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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, new here and want to get some questions answered about starting up my roofing business again.

Had a roofing business before and closed the doors inn 2007 due to the downturn in economy. I want to start my roofing business again, but would have some problems with insurance due to bad credit that I have aquired from a bad marriage and just plain bad practice in the business.

But now I want to give it another try but with the credit being bad, could I put my wife on the license as a RME and run the insurance thru her name because my new wife's credit is squeeky clean.

Would this work? There is no way that I could come up with huge amounts of money for insurances. I am older and wiser now and I think I could make a go at a successful roofing business.

I would plan to be small with now more than two employees. So I would have to get workman's comp and a 12,000.00 surety bond for the state of Ca.
thanks,
martinbr
 

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Sorry for the long post. As I started typing it just kept coming out.

Its doable. I can attest to that. Since the ***** hit the wall for us in 2009 we have managed to grow every year and thrive in an emerging market.

If you are going to do it, NOW is the time. Unless you have burned every supplier in you region you should be ok to start over.

Start small taking only negotiated work. Customer must pay 50% up front to cover material. Use that 50% to COVER MATERIALS. Not pizza, not the museum, etc. That is CUSTOMER money, not yours! i.e you don't need an account if you have cash in hand. It will take time to build trust with you suppliers.

Our accounts are for large scale commercial and government work only. On large scale negotiated commercial projects we require they pay when the material arrives on the job or it doesn't get unloaded or they can pay our suppliers direct. Government work is a bit different but we require a joint check on anything over 10K, which is every job! The suppliers love joint checks. It gives them the warm happy feeling that they will get paid. They deserve that feeling as they are backing YOUR company and fully deserve to be paid.

As far as insurance... Surety bonding is pretty cheap. Your comp in CA is pretty expensive but can be overcome with proper job pricing. These are the least of your concerns.

Lets face it. You failed the same way we all have failed. Your projects were not priced right to begin with and you mismanaged your money. If you mismanaged your customers money then you really have no business being in business, again. To me, mismanaging your customers money is a mortal sin.

You didn't fail because of a divorce or a bad economy. I was in CA when it all happened and was able to find work everyday and I know lots of contractors who have been divorced and managed to make it through. Business is about MONEY MANAGEMENT. It is not about the work. The work is the easy part.

We have failed in every way possible. But, I have never had a customer that didn't get their project finished.

The real issue is weather or not your wife can pass the qualifier test in CA and be willing to put her credit on the line. If she is willing you should be ready for your wife to be involved with at least the money side of the business. My wife and I are 100% separated when it comes to business. With the exception of picking up the mail and depositing checks from time to time she has no clue what is going on with business affairs and has ZERO authority to manage them.

In the event that I die she is on the account to distribute funds as needed but has no say in day to day operations. Some couples do well with this. We do not! She has her job, I have mine. We live a happy life. The less she knows the less she stresses about stuff. Life is better this way, for us.

If you feel you REALLY have the moral fortitude to try it again then DO IT. Most business owners fail the first 2-3 times before they get it right. I am no exception to this rule. The most successful people I know fail CONSTANTLY. They take it in stride and learn from their DAILY mistakes. To fail is human. To deny your failure or blame it on someone else is a failure in and of itself and belongs to the fools of this world

As Pearl Jam said: "I rise and fall. Let me take credit for both!"

Good luck!
 

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LCG hit it PERFECTLY.
1. Keep your wife out of the business.
2. Get your material money up front.
3. USE IT FOR MATERIALS.
4. Never be afraid to screw up. When you do work thru it.

