My name is Joe and I am the owner of Fence Pro Solutions as well as Deptford Fence
For whatever reason, there is not much info from fence companies on how to start a business, keep it running, or how to solve common issues. The purpose of Fence Pro Solutions is to completely change that. It is my goal to have the definitive guide for all things fencing. Whether you are looking to start your business or have been around for 30+ years I am positive you can learn something new.
A little about myself…
First, I want to let you know I am not your typical fence guy. I did not work for another company or have a family member that was in the business. The good news is that I do what works now, not what used to work 10 years ago.
The tornado that started Deptford Fence
My fence journey started in June of 2015. At the time I worked for my uncle at one of his Mcdonalds. At the time I was in charge of fixing the equipment and doing preventative maintenance.
It was around the middle of June when we had a bad storm and a tornado touched down briefly. Just two blocks from the Mcdonalds looked like the Wizard of Oz. There were downed trees and power lines everywhere. Fortunately for the Mcdonalds there was very minimal damage. We only had one fence post that broke during the storm. So I called the company that installed the fence and they told me it would be a minimum of $400 in labor and would be 4-6 weeks until they could come out.
Naturally I told them I would do it myself for $400. I had no idea what I was doing but am handy and watched a few videos on Youtube. All said I spent $250 on a mini jackhammer/wall breaker and some other tools. The total time was like 2 hours for everything meaning I made $150 for 2 hours.
Immediately I posted on Craigslist and the rest is pretty much history.
During the winter I registered my business name, made a website, got business cards made, etc. Like most things in life I do not do anything half ass (once I become obsessed). I have some ADD so I have two modes: I either do something for 1-3 months and then give up because I got bored. Or I become completely obsessed and spend every waking minute either thinking about it or working on it.
2016 was steady year. I did minimal advertising did about 75 installs. This was the year I was really starting to figure out what I was doing.
2017 I quit my day job and when full throttle! For the first 6 months I relied on different mailers that provided decent results. Towards the summer the results became worse and worse so I looked into Google Adwords. I spent probably 60+ hours reading and watching everything I could to learn what I should be doing. Not only was I getting way more calls, but I also spent half of what I used to. Total installs for this year was 175. Oh, and at the end of the year we picked up a 12,000sf warehouse and we had two crews working for us by the end of the year.
In 2018 my wife was able to quit her day job and run my business. We quickly found out that I was great at starting a business but horrible at running the day to day operations. In 2018 we started buying our vinyl and aluminum in bulk. There was great cost savings but we had to assemble and deliver the orders ourselves. Up until this point we would just need to bring the concrete and equipment. This brought a lot of new challenges but that was ok since I was only responsible for going out to quotes. By the end of the year we had 275 installs. This year we used only online advertising at a huge cost savings compared to the typical mailers that most fence guys use.
For 2019 we have changed quite a bit again. We moved away from buying the vinyl in bulk since we were able to negotiate with our supplier. Now we can go back to just bringing the concrete and equipment to job sites. I have also tried advertising in the mailers again to see if anything has changed. I ran a 3 month trial and it confirmed that physical mailings simply would not produce the results of online. The goal for this year is 500 installs.