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Question For All Self Employed/owners???

 
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:11 PM   #41
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


What's really sad IMO, is that after reading this whole thread, lot's of these issues are what I call chicken sh!t issues. The original poster sounds as if his guys are getting the job done just fine, but some ballbuster isn't happy because it could've been done a day earlier. Give me a friggin break.

And another thing, Mike this is for you, construction isn't a game of concretes and absolutes, change orders and extra's are as common as the sunset. Unforseens pop up in any kind of construction, be it roofing, drywalling, painting, remodeling etc. When GC's, builders etc. understand that construction isn't a game of absolutes, but more a game of quality within the circumstances, we'll all be more profitable.

The few jobs where I've been acting GC, I never questioned, worried about or had an interest in what the sub was doing. As long as his crew got the job done correctly, I was happy. Micromanaging is not a good thing....
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:07 PM   #42
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


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Micromanaging is not a good thing....
Well said, my friend.

Don't we have other things to worry about?
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:00 AM   #43
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivinni View Post
In light of these comments, I would have to ask you if you are on each of your jobs every day, all day? Never mind, I know the answer.

Back charge? Does your sub get to back charge you for the times he needs a question answered and you aren't available? I think not.



If he needed to be back charged for your lack of presense, that would be his fault, would it?



As you should. because we all make mistakes when we try to better ourselves.



Then you are not on the job to stop them form making those mistakes. Who is ion the wrong here?

Ultimately, the responsibility is yours. You rely on others to get it done, just as the HO does. What is it with contractors who live the mantra:

"Do as I say...and not as I do."

I don't get the high horse attitude.
I can answer most of your statements in regard to you have no idea what I'm talking about.

If the code says to do something a certain way. I don't need to stand next to an electrician, be it a master, a journeyman or 2nd day helper and tell him not to do that, do it this way so it passes inspection.

Know what lippage is? I don't need to stand next to a tile setter be it a master setter, and apprentace or a 2nd day helper and inspect each tile he lays for being within proper specs of lippage.

For some reason you think I am talking about something subjective, somebody installing a light switch 1/2 inch farther to the right then I would have liked.

Quote:
And another thing, Mike this is for you, construction isn't a game of concretes and absolutes, change orders and extra's are as common as the sunset. Unforseens pop up in any kind of construction, be it roofing, drywalling, painting, remodeling etc. When GC's, builders etc. understand that construction isn't a game of absolutes, but more a game of quality within the circumstances, we'll all be more profitable.
What a crock of absolute horse sh*t.

Construction isn't a game of concrete absolutes to sloppy ass people in this business.

The same mentality -

Construction is not showing up on time for an estimate

Construction is ball parking on your tail gate

Construction is writing your estimate on a napkin

Construction is showing up with beer on your breath

Construction is not returning phone calls

Construction is keeping customers waiting

etc...

Whatever.

I got news for you all construction is absolutely a game of absolutes.

There ain't too much that should be shocking, a surprise or different then what you expect if you know what the hell you are doing, if you care about what you are doing and if you care about your customers.

Construction is easy. Everything we do in construction has been done before a million times. Everything we do has a written set of directions, codes or industry standards.

Nobody in this industry is doing anything magical.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:10 AM   #44
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


Quote:
I got news for you all construction is absolutely a game of absolutes.

There ain't too much that should be shocking, a surprise or different then what you expect if you know what the hell you are doing, if you care about what you are doing and if you care about your customers.

Construction is easy. Everything we do in construction has been done before a million times. Everything we do has a written set of directions, codes or industry standards.

Nobody in this industry is doing anything magical.
And I've got news for you. GC's (or quasi) don't have a corner on the market.

When you get to a point to where yo got a 30-40% NET, I'll listen. Don't be telling me how it's done, pal.

We have not been talking about what's been done before. Only about attitudes of GC's.

Pound sand.

Edit: Who gives a F^*k what lippage is? That ain't the point.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:11 AM   #45
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
Nobody in this industry is doing anything magical.
I don't know about that... I've seen some folks pull some pretty big numbers out of their ass. Looked like magic to me.

I even saw a guy pull his head out of his ass once. But, just once.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:21 AM   #46
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivinni View Post
Edit: Who gives a F^*k what lippage is? That ain't the point.
I believe for the 1st time you are getting the point. I already know what your point is, -- your past bad experiences and clulessly painting everyone else with your broad brush.

