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Working Alone

 
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:28 PM   #21
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Re: Working Alone


This month will make one year that I have been in business as a remodeler and General Contractor. My endeavor started after the trying times that came after I was laid off from my superintendent's position with a locally prominent commercial firm. Times got tough for them, and the rest of the economy,....and all that cheerleading talk of us being a family came down to numbers and I, like many of my other qualified and capable peers, were shown the door.

At the time, I took this as bad news....which it was! I was the sole wage earner with a wonderful, supportive wife and two young boys. I really needed that job! Time has passed....and I now see things much differently.

There's no point in going on and on, but quite simply...having the rug jerked out from under me that one time was enough to make me want to have my growth and success built on MY name and what I had learned in the trades, and what I felt I could deliver to clients. A HR department will no longer get to determine my fate.

I'm a craftsman at heart....and listening to my father and grandfather, in my genetics. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing your progress after a day and being able to take pride in what you've done....from building a custom cabinet or sweeping off a deck you just laid. I now need to turn my craft into a business in order to support my family, which I'm trying to get better at every day.

There is no right or wrong way to structure this type of business, I suppose. I couldn't keep my hands off of the work and only seek to turn contacts into contracts.....the craft scratches an itch in me!

Contractors that push paper, manage subcontractors, and turn over jobs with satisfied clients and quality work are still good for the industry. They are providing a legitimate service and deserve to be compensated as professionals as well.

Love what you do....I do! Being able to employ myself, on my terms, at wages that I set (if I estimated well) is far, FAR better than being part of a warm, fuzzy company. The best company that I know are the lady and two kiddos that I share a home with!

Good Luck!
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:45 PM   #22
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Re: Working Alone


Quote:
Originally Posted by PinnacleHome
This month will make one year that I have been in business as a remodeler and General Contractor. My endeavor started after the trying times that came after I was laid off from my superintendent's position with a locally prominent commercial firm. Times got tough for them, and the rest of the economy,....and all that cheerleading talk of us being a family came down to numbers and I, like many of my other qualified and capable peers, were shown the door.

At the time, I took this as bad news....which it was! I was the sole wage earner with a wonderful, supportive wife and two young boys. I really needed that job! Time has passed....and I now see things much differently.

There's no point in going on and on, but quite simply...having the rug jerked out from under me that one time was enough to make me want to have my growth and success built on MY name and what I had learned in the trades, and what I felt I could deliver to clients. A HR department will no longer get to determine my fate.

I'm a craftsman at heart....and listening to my father and grandfather, in my genetics. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing your progress after a day and being able to take pride in what you've done....from building a custom cabinet or sweeping off a deck you just laid. I now need to turn my craft into a business in order to support my family, which I'm trying to get better at every day.

There is no right or wrong way to structure this type of business, I suppose. I couldn't keep my hands off of the work and only seek to turn contacts into contracts.....the craft scratches an itch in me!

Contractors that push paper, manage subcontractors, and turn over jobs with satisfied clients and quality work are still good for the industry. They are providing a legitimate service and deserve to be compensated as professionals as well.

Love what you do....I do! Being able to employ myself, on my terms, at wages that I set (if I estimated well) is far, FAR better than being part of a warm, fuzzy company. The best company that I know are the lady and two kiddos that I share a home with!

Good Luck!
Great first post and welcome to CT

Try posting in the intro thread and tell us a little about yourself.
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:57 PM   #23
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Re: Working Alone


My post wasn't very specific.

I mostly work alone. I estimate and sell the jobs, purchase materials, manage costs, operate my tools, and hopefully get my clients to love me and my work. I do bring in an occasional helper for holding up the other end of a board. My wife helps me design and put together proposals. I subcontract to my carpet guy and drywall guy. If the local jurisdiction will let me plumb or wire with my General's License, I'll do it....otherwise I place a call to the guys that I know can deliver the work.

I'm still young, 31, and I know that as the years roll by, I would like to be able to make a wage based on what I know and what I can facilitate, without being crouched in an attic. But for now, being able to market myself as a professional, who gets his hands dirty, has kept me in business this far....and the phone keeps on ringing!!

Warm weather and tax refunds seem to be pretty good lubricants for home improvements!
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:32 PM   #24
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Re: Working Alone


I have been working on my own for just over a year now.As I am just over 50 the plan was to work 4 days a week and have a day for paperwork.I guess it would average out to that. I just do small jobs from 2 hours to 2-3 weeks. For me the days go fast as I am doing something different every day. I find this forum a great place to exchange ideas as I don't go to trade shows much or do enough volume to talk to company reps regularly.
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:03 AM   #25
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Re: Working Alone


I've been working on my own for under a year now, and am just recently starting to take on bigger jobs doing whole house reno's, etc. I have brought in guys to work with me (who I've worked with for years, as employees) as well I sub out all electrical and major plumbing.

