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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's up everybody. I've been browsing the site for a while and just now decided to register, very interesting topics and some funny replies, but mostly very informative :thumbup:

Anyways I have been in the painting trade for approximately 6-7 years now. I've almost always worked as a sub for GC's, some winters i've had to get hourly painting gigs but that never lasted because I refuse to settle for less:no:... I took a break for about a year from the business and am just now getting back into it.

Story is, I started working for this company as a sub and am constantly getting them more and more business. My work speaks for itself and is very good and they keep getting work because of... me. I've been told so by customers and also by the owner... I work as a sub for this guy and I make decent money considering that I don't have to worry about the headaches of owning my own business...
Except... I opened up my own business about a month ago. Paid all fees, got a tax id number, and now i'm in the process of getting insured. Now here's where my troubles lay...
I have a chance to take some of this guys work... there are some steady customers of his whom have asked me if I work for myself ever, that they'd like me to work for them directly, without having to deal with the company. I've come across this more than once...
Well I have a baby on the way and am hesitant of just stepping out and leaving the bi-weekly paycheck which is keeping me comfortably fed and is allowing me to save up a pretty nice stack... but I really do want to go out on my own.

So is it wrong to take away some of his work? Just wanting opinions... thanks!:thumbsup:
 

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Want to play a game?
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Touchy subject. I would say yes it is wrong but if the customer is not pleased with him then it might....might be ok. But I would still be hesitant because those customers might be thinking that if they can get you away from your boss they can save money. So they get a great job but don't get as big a bill when the job is done.
 

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I wouldn't do it. My husband was in the same position several years ago. He went to work for a contractor after being out of the paint biz for years. To qualify for license and get back to speed he had to work 2 years for him. When he was hired, he made it clear that he was opening his own biz.
He worked 2 years and brought a lot of biz and money in for the guy.
When he left, it was on good terms. Several GCs wanted him. He said, "No, I won't steal from him" and would not bid against him for a year. That earned him a lot of respect and he is still on good terms with his old boss.
 

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semi-skilled laborer
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If you are just now getting a tax ID number and insurance then you were never a sub, you were an employee to a cheating bastard who didnt like to pay wokmans comp and SS so I say take his work. F#%k anyone who cheats the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well... they'd always take a percentage away from the check for insurance... and i'd use my SS ................. Am I missing something? I still paid taxes and **** so .......
 

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semi-skilled laborer
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I am not trying to dog you, I just think the guy you were working for is a little shady as far as subs go.
I have never had someone cover me on their insurance when I subbed work, I was always made to show that I personally carried the required insurance for myself and any employees I had at the time.
Either way it doesnt matter.....
Ask yourself this, was the guy good to you ? Did he treat you fair ? Burning bridges and stepping on toes is a delicate thing, builders come and go, so taking someones builder today could bite you in the ass tomorrow. Now if the guy was an ass then I would say do it, but if he was good to you then it is best to at the very least not accept any of his customers for the time being.
 

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Particulate Filter
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Morality is important. Math is more important. How many customers have asked? How much revenue can they bring for how long? If it's a big solid yes you'll be making double the money for the forseeable future probably do it. If it's "I had two guys with two one time jobs ask for me in six months" that's not going to be enough. You have to be really honest with yourself about what the circumstances are.

Let me ask you this. If you told your boss you're leaving would he offer you more to keep you? Would it be worth it to him to keep his top producer? Or are you easily replaceable by one of the other 50, 100, 2000 painting subs in your city?

Having a baby can really be a turning point in many men's careers; it often seems that's when they make the move to independence because we all know that you'll never get anywhere asking for money from someone else. You have to get it, earn it, take it any way you can to care for your kid and if you can sleep at night and feel like you're one of the nice guys great but if you can't sometimes that's a burden you just have to bear when you're providing for your family.
 

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General Contractor
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I am reminded of the saying my grandfather used to recite:

Do onto others as you would have them do onto you...

I know it's cliche...

Regardless, It still holds as a rule in my methods...


If you are really ready to break out on your own... Why jeapordize the existing business your (solid) vendor already provides you as a safety blanket, when you benefit plenty by marketing to new customers based on your developing reputation?

