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Joined: Jul 2002
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quote"MacMikeman...Where did you go to high school? I went to Radford. I sure do miss body surfing over there...Sandy Beach was awesome. I also liked scuba diving there.
Off topic, but thought I would ask."

Thanks for asking. I went to High School at Cypress Lake High School in Fort Myers about 200 years ago. I live less than a quarter mile from Sandy Beach. Loving life. God Bless

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Joined: Aug 2003
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"The contractor i worked for has a clause in the employment contract, that for one year after leaving his employment i could not work within 25 miles from his location, also in my opinion stealing previous employers work is on the shady side of doing business.'

First, I would NEVER sign a paper like that. If a potential employer asked me to sign I'd tell him to go suck lemons!!


I am/was in a strange situation. I am a one man shop (plus helper). I have had several customers of a former employer contact me to do work. I initially said NO directly to them, saying they were customers of Mr. Former.
They proceed to tell me how very upset they are with said previous employer and how they would not hire him again anyway, regardless if I were the one to do their work. They sought me out since they knew me and my work, and trust I would do the right thing by them.
I very thankfully accept their proposal to do their work.
Bear in mind, I solicited NO ONE. Not even pushing business cards (I do have them of course). I do NOT even have a yellow pages ad. These folks either called my home knowing my last name or asked around to find out my number.

I have a totally clear conscience as I did nothing but answer my phone.


Speedy Petey

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert Einstein
Joined: Jan 2005
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LK, you bring up a good point...for so many shady activities, it is necessary for more than one of the participants to be crooked.

As you also suggested, not every boss, or every customer, is an angel.

I am half of a two-man company. One of the reason this has worked out is because the two of us communicate to an extraordinary degree. We find it almost amusing when a customer calls one of us, then the other...in an attempt to play one against the other. Almost as funny is when we are asked to do "side jobs."

Such folks do not fit our definition of "good customers," and are 'rewarded' with higher prices and a lower scheduling priority.

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 173
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Thing is I wasn't surprised at all about getting "tracked down" by these customers as I knew how the former employer was. I heard it all the time when I worked for him. All were taken aback when I initially told them no when they asked for a card.
Also, I knew them before they called me. The ones I did not care for didn't get a call back, or were told I wasn't interested.
One I told flat out, "I will not work for you!"

After 18 years I know am relatively new to self-employment compared to many folks. But I am NOT naive.

[This message has been edited by Speedy Petey (edited 12-15-2005).]


Speedy Petey

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert Einstein
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 44
T
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The way I look at it, a customer has a right to hire whomever they want. I wouldn't directly solicit the business of a former employer, but I wouldn't turn down their business if they called me.

In regard to yellow page ads, I think the answer depends entirely on your market area. There is only one directory service in my area and most people consult the yellow pages if they don't personally know an electrician. In the small town where my parents live, most of the contractors do not advertise at all. It makes it extremely difficult to find somebody to do your work when you don't know who to call.

In regards to business organizations, I would highly recommend consulting an accountant (and possibly an attorney) before making that decision. The account can advise you as to the tax liabilities (don't forget state and local taxes!!!), and the attorney can advise you as to legal liability and legal requirements.

Finally, I'm an electrician who also happens to be a commercial property manager. It never hurts to drop your card off at the property manager's office, but remember that most tenants are responsible for their own internal wiring - so don't forget them.

Sure, many businesses are slow paying, but others pay well. You'll just have to do your homework by checking references. Many contractors are major rip-off artists as well. It took me several years as a property manager to locate an HVAC company that wouldn't cheat us at every turn. So, most property managers are just as leary of contractors as contractors are of property managers!

And as far as estimates go, that's just part of doing business. Many times property managers need to know what it will cost to build out a space to tenant's specs in order to calculate a rent rate, only to have the deal fall apart at a later time. I generally tell my contractors how likely I think it is that the deal will go through so that they don't waste too much time on it. Often, I just need a verbal ball-park price for my calculations. The main thing is to try and work with the property manager to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. (Granted, this isn't always possible.)


Kevin
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 48
M
Member
I am doing all of my work word of mouth right now,and getting all the work I can stand to do,I know in the future I will have to advertise, are you guys getting the dollar value from your yellow pages ads? I work up here in Minnesota (but I can spell and I know all my colors)Happy Holidays and a profitable New Year.

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
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LK Offline
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"are you guys getting the dollar value from your yellow pages ads? "

We would not be renewing the ad's if they din't pay.

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 52
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kd Offline
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In the non-=compete clause, Why did one employer write 7 miles and another 25 miles? What is the proper distance? Why not write 50 miles? Or 60 miles? One hour travel time?

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 52
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kd Offline
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In the non-=compete clause, Why did one employer write 7 miles and another 25 miles? What is the proper distance? Why not write 50 miles? Or 60 miles? One hour travel time? Is there a legtal limit? Or just reasonable distance?

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 44
T
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Non-compete agreements can contain virtually any terms, but may not be enforceable in a court of law if they are overly restrictive. The reason for this is that the courts have tried to strike a balance between the need to protect a business from "customer stealing," and the need to protect the livelihood of an employee. Consequently, the common law in most states requires non-compete agreements to contain specifics concerning the type of work restricted, a limited distance from the employer's operations, and/or a fixed period of time. The idea is only to protect the employer's trade area for a limited amount of time. Too long of a restricted time period or too broad of a distance (as determined by the employer's trade area) will result in the agreement being unenforceable in court. So, if an employer generally only works within 25 miles of his base, then he would only be hurting himself by setting the radius restriction to a higher limit.


Kevin
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