Would You Do It Again??

 
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:49 PM   #1
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Would You Do It Again??


Ok so I work for a large tv company and am looking into going the LV route. I have been doing side work for a wile and it's getting to the point that it's getting in the way of the day job. HAH. My wife keeps saying I need to start a business. I know way easier said than done! Anyways for those of you who started your own LV business, looking back would you do it again? What would you change.?
I will be getting licensed and picking up insurance early next year. Like most I have goals and dreams to be self employed. I'm 33 and have been working in the tv world for 7 years. I really enjoy the work, just not the company. Thanks for everyone's comments in advance.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:03 PM   #2
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


Would I do it again, idk I think if I could go back I would have tried to become a full blown sparky.

The job has its ups and downs best to try and pick an area you are good at and focus on it

I started the same way then got to the point I was using vacation days to do side work and webt out on my own

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Old 09-08-2016, 03:19 PM   #3
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


Thanks for the reply. Yeah I'm not going to quit my day job anytime soon. Though I would be willing to take a pay cut to be in business that's for sure. I have pretty much most of the tools needed for cctv..any tv service. Voip.
I have a million questions for you whom have been in business but since transportation seems to be the largest investment besides consumables. Which do you guys prefer a van (transit) pick up truck (f150) with a enclosed trailer to haul tools and supplies. I get that a van is more portable and convienent. (I have a company van now) but since it will be mine. I don't know if having a detected vehicle just for LV is a smart investment starting out. I'm leaning twords a truck and enclosed trailer.
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:27 PM   #4
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


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...I'm leaning twords a truck and enclosed trailer.
Be sure your clients have some place to put that rig.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:09 PM   #5
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


Yes.! I find it really hard to beat the convenience of a van.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:45 PM   #6
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


Not sure if you have a family or not but I have seen guys here take the regular grand caravan, drop only the back set of seats then put in a partition behind the second set of seats.

Allows 4 people in the van and allows tools to be secured
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:56 PM   #7
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


^ yeah I have seen some crazy ways to make "it" work. No I have no kids. Just the wife and I. She works as well so if times are slow we have her income to make ends meet. I just havnt decided on buying a detected work vehicle (van) or a trailer to keep everything in and tow with a truck that I can use as a daily. I just dunno!
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:38 PM   #8
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


Not sure about your area but around here the cable companies are always selling off their old vans.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:02 AM   #9
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


Would I do it again?? Yes, only sooner.

A little story may help.

A number of years ago I was working in a customers warehouse. One of the workers on a forklift came over to where I was and was asking about my business. He said that he was going to start a business one day that he was dreaming about for years. He went on and on for 10-15 minutes.

I then stopped him and said. "You will NEVER start your business until you take the first step. if you are always talking about it, you will NEVER be in business."

He looked at me and said nothing for a few moments. I could see the light bulb go on. He said, "you are absolutely right. I have to get back to work now." And we parted.

About 3 months later I happened to be back at that warehouse again. I wasn't there but 5 minutes and this forklift came my way. The driver said, "Hey, man!! Thank you for talking to me the last time you were here. I just wanted to let you know that I took the first step."

I said, "Great!! And what was that??"

He said, "I was in an attorney's office 2 weeks ago and signed the corporation paperwork."

Sadly I haven't see him since, so I can't finish the story. But, I hope you get the idea.

BTW not all the decision you will make will be the right decision. A lot will be the wrong decision. Always learn something from ALL of your decisions. The most important decision will be deciding to decide.

Your next steps should be something like the following.

Form a S-Corp.
Make a personal loan to the company.
Buy a company van.
Make payments on the loan with interest.
Find Customers.

Good luck!!!

Les


Good luck!!
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:14 AM   #10
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


Thanks for the advice. I will be starting s corp. And loaning money to business with I test is tax reasons?

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Old 09-09-2016, 09:11 PM   #11
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


I have made several bad deductions, I jumped at the wrong van and the thing was a POS that was 6 grand down the drain which sucked!

Mind if I pick your brain, I don't do much TV but would like to start any recommendations on some equipment?