If played right, you get the opportunity to branch out on your own, while, not jeapordizing your meal ticket.


It sounds like your pretty good... You should be able to get new business on your own. Why bite the hand that feeds you???

Good Luck
 

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Store Owner
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Sounds like he had you down as a 1099 worker, or do you get a w2 at the end of the year? If he's 1099-ing you, I say stay where you are. Now that you have a legit company you truly are a sub-cont. and there are a few tax benefits that could be beneficial if you stay. It's very tough out there, especially starting up, it's pretty rare that I see someone go out on their own and hit it big straight away. Why not try and get side work? Keep working with him and do some jobs together if he's into that? Best thing to do is be honest and up front. If hes a decent guy he shouldnt have a problem with you doing side jobs ( so long as they're not stolen, or cutting into his job time )
 

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vandy
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don't bite the hand that feeds you in order to take a couple of his customers.

find your own clientel while still being a legit sub for this guy.

you may need to be transparent with him about some customers who would prefer you. maybe if you agree to kick him a percentage he won't mind if you take them on.

besides, what if you fail out on your own? whould you take a guy back who stole some of your customers? I wouldn't.

i don't even let the help get too cozy with my customers as it stands now.

it comes down to ethics....

it is unethical for customers to ask your guys what you pay them.
it is unethical to cheat customers out of work they pay for.
it is unethical to steal customers from a guy who has kept you busy.

however, if you go out on your own and sever all ties with this guy and one of his customers contacts in the future you to bid on a project, then it's fair game in my opinion. the open market calls that competition.
 

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strat hd
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I try not to burn bridges. I would give a one or two week notice, then get my own customers. You could get good referrals from his customers. But I would'nt take his customers. Now if he was an ahole that might change things.

This way you could go back if things got slow.
 

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Yes it is wrong.

Jim
 
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Gresh
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Gresh / General Contractor

August 9, 2009.

Hey Camilo,

I understand your temptation to grab work from this GC but I would encourage you not to. You will burn a bridge, and it just doesn't make for good soup.

I specialize in custom painting. I have had several men over the last 20 years steal work from me. And I don't mean to be rude, but it is stealing.
Why not talk to the GC and ask his permission to bid on the work and offer him a cut. If he says no, then you have shown some class. I learned a long time ago that God will not bless a thief. I know this from experience.

I have had customers get the phone numbers of some of my men when I am away from the job to have them do work without going through my company. Man, I hate that. I too have children. I had five. I have a family to support. If you approach your GC and simply tell him the truth he will respect you. If he is smart, and you are as good as you say, he should respond accordingly. But really most GC's are always crying poor. I never do that to my men. That is an insult to their intelligence.

Class always pays off in the long run. Be a man and a stud and show others you are a class act. That, my friend, God will reward.

I have learned through the years it really takes about 4 years to get established in an area as a contractor. Why would you step out if you are able to save money and be fed? Sure, it is nice having your own business only if you have a following. But the market right now is very sluggish.

My advice to you is: go with your gut feeling and maybe write out a "Pros" and "Cons" list as to whether you should step out.

Good luck with your new business and your baby that's in the oven.

Gresh

What's up everybody. I've been browsing the site for a while and just now decided to register, very interesting topics and some funny replies, but mostly very informative :thumbup:

Anyways I have been in the painting trade for approximately 6-7 years now. I've almost always worked as a sub for GC's, some winters i've had to get hourly painting gigs but that never lasted because I refuse to settle for less:no:... I took a break for about a year from the business and am just now getting back into it.

Story is, I started working for this company as a sub and am constantly getting them more and more business. My work speaks for itself and is very good and they keep getting work because of... me. I've been told so by customers and also by the owner... I work as a sub for this guy and I make decent money considering that I don't have to worry about the headaches of owning my own business...
Except... I opened up my own business about a month ago. Paid all fees, got a tax id number, and now i'm in the process of getting insured. Now here's where my troubles lay...
I have a chance to take some of this guys work... there are some steady customers of his whom have asked me if I work for myself ever, that they'd like me to work for them directly, without having to deal with the company. I've come across this more than once...
Well I have a baby on the way and am hesitant of just stepping out and leaving the bi-weekly paycheck which is keeping me comfortably fed and is allowing me to save up a pretty nice stack... but I really do want to go out on my own.