Problem with guys like yourself is you don't quite get it that there are two hands on every check that gets written. One hand that's writing it and one hand that is accepting it. Neither one is obligated to keep writing them or accepting them if the terms aren't agreeable to either one.

Once that is understood there ain't too much more for guys like you to cry about.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:26 AM   #47
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


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Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
I believe for the 1st time you are getting the point. I already know what your point is, -- your past bad experiences and clulessly painting everyone else with your broad brush.

Problem with guys like yourself is you don't quite get it that there are two hands on every check that gets written. One hand that's writing it and one hand that is accepting it. Neither one is obligated to keep writing them or accepting them if the terms aren't agreeable to either one.

Once that is understood there ain't too much more for guys like you to cry about.
I haven't cried about anything.

I know my worth to customer, and he does too.

The worth he pays for is not my presence on the job everyday.

I live in the commercial world and you try to rule in the residential. Two different arenas.

You haven't grown past the fact that you are not in control of the world. None of us are.

Pound sand. Get a grip.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:32 AM   #48
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


WTF does anything you've just replied with have to do with anything?

Your point is you are in a different line of work and are clueless to what I do or how I do it, but you're absolutely positive it's wrong. Awesome. I'll shut down tomorrow.


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Old 12-18-2008, 12:48 AM   #49
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


Let me make it easy on you. You're not the first sub who has let himself be treated like a piece of sh*t once to many times by some dirt-bag general. You're mad at yourself, you feel dirty, your man-hood has been shrunk so badley you're really starting to believe that you might actually be more woman than man. It's okay. There's a solution.

You might not have been able to understand what this meant
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
Problem with guys like yourself is you don't quite get it that there are two hands on every check that gets written. One hand that's writing it and one hand that is accepting it. Neither one is obligated to keep writing them or accepting them if the terms aren't agreeable to either one.
So I'll spell it out for you real simple.

You can stop being treated like a punk, you can stand back up tall in the saddle. All you have to do is stop sucking on the money teat of general contractors. Stop living like a welfare mother off of the sweat of others. Or a crack whore having to suck the next d*ck for that rock.

Get the hell out there and get yourself some retail customers instead of crying like a baby and bitching and biting the hand that feeds you about the lack of respect you get from those generals. Get out there in the real world instead and compete with em and bring in your own jobs instead of waiting for your next hand out.

Good luck to you.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:27 AM   #50
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


I have to agree with Mike.
When it comes to subs, it all depends on the first meeting / agreement.
As I stated in my other reply any GC should want to see their subs grow and be better business minded Companies. Subs help make a GC as well as break a GC.
No owner of a company has to be on the job each minute of each work day, Sub, GC or what ever.
The main thing is if hired to perform a job, perform that job. Build your company to a point it operates without you being there to hold the hands of your workers. Do this and the Owner can take all the time off he/she wishes to. Just come collect the check and go once again. It does not matter, it is your company, do as you wish.
It is when you, if operating as a sub, you have the responsibility to provide the service you sold to the GC. The GC should not have to do any part of the sub's job or the sub should not have to do the GC's job.
But both should indeed work together to a point as I believe most do.

The problem would become when you fail to grow your business to maintain the quality you once had when we first began business together, causing me to do more of your work, then we have a problem.
No sense back charging, we will sit & talk once, it happens again, it will be the last time. Next job I will have a new sub.
I believe that is the point Mike was making very clear and I agree with.
During business, when I say you, I refer to your company.
It's not about me doing your job or you doing my job, we each have a job and in order for the job as a whole to be completed we each need to do our own respective job. Our companies each have a responsiblity, no matter if I or you personally are onsite, the scope of work still needs to be completed in a professional way that provides the service sold.

I have been on both sides for over 30 years, I choose to be on the jobs more than I am not regardless if a sub or GC, because i love my chosen profession, but when away my Company operates as if I am there, always has.
There have been to many jobs for me to even count while I am on another job with my crew & a GC or Customer calls & I tell them I will send Gordon or Kevin or Rick over along with 4 or 6 others. I tell them what needs to be done, they go do it, get the job completed and I never step foot on that job once, I invoice for the work done & recieve a check in the mail.
It is all about how one chooses to grow their company. Teach your employees to operate as if you are there, and you never will have a problem, make promises that you cannot keep and problems begin.

I have known some fantastic tradesman over the years that I would recommend or trust to do anything they said they & crew could. When they tried to grow their business and be the type of boss that drives up to the site, rolls down the window to holler to his/her guys, "how's the job going"? "ok I check back with you tomorrow" and drives off. Then before long they are out of work and have everyone pizzed off at them.
They come back looking for work, I tell them straight up, oh hell no, you blew it, you start over, promise me you will be on the job at least 2/3's of the day, each day you work here & we can do business again.

Any sub that is running into problems with the GC they are working for, the single best advice I could ever offer is to call or just go in and ask for a meeting with the GC, discuss what is the problem and correct it.
Your business is with GCs you need to take care of that customer just as a GC has to take care of his/her business with a H/O, fail to and you will be seeking employment.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:14 AM   #51
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


Quote:
Originally Posted by tinner666 View Post
I've been on both sides of this one!

I'm not gonna add to either side, but mention the 4th. one instead.

IRS rules about subs vs employees!
I was waiting for this one.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:58 AM   #52
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


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Originally Posted by Burby View Post
There have been to many jobs for me to even count while I am on another job with my crew & a GC or Customer calls & I tell them I will send Gordon or Kevin or Rick over along with 4 or 6 others. I tell them what needs to be done, they go do it, get the job completed and I never step foot on that job once, I invoice for the work done & recieve a check in the mail.




, promise me you will be on the job at least 2/3's of the day, each day you work here & we can do business again.

Any sub that is running into problems with the GC they are working for, the single best advice I could ever offer is to call or just go in and ask for a meeting with the GC, discuss what is the problem and correct it.
Your business is with GCs you need to take care of that customer just as a GC has to take care of his/her business with a H/O, fail to and you will be seeking employment.
The bold text has me scratching my head. I suppose it depends on whether you are the contractor or the sub.
Last paragraph is just plain good logic.

Last edited by boman47k; 12-18-2008 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:47 AM   #53
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


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Originally Posted by boman47k View Post
The bold text has me scratching my head. I suppose it depends on whether you are the contractor or the sub.
Last paragraph is just plain good logic.
I say that because I have been both, even as a GC / builder I have always had a crew, this is how I was raised in the business and always operated.
From the beginning we, (my crew) did everything in a build of a home. From the first stakes on a lot, to pouring the forms, framing, electrical, plumbing, heating, insulating, drywall, painting, trim, roofing, siding to handing the keys over to the H/O
As an area died in buillding I would move to another state, not knowing any one in that state as well as different states having different building methods, such as using different trades for different construction phases. Once in that state, I would get my lisc, my liability & w/c and do what it took to earn money, even if it meant working as a sub until I got my name out there and picked up customers on my own & back to building.
My employees, I don;t care if it meant i worked longer hours or worked harder, I would not have an employee that was not worth his money, with me present or not.
Each state I moved to & worked my success was from my work ethics as well as business management. Some builders I worked for as a sub when I first moved to a state, I later built my own houses next to. And remained friends with all.
They would run into a problem they knew my workers & my expectation of each one of them. They would call and ask if I could send a few over to prevent him from falling behind I would, no problem.

I feel very lucky to have grown up when I did with a Father that was a Carpenter, 1 uncle who was a master Electrician, 1 uncle as a master plumber / steam fitter, allowing me to work for each when ever I could as well as them there for advice when I began my business as young as I was.
Then laws & lisc changed over the years, some things dropped, some never will and all has played an important part in my life today.
When I began litigation work in the mid 90s when the work force began heading south as it was I got out of building houses.
Some Engineers that knew of my work and knowledge of all phases of construction asked me get into this line of work. It was great and as if I had been in this line of business all along. Not that I enjoyed seeing the business go in this direction, but then again, I am not the one that created these laws that alows one with so little knowledge & or experience become a builder or specialty contractor.
Now mostly being retired, I do jobs for past customers that need specialty things done, independent inspections, help some builders I know their work & have remained friends with pick up jobs because i have the time to get out there & still love finding & closing a new job in hard times, and finally I help with construction managment/consultant.
Having been declared as an expert witness in as many cases as I have been involved with I am in the process of looking into becoming an 3rd party expert witness in the equity courts. Each side now hires Engineers as their expert witness and adds confusion to the courts, so their new thing is now moving to have a 3rd party expert witness for the court. hahaha then soon it will be a 4th & 5th

