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  #11  
Old 10-20-2012, 05:24 PM
JNB Construction JNB Construction is online now
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I am, for the most part, a one man operation. In the last thirty eight years of working for myself I've dealt with a lot of homeowners and have a pretty good feel during our first conversation whether I want to do work for them or not. I still get surprised by the occasional turn-coat, but for the most part it's my price and that's it. Customers that give you that "this is going to be a PITA" feeling during a "free estimate" turn into more problems than I want to deal with at my age.
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2012, 09:36 AM
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AEL AEL is online now
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the back up. Yellow dog is 100 percent right, never stop learning and educating yourself .
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  #13  
Old 10-21-2012, 08:35 PM
NEUSWEDE NEUSWEDE is offline
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Great discussion. These are the threads I like that provide inspiration and back up that I know I am progressing in the right direction from people who are more successful. Great to hear from jnb too because I am in the same boat solo operation that isn't looking to grow. Picture threads are good to ohh and ahh but like these that get things brewing in my mind. Thanks guys
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2012, 09:23 PM
JNB Construction JNB Construction is online now
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Neuswede - Depending on the economy in SoCal I had anywhere from three to thirty employees at any given time for over thirty years. Mostly preforming residential and then commercial concrete projects. When I made the move to Texas I decided to go it alone and do what I wanted to do instead of doing what I thought I had to do. I found a niche and I'm having a lot more fun with a lot less headaches. I should have done this years ago!
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2012, 09:30 PM
NEUSWEDE NEUSWEDE is offline
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Jnb I learned the lesson quick spent my first 3 years on my own spend 2 years with employees and hated it. Was chasing too much work I didn't want to keep guts busy. Went back solo last year and still work a lot (which I don't mind at all) and pick and choose the jobs I want to do which is nice. I hear from people all the time that I need to grow, I laugh and say no thanks. Only thing I am missing and will get over the winter is my class a license and a tandem dump so I can be more efficient.
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  #16  
Old 10-21-2012, 09:38 PM
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stuvecorp stuvecorp is online now
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Originally Posted by T_S_S View Post
Not impossible at all. All it takes is being proffesional, knowledgeable in your area of work , and making your business marketable. I am only 25 and I have done it . Perfect example is Andrew(Arp) started from scratch and has become a very successfull business.
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Sean, I have a couple thoughts on this thread as there are many 'topics' here. I mean this as respectful as possible but Andrew and You are the exception, I bet many of the rest of us are not 'successful' in the conventional sense and there are many reasons why. If all it took was hard work I think there would be many more that are 'successful'. I hate to say it but there is a lot of 'luck' and 'connections' that are very important.

Another point is the commercial vs residential market. An excavator last year kind of told me I was wasting my time doing residential work and should go after more 'big' work. The problem with that is I can't afford to wait to be paid, absolutely hate dealing with the regulations that come with commercial work and it is very dog-eat-dog. Yes some home owners are a pain but some are awesome to deal with and I've found there is much better margins with it and leave with a check.

My last thing is connections make or break you, that is the most important thing. I am not a pushy or very out spoken so I find the 'selling/schmoozing' part very tough, the work is the easy part...
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  #17  
Old 10-22-2012, 08:22 AM
AWJ Services AWJ Services is online now
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Originally Posted by stuvecorp View Post
Sean, I have a couple thoughts on this thread as there are many 'topics' here. I mean this as respectful as possible but Andrew and You are the exception, I bet many of the rest of us are not 'successful' in the conventional sense and there are many reasons why. If all it took was hard work I think there would be many more that are 'successful'. I hate to say it but there is a lot of 'luck' and 'connections' that are very important.

Another point is the commercial vs residential market. An excavator last year kind of told me I was wasting my time doing residential work and should go after more 'big' work. The problem with that is I can't afford to wait to be paid, absolutely hate dealing with the regulations that come with commercial work and it is very dog-eat-dog. Yes some home owners are a pain but some are awesome to deal with and I've found there is much better margins with it and leave with a check.

My last thing is connections make or break you, that is the most important thing. I am not a pushy or very out spoken so I find the 'selling/schmoozing' part very tough, the work is the easy part...

