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greenmonster304
11-09-2007, 06:15 PM
how did you make your break from being an employee to self employed? did you build up a small side business first or just break off and hope for the best? as you may have guessed i am tired of being an employee.

DanaMac
11-09-2007, 06:24 PM
My employer at the time knew i wanted to make more money, and I think he didn't want to pay me what I was worth as an employee or the overtime. So he asked me if I wanted to start my own business, and he would pay me as a subcontractor. We split the labor fee at that time. probably should have asked for more at the time, but it got me started and gave me the responsibilities I wanted to take on. I owe him a lot and appreciate the offer to allow me to grow.

Two years after that, I tried to get out of the business. Physical issues at the time. Didn't work out the way I wanted it to, so after a year I got back into it the way I wanted to. My previous employer and I still do business together. He refers all repair/service work to me as he has changed his business focus, and I send him landscape and water feature leads.

shane mapes
11-09-2007, 06:27 PM
so from what i'm reading you are just a worker trying to be the boss ? sound right ! well it may or may not be easy for you , you have to decide if you can afford to go on your own .. will your family make it through this long process or leave you high and dry ... me personal what i did was , i had and still do have a full time grave yard job.. i started out slow with a few lawns and just kept up and still doing it part time but i would like to just jump into it full time. to chicken though......what ever you do good luck.....

hoskm01
11-09-2007, 07:21 PM
When I started I was full time governement employee, still am. Start slow, small on your own, buy what you need as you need it, and when you are to the point that you cant grown anymore wIth both jobs, quit the one you enjoy the least! Sounds like DanaMac had it best, sounds like a great setup and way to get started, a proposition perhaps? Good luck, you are on the right track; good intiative.

BSME
11-09-2007, 07:58 PM
I was working for a company that was not totally legit and I knew I could make more.

I quit and started my own business while at the same time got another job at another company. That lasted about a month before I realized I didn't have time to be an employee and try to grow a business.

We are wrapping up our 4th full season and should do about 750 blowouts this year. Gotta be willing not to make any money for the first couple years though....

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-09-2007, 09:46 PM
The joke/serious advice I give to all want to be owners is that it took me 5 years to figure out how to make a REAL profit and another five years to figure out how to make a living. The key ingredients to me are persistence and passion. good bookkeeping helps a lot. I know of too many irrigators who run their business through their personal checkbook. Before I went into business now I would go buy Quickbooks, learn everything about it, and develop a business model that allowed for determining your GROSS and NET profits on a DAILY basis. Life is a numbers game. Get the numbers right with a few key ingredients you'll do great.

EagleLandscape
11-09-2007, 09:50 PM
Easy, I was never an employee. My father never was easy, so being self employeed was all I've ever known.

He's taught me everything, I'm definately blessed, that's for sure.

squirrel19
11-09-2007, 10:12 PM
having your parents pave the way for you YES your right jwing you are blessed.

greenmonster, all I can tell you is this. my oldest brother is a Internal medicine doctor, My middle brother is a Paramedic. I was following in suit and was in college for radiology. I bought my house when I was 26 yrs old and landscaped it. every one in the area loved it and wanted me to do theirs. I started with a truck and a shovel. I had to borrow the money to buy a wheel barrel. I have been in business now for 12 yrs and push over 1million per year in sells. It has been a ruff road, and I have had to work all hour of the night to get a job done. it has took it's tole on my family life, but with patients it is well worth it. I do large landscape jobs mostly and own a construction co as well but my Landscaping co does really well. All you need is the heart to go on your own and a bit of money for advertising. Local paper etc..... There are two types of people in this world, Leaders and followers. Be a leader, if you know what your doing and have a good sells personality then go for it.. Make the most of your life, because if you were not born with that silver spoon in your mouth, then your never going to get it unless you work for it. Remember one thing. customer service is KEY. I wish you the best and if my company can assist you in any way let me know.

Sincerely, Rick Cox

greenmonster304
11-09-2007, 11:58 PM
do you guys think it is wrong to build up a small client base on the side before you are completly legit so that you have some income to start your new company? or would you say this is being dishonest to your curent employer? and i am not suggesting taking any customers from your employer just jobs the employer wouldn't get anyway. for example many times people want me to do jobs but they dont want the big company i work for to get the money they would rather see a young guy starting out get the job.

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-10-2007, 06:46 AM
do you guys think it is wrong to build up a small client base on the side before you are completly legit so that you have some income to start your new company? or would you say this is being dishonest to your curent employer? and i am not suggesting taking any customers from your employer just jobs the employer wouldn't get anyway. for example many times people want me to do jobs but they dont want the big company i work for to get the money they would rather see a young guy starting out get the job.

Major grey area. When you are working for somebody all your loyalty needs to be to them. You cannot serve two masters. If your employer gets wind of it my guess is they will become suspicious and no longer trust you.

