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Excavation Startup In Ohio

 
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Old 04-13-2020, 08:21 AM   #1
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Excavation Startup In Ohio


Hey I’m new and from Ohio I will be looking to start an excavation and ag drainage company in a couple years. My plan is to get a job with an excavating company, and start my own company on the side any advice would help
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Old 04-14-2020, 09:20 AM   #2
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Re: Excavation Startup In Ohio


don't be afraid to hire a GOOD accountant...and listen to him

knock on doors, tell them what you're capable of. if lucky to land a few jobs, do what is within the scope of the contract, anything out of original scope, demand change order and DO NOT proceed until a signed copy is in your hands. everybody's friends until unexpected snafus start dragging money out of their pocket, yours or theirs. and if you lose a few bucks due to your inexperience, wrong equipment...eat it, don't go whining to your customer or he'll never call you back.

if you're not comfortable reviewing contracts of a larger scale...hire attorney to view. what might cost you $500 in his office, might cost you thousands to finish a job that you weren't 100% sure of what's involved.

before you throw a bucket in the ground...know up front what your costs are. keep accurate records of how well you perform so you can establish a time required to complete next jobs.

don't get caught up in the auction bidding thing...walk away from customers who tell you "xyz construction will do the job for 15% lower than you...can you match it?" only YOU can determine YOUR costs, and how much money you want to put in your pocket the end of the day.

maintain your equipment properly, including their appearance. it speaks volumes to a project owner when well maintained/appearing equipment appears on their job and not holding them up when you break down.

even though he and i don't get along very well, there is a member here called KAP that has posted many well thought posts about the financial aspect as to how to setup, prepare, and what to watch for business wise. he may jump in here, maybe not...if he doesn't do a search of his username and what you want to know.

i'm retired now and no longer in business, i was in it so long i've worn out more bucket teeth than most have operating hours.

let me know any specifics i can help you with. don't know it all, but been there/done that.

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Last edited by dayexco; 04-14-2020 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 04-14-2020, 09:42 AM   #3
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Re: Excavation Startup In Ohio


Thanks a lot for the advice. Should I hire an accountant right off the bat? If so, how do you afford it? And also should I register my company as an LLC right away?
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Old 04-14-2020, 09:50 AM   #4
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Re: Excavation Startup In Ohio


I plan on going to a vocational school throughout junior and senior year for excavation hopefully I can learn a lot there. After that I’ll get a job and start my own business on the side. (Or at least that’s the plan right now) should I start off renting equipment or buying and paying a monthly payment? I would also appreciate it if someone could tell me what equipment to get first, and what brands are best. I know a few people I could probably rent a skid steer from for cheap so I thought maybe start off buying a mini excavator. What are your thoughts?
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:07 AM   #5
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Re: Excavation Startup In Ohio


that's kind of open ended question.

what type of excavating you doing? how deep will you be digging. what kind of volumes of material and types of material you handling. what do you have to transport your equipment to and from jobsite. where will you store this equipment in off season or not in use?

short term until you get situated, i'd probably rent. once you're loaded with work buy it. many companies allow a lease/purchase that gives you an out in case you discover it's not for you, or the market doessn't allow you to make any money.

you'll need support equipment....pumps, lasers, level/transit, chop saws, hand tools...it goes on and on..and you'll find until you get established, you'll never have exactly what you need in your possession.

first and foremost, get the proper PPE UP FRONT!!! you get hurt, you've wasted your time. you hurt or kill one of your employees, you live with it the rest of your life.

good luck!

there's another excavating textbook/member here you can ask questions. his username is tgeb.
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:13 AM   #6
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Re: Excavation Startup In Ohio


Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Jones View Post
Thanks a lot for the advice. Should I hire an accountant right off the bat? If so, how do you afford it? And also should I register my company as an LLC right away?

yes hire one immediately to help you get your books set up properly, and you both understand what's happening.

don't jump into biz until you have established a startup fund. going into biz 100% financed is NOT a good thing. if you go to vegas with your own money to bet, and you lose it...it's not a good thing, but you've lost your money...you lose the bank's money, they send Vito out to see you.

for a lot of reasons, i'd LLC it right away.
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:57 AM   #7
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Re: Excavation Startup In Ohio


Thanks again for advice I will be doing residential excavation so won’t need anything too big or if I do I’ll have to rent it
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Old 04-14-2020, 12:28 PM   #8
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Re: Excavation Startup In Ohio


My suggestion would be to work for the other guy and learn the business. Save lots of money while working with him and buy the (used) starter equipment you need pay as you go.

While working for the other guy you can use your stuff for small side jobs, but you're not ready to go into business until you own some equipment, have all the insurance you need, have six months or more of working and payroll capitol saved up and leads on a few profitable jobs. You're also going to need to own or rent a shop to maintain and work on things with an office space and equipment to do billing, book work, estimating, etc.

Stay away from borrowing money or financing expensive new equipment or your ship will likely be sunk before it leaves port. It takes a lot of cash to run a successful decent sized excavation company.

I'm a retired GC that did a lot of self perform excavation. I've always thought a guy could get started in a small excavation operation with a tandem dump truck and implement trailer, a backhoe and a small dozer. Throw in a laser and a transit, a couple compactors and a bunch of hand tools and you've got the basics. One man show with this equipment and a helper could get a lot of work done.

Good luck !
The industry needs more young entrepreneurs.
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Old 04-14-2020, 12:33 PM   #9
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Re: Excavation Startup In Ohio


Thanks, I was planning on working for a few years and trying to get my name out by advertising and renting equipment to do the jobs. I know if s residential excavation business that’s a one person show the guy who runs it also started it so I’ll be talking to him as well. I also might work for him if he’s up to it.
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Old 04-14-2020, 06:48 PM   #10
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Re: Excavation Startup In Ohio


Also would I need a dump truck as they’re very expensive I would like to avoid purchasing that if I could

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