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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any business owners on here?

I am a Mason but couldn't find a good over the table job this year so I started working for a landscaping company (ugh). I make enough to get by but for the hard work I do and the hours involved it just isn't worth it, not to mention I sort of hate the work (patios and walkways day after day).

I am quite skilled at repair work of old masonry and would like to start my own business and begin to branch into it, but making that initial leap scares the hell out of me. How did you guys decided to drop that steady pay for an unpredictable amount of work?

I just don't like doing high dollar jobs for the bossman and making hardly any of it.
 

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I have no clue man but I wish you the best luck in whatever it is that you choose to do. Maybe becoming partners to start with somebody would help. Such as someone with all the tools but not too good with the labor. You use his tools, and ya'll be partners. IDK man. Good luck though.
 

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Once I got all my tools together, my hook or by crook, I just basically told myself that it was time to start making all the money for myself. Taking the plunge wasn't that hard to do compared to the lack of job security at the time. Then 12 years later, after Katrina wiped me out, here I am in the USAF. I still have 99% of my tools, and I still do jobs on the side to supplement my income. Man, it's a great feeling to know that I can do just about anything I can afford right now, and then go out and bust a little tail for that something special.



Oh, and if you need any tips, send me a PM and maybe we can hit up a phone call some time.
 

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Both of my parents own their own business, my stepdad is HVAC, and my mum runs a convienience store. My mum 5am~5pm everyday, year round, my stepdad works 16 hours a day 6 days a week. Both make decent money...but for the amount they work, it just don't seem worth it to me, and they get it hard and dry every year around tax time. My mum kind of got that business given to her, so she fell into it basically. And my stepdad worked for a big name company around here since he was 16....over 22 years. He was promised, in writing that at the end of the year he would be given a cushy management job inside and not out busting his old ass everyday. The company got bought out buy a bigger company in town, my dad didn't get his promotion...lost all of his benefits, and decided to go into business for himself. He took one guy with him when he left(and some accounts) this was over six years ago, he and his partner have so much work they are turning jobs down because they don't have the man power.

I can ask them any question you want answered, and you will get the most honest answer from them.
 

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My dad started one when I was 9 and I took over when I was about 15. Ran it for 5 years but had to quit because of school and a full time job. I did freelance computer repairs for local businesses and private citizens as well. It was good money, but I just didn't have time to do it anymore so I officially closed the business 2 years ago. I still do some PC repairs and whatnot on the side, but now it's just cash only. Running a real business costs a lot in taxes and other BS that I didn't want to pay for what measly amount of money I make off of it a year now (<$500).
 

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It all depends on what you're doing as far as how much money you can make. Prior to the 'Cane that wiped me out, I had just re-opened my business in Feb '05, and by 29 Aug when the 'Cane hit, I'd already made over $100K gross. I made out like a bandit with the tax breaks because of the natural disaster, but I was still rather pissed that I had to start all over again....

Let me know if you need some tips and I'll point you in the right direction. As long as you have a good work ethic, and can hire someone dependable and honest, you're already on the right track.
 

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100K? Dang!!!!
 

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Over half of that went for labor and insurance expenses, and then you have materiel and tools. I only claimed about $28K of that as "income" and showed an extreme loss, naturally, and with the loss of my business on top of it, I made out like a bandit on taxes. Of course, I'd already moved away from the area before I even filed taxes, as my wife had just joined the Air Force at that time. So, the tax break, and the fact that I never lost a single tool, it really helped me be able to re-found the business once I got here. However, I was more intent on joining the USAF myself to even give it a second thought. I think I made the right decision.
 

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USAF definately seems more stable. But its great that you have the knowledge to help sitdwnhangon or whatever his sn is. LOL.
 

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I just got tired of running the business all by myself. I didn't make enough money to be able to pay my wife to keep the books, so I did it alone. That, and insurance was expensive, because Mississippi is a hard state to work in. Of course, to keep us afloat, I learned a few tricks that helped me bring more of the bottom line home with me on Fridays, so I could do special things for the wife when she needed it.

On towards the time the 'Cane hit, I was bringing more home in a week than she was in a month working full time, and I was only working 20-30 hours a week.

It's a learning curve, and definately a process. If I can help out in any way, I'm more than glad to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. What made me think hard about this is my girlfriend is getting a promotion and a raise. And with it she could support us both for some time while I either try and fail, or succeed.

I busted my ass all summer this year and I have to drive almost two hours to work a job I don't like just for a little coin. To not see the fruits of my labor drives me nuts. I plan on talking to the guy I used to work for that taught me everything (he's a good friend of mine now). He has been self employed for 20 years and seems to be happy most of the time.
 

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I ran a landscaping/lawn care biz on the side for a few years. The trick is to get a LLC. and then get insured/bonded. A local lawyer can draw up your LLC for ya and save ya a bunch of time and money. Also a LLC protects your personal belongings and credit if something bad happens. Another trick i wish i would of thought of is to be very broad on your LLC that way if you want to branch out to something else in the future you dont have to buy another license. I wished i had done that......
 

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I ran a landscaping/lawn care biz on the side for a few years. The trick is to get a LLC. and then get insured/bonded. A local lawyer can draw up your LLC for ya and save ya a bunch of time and money. Also a LLC protects your personal belongings and credit if something bad happens. Another trick i wish i would of thought of is to be very broad on your LLC that way if you want to branch out to something else in the future you dont have to buy another license. I wished i had done that......
+1000

I would not recommend to anyone to start their own business without the protection afforded by an LLC. It is the most inexpensive route to go these days (much cheaper than S corp, and the taxes are easier to deal with) and offers good protection for your personal assets. And make absolutely sure that you do not treat the money / assets / equipment "owned" by the business as your own, as this can be used by someone suing the business to circumvent the LLC protections and come after you personally. And certainly do not skimp on the insurance and bond... the first time someone in your employ screws up, you will be thankful you have it. And someone always screws up.

The most important things to remember are to keep up with your taxes (find someone to help you with this if you are not certain you know what you are doing), and put money aside. A lot of small, privately owned businesses fail because the owners see all of this cash pouring in and start spending it. You need to make sure you are squirreling away money for those unforeseeable expenses which are bound to show up.

Good luck, I wish you the best.
 
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