I'm new here.

And freshly out of a job. I was master of record for the company I was at (the pres only has a journeyman license previously, but had a contractor license based on my master number). He has made changes that run counter to what my state license requires of me. To the point, he promoted a junior license into a position that would have made this other guy my supervisor. How would that affect my signature on TDLR compliance for license upgrades, NEC code compliance, etc., as long as I was master of record? Well, he solved the problem by detaching my license from the company and, in so many words, there is no other place for me other than his general run-about guy.

So, basically, I'm trying to start my own company and he is trying to help me. (One can't hold grudges in business.) All in the same day, I lost my job, got a service call, and received from my former employer, a bonus that would pay the down payment on the required liability insurance.

And he's willing to give me small jobs on T & M invoicing. Easy enough.

I've been doing a lot of reading in a short amount of time to catch up on the finer points of estimating. Small jobs are easy, needed labor units to consider anything bigger than 500 feet of pipe, you get the drift.

I'm collecting quotes on insurance through one agent (his standard procedure) for just myself as one employee. I don't have the capital funds to go for jobs so big that you have to pay $200 for prints and submit a 5% bid bond with your package, as well as having any kind of finances to qualify for a first-timer's performance bond.

The hard part, is finding the small jobs. Retail lease spaces no bigger than about 4,000 sq ft or getting into the residential market with a solid builder.

I started doing electrical work in 1983 but most of my time has been spent doing the actual work, regardless of circumstances or weather. The last of the hard-core rough neck crazy sons of guns that will dig a ditch in the rain. I've never had much chance to hob-knob with the power set through which one becomes a preferred contractor or secures intial capital financing.

So, I'm looking for ideas and tips as to how to even approach or look up builders or find contracts for bid. Not all are as easy to find as Pogue Construction, which has a website with projects for bid. Otherwise, I'm going to end up working for someone else again, under some journeyman 10 to 15 years my junior.