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Running a small construction business in Michigan is challenging these days. I am considering just working alone and dropping my only employee. I dont know if this is a wise choice. Wondering if anyone can give me good feedback on this dilemma
 

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One of the problems with working alone is what will you do when you need to install an 8' window?

If he is just your helper ( low pay ) keep him on. If you find you rarely need another hand you might consider using a temp. labour company when you need it.

Another point is - my customers don't like to pay my rate for me to sweep up at the end of the day. That's for the helper to do. You know, go to the truck, get me this, etc. Keeps me doing the skilled work, and that's what the customer is paying you for.

Just some thoughts.
 

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Bathroom Remodeler
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I used to have 3 employees and several subs remodeling local homes. For the past two years I've been working alone with the occasional help from one of those employees or subs. They got other jobs, but I never fell out of touch. So for me working alone has been great! Its increased my profits as well as all around stress level. Not only that but I've been able to find my niche and start to make a name for myself. Its hard for me to imagine ever going back...But I also do truely enjoy the hard hands-on work. So for those that like to bullsh** and just give orders - working alone may not be for them!:no:
 

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Depends on your states laws. Many states make it very costly to employ people. In the current climate I will work alone and opt out of larger jobs unless the HO will supply the occassional second hand lifting. You have to be creative in tough times.

Perhaps, now, "pretty" or "hot" wasn't the only criteria you should have used in choosing a spouse. :D
 

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Working alone has alot of obvious benefits:
no wasted time babysitting, finding something for the helper to do
tools/vehicles dont get beat on, misplaced, broken as often/easily
lower insurance premiums, no work comp, no payrolling fees, less paperwork
if you want to take some time off, you dont have to worry about what are the guy/s going to do while you sluff off
allows you to pick and chose what you want to do since your not having to sell work to meet operating expense obligations

but you severely limit the types of jobs you can take on since many jobs do need at least a second set of hands....is one guy going to build a house alone? it can be done, but can it be done profitable, i would venture to say no since there's only so much in a typical house money wise, and the duration would exceed the margins to you

IF you have to hire subs, you need to become a better sales person since if you intend to make money while paying other's as much or more than you make, well, it does'nt leave you much left once the dust settles

obviously gross sales will plummet since your not able to whip out work, nor bid as large jobs as easily. I know when i added my first guy/employee my gross sales doubled that year since it opened up ALOT more opportunites to bid/work.

Alot of factors/varibles to consider, good luck.
 

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It usually ends up being a trade off between gross reciepts and profit margin. I've found I can net a larger % alone. I would rather net 40% of 60 grand than 25% of 100 grand.
 

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Average Joe
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Good help is hard to find, try to take on small jobs as fillers just to keep the hours rolling in.

I swap carpenters with my former boss, if we're going through a down time I'll send my guys over to his jobs if he can fit them in and vice versa. That's helped.

Network with some of your GC buddies to see if they could accommodate you.

What katoman said is true also, my billing time vs a Carp. Asst or GL is different even though having a full time GL that is reliable is not an easy find. Me and the other skilled guys spend too many hours doing grunt work, and that's not good for anybody. It's a delicate balance.

Tough spot, we all go through it though :thumbsup:
 

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Alot of guys work alone .
The thing is one man dose the work of one man .
2 men do the work of 3 men .
3 men do the work of 5 men .
If I work buy my self , it seems like i cant get any thing done , small jobs seem to drag on .
It hard to pay over head buy your self .
If you get hurt you are screwed no one will be working .
I lost alot of work this year because i did not run balls to the walls .
I was procrastinating hiring guys . I had a chance to land some work but did not have the men to do it . I'm still about a month behind and need to get a addition started next week. No more dragging my feet.
John
 

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Interior Renovations
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My company is fairly new and after buying some necessary tools and a truck, I cant really afford any employees. I work alone most of the time but after years working with freelance carpenters in scenic or cabinet shops I've kept in contact with some really talented guys. I have a list of guys I can hire per job so I can take on larger projects. I would love to be at the point where I could take on a full time employee, but Im not there yet...

This week Im working alone...again.
 

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Alot of guys work alone .
The thing is one man dose the work of one man .
2 men do the work of 3 men .
3 men do the work of 5 men .
If I work buy my self , it seems like i cant get any thing done , small jobs seem to drag on .
It hard to pay over head buy your self .
If you get hurt you are screwed no one will be working .
I lost alot of work this year because i did not run balls to the walls .
I was procrastinating hiring guys . I had a chance to land some work but did not have the men to do it . I'm still about a month behind and need to get a addition started next week. No more dragging my feet.
John
How do I get 2 men to do the work of 3 ?:blink:
 

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The first one wasn't getting anything done!
If I work buy my self , it seems like i cant get any thing done , small jobs seem to drag on
 

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I can't get nearly as much done by myself. I also like the ability to have my guy do something I don't like like sanding drywall joints and getting covered with the dust.

Also now with the holidays I'm a little slow so I have no problems telling him to sit home one or 2 days a week if need be, unpaid. He also knows through his friends that he can't find better work or any work until springtime so I'm not worried about losing him. When I'm busy he gets 50 hours a week or more.

It's also a motivational thing for me to get up early and get to the job because of him being there. If not I may arrive at 10. So basically the jobs I do alone really drag and drag.
 

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I just started working by myself. Usually had a helper. For me I think that I get more work done alone. However I will admit that not having a helper is boring! Lol and the motivation to work is not as high as I am not responsible to keep him busy also.
 

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Actually, I get more work done when working alone. But I need a helper for a lot of the work I do. Seems too much time is spent teaching, but what are you gonna do?

Man, it's frustrating some days having apprentices. :w00t:
 
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