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Hi guys. Found this forum a couple days ago and it looks very helpful. So maybe you guys can help me. But first let me give you a little background. I am starting a painting business in Michigan with my best friend from college @ the beginning of the new year. We plan to start with painting and speciality coatings. As time goes by, we will add other services such as environmental remediation, duct cleaning and possibly demolition. Currently I am working for an environmental remediation company that is owned by my brother who is 15 years my elder. Financially I have been treated very well. But I have grown tired of the constant pressure I am under and the lack of support that I get. But the worse part is having my yearly bonus (which usually exceeds my salary!) held over my head. I basically do all the estimating and project management for the company. So I have decided that I want to control my own destiny.

My question to you fellers is as follows:
1. What is the best avenue to advertise for residential and commercial?
2. What is the best way to establish a relationship with a general contractor?
3. Do you guys use any services to help find bidding opportunities like Dodge or CAM?
3. Generally speaking, how long does it take to learn the business and establish the company?
4. What pay rate do you guys pay your help?
5. How competative is this industry?
6. Am I making a mistake?
I would appreciate any help or words of wisdom you all can give me.
 

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Starting a business with a friend. Have a lawyer draft a iron clad partnership agreement.

You can see a few banners for some residential lead services found on this website. If youa re targeting commercial, I suggest direct mail to property managers and general contractors.

I've used just about every lead service on the internet. I try to stay away from new construction so I quit the dodge leads, and similiar services.

Generally speaking? Business is dynamic and always changing. Just when ya think you've solved it... Something new pops up. Personally I started my company with a fairly accurate forecast of income and expenses. I've been in the business for a few years so I knew exactly what to expect. If you fail to plan you are really just planning to fail.

Pay Rate is TOO specific to trade and geography.

I have found in my life, every time I have to ask if I am making a mistake I usually am. It's ok to be a little bit heistant though... Especially if you are using your life's savings to start this company. I had some hesitation in the back of my mind but I did my best to tell myself to not worry about it. I still have hesistation from time to time, that's just natural I think.
 

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I had a partner for ten years. I am now on my own for the past three years. The lesson I learned is that your only partner should be your wife. Starting a business with a friend is great when you start out....but down the line, if there is a problem, good-bye friendship. Iron clad papers from a laywer is the best advise. 50% of marriages fail- can't imagine the percent of friends in business fail.
Good Luck though- let us know how you do- and sorry to be so blunt :)
 
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