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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been working for myself for almost a year now and I have reached a very important decision point. I worked for a GC as an employee for almost 6 years, learning a lot and building my tool and equipment the whole time. I got my license, W/C and insurance and pushed to price work by the job. After being persistent I was given the opportunity to frame my first house, so I got a couple of guys to work for me and we stayed steady all year and I was able to be profitable.
However the GC has made some poor business choices and put himself in a position of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Don't get me wrong I have always been paid in full in a timely manner, but he has started to drive pricing down and put me in a position where it is becoming very hard to be profitable. I have been putting in a lot of effort in making new contacts and get some different opportunities to start to break away, but I am having a tough time having any success.
I have expressed my opinions on the matter and he keeps side stepping me and beating around the bush. I have been his most dependable person he has had and I go out of my way to try to make this situation work. He has a lot of work coming up and I know he needs me and my employees to get it done but I am ready to give him a ultimatum and walk if he doesn't agree to my terms. I hate to walk away but I know I could be working within a week making enough to support my family.
I am looking for any advice or suggestions you guys might have. I appreciate any advice you can give.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Every job I have ran as an employee or done as a sub has been completed and all customers have been happy, some even have given me a personal bonus. I guess he figures he can take advantage of me and I wont do anything about it. However I am ready to walk depending on my discussion with him tomorrow.
 

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Robbing Peter to Pay Paul - :censored: Big RED FLAG

Putting all your eggs in one basket is NEVER a forever deal in construction. You have already caved - lost profits. Once a GC in that situation gets a taste of the cheap - they won't go back until there is a shortage of the cheap, AKA a shortage of framers in your case.

... past experience says - Line up another GC no matter what Plus give the ultimatum. Unfortunately, in the end, money don't give a mouse's fart about loyalty. The GC has to do what he has to do.
 

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I have been working for myself for almost a year now and I have reached a very important decision point. I worked for a GC as an employee for almost 6 years, learning a lot and building my tool and equipment the whole time. I got my license, W/C and insurance and pushed to price work by the job. After being persistent I was given the opportunity to frame my first house, so I got a couple of guys to work for me and we stayed steady all year and I was able to be profitable.
However the GC has made some poor business choices and put himself in a position of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Don't get me wrong I have always been paid in full in a timely manner, but he has started to drive pricing down and put me in a position where it is becoming very hard to be profitable. I have been putting in a lot of effort in making new contacts and get some different opportunities to start to break away, but I am having a tough time having any success.
I have expressed my opinions on the matter and he keeps side stepping me and beating around the bush. I have been his most dependable person he has had and I go out of my way to try to make this situation work. He has a lot of work coming up and I know he needs me and my employees to get it done but I am ready to give him a ultimatum and walk if he doesn't agree to my terms. I hate to walk away but I know I could be working within a week making enough to support my family.
I am looking for any advice or suggestions you guys might have. I appreciate any advice you can give.
Thanks
If you are interested in commercial work, I have a few things coming up, I am not far from you. A friend just bought a new facility in Canton and needs to break it up into 6-8 units needs framing and sheetrock, not sure if he has a guy lined up yet or not.
 

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Just remember in your meeting to be humble. Express your viewpoint and try to be understanding of his. If it is simply a matter of the math not working explain that. If you're good he will anty up to keep you. Its best to know before hand if you really are prepared to walk. If not, a guy who has been in business long enough will likely be able to tell and call your bluff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I never thought it would be easy I just thought that when I was told I would be given as much work as I could handle I trusted his word, knowing what I have done for him.
 

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^^^

That is probably the best advice.

If you've only been licensed for a year and were his employee for 6, he may still view you as an employee. Other GCs may not know you are on your own and he is not likely to share this knowledge.

If you are doing good work and show him you can stay busy on your own his attitude may change.

Are you bidding the jobs, or is he giving you a price to do it for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I will always be humble and am very appreciative of all the experience I have gained while working for him. I have a Union opportunity all set to fall back on if need be.
 

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Just go get more work, put a marketing plan into action ect. You can do it, dont be a puss and fall back on the union gig. That doesnt take balls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I get a set of plans and he tells me want he has in the budget, then I figure if it is a price that works for me and go from there. like I said he has been fair in his prices and always pays in a timely manner. But now that he has fallen behind he is starting to push the boundaries.
 

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I'm not sure you exactly."Went off on my own." ,a year ago---you simply changed the way you were compensated.

You need to find other customers---if one customer represents over 15 to 20 percent of your gross ,you are in a dangerous situation.

What will happen to your 'business' if he dies or retires?

He has you over a barrel---and he knows it---where else are you going to go?
 

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Yep, get a few more baskets to put your eggs in, and make your pricing, you tell him your pricing, not the other way around...it is your crew now! And...you don't 'fall back' into some union gig...what do you do with your employees that are trusting you? Don't go to some union gig and leave them in the dust, wouldn't that be kind of a double standard?
 

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I was in a similar situation not too long ago and made the decision to go on my own. It has not been easy with all the responsibilities of running a legitimate company but worth the extra time and effort. If you have a crew that already respects you why do you need that guy. Take off the training wheels and use your contacts you have made to start making money. I tell everyone I do business with (investors, employees, partners) That I am in this to make money not friends and those who get in the way of my vision will be pushed to the side. You will make mistakes but hopefully your experience will prevent any big mistakes.
 

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I have one subcontractor that I helped get going with regards to hooking him up with other contractors, suppliers and necessary paper work.

I am reducing the prices I pay him or I am cutting him off. Why? The guys I hooked him up with pay less than I do and he gladly accepts it. Maybe that's the same with him.

I have a feeling the GC doesn't need you as much as you need him.
 
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