Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    33
    I have been lurking on this boared for some time and want to ask you guys somthing.


    I have been in the field now for 4 years doing Commercial here in Boulder County. I like my job, some say I even may have a knack for it ;-). However I am feeling my job security at my current location is becomming dicey at best as some of our contracts are drying up in the area. I am thinking about taking my career into my own hands and striking out on my own. I know there is money to be made in this field and am starting to thirst for some of that. I will soon have my mechanical license and have a A.O.S. in this field. Can any of you old salts throw down some advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    284
    Do it and never look back.
    it's not all fun but better than being a slave to the man



    more time more money more headaches


    best thing i ever did

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Southern CT
    Posts
    552
    If you have enough work to keep you going all year, have at it, but try to hire someone, cause you will be a true 24/7/365 guy. that's a lot on anyone..best of luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    33
    Well that’s nice to hear.. I am ready to put in the hours to make this work for me and my Family. I know there is $$$$ to be made for good work and I hold myself to a pretty high standard when it comes down to it. I will delve into light Com. a little and do residential service calls and installs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY Occupation: HVAC Service Contractor
    Posts
    258

    Exclamation Look before you leap!

    Sorry to possibly burst your bubble but personally I don't think that (4) four years in the field qualfies any young man with a family he must support to strike out on his own. I think you should get another five years experience as a mechanic and then some office experience before you make the leap.

    Just because you can fix any unit isn't what it's all about. Owning your own business is very difficult at times. Where are you going to get your customer base from? Do you have accounting experience? What kind of corporation are you going to form an S corp or a C corp.? Maybe you'll choose to be an LLC. What about insurance ie. General Liability, Workers Compensation, Automobile and the most important Medical. And of course there's you silent partner Uncle Sam. Taxes, taxes and more taxes.

    Don't plan on going on vacation in the next (5) years. Are you willing to pay an employee more money than you make if he works overtime? What happens when you have one truck and the transmission blows up when you have 5 service customers waiting for you to show up?

    I could go on and on with the hassles of being in business for yourself. I've been on my own for now for 20 out of 35 years. There are days I love it and there a times I wish I could work for some company again and just put in my 8 hours and get paid in the same week.

    If you are truly serious about the leap, then take your time, learn to be a businessman first and a mechanic second. Get the profit that you want. Remember experience is the best teacher. I'm sure there are plenty of guys that post here that have 10 times your experience and why not ask them why they still work for company's.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    33
    Thank you for your honest opinion man. My plan is to start an L.L.C. I have looked into the insurance, I have been building up my Rolodex of costumers and my plan is to start doing stuff here and there on the weekends and evenings while still working for Company "Y" as I will be riding that wave until it vanishes (probably between 6 and 12 months). I also know that a good tech and a good business owner are two different things. I think that I have both and there really is only one way to find out, I think I do have “it” though. I never once thought it would be easy and am willing to put in the time. I have a lot of business owners in my family already so its nothing new to me.

    Don't worry my bubble is still intact ;-).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Boulder,CO.
    Posts
    559
    If you want to do retro/new install work as a one man band
    remember the Inspectors there Broomfield Bob,Longmont Phil
    Boulder Sam . To make money you can't afford to have callbacks due to failed Inspections. I would start a list for each town add to it every time you get gigged on something. We used to do that for a company I worked for in Longmont this almost stopped all failed inspections. It seemed like each of these guys only have 2 or 3 pet peaves once your onto them these guys treat you with kid gloves.
    That's just my advice to make money around here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    33
    wow! Thanx bro! Yeah I was going to be a one man show with the Installs. Maybe hire a helper to carry stuff as needed. Any advice on Phils pet peeves?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    68
    Good Luck in your new direction, as someone who has been my own boss, I gave it up. Family meant more to me. I Ran 24/7/365 for 15 years, missed a lot of family time, every holiday you have calls, and then when you hire someone they are not you and will not do things, treat customers as you will. But you may not have it as bad as I did, I did make great money and now my family can enjoy things, I did sell my customer base and have made for a very nice life for me and my family. I did go and work for one of my customers and have as much enjoyment now as when I was on my own. Good Luck,, make sure you check with your wife before you start this as she needs to be your biggest supporter in all of this.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    33
    Yeah I think I understand how much work will be involved... but deep down... in places I don't like to talk about... I know I don't. However this will be a slow transformation where I will start small and on the weekends and keep my 9 to 5'er until those wheels fall off. I am thinking a term of no less then 9 months no more then 13 months. I'll kepp you all updated. Keep the great advuce comming.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SouthEastern Virginia
    Posts
    1,077
    I agree with roc service. Try after 10 years minimum.Don't put your family through this. You will miss seeing your kids grow up and that's worth no amount of money my friend.It's hard enough working for someone and balancing family time. Owning your own business will consume your time because you will wear many hats like service tech,installer, sales,bookeeper,etc... Don't let your love for money take the place of something far more precious, your family. Just my opinion from experience.

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