The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Calling all Non-US members!! (Non-US only)
by aussie240
Yesterday at 02:39 AM
Photo Upload Tutorial
by DanK
12/06/16 11:35 PM
Sprinklered equipment 26-008
by bigpapa
12/02/16 04:24 PM
On Delay Relay with Auto Reset
by Potseal
12/01/16 09:59 AM
Wow, that was close!
by jraef
11/28/16 07:06 PM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 13
HotLine1 9
Texas_Ranger 8
sparkyinak 7
Trumpy 6
Who's Online
0 registered (), 170 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#199470 - 02/27/11 09:57 AM Is Bigger or Smaller better?
Obsaleet Offline
Member

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 361
Loc: Pa
Is it better to grow to have many trucks and crews or stay small, with just a few trucks and crews or stay as a 1 man shop? There is no wrong answer just opinion.


Ob
_________________________
Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

Top
Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
#199472 - 02/27/11 11:07 AM Re: Is Bigger or Smaller better? [Re: Obsaleet]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
It all depends on your market projection. If you really believe the market is growing you should grow with it.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top
#199478 - 02/27/11 12:34 PM Re: Is Bigger or Smaller better? [Re: Obsaleet]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
From my own limited view, I would hazard a guess that the 'ideal' size for a small shop is:

3 trucks- 3 with a journeyman and 2 with a helper;
1 person to answer the phone and do the books; and,
1 person to meet customers, visit City Hall, stand inspections, etc.

We're talking eight people there. You need the trucks to support the 'office' people. There just aren't enough hours in the day to do all you need to do.

You can limp along with a smaller shop - but that's what you do ... limp along, from down time to down time. Even then, scheduling is critical. For example, I know one guy who 'works' Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday- and reserves Wednesday for sales, bookkeeping, etc. I know another 1-man shop that uses the labor pool for helpers when needed, and hires a CPA to do all his bookwork.

Top
#199483 - 02/27/11 02:38 PM Re: Is Bigger or Smaller better? [Re: Obsaleet]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
I have to go with Greg, it depends on what you want to attempt and accomplish. My only advice is to 'grow with patience'!
_________________________
John

Top
#199500 - 02/27/11 10:29 PM Re: Is Bigger or Smaller better? [Re: Obsaleet]
Obsaleet Offline
Member

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 361
Loc: Pa
So is it all worth it? Reno The headaches that go along with the size? I will probable have to go back to working for some builders(yuck)but it would be easy enough to do.
_________________________
Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

Top
#199511 - 02/28/11 06:37 AM Re: Is Bigger or Smaller better? [Re: Obsaleet]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Obsaleet, to be honest I never reached 'critical mass.' My business was in a death spiral when I took over an existing customer base, and I never was able to pull out.

My 'size' comments are based upon what I saw in successful shops.

Top
#199518 - 02/28/11 10:34 AM Re: Is Bigger or Smaller better? [Re: Obsaleet]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Ob:
FWIW, I 'grew' from myself & 1 man to 3 trucks and a 55' TECO bucket, and stayed sane & busy! It was a great ride for many years, thru a few 'recessions'.

I got out in 2006, and I can say I have not looked back or have any regrets.

A few guys I know had 10+ crews (resi primarily) and shrunk down to 2 with the downturn. Another just recently bounced back to 25+ guys; another is struggling with two men.

The best decission is one that you make, based on your market niche, and that you will be confortable with.

My two cents.
_________________________
John

Top
#199589 - 03/02/11 05:57 AM Re: Is Bigger or Smaller better? [Re: Obsaleet]
Obsaleet Offline
Member

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 361
Loc: Pa
Thanks! John,
This is my feeling. We have been ready to to take the next step. I guess its the hardest step. Means less time with the tools for me. Thats good and bad. lol Did you find the monetery benefit with additional crew? I have talked to some who have scaled back, that say they make just as much with less headaches by them selves?

Ob
_________________________
Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

Top
#199595 - 03/02/11 08:30 AM Re: Is Bigger or Smaller better? [Re: Obsaleet]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Ob:
I had good times and bad times over the years, like most, if not all of us.

Profitability for the owner sometimes cannot be 'judged' by a weekly paycheck amount, but by the overall results and assets of the business.

Yes, I had periods where the payroll was 'made', the bills were paid, and I had a few bucks to get by on.

I thing most, if not all of us that are self employed have been down that road.

Good luck on your decission, and I forgot to ask...are you going into solar or any RE??
_________________________
John

Top
#199626 - 03/02/11 07:07 PM Re: Is Bigger or Smaller better? [Re: Obsaleet]
Obsaleet Offline
Member

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 361
Loc: Pa
John,
I've been keeping up on solar, but not venturing into it. The state makes it real tricky to get certified. Like you must have 3 jobs completed before you can get the cert. Than how do you get the cert. The paperwork ugh! I'll just keep pluggin away for now! Not sure what Re is? I have signed on as an associate switching peoples power generation provider. Have saved a few folks some money so far. Have you switched yet?Thanks for your imput.

Ob


Edited by Obsaleet (03/02/11 07:11 PM)
_________________________
Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals