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Starting Up

 
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:11 AM   #1
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Starting Up


So Ime almost done with high school were I am attending a vocational program for carpentry. I am sure some will laugh when i say i am intrested in starting a business offering basic handyman services an light remodeling for now. I plan on eventually going bigger but i gotta start small.I have all the tools truck n trailer to start as I have been doing side jobs for two years. I got the skills to do basic services. When it comes to light remodels I got people in the family who can help who are more experienced and licensed.

I guess what I am looking for any tips an advice and just any good sources for information would be greatly appreciated. What do you guys think, how did you get started?

Thanks for your time.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:09 AM   #2
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Re: Starting Up


As far as advice get good insurance. And how I got started. I pretty much did the same as you started small, made friends with well known contractors that could give me the small jobs they didnt want and hire me when I didn't have work. Get you're name out, and advertise. Then when I was in college me and a few buddies framed a house for homes for humanity, all volunteer work just for fun after class. That led us to two more framing jobs, and a pole barn.

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Old 01-17-2013, 08:41 AM   #3
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Re: Starting Up


Attitude is everything. Get your name out there, answer your phone , and keep your word.

Tge first couple years your gonna live off ramen noodles. After that its easy peasy.

Pay attention to your numbers. Right now, they're wrong. After each job do a self evaluation. How could I have done better, was that really the best price, etc...

Learn, advertise, network, work. People will hire someone who is busy before they hire someone who isn't.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:47 AM   #4
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Re: Starting Up


The age thing is going to be a tough nut to crack. I applaud your desire to do your own thing, but, I would work for some people until you have built up a more solid resume.

If you insist on doing your own thing, I suggest purchasing a rig in which you can haul away construction waste piles, or haul in top soil and/or compost. The old folks are going to have a hard time trusting a kid they don't know to do repairs on their house. But, something in regards to the work suggested above, "eh, I'll give him a chance".

Good luck
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:08 AM   #5
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Re: Starting Up


I think you've got a great future ahead of you. I too started my own company when I was in high school. For me, it was the smartest way to do it. I was still living with my parents so I had a safety net and I could focus on improvement without worrying about where the next check will come from.

Two pieces of advice...
1.) Always ask what the prospective client wants before you meet with them. If its over your head you can walk away right there and the homeowner won't feel as though their time has been wasted.

2.) Always be professional, yard signs, uniforms, truck lettering. it may seem like a big investment now,or it may not, but either way looking the part will help you become sucessful much faster.

Oh! also, when i started out all I did was study how to estimate... what materials cost and equally imporant what your time costs. Don't just pick a number from thin air... sit down and think "what are my fuel costs" "will I need to dispose of waste" and then you can give an ethical but profitable estimate.

Good Luck and keep us posted!
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:27 AM   #6
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Re: Starting Up


The age thing is really going to suck for you. But you can over come that with time and doing good work.

We all need to start somewhere just be careful as you don't just get a reputation as just a handyman that labeling maybe a bigger hurdle to get over when the time comes. Then the age game right now.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:44 AM   #7
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Re: Starting Up


Age doesn't matter, what matters is your maturity. I like your attitude, it shows you have some maturity and have a good goal for yourself, owning your own show.

My advice...be honest with everyone you work with and communicate. Everything else you can learn along the way. Best of luck to you!
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:46 AM   #8
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Re: Starting Up


Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinahandyma View Post
Age doesn't matter, what matters is your maturity. I like your attitude, it shows you have some maturity and have a good goal for yourself, owning your own show.

My advice...be honest with everyone you work with and communicate. Everything else you can learn along the way. Best of luck to you!
The only problem I had when starting out due to age was no one wanted to work for me
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:57 AM   #9
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Re: Starting Up


I know a young guy that graduated college so that would make him 22-23 years old. He really enjoyed doing general handyman things, yard work things many homeowners do themselves or hire out. He was able to keep him self very busy doing these items and has a good following of clients. Starting with a late model sedan and now he drives a small pick-up. I don't think he is trying to build some big business, just keep himself busy earning $ and doing things he likes to do.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:16 AM   #10
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Re: Starting Up


Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinahandyma
Age doesn't matter, what matters is your maturity. I like your attitude, it shows you have some maturity and have a good goal for yourself, owning your own show.

