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I am two years out of college (Major: Construction Management) and am currently working as an estimator for a residential contractor.

Since I am only 24 my experience is limited. However, my zeal to begin my own construction business is growing daily.

What suggestions do some of you have who are currently managing their business? Do's & Don'ts sort of thing. Should I just sit tight for several more years to get experience and have more networking opportunities?

I was also thinking about starting a small business I could do part-time and stay at my current job. Odds & Ends sort of thing. Maybe move as an assistant project manager to gain more management experience.

Thanks for your suggestions
 

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Rubberduck, my advice will depend on what you plan to specialize in. New construction or remodeling? Large projects (several buildings at once) or small projects.

Setting up your company will take about 1/2 a year before you can open your doors. I'd suggest keeping your job while setting up your Inc or LLC. Depending where you live you may also need contractor's licenses.

Depending upon where you plan to go I can offer more advice.
 

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There are two schools to go through, the schools of hard knocks or the schools where you pay a tuition and buy books and go to class everyday.

There is something to be said for getting experience under your belt while being paid for it, however you have to know when you have enough to get by, then weigh it such as: "5 years from now would I be better off if I had kept working for someone for 2 more years and then went out on my own, or would I have been better off if I just went out on my own?" You are not going to know everything in the beginning and will have to learn some as you go, but if you know enough to legally get by and do competent work, you can fill in the blanks on the job.

Grumpy - what do you mean by it will take you 6 months to get a business started? That seems like a really long time.
 

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Mike I think we can both agree that a person who graduates from both schools has a definete edge from soemone who has graduated form only one school.

6 months= register inc or llc, 2 months later you get confirmation from the state that you indeed are a inc or llc. File all necessary paper work including tax forms like tax id # and employer id #, registration for state licensing (In IL the roofers exam is twice a year so that right there is 6 mons.), design of corporate identity including letter head business cards etc, setup of web site, yellow page advertising (yellow pages only come out once a year), filing for necessary insurances, etc... There is ALOT of necessary legalities and red tape involved in opening a business legally before you can even legally accept customers.

Sure you can buy a truck and a tool belt then take an add in the local paper and call yourself a business but is that legal?
 

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Grumpy said:
Mike I think we can both agree that a person who graduates from both schools has a definete edge from soemone who has graduated form only one school.
Amen to that!

Grumpy said:
6 months= register inc or llc, 2 months later you get confirmation from the state that you indeed are a inc or llc.
Wow! Things must be very different there. Every corp I ever formed I did myself with a copy of the articles of incorporation and a incorporation form with the state. For $50 you are registered and official in about 5 days. For $100 they do it right their while you wait. Tax ids, EIN, s-corp designation and such I do online and get the same day. :eek:

Grumpy said:
(In IL the roofers exam is twice a year so that right there is 6 mons.), design of corporate identity including letter head business cards etc, setup of web site, yellow page advertising (yellow pages only come out once a year), filing for necessary insurances, etc... There is ALOT of necessary legalities and red tape involved in opening a business legally before you can even legally accept customers.
So alot of the rest of the time is about other stuff besides the actual entity. I see.

Grumpy said:
Sure you can buy a truck and a tool belt then take an add in the local paper and call yourself a business but is that legal?
Damn, that's what I did :cheesygri
 

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Mike Finley said:
Damn, that's what I did :cheesygri
LOL that's what most people do and when I am selling against someone in that stage of their life I tear them to shreds. I don't single them out as a person but part of my presentation is showing my license and insurance forms to home owners and just teaching them how to eliminate "contractors" who operate without the proper paper work.

Wouldn't I be the hypocrite after all these years?
 

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Rubberduck said:
I am two years out of college (Major: Construction Management) and am currently working as an estimator for a residential contractor.

Since I am only 24 my experience is limited. However, my zeal to begin my own construction business is growing daily.

What suggestions do some of you have who are currently managing their business? Do's & Don'ts sort of thing. Should I just sit tight for several more years to get experience and have more networking opportunities?

I was also thinking about starting a small business I could do part-time and stay at my current job. Odds & Ends sort of thing. Maybe move as an assistant project manager to gain more management experience.

Thanks for your suggestions

Rubberduck, I'll give you the same advice I gave my brother on his wedding day, "Run".

Bob
 
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