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Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise

 
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:16 PM   #1
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Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


My dad's been laying concrete for the past 20 years now an has made a pretty good living at it. I'm 24 years old an have always helped him during the summers when I wasn't in school. I'm now employed at a auto plant an have been for the past 5 years an I'm starting to get tired of it an not making much money. The other night I was taking to my father about it an he said he's getting pretty old an if I would come back to work for him he'd hold my hand for a year an turn it over if I wanted it. They stay busy an work almost everyday, he has about 4 guys that work for him. I can remember back 10 years ago he once had 12 workers 3 new company trucks running 3 crews, how ever in 2005 everything slowed down an went down hill an now he has one truck an one crew an I think he kinda gave up on it. Now he's getting calls everyday an is covered up. He has a trailers, skid steer an all the equipment an has done about all from walls, driveways an even put up steel buildings. I guess I'm trying to figure out if I can make it the way it used to be when things where good an grow it even better. I've got the drive an want to about me am just now sure if I want the headache ive seen him have at times but I love the sound of making 10 grand in a couple months like he's talked about he used to do. I've got a baby, wife an house to pay for so if I jumped into it I'll have to make it work somehow I have no choice. I guess I'm asking some of you concrete owners your take on what I should do thanks sorry about the long post
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:25 PM   #2
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


Do you have the technical aptitude/knowledge to RUN a concrete business?

How much concrete experience & in what applications do you have?

Do you have any practical business experience?

You will need both to succeed. Your Dad will likely help you for as long as you need.

Not only do you need trade & business knowledge, YOU have to WANT to do this and drive the business to succeed.

Community Colleges can help get you some basic business knowledge...read night school.

Learn your states lien & contractors law. H

Have a working knowledge of payroll....

Do you know what overhead is & how much your will be?

Lots to do & think about....but LOTS of help here....

Good Luck....

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Old 05-27-2014, 01:25 AM   #3
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


Unless you inherit money from your wife's family or win the Lottery, You'd have only your labor to buy your Dad out.....

You'd need to know what your Dad's business is worth now,and if He and your mom would be gifting any of the value of the business to you...
Do you have any siblings that would be owed a "fair" share of any of your Dad and Mom's estate? Legally your folks can favor anyone, but do you want to trade a sister or brother for a few bucks?

What if you replace your dad as line supervisor and He rethinks retirement age now he's not finishing concrete....why not run his now bigger and more profitable company another 5 to 10 to raise HIS standard of living/retirement....Write down any deals, especially with family. What if you or your Dad croaks, where would your wife and mom be financially--maybe some type of life insurances...critical employee on you and your Dad during your apprenticeship.

What happens if You can't cut it as a manager, no shame, but just don't have that set of talent/skills to PROFIT at business.... You don't wan't to suffer through ten years gradually going broke. Set points where you could bail out, without losing your earned share.

Some businesses just don't generate enough cash to internally fund a buyouts, Most likely your Dad would be gifting you use of his plant to work weekends and nights to generate funds beyond a living stipend for purchasing his company at a fair price..... you are looking at 5- 10 years of 60 hour weeks 50 weeks a year, with any schooling above and beyond...

Is your wife ready to trade your presence for a little more money? for a decade? Your kids, you or the $$ you make while your not home?

And your wife will have to return to/start work full time ASAP, either as company secretary and day care or for some else that can pay more... or you'll be paying your mom years after your Dad passes for his business....

What does your Mom think? "Pa is boss everyone knows, But what Ma says, ALWAYS goes..." even the G.D. in-laws support would help. Any business people on the wife's side?

Spend couple hours with some spreadsheets running the # and $s, It might never pay. Ask dad for general # as a baseline. Is your area growing or fading away, Nanny state like New Jersey, or Almost Texas?

Do you and your Dad trust each other....
Why not work part time weekends and a few hours during the week learning how to bid jobs to make a little equity and see if you can work together? Keep the job with benefits as long as possible...Don't ever whisper you are thinking about quitting, it will kill any promotions and cause more collateral damage.
Most of the schooling for business will be usable in any other field...

Last edited by Fouthgeneration; 05-27-2014 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:10 PM   #4
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


The 10 grand in a couple of months is awesome but you have to make sure that you want to take on this responsibility. Running a business is much more than just making money. There is marketing, dealing with clients and potential clients, dealing with suppliers, job estimating, bookkeeping, licensing upkeep etc.

You have to make sure that you will have the passion that your father once had because if you are just doing it for the 10 grand in a couple of months your clients will see this in your work.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:22 PM   #5
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


I don't run a concrete company but I am a small business owner and what I can tell you is that owning a business is nothing like working for a car company. The biggest issues are a) do you have the drive and b) do you have the commitment.

You have to be a self starter. You have to really, really want to win. You have to be willing to take your work with you 24/7 and live and breath it. Owning your own business is not for everyone.

Your statement about making 10K every couple months is an alarm bell to me. If that is your goal you will fail. If you had said "working for myself and being my own boss sounds really good to me" I would have said you sound like the right kind of personality.

Be very careful as you can be certain there will be days you will want to just quit. If you don't have the drive, instead of getting over theose days, you will just quit. Good luck.

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Old 05-29-2014, 05:47 AM   #6
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


Your dad may have made 10 grand in a couple months, but there are probably alot of times he lost 10 grand in a couple months that you didn't know about.

