Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the situation I am facing. The competitor is MUCH bigger than I am or could hope to be in 10 years.

I look at it as good if not better money with much less stress/responsibility.

FWIW, I know the person well.

Opinions?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,707 Posts
After 15 years in business, I would find it nearly impossible to ever work for anybody. It would definitely be a MAJOR adjustment. I agree that the stress would be lower, but in some bizarre way, the stress motivates me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Who are you kidding? You're just going over there to steal all of his customers. Don't sign the non-compete!

Seriously, I'm with Warren, that's got to be tough but life may be much easier.

Good Luck
 

·
Tile Contractor
Joined
·
1,249 Posts
I've been self employed for more than thirty years and would welcome an opportunity to work for someone else. Just ask me.:whistling
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,058 Posts
Hope it works out for you. :thumbsup: Seems like only yesterday...


"hi, i have 10 years experience installing closets, everything from wire to laminate, and i have decided to start my own business. i have the money to do it and have my business plan laid out. its a HUGE industry around here (huntsville, alabama) and there are only 5 companies doing it full time, 2 of which ive worked for and know the ins and outs of.

i am going to do wire only at first, which is what 90% of new homes here use.

i literally feel like i know every single thing there is to know on the installation side.

im starting out as a sole proprietor and am going to do everything myself, i have many contacts around here, and im confident in my ability to sell. i have seen first hand what the market holds and what people are willing to pay for.

this is my question:

i know the competition is charging $5-7/linear ft installed on wire. check this out, using closetmaid stuff from lowes (which is way overpriced) i can charge $4/ft and make $2/ft profit. i am confident in my ability to do 500 feet a week starting out.

i have tried to find a cheaper source online but unless you become a dealer, the big companies like schulte and lee rowan have huge minimums.

if i can find a cheaper source i can make a killing. all the competitors here are large business with huge overhead, and are poorly managed. i know this first hand.

so any advice anyone can give will be helpful. thanks so much!!"


Looking back....what happened? Is it mostly the economy or was running your own business just not what you thought it was going to be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
If you can't beat them join them! I think about going to work for someone else about every day. I too think it will be tough to go from giving orders to taking orders best of luck.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Looking back....what happened? Is it mostly the economy or was running your own business just not what you thought it was going to be?
My guess is he discovered the double edge sword of building a business around tract home builders and having a business model where you success was based on being the lowest priced competitor.

Not an easy thing to do in a recession when all your customers phone numbers come up disconnected.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hope it works out for you. :thumbsup: Seems like only yesterday...




Looking back....what happened? Is it mostly the economy or was running your own business just not what you thought it was going to be?

Actually, that was 2.5 years ago, and every dime I have made in the interim has been by my own hands......there has been good months and bad months, but the one thing I can say is that I MADE A LIVING the last 2.5 years. I have built up a decent customer/builder base and get referral calls on a regular basis. But, of course, I am by no means getting rich.

Yes, most (or all) of what I said in that first post was idiotic...I now see that. I have learned an incalculable amount in that time.

The current situation is not something I sought out; it was presented to me. I do not HAVE to do it...it's not like I either take the job or I go broke.

Some info that I should have included in the original post is that I am back in college working on a civil engineering degree. I have about 2 years left. With the more advanced classes I am taking now, it is becoming more difficult to devote time to run my business the way it should be. THAT is my main motivation for considering "taking a job." This particular situation would not be a 9-5 type thing....I would still be on my own schedule to an extent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,633 Posts
Ride out the rough years as your own boss. You'll regret leaving when the economy turns around. It is days like these that seperate the men from the boys. Be a man.:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
It would be nice to keep it going while you check out the other just in case you change your mind . Finding a quality replacement is another . On the other hand it sounds like you have some great opportunity by getting out also . Either way GOOD LUCK !
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,058 Posts
I don't think your old post was idiotic, not by a long shot. Maybe a bit idyllic and overly optimistic, but a lot of us have been there in the beginning...or else not many people would ever consider starting a business. :no:

I wasn't trying to embarrass you, just wanted to hear what you thought about things now versus then because I remembered some of your earliest posts...and it can always help some of the new guys just starting out, get a little grounde, hearing first hand from someone who's gone through it somewhat recently.

Good luck.

J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,949 Posts
Good luck shelf. I know it was a tough choice to make. It would be nice to let somebody else sweat the buisness side though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Hey, Shelf Guy: all these post-ers know about opportunity and tenacity.
Two years from now you'll have that degree, and, either way, employed or independent, these two years will be just a stepping stone to your new career. Follow the dream; eyes on the prize; you'll be OK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I just got offered an opportunity to sub out for a notable closet company in Knoxville. I do remodeling work and other home improvements but mainly sub-contract for a fireplace company. I am thinking about devoting two days a week to the closets because with the current economic situation every house doesn't get a fireplace but every house has closets.

Shelf guy-I thought about trying to get another regular job too but I don't think I could hack it again. I worked for myself for four years in GA. I moved to TN and sold for the fireplace company and hated it. Now I have been self-employed again for about a year and a half. Hopefully you will be able to get that schooling done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
My guess is he discovered the double edge sword of building a business around tract home builders and having a business model where you success was based on being the lowest priced competitor.Not an easy thing to do in a recession when all your customers phone numbers come up disconnected.

In my area any company that wants to focus on new home construction better have some clients that are tract home builders or as well call them here production builders to compliment the custom builders or you will starve .

I learned early on to avoid the national named builders that hold your money forever and ALWAYS go with the cheapest price . They use you like a rubber and then into the trash .

Right now production work is almost all I am doing .

Your point about being the cheapest cetainly rings true . If you are good at what you do cheapest should never enter into the equation .

To the OP taking a step back at this time may not be a bad thing . I don't think I could do it BUT I am seeing supers building houses and towns with no laborers , very limited punch out help , salary cuts , trucks taken away just hanging on for dear life . You just never know . Things have really changed .
 

·
wannabe
Joined
·
2,283 Posts
I don't think your old post was idiotic, not by a long shot. Maybe a bit idyllic and overly optimistic, but a lot of us have been there in the beginning...or else not many people would ever consider starting a business. :no:

I wasn't trying to embarrass you, just wanted to hear what you thought about things now versus then because I remembered some of your earliest posts...and it can always help some of the new guys just starting out, get a little grounde, hearing first hand from someone who's gone through it somewhat recently.

Good luck.

J
I too remember your old post...I'm trying to wrap my mind around your current situation. My first instinct is to say forget shelving and finish your degree, IMO having the education holds precedence over your business.

You were so gung-ho...

This is very interesting to me...there's no shame in moving on, you have gained so much experience. And No shame in working for the competitor, you'll be a huge asset to them!

I won't put words in your mouth, but this is your choice and if you exit the business don't let your conscience tell you you failed!

Any possibility to sell your business?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,716 Posts
Hi SHELF GUY , I've had several businesses over the last 30 odd years.

You are on the right track with your schooling.
However you are probably spoiled(or improved) by your independence.now that you have been in the "drivers seat "you will not like being a "passenger".


Good luck to you,This change will give you an opportunity to gather ideas for your next adventure!
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top