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Old 01-21-2020, 08:28 AM   #1
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Hi,

Just a little about myself.

If lived in southern Illinois most of my life except for brief stint in Chicago’s southwest suburbs for about 3 years where I worked as a project engineer/project manager for commercial general contractors. I moved up there after I graduated from Southern Illinois University with an associates in applied science in Construction Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. However I moved back to my home town of Herrin, Illinois about 15 years ago and went to work for the City of Herrin in the water/sewer department.

My primary position was the licensed Water Operator for the city for the last 5 years or so(I have a class C water operators license though the state of Illinois). As the water operator I was responsible for the cities water quality which meant lots of sampling and reports and too much more to mention. However, before that I just ran the maintenance crews for the cities sewer and water department. I did that for the previous 10 years before taking over the water operator position when the previous guy retired.

In the maintenance department we mainly laid new water and sewer mains, did sewer and water main taps, used our 1000 gallon diesel water jetter/vac truck to unclog our sewer mains, repair collapsed sewer mains/taps, videoed and located sewer mains and located water services, replaced water meters and the occasional service line if it was lead, and countless other stuff.

But our main priority which literally sometimes kept us busy around the clock especially in the dead of summer(hottest) and the dead of winter(coldest)repairing water mains which are mostly 60-80 year old cast iron water main infrastructure. Over the last 5 years we averaged 96 water breaks a year for a town of just shy of 12,000 people. There are some stretches of city blocks where the old cast iron water mains are so old I **** you not there are more stainless steel clamps on them now than actual pipe..lol

Anyway, I’m 45 now and have always wanted to own my own business and have decided to go into business for myself now opening up a drain cleaning/locating/camera business.

After working for the city for all those years I know the cities sewer system like the back of my hand. And have built up a lot of good relationships with the few local plumbers that do most of the business in Herrin. And quite frankly there is a high demand for a company who is just dedicated to doing sewer/drain cleaning, videoing, and locating. For some reason it’s just not a priority for most plumbers in this area. And I know people are waiting days sometimes to get there sewers unclogged and believe me I know because I get a lot of the calls first. Because we always recommend they check with us (the city) first if you have a sewer backed up just to make sure it’s not our mains that are clogged before they spend money calling a plumber and then if the homeowner doesn’t call us usually the plumber does because you guys know, you don’t want to waste a bunch of your precious time either if it’s on the city.

So I’ve already contacted the plumbers that I have a relationship with in town and told them my plans and We’ve all come to a mutually beneficial agreement. Im going to stick to just cleaning/videoing/locating and I will be referring any repair jobs to my licensed plumber buddies. And vice versa if they don’t want the drain clogs or don’t have time for them they’re going to refer them to m

So that’s my story in a nutshell.

Got tired of working for The Man and am going to try to start my own business. I’ve always wanted to and I’m 45 now, if I don’t do it now I never will.

Sincerely
Matt Perrine
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:59 AM   #2
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Hi,

Just a little about myself.

If lived in southern Illinois most of my life except for brief stint in Chicagoís southwest suburbs for about 3 years where I worked as a project engineer/project manager for commercial general contractors. I moved up there after I graduated from Southern Illinois University with an associates in applied science in Construction Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. However I moved back to my home town of Herrin, Illinois about 15 years ago and went to work for the City of Herrin in the water/sewer department.

My primary position was the licensed Water Operator for the city for the last 5 years or so(I have a class C water operators license though the state of Illinois). As the water operator I was responsible for the cities water quality which meant lots of sampling and reports and too much more to mention. However, before that I just ran the maintenance crews for the cities sewer and water department. I did that for the previous 10 years before taking over the water operator position when the previous guy retired.

In the maintenance department we mainly laid new water and sewer mains, did sewer and water main taps, used our 1000 gallon diesel water jetter/vac truck to unclog our sewer mains, repair collapsed sewer mains/taps, videoed and located sewer mains and located water services, replaced water meters and the occasional service line if it was lead, and countless other stuff.

But our main priority which literally sometimes kept us busy around the clock especially in the dead of summer(hottest) and the dead of winter(coldest)repairing water mains which are mostly 60-80 year old cast iron water main infrastructure. Over the last 5 years we averaged 96 water breaks a year for a town of just shy of 12,000 people. There are some stretches of city blocks where the old cast iron water mains are so old I **** you not there are more stainless steel clamps on them now than actual pipe..lol

Anyway, Iím 45 now and have always wanted to own my own business and have decided to go into business for myself now opening up a drain cleaning/locating/camera business.

After working for the city for all those years I know the cities sewer system like the back of my hand. And have built up a lot of good relationships with the few local plumbers that do most of the business in Herrin. And quite frankly there is a high demand for a company who is just dedicated to doing sewer/drain cleaning, videoing, and locating. For some reason itís just not a priority for most plumbers in this area. And I know people are waiting days sometimes to get there sewers unclogged and believe me I know because I get a lot of the calls first. Because we always recommend they check with us (the city) first if you have a sewer backed up just to make sure itís not our mains that are clogged before they spend money calling a plumber and then if the homeowner doesnít call us usually the plumber does because you guys know, you donít want to waste a bunch of your precious time either if itís on the city.

So Iíve already contacted the plumbers that I have a relationship with in town and told them my plans and Weíve all come to a mutually beneficial agreement. Im going to stick to just cleaning/videoing/locating and I will be referring any repair jobs to my licensed plumber buddies. And vice versa if they donít want the drain clogs or donít have time for them theyíre going to refer them to m

So thatís my story in a nutshell.

Got tired of working for The Man and am going to try to start my own business. Iíve always wanted to and Iím 45 now, if I donít do it now I never will.

