eventually it came to an end, after about 8 years, and I returned to the land of the living, working 9-5. The adjustment was difficult and the drop in income wasn't much fun either.
I ended up changing jobs every few weeks because there was always some reason to leave and eventually I just stopped working altogether. I didn't know it the time but I was drifting into a severe depression that lasted several years and ended with me living on the street.
I can't say for sure that working nights for so long set me on that road but I have a strong suspicion that it was a major factor.
I got lucky after a short while, got back into work and it's all just a bad memory now. I do wonder where I'd be now though if I'd just stuck to working days, like most people do?
It also is worth mentioning that owning a small business is not nearly as good of a work/life balance as being an employee. Expect to work 40hr week managing the business directly and then another 20-40 doing all the behind the scenes stuff that the business needs in order to run. Obviously conditions vary a lot based on what you do and the local economy.
Makes a lot of small businesses unscalable, but also makes a lot of smaller business ideas viable.
The fancy "Japanese steel" knives cost the earth, but high-quality commercial knives (99% identical) don't. Commercial knives are designed with a different approach to safety. They usually have larger grips/guards that, while cumbersome to noobs, reduce injuries. A blade destined to be used constantly and resharpened many many times will also be substantially heavier. That may seem a problem for cutting tomatoes in your kitchen at home, but try prepping a few hundred chickens each day for a week and you will appreciate the heft.
The guy has all the equipment in his van and does everything on site, and it's his full time job. We're a coastal town with year-round fishing, and the guy apparently makes a decent living because of that.
Normal non grease/kitchen specialist cleaning is ten cents per sq.ft per month or so for cleaners so even cheaper than having your own employees do it, with liability protection.
How much equipment or tools do you think the average linecook brings to work? How much do they pay to maintain it?
So the person works 10 hours a night?
I especially like the more location-sensitive, small business posts like this one. I like to think that someone can provide good advice and someone else from a totally different region can apply that knowledge in their own community, which is a net gain for that local economy.
r/EntrepreneurRideAlong used to be another one, with a specific focus on starting a cleaning service in 27 days.
I'm super curious... when does a wantrepreneur convert to an entrepreneur? Like... if you call somebody out/knock them for being a wantrepreneur but calling themselves an entrepreneur, you are "hating" and it "fuels them" until they "finally make it"
How many actually make it though?
I know starting a business is all about "faking it until you make it", but there are tons of braggarts talking about "wielding influence and connections" (because they purchased 20,000 twitter followers) or "becoming a product visionary" (because they hopped on the instagram/twitch/dropshipping bandwagon at the right time and have no redeeming differentiation). Usually these personalities are just annoying, but sometimes these people have hostile intentions.
I personally call myself a wantrepreneur occasionally, as someone who is interested in the culture and community of founders, but who hasn't actually delivered a product yet.
Getting back up -> grit -> extended network -> new business idea -> better support -> ??? -> $$$
Being at the right place at the right time also helps.
So there might be even more money here for someone who can figure out how to solve these problems: lighter tools, ergonomically designed handles and triggers, etc.
One of my favourite things to read about are entrepreneurs (although they were doing this before they was even a name for it) in an industry that seems simple to outsiders (say, freight haulage) and building a business out of nothing. No fancy education, no world-changing technological insight, just pure hard work and business smarts to see where the opportunities lie, when and how much to bet, and building on each success to make a bigger one.
It's not romantic to most people, so these kinds of stories don't get heard much, and there's a sneering snobbery about people who, when they got rich, don't have a good story which complies with the enlightened public's idea of a "genius" - they tend to assume rich people must be academically brilliant, or they could only have got rich doing something unethical.
Read up on Marks and Spencers (first retailer in UK to pass £1bn in profit), founded by a poor Polish immigrant and a cashier. There are tonnes of stories like that, much better inspiration than a lot of the SV Ivy League grad gets showered with VC money story (which, incidentally, feeds into the mistaken notion that there are only opportunities for the rich and well-connected under capitalism).
And once you do, You can charge a lot more.