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Hello everyone,

I have been working in the trades in Chicago for just over 12 years now...I started as a union laborer (mostly demolition on tenant improvement office buildouts) right out of high school, put myself through college and earned my Bachelor Science degree in Construction Management. Now I am PM'ing for a tenant improvement GC in the city downtown Chicago.

I have been project managing for about a year and a half now learning something new everyday...I am typically running about 300k worth of work at any given time, and right now am running my largest project to date at just under 1million. I feel like I am making great strides with learning project management and my goal is to start my own small company in the suburbs (strictly construction management, everything to be subbed out) I would like to start this in 3 years (when I turn 30).

My question for all of you that are self employed GC's and construction managers:

1) How much experience did you have when starting your own business?
2) How much start up capital did you put aside when starting?
3) Can you please give me any advice that I can utilize in my "3 year plan"..What were the biggest roadblocks you faced? How long did it take to become "established"? How can I avoid some of the rookie mistakes you think back about and see now could have been avoided?

Any info at all is appreciated,

Thank you for your time!
 

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chicagoGC said:
Hello everyone, I have been working in the trades in Chicago for just over 12 years now...I started as a union laborer (mostly demolition on tenant improvement office buildouts) right out of high school, put myself through college and earned my Bachelor Science degree in Construction Management. Now I am PM'ing for a tenant improvement GC in the city downtown Chicago. I have been project managing for about a year and a half now learning something new everyday...I am typically running about 300k worth of work at any given time, and right now am running my largest project to date at just under 1million. I feel like I am making great strides with learning project management and my goal is to start my own small company in the suburbs (strictly construction management, everything to be subbed out) I would like to start this in 3 years (when I turn 30). My question for all of you that are self employed GC's and construction managers: 1) How much experience did you have when starting your own business? 2) How much start up capital did you put aside when starting? 3) Can you please give me any advice that I can utilize in my "3 year plan"..What were the biggest roadblocks you faced? How long did it take to become "established"? How can I avoid some of the rookie mistakes you think back about and see now could have been avoided? Any info at all is appreciated, Thank you for your time!
1) my whole life (not enough)
2) I had over 40k (not enough)
3) it took about 4 years to build a good client base. Charge twice as much as you think, and put money away for taxes.
 

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What sector are you intending to work in?

1. Residential Remodeling
2. Residential New Construction
3. Commercial TI (remodeling)
4. Commercial New Construction

We do 1, 2, and 3
 
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