Sincerely
Matt Perrine

welcome aboard..good intro....
did you work long enough with the city to get a pension? sometimes going from a guaranteed paycheck and benefits to being on your own 100% isnt the easiest...best would be to keep working for the city till you build up a customer base to support yourself..
many times a sweet deal turns sour after you jump in with both feet...and then you cant go back...
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:41 AM   #3
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Hi,

Yes we were lucky enough to have some really good benefits.

I’m vested with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) Pension

We were also union through our local laborers hall so I’ll also have a vested pension through the laborers union.

Plus we had a 457 account through Edward Jones that is basically a 401k for municipal workers that the city put $100 a month in from the day you got hired. And as I went up in pay I first added an extra $100, then $150, then $300 to it each month. Which was basically the max I could add extra at each pay level I was at as far as adding pre-tax money to it between the imrf pension, union pension, and 457.

And I always lived pretty frugally, never got married, never had kids, 10 year old truck.

I can’t draw any of that money yet though. I can draw my imrf at 55. I can draw union pension and 457 when I’m 62 and can draw partial social security at 62 or wait til 67 and draw 100% of it.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:51 AM   #4
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Ya,
That would have been the best case scenario, to start the business before I quit however it just wasn’t feasible for a few reasons.

1. It would be a big conflict of interest me running the water/sewer department for the same city I’m starting a drain cleaning business in when I’m the one who takes the calls everyday when citizens call about having sewer problems.

2. And I’ve also have to maintain a professional non biased relationship with the plumbing contractors that do work in our town. I mean I’m literally the guy who issues there permits and inspects there work like if they were to do a sewer tap.

3. There just wasn’t enough hours in the day. I average 15-20 hours a week overtime and am on mandatory 24/7 oncall for water breaks and sewer backups.

Trust me if I thought I could have done it I would have eased into it.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mperrine View Post
Hi,

Yes we were lucky enough to have some really good benefits.

Iím vested with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) Pension

We were also union through our local laborers hall so Iíll also have a vested pension through the laborers union.

Plus we had a 457 account through Edward Jones that is basically a 401k for municipal workers that the city put $100 a month in from the day you got hired. And as I went up in pay I first added an extra $100, then $150, then $300 to it each month. Which was basically the max I could add extra at each pay level I was at as far as adding pre-tax money to it between the imrf pension, union pension, and 457.

And I always lived pretty frugally, never got married, never had kids, 10 year old truck.

I canít draw any of that money yet though. I can draw my imrf at 55. I can draw union pension and 457 when Iím 62 and can draw partial social security at 62 or wait til 67 and draw 100% of it.

im gona collect at 62...I wont lose any money till im 77, waiting to collect is a losing proposition, ill take my money as soon as I can and spend it while I still can.....but im not counting on SS , if its there when I go to collect great and whatever it is...
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Old 01-22-2020, 05:16 AM   #6
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Welcome mparrine and good luck to you.
We have an active group of drainage experts who frequent this forum.
Though it's not my area of plumbing, I've learned more than a few things from reading their posts.
It looks like you have all your ducks in a row except for one. That exception is running a business. Have you taken any business courses or read any books on small business?
I would recommend looking into a few books by Helen Rohr.
https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=...TIKABcQ4dUDCAs
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Old 01-22-2020, 05:23 AM   #7
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If everything goes as planned (knock on wood) I’ll also draw mine at 62 as well.

Social Security is such a scam.

You have to pay into into it roughly from the age of 16 to age 67 which 51 years to get 100% of your social security benefits which are a joke to begin with.

And as of 2020 the average life expectancy for a male is 76.1 years and 81.1 years for a female.

So the government wants you to pay into the fund for basically 51 years of your life to get on average 9 years of benefits if you’re a male and 14 years if your a female.

Which the benefits you get are just enough to keep you from starving to death.
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:20 AM   #8
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Hi, plumbus,

No, I haven’t ran my own small business.

But, working as a project manager for commercial contractors each of you projects your are given large multimillion dollar projects that you in charge of. I’m involved in every aspect of that projects from bidding the job, hiring subcontractors, budgeting, scheduling, instance, bonding, payroll, hiring, firing. It just didn’t happen to be my money that was at stake, unless you want to consider the bonuses for bringing projects early or under budget.

Plus, I’m not sure if you read my entire profile. But, I have an associates in Applied Science in Construction Technology and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Construction Management.

That Construction Management degree was really just a Business Degree for guys who wanted to open their own construction company or hire on at established construction companies and manage their projects.

After I quit working as a project manager in Chicago I moved back hone and got a job for the city that I live and was the department head in charge of our cities sewer and water department which meant I had to manage the workforce, stay within budget, order the materials, manage the crews, deal with the city council, deal with contractors working in our city, issuing permits, plus when I wasnt in the office I was working right along side or crews, and etc...

So long story short I’ve never ran my own business. But. I’ve basically had to run other people’s business’s for them.

I am well aware that still isn’t the same, especially when it’s your money on the line. But, other than having ran my own business, I feel I couldn’t too much of a better foundation to help prepare me for it.

Thanks for the links to the books. I might check a few of those out. I’m an avid reader and you can’t ever have too much knowledge
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:10 AM   #9
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Hail you way.

Good to see another Illinois Member here. Great intro. Hope it is all you expect to be.

I reversed your path. Worked in the field from 1985 until 2005. Then came into a Municipal Building Department full time. Had been working with them part time since 1985.

Great to have you.
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Old 01-22-2020, 12:45 PM   #10
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Welcome, nice intro.
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