Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Ludington Michigan
    I live in a small town. Population of about 10,000 in the winter,50,000 In the summer. There are about 5 heating contractors in the town now. Two of the 5 do good work, and I have worked for both of these contractors, actualy recruited by them. I have put thousands of furnaces in this small customer base, and take pride in my work.The problem I have with working for other people is it seems all of us HVAC are high srung from the stress that we deal with daily.I guess my question is what are some of the pro's and cons of making a move like this. I already figure that if I do this I will probably have to work by myself for atleast a year or two installing and servicing the equipment I install.

  2. #2
    Character, discipline, patience, pride in how you treat other people .... these things all dictate how we get along.

    If I can keep my big mouth shut and do my work ... anyone with character can do the same.
    So stress is not an excuse.
    And if your referring to residential work ... dont EVEN make the claim it is a high strung situation!

    Now if you want to talk about hight strung, let's look at getting a call at ten PM with a meat cooler down and ten thousand dollars worth of meat about to spoil!!

    Residential is simply dealing with families. And if you already do the work, then dealing with an employer who is half way reasonable is not too difficult a task for a man of your character.

    Now if your a tin knocker and only see the inside of a shop all day long .... you many not be a people person at all.
    Or if your in construction and never see a homeowner ... you may not have people skills. You could be a rude crude dude!
    But I would think not simply because your here!

    If you have maturity and people skills, you can do either/ work for someone else or work for yourself.

    Now ... tell me ... what makes you think you have the skills to run a contracting business?
    What business experience do you have?
    What professional trainig have you received?
    What do you know about the current tax laws?
    Bookkeeping? Do you know bookkeeping?

    Running a business is a fulltime job. NOT part time!
    And fielding service calls is also fulltime.
    Making bids based upon the sales leads you follow up on is time consuming also.
    How are you in sales?
    What is your closure rate? Unless it is very very high, you probably need to have the services of a fulltime sales person. Someone who will sell for you as well as for other trade businesses in your area.
    They would be independant and draw off of closed sales.
    You would pay them a higher commission than someone who works only for you and also draws a salary.

    If you have a family and dont mind blowing them off for most of the year ... and breaking all of your promises to them ... then go right ahead and start up your own contracting business.

    But ... if the only thing you want is to get up everyday and do the best job money can buy ... and have benefits, company truck, uniforms, help during the day, support, open accounts, the best materials, the right tools and the proper equipment .... and year round work ... it is so much easier to simply wirte down what you demand from an employer than it is to start your own company!

    Let someone else have the headaches!!! You just get the work done and let them do the head scratching!

    Dont get me wrong ... I have started my own businesses before. But it is not for everybody.

    AND ... there is a very high price to pay as far as a family goes.
    So until such time as you get the bugs worked out ... the family relatinships all suffer miserably!

    And there is not one man or woman on this forum who would disagree with that last statement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Chadman, R12rules said it real well. Only you know if you can do it or not, are you totally self sufficient. You must have that quality about yourself. I have a family and I won't do it to them. I can make enough working for someone else and still be a family man. It's called balance. I know plenty of divorces over this very subject. Capital, you've got to have an abundance of capital. This is the #1 reason biz start ups fail. Single, capeable, and well off, this is who it makes the most sense for. If your extremely smart and extremely motivative and independent minded, I do mean extremely you can do it and not even break a sweat, I've seen it done but you have to have the Capital. It's a gamble at best for most of us. Good luck
    It's a Leak!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Well said, everyone....

    To me it was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make and have been happy with both of them.

    1. Should I start my own shop??
    2. Should I marry the woman I love?

    No brainer huh?

  5. #5
    Originally posted by lusker
    Well said, everyone....

    To me it was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make and have been happy with both of them.

    1. Should I start my own shop??
    2. Should I marry the woman I love?

    No brainer huh?

    Well said Lusker. Starting your own contracting business after just being a field service mechanic and or installation person .... but without any real business background or training or special education ... etc., etc.

    Is just like getting married! In a way.
    To be more specific, it is like entering into a relationship where things will be required of you which you had no prior idea how to handle!!!

    Only thing is ... there are people whom you can hire ... and you should hire ... who will help run the business.
    Whereas in a marriage relationship ... there is no one to whom you can delegate responsibilities to that need fulfillment!

    In a marriage, it is just you and her.
    But in a business, it is you and whom ever you hire to help you do the work.
    And most of it is paperwork related!

    And denying the paperwork is what brings a "start up" to it's knee's!

    There are a lot of macho guys here who think nothing of entering into a relationship with a new woman or a new business.

    Oh sure ... they may have persuasive powers to woo a woman on a date, but that is nothing like marriage.

    And these same types of guys will also assume that because they know how to write a bill after performing a job .... that they know what it takes to make a go of it in business.

    These people are fools, in both arenas.
    I know. I speak from firsthand knowledge.
    Been there/ done that!

