I have been working in the area of supply chain management (e.g. purchasing, project management) for close to 20 years in various industries (one company I worked for manufactured glu-lams and I-Trusts). For the last five years I have worked as a staff member at a university. I have played around with the idea over the last year to go back to doing handyman work. Being 53 I am not sure at this point in my life about getting a contractors license. I love reading Fine Homebuilding.
My question that I have to those of you who are contractors is – do you see a need where you could use someone with strong purchasing and project management talent but know that you cannot afford them? Would you be inclined to work with someone with these skill sets knowing that they are also “contracting” with other contractors?
Let’s face it many of you are craftsmen and your passion is the trade that you are in; but you find alot of your time is taken up in acquiring the materials needed for the job and making sure it is at the job when needed. Do see a person with the skill sets that I have as someone that you could / would use? From your viewpoint would you pay them by time and materials, fix price per job, cost reimburseable?
I would use someone like you. You are basically offering your services as a project manager.
What does "contracting" with contractors mean?
Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
By that term I would be like a 1099 employee - responsible for paying my own payroll taxes. It is an option where I would not be on your books as an employee.
Either way works for me as long as the accountant can set it up right. What kind of fixed fee are you thinking you'd need? Are you planning on doing this full or part time or moonlighting as a handyman while doing this? Your original post tossed out a few things that confuse the basic question...I think LOL. Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
Yeah, it might be feasible but it would have to be a decent sized project to be able to use the extra person and the added cost. I would guess at least a $25k+ job to be able to pay you what you wanted.
And yes, you would be a 1099 sub contractor but would then likely have to have your own insurance and or license depending on your location. If you just worked for one person you might be considered an employee but if you were selling your services to more than one guy at once, you would likely be a sub. At least in my area.
The only limit I would see immediately would be the trust factor from contractors who didn't know you...and also the pretty dismal state of construction in some areas.
For what its worth I am a contractor who is looking for a stable job like what YOU have. I guess we all view the grass as greener sometimes?
Stan - don't do it. You've got a good gig going. You relax in an air conditioned building all summer, heated all winter, do absolutely nothing physical and probably go home to exercise, read FHB, and work on projects. If you do this for a living all the fun of it will go out the window. The financial and health benefits of your current carreer are far more secure than the contracting world, I've done, do, both.
I'd suggest a gradual transition--do some stuff on the side and if you get busy enough to go beyond the weekends then go to four 10s and keep the handymand/construction as a side job. If a larger project comes up take vacation, but don't give up your day job until the newness of construction wears off.
The worst thing you can do is leave what you have and jump into something 100%. Ask a small business consultant and they'll tell you the same thing. Take an SBA class and they'll tell you the same thing.
Take all your benefits, add up a dollar amount for 'em and each check stuff that money into an envelope and mail it to some random relative so you can't spend it---just to remind you how nice bennies are and what it will be like when you're self employed.
When you're working on a couple day project and you have the final check in hand, sign it over to your least favorite cousin and kiss it goodbye -- that will remind you what it's like to get stiffed in this wonderful business of ours and you'll be more careful with larger projects. Without a contractor's license you probably will never be able to lien or sue anyone.
For a week, duct tape any three of your fingers together each morning to remind you how fun it is to get injured on the job. Even better might be to wear one arm in a sling for 6 months or a straight leg brace for a month.
Then, when business is going great, take a month's earnings and give it to charity -- you probably need to remember what happens when something like 911 or a war pops up. For kicks you could even take half of what you make and flush it -- just to reflect a building bust when every out of work carpenter in town suddenly becomes your competittion in the handyman sector.
I have another good story, but the lawyers are still sorting it out. :-)
Maybe you could retrain with that free tuition from working at a university and do something else. :-)
Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.