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  • Going out on my own

    I am now working for a contractor, but will be starting my own one man, one truck service business this summer. My question is how do I shorten the lag time between leaving my current job and being on the road and bring in revenue for my company? My state does not allow me to work as a journeyman for someone else while using my masters to do plumbing work for myself. However I need open bank accounts, purchase insurance ect.

  • #2
    Re: Going out on my own

    Originally posted by regionalplumbing5619 View Post
    I am now working for a contractor, but will be starting my own one man, one truck service business this summer. My question is how do I shorten the lag time between leaving my current job and being on the road and bring in revenue for my company? My state does not allow me to work as a journeyman for someone else while using my masters to do plumbing work for myself. However I need open bank accounts, purchase insurance ect.
    Certainly you can open a bank account on a Saturday morning. You can buy insurance after work. I'm not remotely cognizant of what LA requires in the way of bonding, or licensing but you may well be able to take care of that stuff by mail. Why would your boss be aware that you don't have a journeyman's license, but hold a master's license?

    The far more important question imho is do you have enough work lined up to support yourself once you pull the plug?

    Best of luck to you sir!!
    Time flies like an arrow.

    Fruit flies like a banana.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Going out on my own

      Thanks for the advice. I have an inactive masters license which allows me to work as a journeyman.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Going out on my own

        Plan on having up to a year of operating capital in the bank before you break off on your own or have a few big jobs lined up...

        -Develop a business plan and stick to it.
        -Prioritize your equipment purchases by Need not want
        - Find a nitch and fill it
        -Stick around here and ask lots of questions (alot of us own our own Plumbing/Mechanical business)

        Like Geno said Good luck to you Sir

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Going out on my own

          Here we can do both, but not too many shops would allow one of their workers competing against them. I work for a local school district with 13 school sites with full benefits, but also run my own one man shop as well. My boss is okay with this.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Going out on my own

            Having capital is a big one...its the only thing i didn't do and it took a long time of struggling before it leveled out...everyone else is right on the money!!! good luck
            Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
            You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

            Derek

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Going out on my own

              Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
              Plan on having up to a year of operating capital in the bank before you break off on your own or have a few big jobs lined up...

              -Develop a business plan and stick to it.
              -Prioritize your equipment purchases by Need not want
              - Find a nitch and fill it
              -Stick around here and ask lots of questions (alot of us own our own Plumbing/Mechanical business)

              Like Geno said Good luck to you Sir
              I have to disagree with sticking to a business plan. Business plans aren't plans they're guesses. Things change... For example what if you wrote a business plan with a 5 year outlook in 06' and said that you were only going to do new construction? Unless you're a fortune teller, long term business plans are a fantasy. Besides that plans let the past drive the future.

              Now I'm not saying writing a business plan is bad. I did it myself before I went out on my own. It gives you a good idea of what you need, how much you need to charge and how much you need to make to be profitable. Also if you are getting any kind of loan you need one. But lets start calling business plans what they really are: guesses.

              Other than that I am totally with you.

              -Pick up a copy of REWORK an excellent book written by two entrepreneurs who wrote a great simple book for rules for success. Get it, read it. And if you don't like it send me the bill for the book (that goes for anyone on here as well).
              -Guerilla Marketing is great too. Filled with great cheap sometimes free marketing ideas.
              -Have capital...and a good size job or two lined up.

              I worked for myself and another company for about a year before I went out on my own. It was tough, I didn't see my wife or friends much for that time but it helped me get where I wanted to be... self employed.
              Ray

              “Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think.”— Francisco d'Anconia
              Atlas Shrugged (Part 2, Chapter 2, Page 411)

              www.mauiplumbinginc.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Going out on my own

                Originally posted by mpm View Post
                I have to disagree with sticking to a business plan. Business plans aren't plans they're guesses. Things change... For example what if you wrote a business plan with a 5 year outlook in 06' and said that you were only going to do new construction? Unless you're a fortune teller, long term business plans are a fantasy. Besides that plans let the past drive the future.

                Now I'm not saying writing a business plan is bad. I did it myself before I went out on my own. It gives you a good idea of what you need, how much you need to charge and how much you need to make to be profitable. Also if you are getting any kind of loan you need one. But lets start calling business plans what they really are: guesses.

                Other than that I am totally with you.

                -Pick up a copy of REWORK an excellent book written by two entrepreneurs who wrote a great simple book for rules for success. Get it, read it. And if you don't like it send me the bill for the book (that goes for anyone on here as well).
                -Guerilla Marketing is great too. Filled with great cheap sometimes free marketing ideas.
                -Have capital...and a good size job or two lined up.

