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Time running out!

2713 Views 20 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  part&pieces
So, first off I've only been contracting for about a year and a half now. My first year went well but the last 4 months are cause for concern. To get to the point things are slow....like every one else..I know, but I need to do something, I'm twiddling my thumbs to much. I'm not getting the bids, people change their minds and funds in my account are almost gone. Wife is getting anxious, says things like 'This isn't working" and 'hopping to RETIRE SOON"!!!??? So is this where I go and work for some other contractor looking to hire on CR for $13hr......use my credit card for advertising or what? Sure get out there and network, I've exhausted all my contacts...and their contacts, I can only drive around in circle for so long, especially when I'm running out of money for gas. Go easy on me:rolleyes:
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You are in a tough spot. I feel for you.

Some money is better than no money. Only you can decide what you can do to drum up some income but I would be looking outside of the areas that you have been looking.

There must be skills you have that are not trim carpentry. Find something to do while you are still working on building that business. Anything that helps bridge the gap.

Have you looked into joining a remodeler's association or the builder's exchange to cultivate leads?

These things take a real tenacious guy to pull off. You may be that, but I'm saying that you may have to just dig a little deeper and create some majic for yourself.

Or call it a day and find a job where you punch a clock. There is no shame in that.
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Tough times happen....sometimes, events beyond your control. I have had many "careers" on my way in and out of construction, and I mat do it again...the economy or burnout, you just never know what is down the road.

Take a job, build your contacts, and increase your skills in construction, or another trade, to insure that when the next hard times come along, you can survive.

Just to cap this, I keep my teaching license(s) current, both secondary and vocational, I hold a class A CDL in case I have to drive a truck for a living....I am an experienced journeyman machinist, can pass the AWG welding tests to this day, and have an A&P license for aircraft mechanics. And with all of this, there are no guarantees about keeping the income coming in. The point is to be flexible. I started in construction, have a full schedule, phone is ringing....but I am not "married" to this trade, I can do other things.
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Get your phone book out. Call every contractor in there, and every architect in the book. Post ads in all the local grocery stores. Take your compase and draw a circle which represents how far you will drive to get work and focus on everything in that area. Personaly, I will drive two hours to work if the price is right. Post on CT.

Hang in there man, if you keep your powder dry and your pec_er hard, the world will change. :thumbsup:
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I think this was meant for another thread Leo
Hey, just stay, all the other illegals are doing it.:w00t:

It's sad that they let the scum stay here and take our jobs but make you leave when you came in the correct way with all the correct papers. You kept things legal, paid your taxes and helped out other families and the economy. I'm sure most of the money you spent was in the US and not taken out of the country. Just sad.
Yeah...It is so crazy law abiding people are being deported!:furious:
Hey, just stay, all the other illegals are doing it.:w00t:

It's sad that they let the scum stay here and take our jobs but make you leave when you came in the correct way with all the correct papers. You kept things legal, paid your taxes and helped out other families and the economy. I'm sure most of the money you spent was in the US and not taken out of the country. Just sad.
Kevbo, don't get down man, I've had to deal with your situation before, it's tough, but if you get down on yourself, it will project to your potential client. Keep your head up and a smile on your face. if you have to do odd jobs to find work, do it and smile. Use your resources. (Lawnmower, powerwasher.....) Take a walk and talk to your neighbors, shake a few hands at the stores you frequent. People want to be around happy people, so keep that in mind. Kiss your wife, tell her you love her and show her that if you're gonna go out, you'll go out fighting. Good Luck.:thumbsup:
So, first off I've only been contracting for about a year and a half now. My first year went well but the last 4 months are cause for concern. To get to the point things are slow....like every one else..I know, but I need to do something, I'm twiddling my thumbs to much. I'm not getting the bids, people change their minds and funds in my account are almost gone. Wife is getting anxious, says things like 'This isn't working" and 'hopping to RETIRE SOON"!!!??? So is this where I go and work for some other contractor looking to hire on CR for $13hr......use my credit card for advertising or what? Sure get out there and network, I've exhausted all my contacts...and their contacts, I can only drive around in circle for so long, especially when I'm running out of money for gas. Go easy on me:rolleyes:
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A lead for all, primarily painters and flooring contractors. I am a General Contractor, primarily I renovate apartment complexes. Three of my customers own and manage properties that are primarily student housing. Each year about this time they have several "turns", old students moving out, new moving in. This creates an abundance of work, a ton of interior painting and flooring, some cabinetry, counter tops, appliance repair and plumbing. If any of you are slow and have some campus housing in your vacinity it may be worth you investigating.
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A possible untapped source is a few of your local private inspectors. They get asked all the time by (their client) homeowners if they have a contractor to recommend.

They're usually inspecting 2 to 4 homes a day for future homeowners who are anxious to make some changes.
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Yup, don't know how it got here - I moved it.
I think this was meant for another thread Leo
Check out your local real estate investors association. Most investors are cheap but they can fill the gaps. You have to learn how to work them. But some are looking for good honest contractors they can count on to help flip their properties.

Another idea is to contact all of the disaster remidiation companies in your area (example: Servpro).

Go shake some hands. Network Network Network.
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WELL SAID; I firmly believe that the world loves a winner & customers can smell fear.(just like wolves)
I also believe there is no shame in taking on any so job you can to put food on the table,in the mean time don't give up on the business,even part-time its still better money than you are likely to make elsewhere.
Hang in there Kevbo:thumbup:
Kevbo, don't get down man, I've had to deal with your situation before, it's tough, but if you get down on yourself, it will project to your potential client. Keep your head up and a smile on your face. if you have to do odd jobs to find work, do it and smile. Use your resources. (Lawnmower, powerwasher.....) Take a walk and talk to your neighbors, shake a few hands at the stores you frequent. People want to be around happy people, so keep that in mind. Kiss your wife, tell her you love her and show her that if you're gonna go out, you'll go out fighting. Good Luck.:thumbsup:
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Hey Leo: I intend to change the "sawdust maker" tag under my name. When I signed up I didn't realise you used one so similar.
By the way YOU ARE ONE BAD-ASS CARPENTER
You can leave it if you want, it's not copyrighted. I change it from time to time anyway.

Thanks, but I prefer the name cabinetmaker or wood craftsman.
As others have said, take anything that helps you stay alive.
I went from top dog to pound puppy and back a few times. This may be a good time to reflect or learn a new skill. For me it was estimating back in the 80's when the economy went south for a while.

Now I'm writing and getting into giving seminars. Am I good at it? I got some good reviews and a couple that made me feel bad. That's how life goes I guess. Hang with it.

For work, try to fill in the blanks for some competitors, or call your banker to see if they have a board up or lockup to do.
Post flyers, talk to your suppliers to see if they heard of anyone looking for a quality guy. You sound like a smart guy.
You'll be OK:thumbsup:
No offense meant I would say artist with wood is probably accurate but it just sounded ..... wel you know.:whistling
You can leave it if you want, it's not copyrighted. I change it from time to time anyway.

Thanks, but I prefer the name cabinetmaker or wood craftsman.
No offense taken. Just stating the obvious :w00t:
you gotta make money... i work for some guys i know when i'm dead, they can use the experianced help and prefer not to have strings attached...
Pick a neighbor hood and canvas door to door. I have done this with good results. My thinking has allways been every one has $150 to spend. So go do a 4-5 of those smal jobs. Like others have said learn some new skills. Could also get a part time job at a lumber yard or other industry related place.
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