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Discussion Starter #1
I'm treading some mighty dangerous ice here but the time may be for me to spread my wings and break away from my boss. I'm not totally sure I will but I've put together a business plan and marketing plan. The main decision I have to make, after I decide if I should split or stay, is if I should form a start-up or look into purchasing an existing business.

Any advice?
 

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first things first, dont let him know you are posting here :)
If you purchase a business, it can be good if they are well known and have a good reputation, and they usually have all the tools needed to run the business, which can be nice. A start up business though can be nice because you can start buying everything according to your wishes. No upgrading equipment, or dealing with the way someone else has ran their business.
 

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Florcraft said:
first things first, dont let him know you are posting here :)
If you purchase a business, it can be good if they are well known and have a good reputation, and they usually have all the tools needed to run the business, which can be nice. A start up business though can be nice because you can start buying everything according to your wishes. No upgrading equipment, or dealing with the way someone else has ran their business.
he laughs at me for using these forums, besides he wouldn't know how to find them!

I'm actually trying to figure a spreadsheet for exactly what it would cost for start up and when I get serious about this decision I can contact a few companies for sale and do some research at that time. I would never buy a business just for the sake fo buying one, it would have to be a good deal... or else I'd just go the way of the startup.

My problem is that I feel restricted by my boss with his lack of vision. He gives me alot of freedom but ofcoarse not total freedom.
 

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You can only be as good as your boss. He needs vision like yours.
 

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Florcraft said:
You can only be as good as your boss. He needs vision like yours.
Kinda like the weakest link... I was having a conversation with him today in regards to EPDM roofing vs FPS roofing. He wants to get certified in EPDM and I want to get certified in FPS... I was trying to explain to him we should do both, but the reason he isn't interested in FPS is the equipment will cost us $15,000 upfront but the profit is much higher than EPDM... Oh well.

Maybe I need to go work for a huge billion dollar builder/developer and see how they do things before I start my own co.
 

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I remember when I was in college and painting for a small company during the summer. After I found out how much they charged I looked at the owner and said, "man... I could be making twice as much if I did this on my own." He looked at me and said "sure, but you would never have the guts to do it!"
I took that as a challenge and started to my own business the next summer.

I'd say if you have the business skills, then go out on your own. If your effective there's a lot more money to be made!

OK, back to your original question. Should you buy a business or start a new one? I think it really depends on the industry and your personal strengths.

When I say it depends on the industry I mean how much overhead a particular trade has to get started. Take painting, there aint much! A ladder and a brush and you can get started. On the other hand Landscaping requires mowers, trimmers, trailers, etc.. I've seen instances where it was cheaper to buy a landscaping company with all the equipment needed than it was to buy just the equipment!
Personal strengths are a huge factor. Are you good at building something from nothing? Can you create a professional image for your company? A professional image can include a company name, logo, website, slogan etc...
I think a professional image is what is lacking most in the contracting industry.

My 2 cents (basically thinking out loud!)

-Nathan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did run another business once before so I know I can do it. It was an internet business and I quit because it became too much work. That was explained in another post.

If I use subs the MAJOR expense will be advertising. Ofcoarse I will need a few months cash flow for padding. If I choose to hire my own guys, which I won't for the first year, Then I will need multiple vehicles and ladders and saftey equipment and hammers etc...

Professional image can be bought cheapely. COntractors are generally too stubborn to stray away from the family name or initials or whatever. I am basically the front man for the company I work for now, so I know I can do it, I'm just trying to figure out how to do it best.
 

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Grumpy said:
The main decision I have to make, after I decide if I should split or stay, is if I should form a start-up or look into purchasing an existing business. Any advice?
One of the dirty secrets of the business brokers is that more than half of the businesses they represent are for sale because not that the business is viable and for whatever reason they put on it, but because the business is out of date with the market and is on a downward spiral - example: a horse buggy maker during the automobile revolution of the 1940s, the business broker would spin the business is for sale and just needs the right owner to grow it.

There are good businesses for sale everyday, but finding them out of the crap ideas that started as crap and will end up failing no matter what, or the poor locations, or whatever is wrong with them in the first place is the challenge.

One of the finest ways to do this is to find a business where the owner wants to retire in a few years and work out a partial buy out now, where the owner stays on for x amount of years and you keep buying him out as time goes on and as he steps further and futher down from the daily operations. You both have something to gain from keeping the business successful. Plus you get the invaluable service of the owners years of knowledge and expertese in the marketplace while you fine tune and grow it as a young business owner is sure to do. That is an excellent strategy, however there are far fewer of them around to choose from.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've come a LONG way since these old posts mike is digging up :)

I've started a business from scratch, since the businesses available on the market at that time, which I could afford, weren't worth a dime. The ones I couldn't afford may have been worth the bucks but like I said I couldnt afford them. I will eventually build my company into something powerful! Until then I am just me.
 
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