I have on many occasions talked to tradesmen who have pondered the idea of going into business for themselves and if it’s for the right reasons. I’m certainly in favor of supporting any entrepreneur who has a good business plan and a strong education on how to manage and operate a business. However, with that said, most tradesmen seem to have strong mechanical skills, but some lack either the right plan or the business know how. Both of which are necessary to be successful and to get a small business loan from Uncle Sam or acquiring a conventional bank business loan.
Keep in mind, with the present state of our economy and the numbers of failed business loans, banks are going to be looking for a lot of collateral, such as a home that has little or no mortgage, high credit rating and you may still require a private investor. So be aware if your new business should fail, you and your family may find it necessary to move in with your parents or in-laws while the investor looks for legal ways to get the money back. By the way if you do end up closing the door on the business and get a job, there is always a chance that you could be subject to garnished wages to pay back the debt.
I also hear that the potential entrepreneur fee feels if the employer is billing out $95.00 per hour for the labor and the employee is only getting paid $25.00 per hour (examples only) they feel like they are being taken advantage of and that’s reason enough to hang out their own business sign. However, do they really understand what it costs to be in business today?
Let’s start with one of the most important issues—OVERHEAD. I would bet there are some established companies that struggle with the overhead issue and how to come up with a good number. This, of course, is a must in order to establish the proper rate necessary to bill the customer and show profit. Overhead involves licensing, permits, insurance, medical, payroll, taxes, vehicles, tools and office/building expenses. Don’t overlook the lawyer, the CPA and a retirement plan and remember that overhead never stays the same.
The next issue is who’s doing the work during the business start period? I’ve been told the wife will give up her well-paying job or another family member will be doing all the office work on a voluntary basis until the business starts to show a profit. Next the basement will be converted into an office and the garage will become the stockroom. This to me is not a wise idea, because sooner than later the Mrs. is going to get overwhelmed, especially if she is a mom trying to keep up with the family needs. Sound familiar?
Anyone I know who started a business had to basically commit to a 24/7 type of schedule, which is a must. The reason—because since the Mrs. left her paying job to support your dream for free, you are now the sole bread winner. So with all of the above said, you must decide to be or not to be in your own business. If the answer is to be, I wish you great success in your new endeavor. Believe me this country needs more small businesses!