I'm currently in a job that pays about 60K per year with benefits. I'm considering starting a little "side business". If anything it will help me reduce the income tax on my regular income. Anyone out there have any "tips" or "words of wisdom" for a guy who is stepping into uncharted waters?
Do I understand that you intend to run a business after working a 40 hour week and would be satisfied to lose money so you can get 1/3 to 1/2 of your loss back from the IRS? This post brings up an interesting question. How many electrical contractors out there started business while working another full time job, used their own money and personal credit and was able to build up a business that gave them a good living while working it and was worth selling when they retired? Also, how many started on other peoples money, drew a guaranteed, living wage and ended up owning a good chunck of a multi-million dollar business after 10 or 15 years?
#3114 - 08/06/0106:27 AMRe: Could be opening my own business
I started cold turkey, with buying a van on a mastercard, and have amounted to 2 trucks with some better tools. I have worked on my customer base and rep, there will only be the van full of tools and that when(if) i retire. A small biz is all about the individual and his/her attitude, i keep my kids pix on the dash for the 'tude part.
#3115 - 08/06/0107:44 AMRe: Could be opening my own business
Originally posted by gpowellpec: Do I understand that you intend to run a business after working a 40 hour week and would be satisfied to lose money so you can get 1/3 to 1/2 of your loss back from the IRS? This post brings up an interesting question. How many electrical contractors out there started business while working another full time job, used their own money and personal credit and was able to build up a business that gave them a good living while working it and was worth selling when they retired? Also, how many started on other peoples money, drew a guaranteed, living wage and ended up owning a good chunck of a multi-million dollar business after 10 or 15 years?
Why do I feel like I just got flamed? Mr. Powell, I never said anything about a "multi-million" business. Heck, I'm talking about wiring a few houses in the evening, and on weekends. I don't expect to become the next "electrical tycoon". I would like to, if possible, recoup some of the money that my wife (she works) and I pay in taxes. I would also add that many people do spend other peoples money going into business, and you, as well as I, know how they do it. They work for someone for years, help build a business, and then, they quit and take half of the business they helped build. Many people who start a business, already have business before they open their own. Have a nice day.
#3116 - 08/06/0107:46 AMRe: Could be opening my own business
Originally posted by sparky: I started cold turkey, with buying a van on a mastercard, and have amounted to 2 trucks with some better tools. I have worked on my customer base and rep, there will only be the van full of tools and that when(if) i retire. A small biz is all about the individual and his/her attitude, i keep my kids pix on the dash for the 'tude part.
#3117 - 08/06/0109:37 AMRe: Could be opening my own business
Slam Tex,I started out working for my dad for 17 years and the last 5 I had my own "side business" while my wife was a full time student.The advice I can give to you is what you are looking for. It started out fairly slow done a few service calls for people I met on the jobs and then worked around a framer who was going to start his own construction company and I thought that would be great.He started out with about 3 houses the first year and the last year he was doing about 6.That doesn't seem kike a bunch but when you consider working 40 hours a week and then trying to shuffle a rough -in and a trim out within the same week is tough...this is where I tell you to buy stock in candles you will need them.The last few years I averaged 85-90 hours a week but it was something I had to do for my family,which at times I didn't get to see my kids for days. My experience ended in a bad note, my wife graduated and was going to make more than I based on my 40 hour job and I was getting BURNED out carrying a bad attitude.The attitude came from my hard work and the Contractor I was working for was getting tight pockets and was trying to get me to lower my prices and would always under bid his job and was wanting me to do FAVORS and never wanted to pay for any extras or changes. Then when enough was enough I decided to not only quit the contractor I was working for I quit my dad the same month.I got a job as an independent contractor for Fed Ex Ground for 18 months and decided to give it another try but this time I was going to start my own business and work by myself.I had several good contractors begging me for 6 months to come back to the electrical field and they would keep me busy. I would say go for it,just be AWARE of the contractors and let them know everything up front and have change orders to prevent any problems.What does the company paying you 60k think about this,would this jeopardize your job.To me 60k is a good pay scale you can't be working over 40 hours if your planning on a side job.Good luck and I hope this helps.
#3121 - 08/06/0110:49 PMRe: Could be opening my own business
Slamtex, Sorry that I appeared to be flaming you. My words may have sounded more pointed than I intended. The last 3 letters of my username stood for Powell Electrical Contractors at one time. That is from my Netscape e-mail address. Everyone has to decide on their own whether to work for the other guy all his life, be fully independent, or keep the job for security and have a business on the side for extra income and/or retirement. Not too many make the decision based on logic. That is not meant to insult anyone. My decision to go into the electrical business was based on having years of experience in all aspects of industrial construction and maintenance. I had worked from helper,journeyman, supervisor, superintendant, estimator, field engineer and QC. I could see that being independent and making my own decisions would be more satisfying and profitable than being at the mercy of a heartless bossman making more than me from my labors. At least that was the logic that I used to justify going into business. The real reason I did it was I did not see any other way to become as financially comfortable as I wanted to and still be independent. I enjoyed coordinating jobs, helping my people put the jobs in, designing installations, working with good customers and seeing the work grow. Basically the things I enjoyed about the electrical trade. What I did not enjoy was the non-electric, non-labor side of owning a business. That is managing a business with the attitude that the business has to survive or everyone goes under. I left a growing business to pursue something else I enjoyed. Teaching people in the electrical trade. I was able to do it as a contractor, so I still had some independence. The real money was pretty much the same except I did not have to work every week and the end of a week teaching was pretty final. There was usually no problems you had to worry about over the weekend. Being an instructor led me to the job I have now. Pays good with good benefits but not so much security. I do power and grounding in the reliability department for an Internetworking company.
I'm glad I tried and glad I left. I really should have dropped the business 2 years sooner, as I was advised to do by a SCORE consultant.
You might contact SCORE. That is Service Corps Of Retired Executives. http://www.score.org/ For free, thay will tell you what you need to know to be successful in a business, even a side business. I was told either to get investors so the business could grow at a rate that would ensure it could continue if times went sour, someone could be paid to manage the busines end and I could concentrate on what I knew and enjoyed OR get out. My money making potential was about equal in some other area that I really enjoyed so why stay in a business with its risks and stress. I'm not bitter about working for someone else now. I do not resent not being my own boss. I actually am controlled less by my manager than I was by my customers and my coworkers have less demands on me than my employees did. Going through 5 years of running a business was just a part of the interesting road I travelled to get where I am now, like the road I am travelling now will get me somewhere else, probably even better. Does everyone else seem to have as many "learning curves" on their road through life as I have had?