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-10-2007, 08:44 AM
Green: I think as long as you are honest with your employer then it is "all good"

I had a few employees in the past that have had side customers and the only ones I got rid of were the ones that hid them from me. Other then that the rule was, one your own time, with your own vehicle & parts and away from my customers.

My experience with employees doing stuff on the side is that they tend to be lowballers. They see a side job as unreported earnings. Fouls up the industry pricing structure. I do think every employee should be treated as a potential business. I encourage my service guy to someday consider going on his own (23 now) and give him tips to remember. If he has spare time to work some more I have plenty for him to do to make me more money. I think the perfect age is around 30 (look mature enough to get the big bucks) with 5-7 years experience. Every situation is different though. Speaking only from my perspective. Ross Perot's advice would be to have all the salaries for yourself and your employees saved for the first year before launching your business.

Michael J. Donovan
11-10-2007, 03:28 PM
hey guys, didn't want the thread to turn nasty or get too off-topic :) so those posts were removed...also, we try to keep the site clean and appropriate so any foul language, name calling, etc will be edited or removed.

Thanks

Wet_Boots
11-10-2007, 03:31 PM
(don't talk about Fight Club)

BrandonV
11-10-2007, 05:19 PM
do you guys think it is wrong to build up a small client base on the side before you are completly legit so that you have some income to start your new company? or would you say this is being dishonest to your curent employer? and i am not suggesting taking any customers from your employer just jobs the employer wouldn't get anyway. for example many times people want me to do jobs but they dont want the big company i work for to get the money they would rather see a young guy starting out get the job.

i personally think that that's being less than loyal to your employer. Like it or not if you work for a co. you're there to make them $. I can't vouch for all but the more $ you make for a co. the more valuable you are and the better you'll be compensated. Be good to your employer and they'll be good to you, if they're not leave... but don't steal.

greenmonster304
11-10-2007, 06:10 PM
i personally think that that's being less than loyal to your employer. Like it or not if you work for a co. you're there to make them $. I can't vouch for all but the more $ you make for a co. the more valuable you are and the better you'll be compensated. Be good to your employer and they'll be good to you, if they're not leave... but don't steal.

i wasnt talking about stealing anything. my truck, my tools, my time, and parts parts charged to my account at the supply house. in a perfect world you would be compensated for all the hard work you put in but it doesnt always happen like that.

Its funny the way different people and areas view side work. where i live almost everyone will do side work. it may be that where i live wages havent caught up with cost of living and the only way to get by is to moonlight.

is there anyone out there that lives and works in an area that the working man is geting pushed out by the rich second home buyers and see similar side work practices happening around them?

BrandonV
11-10-2007, 10:50 PM
well lets say you're a irrigation tech, you're working on a job for your employer. a neighbor sees you in the yard and stops, ask you if you could come by his property after you get finished. who sends the invoice? I'm sure its a hard decision to make.

shane mapes
11-10-2007, 11:02 PM
well lets say you're a irrigation tech, you're working on a job for your employer. a neighbor sees you in the yard and stops, ask you if you could come by his property after you get finished. who sends the invoice? I'm sure its a hard decision to make.

not hard at all..if i work for someone then he invoices and i get my wages for that job................being honest should not be hard..

EagleLandscape
11-11-2007, 12:02 AM
I would agree, being honest is not hard.

BUT, THAT IS VERY UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN. so therefore its all a giant mess...

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-11-2007, 07:28 AM
Well paid service techs are unlikely to be dishonest. I ran into a service tech for a local well known company. We talked shop and he told me that he got paid 9.00/hr to go out and do repairs and bill customers 90/hr. I'd say their is a pretty good chance he is going to rip his employer off anyway he can find a chance.

BrandonV
11-11-2007, 09:21 AM
wow $90/hr for a $9/hr employee that's markup

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-11-2007, 09:36 AM
wow $90/hr for a $9/hr employee that's markup

It's a weird deal and could probably only happen in Texas. Their is sort of a set price on irrigation repair of anywhere from 85-95/hr. If somebody is working under a LI Irrigator they can be sent out to do service work at the going price. Some companies take the attitude that they will try to get as much profit out of the 90/hr they can and send barely speaking english hispanics to do the service work. They also don't plan on ever being called back again either. The irrigation service and install knowledge is being passed down by hispanics to hispanics. I have no problem with that and frankly think irrigation service is a great trade to learn. A lot of hispanics in Dallas are great irrigators but could never pass the irrigators exam. I know that one of the reasons I'm so overwhelmed with service requests is because i speak english and know what I'm talking about. (I do don't I?:confused: ) I've heard we have one irrigation service company in town that only hires college graduates.

AI Inc
12-18-2007, 03:31 PM
I worked 1 season for a friend of mine. During the following winter a different friend called me and said he had a buddy that had an irrigation company and needed someone to run things. I met with him , he said Ill sell you install we will split the profits. That was in 1993. We hit it off good , the following yr I also started selling most of the residential and he chased after commercial and athletic fields.
I bought him out at the end of 05.