So is it wrong to take away some of his work? Just wanting opinions... thanks!:thumbsup:
 

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semi-skilled laborer
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Most times when builders and GC's approach a painter about doing the work with out their boss it isnt because they are trying to help you make more money, they are just looking to cut out the middle man. The plan is to pay you just a little more then you make now, so that they turn a bigger profit. The GC or builder doesnt give a damn about you or if you go broke, because he knows that if worse comes to worse he can always get your boss to do the work again, and believe me he will.
.
 

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Camilo,

Don't ask us, ask your boss. Lay your cards out on the table and see what he says. What's the worst that can happen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Morality is important. Math is more important. How many customers have asked? How much revenue can they bring for how long? If it's a big solid yes you'll be making double the money for the forseeable future probably do it. If it's "I had two guys with two one time jobs ask for me in six months" that's not going to be enough. You have to be really honest with yourself about what the circumstances are.

Let me ask you this. If you told your boss you're leaving would he offer you more to keep you? Would it be worth it to him to keep his top producer? Or are you easily replaceable by one of the other 50, 100, 2000 painting subs in your city?

Having a baby can really be a turning point in many men's careers; it often seems that's when they make the move to independence because we all know that you'll never get anywhere asking for money from someone else. You have to get it, earn it, take it any way you can to care for your kid and if you can sleep at night and feel like you're one of the nice guys great but if you can't sometimes that's a burden you just have to bear when you're providing for your family.
Hey, thanks for your response.
What you replied is actually why I posted in the first place. It's not just a couple of jobs here and there, it's work that could keep me relatively busy for years.... to be exact it's Apt Turnkey work... So as long as they're happy, every month there'll be some work. I understand the fact that it is stealing work from someone else and I have a conscience, which is why I decided to get other opinions. Of course there's other situations going on with the company that have me some-what uncomfortable (not paying workers, wondering if my check will bounce, etc), but I think all of that stuff is really secondary to what i'm really trying to get at.

Im sure if I went to him I could potentially get more money, but it won't really compare to what I would make if I just go out on my own. He's told me personally that I am one of his top producers and i'm not really trying to talk myself up but I do make sure that everything that's done is done right the first time, saving him a lot of time and money.

Either way I appreciate all of your responses and they definately gave me some new ways to look at it. I'm taking it slow and just keeping it flowing for now though, we'll see what happens:thumbsup:
 

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Don't burn bridges because he may still sub work to you! But it is a different story when the customer is requesting your craftsmanship!
 

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August 9, 2009.

Hey Camilo,

I understand your temptation to grab work from this GC but I would encourage you not to. You will burn a bridge, and it just doesn't make for good soup.

I specialize in custom painting. I have had several men over the last 20 years steal work from me. And I don't mean to be rude, but it is stealing.
Why not talk to the GC and ask his permission to bid on the work and offer him a cut. If he says no, then you have shown some class. I learned a long time ago that God will not bless a thief. I know this from experience.

I have had customers get the phone numbers of some of my men when I am away from the job to have them do work without going through my company. Man, I hate that. I too have children. I had five. I have a family to support. If you approach your GC and simply tell him the truth he will respect you. If he is smart, and you are as good as you say, he should respond accordingly. But really most GC's are always crying poor. I never do that to my men. That is an insult to their intelligence.

Class always pays off in the long run. Be a man and a stud and show others you are a class act. That, my friend, God will reward.

I have learned through the years it really takes about 4 years to get established in an area as a contractor. Why would you step out if you are able to save money and be fed? Sure, it is nice having your own business only if you have a following. But the market right now is very sluggish.

My advice to you is: go with your gut feeling and maybe write out a "Pros" and "Cons" list as to whether you should step out.

Good luck with your new business and your baby that's in the oven.

Gresh
Probably one of the top 10 replies I have ever read on Contractor Talk.:thumbup:
 
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