I am a firm believer in ethics never changing in a person, work or personal. Most things in business are indeed common sense basics. When we forget these common sense basics problems arise. Regardless who you are, all you want is for a job to be completed with the least amount of friction as possible, its not about you or me or him or her, it is, if one sells a service, they need to provide the service they sold or man up and be responsible.
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:38 PM   #54
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


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Originally Posted by Dorman Painting View Post
What's really sad IMO, is that after reading this whole thread, lot's of these issues are what I call chicken sh!t issues. The original poster sounds as if his guys are getting the job done just fine, but some ballbuster isn't happy because it could've been done a day earlier. Give me a friggin break.

And another thing, Mike this is for you, construction isn't a game of concretes and absolutes, change orders and extra's are as common as the sunset. Unforseens pop up in any kind of construction, be it roofing, drywalling, painting, remodeling etc. When GC's, builders etc. understand that construction isn't a game of absolutes, but more a game of quality within the circumstances, we'll all be more profitable.

The few jobs where I've been acting GC, I never questioned, worried about or had an interest in what the sub was doing. As long as his crew got the job done correctly, I was happy. Micromanaging is not a good thing....
Don't get all loud and rowdy now. Ballbusters and such..... I think GC's have to crack the whip every once in a while and do-do-do-do-do Crack that whip!!!!!
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:51 PM   #55
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


I think this boils down to lack of communication. Ask GC if he has problem with you not being there, if so then why and how to remedy it, if not then clear up the assumption. Ask GC if he is upset (pissy) he made be upset about something totally related unto you. This was an interesting thread to read, so many opinions and thoughts.
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:35 PM   #56
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorman Painting View Post

And another thing, construction isn't a game of concretes and absolutes, change orders and extra's are as common as the sunset. Unforseens pop up in any kind of construction, be it roofing, drywalling, painting, remodeling etc. When GC's, builders etc. understand that construction isn't a game of absolutes, but more a game of quality within the circumstances, we'll all be more profitable.

The few jobs where I've been acting GC, I never questioned, worried about or had an interest in what the sub was doing. As long as his crew got the job done correctly, I was happy. Micromanaging is not a good thing....


ugh, I wish the GC on my current remodel project thought this way.
I want to ram his "proposed calendar" that is revised every 2 minutes (it takes us 40 minutes to complete each time) down his throat.

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Old 12-18-2008, 06:31 PM   #57
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


Wow!! when i started this thread I didnt realize it would snowball. I LIKE IT! you all and i mean all have some very intresting and insitefull ways to view this problem of mine and im guessing alot of other fellas out there. Ive definately come away with growth in my thinking. And my views are more 2 sided now. This is exactly why I joined months ago to this forum. Because these ideas and views of all of you may well have saved my butt!!
There is still a side of me as a sub that is hard headed and believes wholly that Im the one that went into this business, bought MY tools, bought MY trucks, equipment and taught my men to do the work correctly. I make my mens payroll , match taxes, pay the insurance I think we all get the point. And the GC just needs to be happy with work done for price payed. Is that the end? After all i read apparently not.
Like i said I come away with alot of changed ideas I think for the better.
I think i will be less prone to digging my heels in when challenged. Not that im a pushover but to survive in this business I need to be flexible. Im only 46 so ive got a few years to be busy at it. And my builder has a lot more work needing done. I would like for it to be me!
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:24 AM   #58
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


When my GC is in a pissy mood and I the painter am the last contractor on the job with my list of up charges, change orders and usual issues I have to tell myself that he isn't pissed off at me but he is in fact pissed off that he broke a water line trying to reinstall the dishwasher and now has to pay a plumber to properly repair it...
That doesn't mean that I don't sternly mention to my GC about the "frequent" calls that interrupt my work day, that is when I remind myself that some guys are at home with families wishing they had a GC calling them 6 times a day to bug them.
Especially this week.
Merry X~mas.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:16 AM   #59
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


I've had GC's ask me where the boss is and when is he coming to the job. I tell them the truth. He's out on his boat drinking rum & cokes.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:12 AM   #60
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Re: Question For All Self Employed/owners???


I do work for a GC that named his boat "The Jobsite". I always like to have meetings with him on the jobsite!

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