My advice...be honest with everyone you work with and communicate. Everything else you can learn along the way. Best of luck to you!
I have to say speaking from personal experience age is gonna be a struggle. I'm 20 now and I own my own company doing trim and decent sized renovations. And I would consider myself mature for my age. I get ppl who look at me and think oh he's 20 there's no way he will do quality work, people's mentality is you the kid who mows the grass for the neighborhood. You Need to be able to sell yourself, as you do jobs take pictures make a portfolio show them what you can offer them and always be on time and professional. When I'm not busy ill go work for other ppl friends of mine who have been doing it a lot longer than me to see how they do it, how they interact with customers how they sell their jobs.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:30 PM   #11
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Re: Starting Up


Quote:
Originally Posted by jlsconstruction View Post
As far as advice get good insurance. And how I got started. I pretty much did the same as you started small, made friends with well known contractors that could give me the small jobs they didnt want and hire me when I didn't have work. Get you're name out, and advertise. Then when I was in college me and a few buddies framed a house for homes for humanity, all volunteer work just for fun after class. That led us to two more framing jobs, and a pole barn.
If you do good work people will find you. Networking helps a lot as well. Get involved with your local community and then people will turn to you for help because they know and trust you.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:36 PM   #12
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Re: Starting Up


I was in a B2B biz and not a B2C when I started my first company at 26, and I looked 18. That may be a little different because business people were mostly supportive and admired my ambition. Dealing with consumers may make that more of an issue.

However, the age problem is mostly how you deal with it. If you expect it to be an obstacle, it will be. If you refuse to let it stop you and carry yourself confidently and professionally, then it won't be a problem. Even if someone does have a problem with your age, you need to recognize it will be their problem not yours.

If I can give one piece of advice that trumps all others, it would be to find a mentor. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Get all the advice from experienced people you can and implement it. Who you associate with will determine how your future will turn out.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:20 PM   #13
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Re: Starting Up


I know age is gomna be tough. Nothing good ever comes easy. I can work though it an impress people. I am not trying to be cocky however I can do the basics pretty good. I can't begin to build a whole house but overtime my skills should improve and one day hopefully I can.

As far as the financial standpoint goes its gonna be tough but not impossible. It does help still living at home, luckily I've got the tools truck n trailer.

I can easily get graphics for my truck and have a professional looking equitment. Although no matter how nice of equitment once I get the job it's ultimately gonna be the work that matters and gets customers calling me back.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:38 PM   #14
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Re: Starting Up


For my 2 cents, Id get on with a good crew and attain a solid skill set

It could mean the difference between staying a handyman, or becoming a builder Nothing wrong with being a handyman at all But if you have aspirations of becoming a builder, become a true carpenter first.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:41 PM   #15
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Re: Starting Up


BTW, I dig your attitude
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:55 PM   #16
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Re: Starting Up


Sounds like someone I know.

Being young like you, people tend to look at me and laugh, but you need to prove yourself. Keep your word and don't get in over your head. There will be times where you take on a job and don't know every single thing...happens to me alot, but i make damn sure i know enough to figure it out and execute it properly.
Don't be over confident in your abilities, no shame in turning down a job, it will look better on you then if you were to take the job and **** up.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:06 PM   #17
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Re: Starting Up


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Sounds like someone i know.

Being young like you, people tend to look at me and laugh, but you need to prove yourself. Keep your word and don't get in over your head. There will be times where you take on a job and don't know every single thing...happens to me alot, but i make damn sure i know enough to figure it out and execute it properly.
Don't be over confident of your abilities, no shame in turning down a job, it will look better on you then, if you were to take the job and **** up.
Thanks

There was actually a side job the other day I turned down, it absolutely killed me. I hate saying I can't do something. I probably Could of ,are it work but in now way would it be done to the quality of work I find acceptable.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:15 PM   #18
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Re: Starting Up


I have taught many people to do the trade. It takes years.

become a true carpenter first.

I think I was self employed for 10-15 years before I felt good enough to call myself a carpenter. The more I learned the more I realized how little I knew.

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Old 01-17-2013, 11:19 PM   #19
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Re: Starting Up


Also, the guys will be shocked here to see me type this but...
Work on the spelling and grammar, you need to be able to communicate with suppliers, fellow tradesmen and customers. Proper language skills make you seem more professional and attractive to potential clients.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:19 PM   #20
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Re: Starting Up


Quote:
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Thanks

There was actually a side job the other day I turned down, it absolutely killed me. I hate saying I can't do something. I probably Could of ,are it work but in now way would it be done to the quality of work I find acceptable.
Do some form work, frame a few dozen houses and trim the same, you wont feel that way

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