Nothing wrong with taking over the family business. Just make sure that is what you want to do. Also, get ready to work alot more than you do now.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:23 PM   #7
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


Why not work for your dad .
Im in your dads position now I have 3 sons the oldest son 28 went to the dark side 8 years ago and is just now starting to see things my way , he is my step son .
Son #2 19 has all ways been a good kid , and I figured he would take over for me when I get old . That is not going very good .
Son # 3 17 is spoiled but the next few years will tell how he works out .
well I have 7 other kids but younger .
#2 son is having a hard time growing up he wants to work, and is coming along with his skills, but he keep fighting with the boss ( his mom) .
The truth is im 55 now and cant really work like I did , every time I go to the doc he gives me a new pill .
Im in good shape for my age , I hope I can work into my 60s .
Ive been in business landscaping , paving in the late 70s , then working for a GC and in 1987 I started in construction on my own .
I don't know where I would be if my boss didn't take me in and teach me .
Im sure your dad can stick around and help with the business side of things.
I hate pay role , taxes ,estimates , I do like selling work , getting payments , and BSing around , all things a older gentlemen should do .
My wife takes care of my paper work so I could just build stuff .
This is a no brainer really , If you like the work , get along with your dad ,
there is no reason not to try .
Thing are really tuff now .
I had 25 men in 06 then we went down to 4/5 then 2
The thing is, if you love the work the money will come.
In your own business you can make as much money as you want .
It up to you .
I never really had a 7 to 330 job but I make a ton of money building .
I don't think things will get good again in my life time, but you will have a good chance of hitting it big . do it . John






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Old 05-31-2014, 10:17 PM   #8
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


Why not run a crew for your dad. You are responsible for everything, sales, payroll, estimating, problem solving. Have weekly meetings to review the results. If the crew is making money next year then you take over or some iteration thereof.

10 grand in a couple months is 60 grand a year. Are you ready to work 60 hours a week for that kind of money? That works out to roughly 20 an hour, before taxes. Also don't forget self employment tax on top of income tax to the tune of 13%. Having dependents can help with that. But yeah, ten grand in two months is 20 per hour ie 60k/50/60. Most leads are at 20, and craigslist handymen are at 35.

When I started I was thinking in your range, working 30 40 hour weeks. It was not enough. The marketing, books, work and trouble shooting all has to be done. For example, Monday morning you start a new job, monday afternoon a gc calls and doesn't like a crack in a sidewalk, monday night a new client wants an estimate. You have no work the next week. Your new hire calls in sick tuesday, the gc wants his repair NOW or there will be no payment, payroll is due thursday, client from Monday night wants to sign a contract but cant do it until after dinner at 8. And on and on. Eventually you will get a handle on it by scaling down to one three man crew or scaling up to a size where all you do is bid and payroll.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:06 PM   #9
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


Thanks for the help guys, I'm thinking about going ahead and trying to make it work, I wanna build it up to were I bid jobs an make pay roll at some point in time it may take 5 years to do so but I think it will be worth it in the long run as long as the economy keeps getting better. I really don't know a lot about the bussness part of it but I guess there's only one way to learn.. Get in there an do it. The biggest problem my fathers having now is finding good help, it's hard for him to leave the job to go bid other jobs because the guys aways seem to scew something up when he's not around.

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Old 06-01-2014, 10:15 PM   #10
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


Quote:
Originally Posted by Black454 View Post
Thanks for the help guys, I'm thinking about going ahead and trying to make it work, I wanna build it up to were I bid jobs an make pay roll at some point in time it may take 5 years to do so but I think it will be worth it in the long run as long as the economy keeps getting better. I really don't know a lot about the bussness part of it but I guess there's only one way to learn.. Get in there an do it. The biggest problem my fathers having now is finding good help, it's hard for him to leave the job to go bid other jobs because the guys aways seem to scew something up when he's not around.
Do you have competent skills in concrete? Doing the work? Do you know the technical aspects of it? Can you read engineered plans? Know the codes?

Serious questions. I would assume you do.

If so, the easiest way to grow the business is for you to take his crew over and do the work, whioe he bids more jobs and runs the business. While teaching you the business side. Thats how we did it, but I had been running crews for 7 years for other contractors, and was very versed in the work itself at that point.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:22 PM   #11
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


If you dont have the skills, I suggest grabbing a pick and going to work on his crew. I doubt his men would take to well to having a rookie trying to run them, the good ones will quit from what I have seen when other contractors brought the boy in at the top.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:08 PM   #12
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


That's the plan, I'm going to start back working with the crew to maybe give pops some free time to bid jobs. I've been helping him on an off for the last 10 years, I can forum pour an finish but I will agree there's a lot more I need to learn.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:09 PM   #13
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


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That's the plan, I'm going to start back working with the crew to maybe give pops some free time to bid jobs. I've been helping him on an off for the last 10 years, I can forum pour an finish but I will agree there's a lot more I need to learn.
You got the right attitude Stick around here, and give it a go buddy. Work your ass off and learn everything there is to know about concrete.
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:27 PM   #14
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


Really glad to see you doing this the right way and especially with the right attitude! Well done. I think you will get a handle on it pretty quickly and figure out if it is for you or not. Way to go.

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Old 06-02-2014, 08:00 PM   #15
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


Best of luck to you. Find yourself someone that is good at the business side of things to help you out.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:22 AM   #16
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Re: Taking Over Fathers Concrete Business. Need Advise


You have been given a lot of good advice. As you can tell from what most have said..
Desire to do this work.
Desire to own and run a business and All that comes with running a business.
Experience!!!! To be tired of your current job and wanting to take over the family business sounds easy but in fact is anything but. Most businesses fail not because of lack of trade knowledge but because of lack of business knowledge. If owning and running a business is not a passion, don't do it.
Stick with your Dad and learn as much as you can!! As Griz said...go to school and study business management. There is so much more to running a business and the crew!! I don't know about how long your Dad plans on sticking with it but I would recommend at least 5 years under your Dad's tutelage. Watch, listen and learn from him. As you learn, take on more responsibilities. Do that bookkeeping, estimates, payroll on and on. Your Dad has a ton of knowledge and experience....be a sponge!!

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