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Just curious on how you guys made your jump to ownership.Did you guys quit your job and go full throttle,or did you start it part time while working for a company.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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2,043 Posts
I quit and started from nothing. I remember my first customer, then the second, etc. The first year I made very little profit, all the company revenue went towards building the company, (tools, van, phones, advertising, office supplies, etc.) My wife made a good salary which we lived off for the first year.
Be prepared to make NOTHING for the first year. Either have a years' worth of salary saved or have some other way to survive (like a working wife).

It was worth it. I sunk a LOT of money into my small business, but now its paying off!!! I've only been in business less than 2 years, and I am making more money than many other plumbers in town, some of them have been at it for a long time.
Its all about a good business plan: good service, good marketing and charging enough (flat-rate is the only way to make real money in service in my opinion) Most small business plumbers don't charge enough. They will never make it anywhere. Like I said, I am ahead of other local plumbing owners who are much older and have been around longer. They don't charge enough, they don't know how to market, and their service is subpar. In other word, they are weak competition.:thumbsup:
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Think very carefully before going out on your own. 90% of all contractors end up going out-of-business within the first ten years. Many of them don't even make it a single year.
It is risky and its a cut-throat competitive world. Some people are better off working for a company. Many small business-owners are broke. But then again, some are rich. Its a matter of risk vs. reward.
 

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Plumber Manhattan Beach
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828 Posts
Just curious on how you guys made your jump to ownership.Did you guys quit your job and go full throttle,or did you start it part time while working for a company.


I was field supervisor for a large company, and figured I would be doing good for them and me when I took the state test. I passed and 7 days later they fired me :censored: I was 4 months into a new house payment, had a new truck payment........sold the wifes car and bought a van and started, a month later, purchased insurance and just kept getting bigger and bigger, investing my profits back into the company.

I had 2 customers. that was it. no money to advertise. I just kept my head, my wife and I brainstormed, and we did alot of praying!! alot!!!!

My wifes brother was killed in a motorcycle accident 2 weeks after I was fired, so to say the least, it was a very trying period. Now, 1.5 yeasr later, I have over 200 loyal customers, 90% loyal,
money to advertise, although most of my work is word of mouth and referalls, we have a logo, money to upgrade, build the company larger, and god is blessing us with business and great accounts.

As a matter of fact, I had breakfast with the boss that fired me this morning, we are good friends now.
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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772 Posts
I was field supervisor for a large company, and figured I would be doing good for them and me when I took the state test. I passed and 7 days later they fired me :censored: I was 4 months into a new house payment, had a new truck payment........sold the wifes car and bought a van and started, a month later, purchased insurance and just kept getting bigger and bigger, investing my profits back into the company.

I had 2 customers. that was it. no money to advertise. I just kept my head, my wife and I brainstormed, and we did alot of praying!! alot!!!!

My wifes brother was killed in a motorcycle accident 2 weeks after I was fired, so to say the least, it was a very trying period. Now, 1.5 yeasr later, I have over 200 loyal customers, 90% loyal,
money to advertise, although most of my work is word of mouth and referalls, we have a logo, money to upgrade, build the company larger, and god is blessing us with business and great accounts.

As a matter of fact, I had breakfast with the boss that fired me this morning, we are good friends now.
That was a good testimonial!

I jumped right into it. I did have one new house at that time to begin when I quit. After that is in the story books. What I have learned in the last few years is exactly what my signature on the bottom says.:thumbsup:

In Christ,

Song Dog
 

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I aint CPV see in it?
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4,896 Posts
Great question. My experience was this. Passed the state exam in october of 07, license was issued in april of 08. Named the company seminole plumbing. My boss couldnt believe i passed the exam. He's what they call a registerd contractor in Fl(meaning he didnt meet the requirements to be state certifeid) Anyhow, they didnt fire me, from april to august, work was slowly getting slimmer and slimmer. Finaly august 26th of this year they called me into the office and layed me off.
now, i had already had some things in the works, so the first few weeks was kinda scary, just purchased our first home, wife is preg with child #3. But amazingly it has worked out so far. Most my work is word of mouth. i have ads in all of the phone books now, and yellowpages.com. I think if your good at what you do, live right and dont try to rip people off, god will look out for you.
Swim or drown. just had to get out there and make it happen. Thats the best advice i could give you.
 

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i jumped right in. worked my ass off and had a local businessman/ friend kickin me in head if i let up. he taught me alot about what works and what does'nt. and your right if your good at what you do, and don't screw people over and treat thier property w/ respect soon enough you will have more work than you can stand. good luck, keep up the good work.
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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5,478 Posts
Just curious on how you guys made your jump to ownership.Did you guys quit your job and go full throttle,or did you start it part time while working for a company.

Been in business twice, both times have been successful but total opposites of each other in regards to health. That's why I moved from new construction/remodel/rehab to service only.

I truly prefer service by far, even if I did have good health. The cash flow is significantly higher. Big numbers with people always get whittled down no matter what the scenario.


I "had" to work for another company between my two tours in business. Dating a woman who's a save and spend and myself a risk and invest, those two mindsets clash. Still friends with her and we both became successful in our careers/personal life.


The times I did work for others, there was always a complex that was known between me and my bosses as I played the part to a tee that I have much more to offer than just an employee, and I wasn't about to fix another companies problems at my low wage.

It was all good though; got a ton of credentials and licenses and that was important on all levels. Stepping stones to a higher ground.

Better have a ton of work lined out before you make that big step, or ability to pull funds from somewhere because the beginning is rough.


Once it all starts to "click".....it's awesome because your good work paves a never ending source of work for you.
 

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Most of us didn't start with deep pockets. It's sink or swim. As a business owner you put it all on the line each and every day (be prepared to lose it all), if that thought makes you ill, go work for someone. With owning a business comes liability, responsibility, and uncertainty.

Easing into it is hedging your bets. When someone tells me that, I know they won't make it. You have to be willing to risk it all to get it all. Plus, hungry businessman work harder and smarter.

Failure cannot be an option. You have to believe in yourself 110% and have a cheerleader to cheer you on when the slow days hit and you wonder why the hell you went out on your own. If you doubt, FEAR will eat you alive.
 
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