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.
Another approach is to hit the jobsites, strip centers and such that are building out retail jobs. Put your cards out and see if you can find some work that way. A lot of time they are done by out of town contractors that don’t know anyone and are just looking for someone to do the job. They should furnish the plans for take-off at NO COST TO YOU. The 5% bid bonds are mostly for government work, so they don’t really apply to the size retail jobs you are targeting.
The only “gotcha” is you will have to provide workman’s comp and liability insurance to do this kind of work, and if they if think you are having financial problems they will delay payment on purpose, the idea is you go out of business they don’t have to pay you. If it’s a 10-15K job a lot of the time you can ask for 50% up front too, if you need it.
I've learned some of the business over the years and even have contacts in high places but that's not the same thing as getting a foot in the door and knowing where and when to show up. Even some of those contacts don't always pan out. A friend knows an important architect and even that doesn't guarantee steady work.
As for digging a ditch, I think I'll get to stop that about the time, I retire. Even then, probably not. My wife likes to garden.
Ito, is that list the one you posted in another thread? Including what it costs to provide prints to tech subs that may be pulling your voice/data?
Rabbit, I think blue book is a page I've been linked to through looking at Pogue. Their jobs are too big for me, right now, but I wanted a look at what's out there. I do know that medium builders like them will have their own insurance requirements exceeding the state. The company I was working for has a few schools going on and the required coverage exceeds $2 M. Of course, those are 80,000 sq ft and up, min 3,000 amp service, 1 year warranty, etc.
[This message has been edited by rws (edited 12-06-2006).]
The quickest way to get jobs to bid on is to find a copy of the Blue Book either call them or go online. Then find contractors in your area, call them and ask to be put on their "bid list". You will fill out a page of information about your company, and the size jobs you are interested in. Soon enough you will be flooded with Invitations to Bid. You will now work feverishly to complete so many take-offs and submit bids that your wife and kids may not recogize you when you actually cross paths.
If someone can tell me how to post a Word document here, I can give you a Proposal template. It's a (extensively) modified Mike Holt Proposal template.