Take my opinion for what it's worth, I was in business years ago but I'm a hired hand these days.
It seems to me the repeat business is absolutely where it's at. And when I say repeat business, I'm talking at least once annually. It's 10x cheaper to keep a customer you already have than get a new one. Coming from a lawn maintenance background, I learned this over a decade ago; pretty tough to lose 80% of your business overnight if you're signed up for repeat service. How does that relate to small excavation/hardscape/etc.? You'll have to decide how to make it work for you.
Those of us hired hands battle almost the same thing. Essentially, I'm in business for myself as a hired hand out of a hall. There are the guys that'll run all over town chasing the biggest, baddest job with the most overtime only to get let go at the end of a project when the outfit leaves town. Make good money while you're working, but you may have some time off when you're done. Some guys prefer that, I don't. I would much rather work 10 months out of the year and keep going back every spring to the same outfit. I've been riding the bench for 2 months as the job I was on wrapped up and the outfit has nothing going here (yet), so I'm trying to get back with a local outfit.
The point is, chasing the big money, one time projects typically bite you in the ass unless you can maintain some sort of small time, repeat business in the background. Generating business relationships is the name of the game and repeat business is where it's at.
Go hard, go fast, or go home
Last edited by Scag48; 04-09-2013 at 12:17 AM.