One man shops

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by RLI Electric, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    I can't remember if I have posted this before but here it is again. How many of you are one man shops and if you are one, how do you find the time to do everything associated with this field? I am looking at a few jobs that I am more than likely going to get. Additionally the regular electrical jobs are still coming in. Naturally being self-employed, you are afraid to say no to anything due to the fact of karma getting you. Problems could be worse I know but I would like to know what other people are doing who are able to find in within their powers to do it all. Thanks for any advice.
  2. Classic Lighting

    Classic Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    I am a one man show. Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way. I focus and emphasize quality workmanship. I do everything, from purchasing materials to grand finale. I find being small allows me to develop relationships with my clients. It really helps to have a "personal" feel with clients.
    It may take me longer to complete jobs. I make my clients aware of this fact and emphasize that the job will be done right the first time. One drawback of being a loner is I run all over the city meeting with clients, supply house, errands, etc. Sometimes it is hard to dedicate a full day to install work.
    Currently, I am satisfied. But time will tell.
  3. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    Bob, you're a member of the AOLP. reach out to the brother hood and see who has quality staff that you could use when you get busy. I bet that will become easier to do as you all develop your chapter. pick someone close enough to be practical, far enough you don't feel uncomfortable. we have an arrangement with a fellow AOLP member who is 3 hours from us. He's a one man show as well. If he needs help on the install because of the size we will send a crew. make sense?
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    I think of myself as "one plus". I add folks as I need them. having a part time guy that has a flexable schedule helps immensely. I do all ordering, billing, sales, marketing, etc. but when installing, I get help on mounting trans, assembling lights, digging and burying. on install, I do all connections and placement, aiming, and testing. I had one guy last year that did enough LV that I tusted him to do some connections.

    During Christmas season my business expands into an 10-12 man operation with folks answering phones, billing, warehousing, and 3-4 crews of installers. but while all those folks go away after the last light job is taken down around the end of January, many want to do work the rest of the year when I have it. so i have several numbers of guys I can call that are good workers who enjoy the outside.
  5. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    I have what may be a bit of a different situation. Being an electrical contractor in the state of CT, we are not allowed to have laborers or helpers. They either have to be a licensed electrician or a registered apprentice. If its an electrician, they are paid roughly mid 20's per hour on average. If it's an apprentice, they are not allowed to be on a job without a journeyman even if it's to bury a wire. This is why the next step is a large one. It is also the reasoning I was looking to see how a one man shop is able to do this particular aspect. If I thought it possible to be a stand alone lighting company I would kindly decline on regular electrical work and focus entirely on the lighting but that is not the case, yet.
  6. emby

    emby LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 380


    You have a tough decision to make. What business are you focused on electrical or lighting? When you look at your schedule and you have a conflict which one do you decide to do first? The answer to that question is what you really want to focus on. That my friend is what you should be making remarkable so everybody out there will know you are the best.
    You have to focus on a primary business. After all its just you.
  7. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    What I want to do and focus on and what pays most the bills are 2 different animals. I guess the transition starts now:weightlifter:

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