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  1. #1

    Still Waiting to buy the business!

    I just wanted to get some opinions or support. Just some back ground first. I am now 31, and I went to vo-tech school for electricain. Got my Journeyman electrician, EPA, and Im NATE certified. I've been working for the same employer in my home town since I got out of school for 12 years now as an HVAC Tech. I do everything from residential, commercial, refrigeration, and some electrial. We are in a rural area in kansas and cover about 100 mile area around our shop. We are always very busy with the area we cover and only slow up a few weeks in March but otherwise always busy. It has always just been the Boss and Me as the techs and occasionally random helpers. Recently we have hired an additional tech fresh out of school. Ever since I started the boss has talked about me buying the business. I have mentioned I would, and he even tells everyone about how "someday I will be takeing over". He has just recently turned 65, had a few health issues, but keeps going strong. I get good benefits including 2weeks vacation, 5 paid sick days a yr, 401k matching, paid holidays off, and pays for all of my family health insurance. He has also mentioned he will give me $10,000/yr towards the purchase of the business. However, he said this a few yrs ago and did mention it again a few months ago but nothing is in writing. Also, several years ago he did take a life insurance policy out of me in case something happens and I cant buy the business and he has to replace me. He does not plan on retiring anytime soon. Maybe in 5yrs he says. He depends on me alot, even calling me needing technical advice and asking what he should do. He calls me into work when Im not even on call, and being the dependable employee I am I still answer the phone and go in. I have a very large customer base and alot of people call and ask for me. So basically I see no problem in taking over the business and being successful in what I do. Ive heard pros and cons of buying an exhisting business vs starting your own. I think I would rather take the risk of the exhisting business with the exhisting customers we have and the word of mouth. I'm just starting to think maybe Im crazy for sticking around to buy the business with nothing in writing and endless promises and being super dedicated! Im just looking for everyones words of encouragement or suggestions. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Richland, WA
    Posts
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by kansastech View Post
    I just wanted to get some opinions or support. Just some back ground first. I am now 31, and I went to vo-tech school for electricain. Got my Journeyman electrician, EPA, and Im NATE certified. I've been working for the same employer in my home town since I got out of school for 12 years now as an HVAC Tech. I do everything from residential, commercial, refrigeration, and some electrial. We are in a rural area in kansas and cover about 100 mile area around our shop. We are always very busy with the area we cover and only slow up a few weeks in March but otherwise always busy. It has always just been the Boss and Me as the techs and occasionally random helpers. Recently we have hired an additional tech fresh out of school. Ever since I started the boss has talked about me buying the business. I have mentioned I would, and he even tells everyone about how "someday I will be takeing over". He has just recently turned 65, had a few health issues, but keeps going strong. I get good benefits including 2weeks vacation, 5 paid sick days a yr, 401k matching, paid holidays off, and pays for all of my family health insurance. He has also mentioned he will give me $10,000/yr towards the purchase of the business. However, he said this a few yrs ago and did mention it again a few months ago but nothing is in writing. Also, several years ago he did take a life insurance policy out of me in case something happens and I cant buy the business and he has to replace me. He does not plan on retiring anytime soon. Maybe in 5yrs he says. He depends on me alot, even calling me needing technical advice and asking what he should do. He calls me into work when Im not even on call, and being the dependable employee I am I still answer the phone and go in. I have a very large customer base and alot of people call and ask for me. So basically I see no problem in taking over the business and being successful in what I do. Ive heard pros and cons of buying an exhisting business vs starting your own. I think I would rather take the risk of the exhisting business with the exhisting customers we have and the word of mouth. I'm just starting to think maybe Im crazy for sticking around to buy the business with nothing in writing and endless promises and being super dedicated! Im just looking for everyones words of encouragement or suggestions. Thanks!
    Where at in Kansas? My dad has family that still lives back there, they've tried to get me to move back there but not a big town they live in (Seneca, KS). Just on the curious of where you cover.

