Im looking to break out on my own anyone willing to share advice?

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I just got my llc up and my ein from the irs im from louisiana the most we can do unlicensed is 5000 residential including materials. I have no clue how im gonna do that in the current market. I cant take this grind anymore tomorrow i leave at 4am to drive 2 1/2 hour to work everyday they steal at least 4 hours unpaid i cant take it anymore im union no matter how much i tell my hall about the wrongdoings they tell me to just keep my head down. Im fed up and i have to make this work.

Ive been in this field 8 years now i know enough to wire up houses and the ibew schooling is just an online course that everyone cheats on without any real class instructors and 1000$ worth of books u have to buy every year that u could get online for 200$.

Sorry for the rant ik it sounds childish and doesnt inspire faith haha but im actually losing my mind from the weight of it all i think i snapped this year. I just need advice on how to break out and what kind of steps would yall take to do so. I have a little experience doing bookkeeping when i used to help my aunt when work got slow at my first job nonunion electrician i think i can figure it out i just need to know whats all involved with undertaking a job as far as permits, stages ect. I can run jobs i just dont know the paperwork behind all of it our how to keep up with taxes and business accounts reciepts stuff like that just wanted to know all the best practices and software.
 

__dan

Senior Member
Keep the job you have now until you have the equivalent of another full time job offer (meaning another regular paycheck).

Make sure you know that you love what you're doing, because the workload will certainly be there but mostly, the paycheck has no such guarantee. If you're going to starve at it like everyone else, make sure you enjoy it and have fun enjoying it (that would be the regular every day daily adrenaline). It you don't like it or love it, EC'ing is very competitive meaning pay is hard to come by.

For most businesses, there is something called the profit incentive. If you can find something you do that turns a profit, that's what you need to survive long term.

There are some niche specialties with necessary specialized skills which keeps the competition down and the pay up, digital controls, building automation. I always recommend 2 year comunity college over becoming an electrician because of pay and how long it takes to get there. Definately in EC'ing, some college or CC with good courses will put you a step up, accounting and business law classes may be enough to get started with, programming and networking jobs can pay well.

Going to school with the IBEW job is what I would be targeting. It is not automatic that the demand will be there if you just decide to hang the shingle out, advertise, buy a lettered truck. It all depends on having the right accounts, regular return customers that you can turn a profit on. You would have to orient yourself in the direction of those paying customer and service them, once you find out who they are. They can be expected to be very demanding and to continue shopping around.
 

blueheels2

Senior Member
Location
Raleigh, NC
Occupation
Electrical contractor
Read Ellen Rohrs books. Charge large. Ignore the “going rate”. Avoid GC’s like the plague. Invest in SeO and advertising. Letter your van. Payment is due when work is complete.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
Wait until your side work has you so busy that you're calling in sick to go take care of your side work.

Wait until you've made your side work profitable. Not just paying a better wage, but actually profitable if you have to start hiring help and paying insurance(s) for them, overtime, etc.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Wait until your side work has you so busy that you're calling in sick to go take care of your side work.

Wait until you've made your side work profitable. Not just paying a better wage, but actually profitable if you have to start hiring help and paying insurance(s) for them, overtime, etc.
health insurance is an especially expensive problem for the average joe. this is covered by the total rate your employer charges for your services so you never see the cost but it is insane. It is probably in the $20,000/year range for a single person and much more for family coverage. Liability insurance is relatively cheap compared to that, but by the time you have those covered and other overhead expenses covered you may well be into needing > $3000/month just to cover those kind of overhead expenses.
 

brantmacga

Señor Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical Monke
I can run jobs i just dont know the paperwork behind all of it our how to keep up with taxes and business accounts reciepts stuff like that just wanted to know all the best practices and software.

Hire an accountant.

Focus on what you know, hire someone to do the rest. You cannot grow a business if you’re bogged down in accounting. It’s not your thing. It’s not mine either. Don’t force it to be.

You need to be focused on sales putting in the work that brings cash flow in. Also, you need to know how to price. I highly recommend some sort of flat rate system to get you going quickly.

The right software isn’t going to make or break you starting out.

Get a local office supply company to print you paper duplicate or triplicate invoices.

Invest in tools that will get the job done quicker and with less wear & tear on your body.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
oh gawd yes.....in my case i was lucky enough to find a very patient one

i can recall one early visit, where after 20 minutes of 'explanation' she stopped (due to my 'dear in the road' stare) and stated 'you've no idea what i just said, do you?'

