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#201500 - 06/05/11 12:25 PM Learning  
Obsaleet  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
So what have you learned about business? What would you change/do differently now? Any regrets?


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

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:

#201502 - 06/05/11 01:42 PM Re: Learning [Re: Obsaleet]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,878
Brick, NJ USA
I have to say, no regrets for anything past. Business is a learning experience from day one...'till the end. You can never 'know-it-all', and IMHO IF you think you do, you're wrong.

Changes? A few decissions over the years, I would prefer to have a 'second chance', but...impossible! Considered as learning experiences.


#201509 - 06/05/11 08:53 PM Re: Learning [Re: Obsaleet]  
Niko  Offline
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 356
Campbell, CA
First, I should have done better paper work and keep better track. But then i am not a paperwork kind of a guy.

Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live

#201515 - 06/06/11 08:39 AM Re: Learning [Re: Obsaleet]  
harold endean  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
Boonton, NJ
I just wished that I had gotten into this field a little sooner than I did. The BA/FA installing helped me in my later years as an EC. Also wished I had gotten my AHJ lic. sooner. But over all, very happy with my decisions to date.

#201839 - 06/26/11 09:21 PM Re: Learning [Re: harold endean]  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,315
how to put this?

well, let's just say that an electrician does not a biz man make

i had thought so once , that being the best one can be at what one does would be all one would need, and all else would simply fall into place

how utterly niave of me

thankfully, i'm over it...


#201901 - 06/30/11 02:25 PM Re: Learning [Re: Obsaleet]  
Tesla  Offline
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
Sacramento, CA
Hard for journeyman electricians to believe -- but skill of installation is virtually un-marketable.

The prospect base treats all licensed electricians as if they were but kernels of rice in the bag -- all the same.

So it's a long road to establish superior street cred and consequent referrals.

Instead, contractors live and die by closing sales/ contracts / up-selling.

Contractors also have to sweat liquidity -- now more than ever.

The other heartbreak is the need to walk away from ruinous bids. It's better to sit than work at a clear loss.


#201903 - 06/30/11 09:58 PM Re: Learning [Re: Obsaleet]  
Obsaleet  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
Well said Tesla, it still amazes me how many people think being an electrician/contractor is easy. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard "I should of used you, it ended up costing about the same yet the quality is not there". I have even been brought in to make changes after final inspection. I've made more money then the original contract, doing repairs and corrections. Still frustrating.

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

#201906 - 07/01/11 12:55 AM Re: Learning [Re: Obsaleet]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,142
My wife came into the "hospitality" (Running a gated community and country club) business from the construction business and she has proved many times over that using real contractors is cheaper than having a club "handyman" do it. Things are done right, on time, permitted/inspected and in the end cheaper.
There are a lot less problems down the road. It does help that she has guys who will work for golf games tho. smile

Greg Fretwell

#201921 - 07/03/11 01:31 AM Re: Learning [Re: Obsaleet]  
bigpapa  Offline
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 81
This is specific to my experience and may not apply to all but I feel these are policies we have seen direct positive results from.

Here are some basic rules we swear by at our company. We usually remove employees that can't comply.

1) Ensure your quality is noticeably better than all others. I reject my own workers workmanship and make them redo. Everything must always be straight. Sometimes this can cost extra.

2) Ensure that your workers are clean and are polite and respectful of customers always. One bad opinion travels fast.

3) Make your safety efforts highly visible so your customer notices and feels at ease and always leave your worksite, unless it's someone elses responsibility, as clean as it was when you started.

4) Diversify your business to many sectors of the economy. Do not have only one type of customer. When they slow so do you. This is a big trap when you have only a few large customers especially GCs.

5) Have 6 months worth of cash in the bank (gold if you are in the US) on top of what you need to run your business and take your book keeping seriously. Everybody can save if they are disciplined. I do it by paying myself as the company owner no more than journeyman rate. The corporate profits almost always goes to savings or capital expenditures that will strengthen the company.

Last edited by bigpapa; 07/03/11 01:32 AM.

#201922 - 07/03/11 01:34 AM Re: Learning [Re: Obsaleet]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,142
The #1 thing I would suggest is to return all calls promptly and be on time. Everything else comes after that.

Greg Fretwell

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