Go for it. You'll be fine
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to all who have given me some sound advice. Not sure whether I am up for it, but if I do it this time, I want to be able to be successful at it.
regards,
martinbr
 

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...
2. Get your material money up front.
3. USE IT FOR MATERIALS.
..
I understand the advice, but for residential work in California, Martin can't legally do that. Down payment of 10% or $1000 down, whichever is less, and no other advance on materials. Payment for materials can only be accepted after delivery to the site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I understand the advice, but for residential work in California, Martin can't legally do that. Down payment of 10% or $1000 down, whichever is less, and no other advance on materials. Payment for materials can only be accepted after delivery to the site.
That's ok if you have roofing accounts with suppliers, but not enough money to cover material costs. I never could understand this law but that is the way that it is.
martinbr
 

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That's ok if you have roofing accounts with suppliers, but not enough money to cover material costs. I never could understand this law but that is the way that it is.
martinbr
If I remember correctly. You can only charge a 10% "retainage". This is reserve your services. When you are ready to begine you can assess the full material start up.

This is how we operated in California and believe we were well within our rights.

The consumer can always pay the supplier direct or pay on delivery.

Point being.. Materials do not hit the ground until they are paid in full.
 

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LCG hit it PERFECTLY.
1. Keep your wife out of the business.
2. Get your material money up front.
3. USE IT FOR MATERIALS.
4. Never be afraid to screw up. When you do work thru it.

Go for it. You'll be fine
4. Study your craft. NEVER make a mistake you cant afford to fix. If youre hoping it will work, it wont. If you know it will work, it will.
 

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If I remember correctly. You can only charge a 10% "retainage". This is reserve your services. When you are ready to begine you can assess the full material start up.

This is how we operated in California and believe we were well within our rights.

The consumer can always pay the supplier direct or pay on delivery.

Point being.. Materials do not hit the ground until they are paid in full.
You are completely incorrect, period, for residential work in California, unless you post a completion bond for the job. Materials can NOT be paid for until they hit the ground. It's very clear.
 

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You are completely incorrect, period, for residential work in California, unless you post a completion bond for the job. Materials can NOT be paid for until they hit the ground. It's very clear.
It has been 8-9yrs since I aced that test. I am probably wrong.

Once again California leading the way proving over regulation neither prevents financial loss nor guarantees quality of work. The State itself is both financially and morally bankrupt. That said, I liked it better than Utah.

LOVE WYOMING

Then again I was raised in Wyoming so the rest of the world often times does not make much sense to a small fry like myself.

By no means was a I making a statement of fact about California law. One should FULLY understand the state in which they are operating. Unfortunately states like California make it near impossible for ground up companies to get going. Thus breeding more illegal activity than other states with less regulation. This is a discussion for another thread though.
 

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It has been 8-9yrs since I aced that test. I am probably wrong.

Once again California leading the way proving over regulation neither prevents financial loss nor guarantees quality of work. The State itself is both financially and morally bankrupt. That said, I liked it better than Utah.

LOVE WYOMING

Then again I was raised in Wyoming so the rest of the world often times does not make much sense to a small fry like myself.

By no means was a I making a statement of fact about California law. One should FULLY understand the state in which they are operating. Unfortunately states like California make it near impossible for ground up companies to get going. Thus breeding more illegal activity than other states with less regulation. This is a discussion for another thread though.
I love California, but you are sure right about the effect of the regulation on contractors here. It drives the greatest part of contracting work done in this state to illegal/unlicensed folks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So, I guess it would cost me around $6,000.00 to get going again. Got a rough quote from State Fund for compensation and they said it would be about $2,200.00. Then if I get the Surety Bond under my it would be another 1,200.00 because of my credit. Then you have the cost of the activating the license which I think is 375.00. Yeah, that's right, $375.00. And the cost of advertising, misc, ect...
Does that sound about right?
martinbr
 

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So, I guess it would cost me around $6,000.00 to get going again. Got a rough quote from State Fund for compensation and they said it would be about $2,200.00. Then if I get the Surety Bond under my it would be another 1,200.00 because of my credit. Then you have the cost of the activating the license which I think is 375.00. Yeah, that's right, $375.00. And the cost of advertising, misc, ect...
Does that sound about right?
martinbr
Yes, it does.
 
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