    So unless your a whole lot smarter than me and have a lot more people to help you in business ... then you should probably consider getting some business advice from those who do run business's for a living and have gained the necessary experience along the way.

    I am in no way trying to turn you off from starting your own shop.
    I am simply warning you that it is not as easy as it looks from the outside.

    Ever once in awhile I see a post here that says the boss makes too much money and they should go out on their own cause it's too easy.

    These types need surgery to have their head removed from their interior gluteous maximus!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    So Cal & Maui

    *More than 50% of new businesses fail within the 1st 3 years.
    *Great techs rarely make great business owners
    *Most think it's EZ to start up a business, afterall- look what a jerk your boss is now. Anyone can do that. Shout orders & rake in the cash. EZ money!
    *Most haven't a clue the amount of time you must invest the 1st 5 years. Ususlly 12-15 hour days- 7 days a week. And they are *****ing now about working after 5, being on call, or not paid travel time!
    *Insurance will cripple you.
    *You are 1 lawsuit away from bankrupcy.
    *Work slows down but bills keep coming!
    *All your friends will want discounted work now since you are a new owner & can afford to.
    *Every moron within 250 miles will be knocking on your door, wasting your time selling you something you don't want or need. Even worse- they sell you!
    *You've paid your bills, paid payroll, paid your quarterlys & there's no money left to pay yourself.
    *Landed that big contract- starts today & the people you have scheduled to work call in sick.
    *You keep picking up the phone in winter to see if you have a dialtone because it hasn't rang in days. Did I mention the bills are still coming?
    *Land that 1st restaraunt change-out & then get stiffed. Still have to pay the guys & the materials while you wait for your money. But you can afford it. You are raking in the big bucks.
    *Say goodbye to job security. Want retirement? You will have to take care of yourself.
    *Your derelect uncle or whatever wants a job, you can train.
    *Start-up capital, what's that?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Take a deeeep breath,

    Don’t ya love the smell of napalm in the morning?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Howell, Michigan
    I started my business in 1984 when I was 24. There is no way I could ever do that again, the first year in business I worked 12 or more hours daily, 7 days a week, I had absolutly NO life other than work.

    My first year in business I brought in $180,000 and had no took me years to learn how to run a business, of which today I am still a champion of mediocracy.

    My wife has a business degree, we married in 1989, without her business acumen, I would surely have been in bankruptcy many moons ago.

    I honestly did not make any real big money until 1995, it's still not a cake walk, but I am too arrogant, pigheaded and stubborn to do anything else.

    I have been in business 21 years now, I have 10 employees that I would trust with my life, it took me years to weed out all of the morons. The guys that work for me are absolutly the best, most honest, dedicated service and install guys on this planet, without them I would be in a world of hurt, there is not a single one of them that I would not go to the end of the earth for, they do it for me daily, without people like that your life will be miserable.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. The man who knows how will always have a job. The man who also knows why will always be his boss. As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL

    Do you ever get down to Pentwater,my grandparents had a home there years ago,very nice in the summer.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Some of you guys are so pathetically dramatic.

    There is no secret. Here it is.

    Don't be a pussy. Don't be Lazy. Don't blow your money. Don't get cocky. Be real. Be genuine. Know your ****.

    It's not that hard.

    Honestly, I can not see a guy doing well if he has to ask. You either know you got the balls or not. I never thought twice about it. I knew my ****. I knew what I wanted out of it. I knew what I had to do to get it going.

    Now. There are some days, i'll admit, I just don't know what to do. I don't know every gem of business accumen. But like I learned the trade, I am learning business each day too.

    I hate when I hear "a good tech does not often translate into a good business dude". That's such bull****. If the guy is very technically competent and he has the will and drive to want to be in business, he will tackle all he does not know the same way he forged ahead gaining knowledge and experience as a mechanic.

    And once that guy gets up on business stuff and to boot he knows his stuff in the trade, thats the guy who will get the good work. Thats the guy who will know where to go to market and find and do the good work.

    Here is the biggest problem as to why so many in this trade fail in business. Take a guess.

    They sucked to begin with as techs or as decent human beings. They thought they knew something when they knew little. I see guys every day who think they know what there doing and it's laughable. I like it cause they feed me work constantly. I'll bet the reason I have been able to make money in business, if I had to guess one reason alone, is due to the inept, incompetency in the trade. If every single guy out there knew what he was doing, I'd probably be broke.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Money is well worth it , if you succeed. As far as having a personal life.......dont think that will happen if your successful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    One of the most important things to have is the desire to be on your own. Who wants to spend X amount of years working for someone else while he or she is raking all the benefits?

    Knowledge is key to becoming successful in having your own business. How one can deal with the daily stress and the daily grind of dealing not only with customers but also with vendors, employees, engineers, general contractors, important as well.

    True this is not for anybody, but ask yourself this question? If they can do it why can't I?

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