It is nice having the company, and seeing that much more getting done in a day, or a week, with three guys instead of one. Also is great at the end of the day when it is time to clean up.

Although I don't mind working on my own at all, doing the smaller stuff, taking a day off if I want too. This way too I don't have the stress of keeping others busy as well.

I think it is more profitable if you have guys working for you, as you can pay them a certain wage and bill them out for more, and make money in man hours. Doesn't mean to say though you can't have a profitable business working on your own.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:45 PM   #26
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Re: Working Alone


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I have been working on my own for just over a year now.As I am just over 50 the plan was to work 4 days a week and have a day for paperwork.I guess it would average out to that. I just do small jobs from 2 hours to 2-3 weeks. For me the days go fast as I am doing something different every day. I find this forum a great place to exchange ideas as I don't go to trade shows much or do enough volume to talk to company reps regularly.
I like to work on my own, but there's too many things I can't do by myself. I have a full time labourer. He carries the heavy stuff, gets the job set up, cleans up, etc. Basically his job is to see that I have what I need to do my job.

That way I get 8 productive hours per day.

I bet it's still cold up in Kincardine. For those who don't know, this guys in the north guys. Pushing the arctic circle almost.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:44 PM   #27
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Re: Working Alone


Yes, I think it can be done. I work by myself for the most part. What many guys in my area are doing is using 'subs' and paying them hourly like employess (this *can* be a tax problem if the vast majority of their work is coming from you - so I am not necessarily recommending it). It seems to have worked for them though.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:23 PM   #28
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Re: Working Alone


Working alone SUCKS once you have found someone that you work well with.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:29 PM   #29
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Re: Working Alone


I prefer working alone. I don't mind having someone to talk to as long as they don't interfere or try to help. Right now I'm looking for a boom truck and then I want to get a wireless remote control for the boom.

Last edited by txgencon; 04-26-2011 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:02 PM   #30
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Re: Working Alone


Working by ones self sucks in my opinion. What would be great in a situation like yours is to find a good part time partner. Just another one man show and team up with each other. You help him he helps you etc etc. But you keep your buisness and he keeps his. I have done it this way in the past and it worked out great. Gives you someone to talk to and someone to go out to lunch with. Plus you get twice the work!! But in any event, good luck. one man shows do work but for me its too lonely, I get way less done working by myself. I like to have at least 1 other guy there
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:18 AM   #31
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Re: Working Alone


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I have been working on my own for just over a year now.As I am just over 50 the plan was to work 4 days a week and have a day for paperwork.I guess it would average out to that. I just do small jobs from 2 hours to 2-3 weeks. For me the days go fast as I am doing something different every day. I find this forum a great place to exchange ideas as I don't go to trade shows much or do enough volume to talk to company reps regularly.
This is my ultimate goal too, thanks for the inspiration.
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:39 AM   #32
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Re: Working Alone


I'm the laziest person I know. If I didn't have employees, nothing would get done.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:15 PM   #33
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Re: Working Alone


I have known quite a few guys as well as myself that frame alone, as long as there 2500 s.f. or less with trusses. Like KB and the likes.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:05 PM   #34
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Re: Working Alone


I work by myself a lot. I like it that way. I get going on a roll an get stuff done.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:30 PM   #35
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Re: Working Alone


I've been at it over a year now - I have a labourer but I'm contemplating cutting it down to just myself, and sub out on the bigger/time-sensitive stuff a bit more.

My labourer is a 21 year old with a 16 year old attitude. Gets tiring. Feels like I have a teenage son working for me.
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:35 PM   #36
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My labourer is a 21 year old with a 16 year old attitude. Gets tiring.
This guy sound awful familiar, I think he worked for me last year
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:19 AM   #37
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This guy sound awful familiar, I think he worked for me last year
Not that a teenage son would be a bad thing. But having a teenage son that doesnt want to be there does.
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Old 01-23-2018, 09:46 PM   #38
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Re: Working Alone


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I've been working alone for 3 yr. now & the biggest down side for me is that i've started talkin to myself. So now I want to hire someone simply cause I'm tired of listing to my own S all day long.

It wasn't so bad until I started loosing arguments with myself & realized that I can't even fire ME!
Probably an ancient thread, but this is gold! And it's completely true. I know this because I too work alone quite often.

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