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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    6
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    Am I too old to start

    I want to hang out a shingle and start my own residential HVAC company. My fear at being 52 is that to old to get started? I've been working in the residential market since 95, but always for someone else.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Santa Cruz CA
    Posts
    43
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    Quite a few missing variables here. Do you have worked lined up to start? Could you support yourself. It's not too hard to start a business, have customers, have a business license, then have them pay you for your work.
    Now there is more to it than that but with the info you provided who knows if you could start a business or not.

    It's like diagnosing a unit; you need all the info.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    West of the Mississippi
    Posts
    41
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    Never too old as long as you have the skills and set yourself up for success.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Medford, N.Y.
    Posts
    4,239
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    Hell NO,on the age thing.
    Hell YES on doing it thing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Louisburg Kansas
    Posts
    1,344
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    Are you prepared to work 70 or 80 hours a week? Do you have start-up money? Because you ask the question in my opinion you are not dedicated enough and should forget it. I went into business at age 54 and didn't ask anyone's advice because I was determined to do it and didn't care what anyone else thought. I didn't get rich but did made a living.

  6. Likes HVAC_Marc liked this post
  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
    1,553
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    It's like pizza and sex...when it's good it's great, and when it's bad...it's still pretty good.
    Like the others said, do all the prep. Maybe start doing extra work at night/weekends (with your own truck, insurance, tools, parts) until you get enough to make the break.
    Sometimes, you just need to land one big account (and have the cash to carry you) to get the ball rolling.
    I'm 52, lots of aches and pains (but I would have them anyway), and I'd sell in a second if a legitimate offer came in. I get to make my own hours-any 50-80 hours a week I want . I don't think I can work for anyone, so I'll do this until I either hit the lotto (maybe I should play?), my body fails me, or roll a 7.
    "Sometimes what's right is what's left after you do everything wrong"--Robin Williams

  8. Likes HVAC_Marc liked this post
  9. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Sarasota. Fl
    Posts
    1,494
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    You need to be able to physically do the installs, duct work, etc... when you start out, that is the only issue.

    Every duct run my company ran the first year it was open, I did. I was on call for 19 months straight until I hired someone. That is really the only question regarding your age, physically can you do it until you have enough work to hire someone else to do it?

    Beyond that, being 52 is all the more reason to start your own company.

    This is a young mans game and you cannot do service and installs forever.

    I do not drive a van anymore. I am not on call anymore. As a matter of fact, all of my tools are piled up in a corner of my office. I am my companies full-time salesman now. I plan the jobs, manage the employees, deal with the clients...etc

    As you get older, that is where you really need to be. (i'm 40)
    It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.

    ~Albert Camus

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    7,930
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    For many under 40, 52 seems old. For some it is but for most 52 is entering the age of wisdom and they will never be better.
    So the ?? Are you an old 52 or a young one. In other words where is your head.
    I remember some in HS that were old before their time. They just acted old.
    Why does it matter? It matters because someone with a young mind is more willing to take the necessary chances a business requires. I didn't say risk.

    Are you physically ok?
    Can you manage your debt?
    Do you have money to fall back on? (six months wages)
    Are you energetic.
    Do you really like the business? Are you passionate about hvac?
    Do you have support at home? If in a relationship, is it stable?
    Has your family been in business before?
    Do you have connections that might be helpful? Can you start off running?

    These are just some of the traps/snags that a startup might have.
    The SBA has good help. A BIG surprise comes to lots of start ups that just because you have a good product doesn't mean customers will respond. My first try flopped. My second was successful but not because of me necessarily. A happy accident.
    Often a failure is no fault of the owner. Excrement occurs.
    I should have played the g'tar on the MTV. MK

    You can be anything you want......As long as you don't suck at it.

    USAF 98 Bomb Wing 1960-66 SMW Lu49

  11. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Atlanta area
    Posts
    5,182
    Post Likes
    Check with SCORE and your local chamber of commerce for business startup help. They can be lifesavers.

    Many people who go into business for themselves for the first time fail to take the time to develop an understanding of the business side of things. You might be a great tech and a great installer and a great money manager, but without some business knowledge you might crash on takeoff.

    This might sound obvious to some, but it is important:
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=how+to+get...&t=ffnt&ia=web

    (Also recommend searching on Startpage, but that HVAC link is not pasteable.)
    Last edited by Space Racer; 06-20-2017 at 10:26 AM.
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    5
    Post Likes
    Never is too late to do something new in your life.

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Billington Heights, NY
    Posts
    18,172
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEusaPA View Post
    It's like sex...when it's good it's great, and when it's bad...it's still pretty good.
    I could show you some women that will make you want to turn gay because their sex is so bad.
    This forum requires that you wait 20 seconds between posts. Please try again in 50 seconds.

    Experience - knowing when to get the hell out of the way and plug your ears. "Don't be a sissy. Turn it on!"

    Poodle Head Mikey - "the world is well populated with the unknowing and the uncaring and the stupid."

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    14,552
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    In a day and age where good techs are hard to find I wouldn't!

    We are worth our weight in gold (or R-22) find a contractor that's willing to pay for good techs!

  15. #13
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Bay Area California
    Posts
    16,753
    Post Likes
    Physically, service work is pretty. That's all I do, and I'm holding up well. But I'm commercial, and don't crawl under houses etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by miami mike View Post
    You need to be able to physically do the installs, duct work, etc... when you start out, that is the only issue.

    Every duct run my company ran the first year it was open, I did. I was on call for 19 months straight until I hired someone. That is really the only question regarding your age, physically can you do it until you have enough work to hire someone else to do it?

    Beyond that, being 52 is all the more reason to start your own company.

    This is a young mans game and you cannot do service and installs forever.

    I do not drive a van anymore. I am not on call anymore. As a matter of fact, all of my tools are piled up in a corner of my office. I am my companies full-time salesman now. I plan the jobs, manage the employees, deal with the clients...etc

    As you get older, that is where you really need to be. (i'm 40)
    If you were a real tech, you'd solder a relay on that board and call it good to go.

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