I know what I'm looking for in general but wondering what the pros carry.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:56 AM   #12
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^ yeah I know I'll make mistakes but I want to limit them as much as possible. Also yeah if you got questions I'll do my best to answer whatever you throw my way.
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:18 AM   #13
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


Can someone educate me on the benifits of going with a S Corp rather then a LLC when I first start up. From what I have gathered a LLC is less red tape and looks to be a better option for a start up business with one owner/employee. Plus it looks like I can opted to be taxed like an S Corp wile keeping the LLC status. Just thinking out loud here.
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:58 AM   #14
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


I personally went the low overhead route to get started. I paid an attorney $400 to start an LLC for me (http://www.smarthousesolutions.com). The LLC and S corp are similar from a tax standpoint, but the S corp has slightly more arduous documentation requirements. The downside of the LLC is that it has less history and precedent, so slightly more risk from a liability protection standpoint particularly if you have more than one owner. A one owner LLC is similar to an S corp from a liability protection standpoint. Most of the advantage of an S corp is if one owner is suing another owner.

As others have stated, I bought a large vehicle for personal use (two kids) and use it to haul televisions and cables around using the IRS tax deduction for standard mileage. A lot of the wiring work I sub out to an excellent electrician who happily charges me below-market rates for his work as I send him so much business.

My role is finding customers (always the hardest part), designing the system to meet the customers' needs, coordinating my electrician's installation with the home builder or general contractor, and plugging everything in and setting it up at the end.

Happy to chat more. I really wanted to get into this business because I'm a home theater dork and was excited to share my dorkiness with the local community!
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:41 AM   #15
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


I've been thinking about trying to find a builder to get in with but is easier said than done.

If you are just starting out you could always start as a DBA see how things go and if you like it it's not to difficult to change to an scorp later.

Would love to see what the cable company has you carrying in your tool bag(s)
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:44 AM   #16
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


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Originally Posted by SectorSecurity View Post
I've been thinking about trying to find a builder to get in with but is easier said than done.

If you are just starting out you could always start as a DBA see how things go and if you like it it's not to difficult to change to an scorp later.

Would love to see what the cable company has you carrying in your tool bag(s)


Yeah I almost have convinced myself that an S Corp is the way to go. Talked to a few people who have Incorporated and they said it's worth the extra paperwork. I have heard that sometimes you are not completely protected with a llc.
I'll post picks of my company van when I'm off work. All the tools I have bought myself. They supply coax and satelite dishes of course.
I have been shopping for a van as well. Kinda set on a transit I think. Like how they are set up plus they are rwd..
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:52 AM   #17
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


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I personally went the low overhead route to get started. I paid an attorney $400 to start an LLC for me (http://www.smarthousesolutions.com). The LLC and S corp are similar from a tax standpoint, but the S corp has slightly more arduous documentation requirements. The downside of the LLC is that it has less history and precedent, so slightly more risk from a liability protection standpoint particularly if you have more than one owner. A one owner LLC is similar to an S corp from a liability protection standpoint. Most of the advantage of an S corp is if one owner is suing another owner.

As others have stated, I bought a large vehicle for personal use (two kids) and use it to haul televisions and cables around using the IRS tax deduction for standard mileage. A lot of the wiring work I sub out to an excellent electrician who happily charges me below-market rates for his work as I send him so much business.

My role is finding customers (always the hardest part), designing the system to meet the customers' needs, coordinating my electrician's installation with the home builder or general contractor, and plugging everything in and setting it up at the end.

Happy to chat more. I really wanted to get into this business because I'm a home theater dork and was excited to share my dorkiness with the local community!



Yeah I like this business because its something I enjoy. Everyday (except when is -30) I look forward to going to work. I'm a big tv/ av geek as well. I like wire management and making things look organized (for a fee). Just like most on here I think. I self educate a lot. I like to be up on the new stuff coming out so I can answer customers with a educated answer.
As you said finding customers is the most challenging thing in business. So I know what I need to focus on. Thanks for your reply
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Old 09-17-2016, 07:00 PM   #18
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


Are you serious they made you buy all your own tools?

Or was it more of a hey here are your crappy used tools from the last guy that quit and you realize it's just easier to buy your own?
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:09 PM   #19
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


What's the difference between an extra large pizza and a low voltage contractor?

The pizza can feed a family of 4.

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Old 09-18-2016, 07:55 AM   #20
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Re: Would You Do It Again??


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Are you serious they made you buy all your own tools?

Or was it more of a hey here are your crappy used tools from the last guy that quit and you realize it's just easier to buy your own?


No they do give you the minimum tools required to do the job. I.E. like a basic drill 1 drill bit. Screw drivers. Crimping tool. Wire strippers ect. Though they don't give you any cable mappers no impact driver (a must really if you want to make money) no glow rods. No A frame ladder.
So after a bit of work you realize you need better and different tools that they didn't provide. Pretty much like any job really. I tell the new guys they send with me to train...you can get an install done with the tools they provide but it will take you all day on something I can get done in 2 hours.

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