~RJ~
I have a very patient accountant as well.
He knows me and my Ziploc bag full of receipts all too well 😜
 

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
been in this field 8 years now i know enough to wire up houses
If ripping Romex requires removing AFCI's after inspection, perhaps it's not the best career choice, to void clients' propery insurance.

Ask a lineman whats its like to go from straight to double time, with dinner, and have utilities recruiting you.

If planning, payroll, paperwork, & taxes isn't your bag, and you just want to enjoy your work, IBEW lineman are treated relatively well, no matter where they travel.
 
If ripping Romex requires removing AFCI's after inspection, perhaps it's not the best career choice, to void clients' propery insurance.

Ask a lineman whats its like to go from straight to double time, with dinner, and have utilities recruiting you.

If planning, payroll, paperwork, & taxes isn't your bag, and you just want to enjoy your work, IBEW lineman are treated relatively well, no matter where they travel.
Im not that kind of electriciqn but some of the union shops here do that. The shops have a scam going on where they have the whole house in arc fault breakers, get it inspected and passes, then rip em all out and put regular qo breakers in and still charge the customers for the 55$ breaker. Thats just downright criminal.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions im gonna take a step back and go back to researchi g and networking until i have at least 10k in a business equity account to start off with.
Better wait until you have at least 20k that you can shell out and sit on for a bit.

I'm usually sitting on 3 or 4 jobs at one time.
A rough-in can be 7k or more, depending on materials, how much help I want, trenching sub, etc.

You want three barrels in you, that's what I think
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
I just find it hard to save money im paycheck to paycheck and was hoping it wouldnt take 5 years to get there im 26 now and feel my whole life will be over before im financially stable and able to enjoy life with my earnings.
on my turf , most of us are in the 'back 9' of our careers , we want to slow down and quite frankly only have one speed that's not getting any better. :confused: Out of maybe a dozen such examples , there are two sparks that have recently opened their doors. The smartest move at least one of them made was to introduce themselves as the 'new kid on the block' , (this before any public ads), and hand out some biz cards to us.(y) Trust me in that, he hit the ground running....~RJ~
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
I just find it hard to save money im paycheck to paycheck and was hoping it wouldnt take 5 years to get there im 26 now and feel my whole life will be over before im financially stable and able to enjoy life with my earnings.
Don't worry about getting a late start.
I left my job at the end of April 2001 when I was 30 years old. I had one side job going with a buddy, and I thought I had made it. I had taken my week of vacation to do the job, then I had to call in sick for the whole next week because everything went wrong.

I figured I had enough gusto to make it, though. I was going to get paid from the side job, plus I had saved about four or five paychecks, plus I had two weeks of vacation coming, a spring bonus check, and I had about $20,000 in a 401k that I was planning to take out. I thought the time was right and I thought I was all set

Well, I didn't get paid anything on my side job. I got beat out of the whole thing.

I knew nothing about 401k and how to withdraw the money. Turned out I couldn't take any of the money because there was a pending contribution coming in July. I waited that out, into August and I didn't have any information yet, so I went to see the accountant at the company I had left.

They sent the request in the third week of August, and my money was on his way finally. Well, September, October, and November came and went with nothing and no news. I had a financial advisor check into it and he had horrifying news for me.

The request for my 401k withdrawal was in the mailroom of the World Trade Center on September 11th 2001

I lost about one-third of my money overnight and then it was a steady bleed since. I had about $600 left by the time I was able to get it

The short of it, I wasn't near as prepared as I thought I was. And I thought I was going to starve to death. I got out of electrical and got into remodeling because that's the only work I could find.

I'm 50 years old now, and I think only in the past 3 years or so I reached a point that I don't really have to worry about how much money is in the bank.

The short of it, some sage advice from my mother - the steady knock breaks the rock.

Make sure that having a sure foundation takes priority over your timeline. I didn't get off on solid footing, and I paid the price for over a decade.

Here's something to practice. Stop living paycheck to paycheck right now. I don't care how little money you make, you have enough and more. Stop spending every dime you have before you get your next paycheck. Learn how to walk around with money in your pocket without blowing it. Learn how to use your debit card without treating it as Monopoly money. Learn how to live below your means because you're going to need that when you get out on your own
 
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