I could not have worded any beter.LOL

Just because you deposit alot of money in your account or work long hours does not mean your buisness is succesful.
Always remember that this is a Labor buisness and you will always be limited on your income because of that. Each employee can only generate x amount of profit. To increase your income you have to have more employees or find a way to charge more for each employees time. I pass on large projects everyday because of the headaches, engineered drawings that are wrong, GC's that are idiots, waiting on pay and poor profit margins. I prefer homeowners myself as clients. Depending on only commercial work is a dangerous thing especially with a few for your contracts. If you only 2 cutomers and you lose one then there goes half your wqork. You have 50 customers and you lose one then it is a minor bump in the road. Always have a backup plan and be a very good stewart of your money. Save and be frugal because the well will eventually run dry if even for a short spell.
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  #18  
Old 10-22-2012, 06:31 PM
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4 seasons lawn&land 4 seasons lawn&land is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuvecorp View Post
Sean, I have a couple thoughts on this thread as there are many 'topics' here. I mean this as respectful as possible but Andrew and You are the exception, I bet many of the rest of us are not 'successful' in the conventional sense and there are many reasons why. If all it took was hard work I think there would be many more that are 'successful'. I hate to say it but there is a lot of 'luck' and 'connections' that are very important.

Another point is the commercial vs residential market. An excavator last year kind of told me I was wasting my time doing residential work and should go after more 'big' work. The problem with that is I can't afford to wait to be paid, absolutely hate dealing with the regulations that come with commercial work and it is very dog-eat-dog. Yes some home owners are a pain but some are awesome to deal with and I've found there is much better margins with it and leave with a check.

My last thing is connections make or break you, that is the most important thing. I am not a pushy or very out spoken so I find the 'selling/schmoozing' part very tough, the work is the easy part...

That last part was my thoughts too. I couldnt do it. I guess thats an advantage some people have over me. But I might even imagine that maybe there is almost a cultural difference between areas. Thats cool that you (TSS) can walk onto a construction site with a bunch of coffees for the crew to try and drum up business but that would not be accepted here. You would look like a weirdo.
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  #19  
Old 10-22-2012, 10:05 PM
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AEL AEL is online now
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I don't just show up on a site and buy everyone including the guy cleaning the porta jon coffees. I speak with the person doing the purchasing on the specific job or company. It may sound stupid but it works . I'm not too worried if someone thinks I'm a weirdo , I'm more interested in landing work . If I told you how I met my wife and what I did/said you would really think I'm a weirdo! But hey now I'm married to the most amazing girl ever do I guess it worked. Even things such as phoning a company in advance And speaking with an estimator. Tell them who you are , and ask if you can swing by there office , grab them a coffee on the way. Tell them about your business, ask about theres, try and find some common ground or subjects (even besides work) and go with it. Even if the initial meeting doesn't land you work , check back in a month or two . Mabee it will work for you mabee it won't, it's worth trying on a few different companies.
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  #20  
Old 10-22-2012, 10:54 PM
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YellowDogSVC YellowDogSVC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_S_S View Post
I don't just show up on a site and buy everyone including the guy cleaning the porta jon coffees. I speak with the person doing the purchasing on the specific job or company. It may sound stupid but it works . I'm not too worried if someone thinks I'm a weirdo , I'm more interested in landing work . If I told you how I met my wife and what I did/said you would really think I'm a weirdo! But hey now I'm married to the most amazing girl ever do I guess it worked. Even things such as phoning a company in advance And speaking with an estimator. Tell them who you are , and ask if you can swing by there office , grab them a coffee on the way. Tell them about your business, ask about theres, try and find some common ground or subjects (even besides work) and go with it. Even if the initial meeting doesn't land you work , check back in a month or two . Mabee it will work for you mabee it won't, it's worth trying on a few different companies.
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The sales guys in the oil fields show up at rigs hoping to get a few minutes with the rig manager. Some of the successful sales guys bring donuts, coffee, cold water, etc. It's no different than pharma reps who give out a ton of office supplies and samples in exchange for a few minutes to sell themselves.
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