                I worked for myself and another company for about a year before I went out on my own. It was tough, I didn't see my wife or friends much for that time but it helped me get where I wanted to be... self employed.
                How about I rearrange the words....
                Have a plan for your business and stick to it

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Going out on my own

                  step 1 is open checking acount
                  step 2 save 15 to 20 thousand
                  step 3 stock up on your own plumbing equipment and truck
                  step 4 give two week notice to current employer
                  step 5 get ready for everything that can and will go wrong with no supevisers to call.
                  step 6 always pay ur insurance taxes,and license fees first
                  step 7 (cheers) ur gonna need it

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Going out on my own

                    Theoretical question, but for those of you who did go out on your own, how many followed your own advice on saving the upfront capital? How did you squirrel that much cash away working for another shop?

                    The idea of being able to put that much cash in the bank intrigues me.
                    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Going out on my own

                      I went to the bank , jumped in , and worked my aas off

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Going out on my own

                        As a young apprentice I made it a point to listen closely to those who have already "been there and done that." It has worked out well so far. Thanks for all the advice.










                        Easy is overrated

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Going out on my own

                          Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
                          Theoretical question, but for those of you who did go out on your own, how many followed your own advice on saving the upfront capital? How did you squirrel that much cash away working for another shop?

                          The idea of being able to put that much cash in the bank intrigues me.
                          I personally created a situation where it costs me very little to live. I live in a duplex where the rent covers the mortgage payment. Had no other debt.

                          Then, I worked on the side and developed some sort of customer base and got referrals. At one point I hurt my back on a job and was out two weeks. (I didn't file a workmans comp claim. I figure if I was stupid enough to try and jump over a ditch carrying (balancing) a 20' length of PVC on my right shoulder and a 10' length of 4" pvc under the other arm then I deserved to be laid up.) When my back felt better I simply started catching up on the side jobs and never looked back.

                          Actually, I did have some money in the bank from when I sold the vibration analysis biz. So that didn't hurt, but I don't think I really used any of that. Instead I lost it in the market.

                          I've paid cash for tools and upgrades as I go. When it makes sense I'm not afraid to buy used equipment.

                          I believe the main thing is to be honest with people, let them know asap if you're going to be late so you don't waste their time, respect their property, and maintain a set of standards when it comes to your work.
                          Time flies like an arrow.

                          Fruit flies like a banana.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Going out on my own

                            My 2 cents......After years of working for other companies I finally decided to venture on my own 6 years ago. I was fortunate enough to have a wife who earned enough money to pay the bills and support us both while I was starting my own business. To this day I still enjoy that luxury when times are slow. I have had up to 5 full-time service plumbers and as little as 1 (myself) ..... I currently have 1 + myself.

                            My best advice is advertise anywhere and everywhere you can afford! My first YellowPage add in Norther VA / Wash. DC area cost me nearly $2000 per month. I have since downsized my adds but I spend about $1000/month on GOOGLE SPONSORED ADDS and multiple yellow page listings as well. You can't work if customers can't find you! Don't be afraid to spend what seems to be a fortune on advertising! I know companies here in DC that pay helpers to drive around all day in the box trucks just to move their "billboard".

                            GOOD LUCK!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Going out on my own

                              Originally posted by "Larry The Plumber Guy" View Post
                              My 2 cents......After years of working for other companies I finally decided to venture on my own 6 years ago. I was fortunate enough to have a wife who earned enough money to pay the bills and support us both while I was starting my own business. To this day I still enjoy that luxury when times are slow. I have had up to 5 full-time service plumbers and as little as 1 (myself) ..... I currently have 1 + myself.

                              My best advice is advertise anywhere and everywhere you can afford! My first YellowPage add in Norther VA / Wash. DC area cost me nearly $2000 per month. I have since downsized my adds but I spend about $1000/month on GOOGLE SPONSORED ADDS and multiple yellow page listings as well. You can't work if customers can't find you! Don't be afraid to spend what seems to be a fortune on advertising! I know companies here in DC that pay helpers to drive around all day in the box trucks just to move their "billboard".

                              GOOD LUCK!
                              Amazing. I've gone completely the other way. My wife has always taken care of the kids and now our three grandkids so doesn't work outside the home. Our income comes from me plumbing.

                              I don't have business cards, letterhead or even a business phone other than my cell phone. When yellow pages people call (have no idea how they get my number) I tell them I'm not interested. All my work comes from referrals and repeat (hopefully) business. I keep the overhead expenses as low as I can manage and pay cash as I go for new tools and equipment. I have no credit line at a bank.

                              I am trying a journeyman since I've been too busy for me to satisfy all my customers' needs and wants. He's not perfect, but he's getting better and he tries which is the main thing. I question whether or not I will have enough work for the both of us for the duration but I've been honest with him and we're both willing to be flexible.
                              Time flies like an arrow.

                              Fruit flies like a banana.

                              Comment

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