  3. #3
    southwest ks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    25
    Just a few thoughts.... I have started 2 ac businesses. Both made it. The first start up was 10 times harder due to learning how to run a business. If you have enough money to buy his business you have way more than you need to start your own. Step one is for you to obtain any required license. Then you know the rest. I think you are buying yourself if you buy his business. You are his business. Get a license if required in Kansas. Get your money lined up. Then talk to your boss about what you are about to do. You have an excellent chance of making it if you are not strapped with debt to bog your finances down. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    18
    Sometimes people are looking for you to show the initiative. Don't just wait for him to bring it up. Just recently, I told a family member about a job that was available. She looked interested, but didn't bother to ask about it again. So I figured she probably wasn't interested and I didn't refer her to my boss. Weeks later she asked me about the job, and seemed disappointed that I hadn't referred her. But in my mind she wasn't that interested. Why not invite him over for dinner and bring it up. Just tell him that you are very interested in buying the business, and could you sign a contract with him or ask him to specify what his exact plans.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville,Fl
    Posts
    123
    I think you need to make the move on your own, my guess is he will replace you for a short period, then retire. Your customers will follow you anyway, good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville,Fl
    Posts
    123
    One more thing, please give your soon to be former employer proper notice, but be ready to jump if he doesn't return the courtesy. It sounds like he gave you your start, so don't go actively courting his customer base, plenty will follow on their own and that will be awkward enough.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,494
    Uh.....have you had a face to face, heart to heart talk with your boss? Sounds like that is the FIRST thing you need to do. If he's "wishy washy" about his plans, then inform him you're making some of your own, and when the time comes, make whatever move you must. Just make sure and not "openly" steal his customers as this will start your new endeavor on a very sour note, both for you and him. Have a little patience, if you handle this properly, his health may cause him to take you seriously. Just part of getting older he'll have to face. He could go to a flexible schedule and turn more and more over to you and then plan on being completely gone within a 5 year time frame with very little transition. But he's got to make that decision and you may have to "prode" him to make it. At 65 yrs. old, he's going to make the decision sooner or later!!! Just remember if he's planning on "big money" for a business with just the two of you he's kinda way off base and needs to get real on the "purchase" price. You alone can't "fund" his retirement!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    2 weeks paid vacation is good? After 12 years you should have 3 weeks vacation. In the corporate world you'd be at 4 weeks... plus 10-12 holidays. IMO.

    Get a lawyer to draft up an agreement where you "buy in" a percetage of the business each year and have a current portion of ownership based on you previous verbal agreement of $10k/year. You'll need to determine a value for the company and it's assets (buildings, vehciles, equipment) that are owneed...not things leased. The remaining value s based on revenues and profitability.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    maryland
    Posts
    1,355
    why has there not been any growth in the past 12 years?
    Saving the world...one service call at a time.

  11. #11
    The growth we have had in the last few years has been alot more customers! But he won't hire anymore good help. That is in part of why I think Im starting to think how much longer of this I can take, I could manage alot better so we wont have the "technician burn out". We work 12-16hrs everyday in the summer and are still behind. He is very old school. There is alot of changes that I would make. The potential for gowth is there. He will only send people bills, we don't make a invoice and collect on the spot like most companys. So that has left alot of customers that don't pay for several months. Even if someone stops in our shop for a part they get a bill sent to them. He refuses to get on a computer so he has to wait for his wife to come in and send out all the invoices. He does provide all my tools including hand tools but there can be a down side to that. The only cordless tool I have is a drill! Therefore with growth comes technology and change in my opinion. I do think I need to sit down and talk with him to see what his long term plans are and how soon we can start a business deal. I have just been putting this off for a very long time. I already anticipate he will be wanting alot more than it is worth, plus I see him wanting me to pay top dollar for his inventory (which is very large). There are several items I know that are obselete and haven't been touched since before I started there. So thats where I see most of the disagreements and am hopeing to find a third party to help me on my side of the deal. Thanks everyone for your suggestions and comments!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sherman, TX
    Posts
    9,441
    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    2 weeks paid vacation is good? After 12 years you should have 3 weeks vacation. In the corporate world you'd be at 4 weeks... plus 10-12 holidays. IMO.
    HA !! Wait til you own the place, or start one of your own...that "two weeks paid" will start lookin' pretty sweet The last time I had a week of paid vacation was in July of 2000....

    I give a week after a year, two weeks after 3, and three weeks after 5....and the usual six holidays.
    Technical incompetence is NOT a sales tool....

  13. #13
    I have been thinking with my experience I could probably get alot better pay and benefits somewhere else, I have just been hanging in there for the business I guess. But Im not afraid to jump ship if things dont work out because I think I could find another job fairly easy. I just didn't want to let my 12yrs of hard work go down the drain.

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