View Full Version : Small Business Advice

13 Jul 10,, 02:54
Well, six years may be a bit far out to start planning my second career, but why not. While I'm looking primarily to JAD and Gun Grape on this question, I'm sure that there's plenty of other small business owners out there that would have some good advice as well.

I'm looking at becoming a GC once I hang up my uniform. I figure that even if I don't stick with it for a long time, if nothing else, I'll be able to amass all the woodworking tools I need for my real retirement :)). Seriously though, I like the design and creativity aspect, the ability to set my own hours (realizing that there's an upfront cost in terms of time to getting my brand name established), and being able to see that you've actually changed something.

What are some tricks to starting up the small business, what are some of the hidden costs, what are some ways to take advantage of tax write-offs to reduce outlays, etc.?

13 Jul 10,, 04:35
For me, the best thing I did was find an older accountant who knew all the ins and outs of taxes for small businesses. It was total happenstance that I found him, but I'm glad I did .
He is kind of pricey, but I'm sure I'm saving money in the long run by using him.
The bonus was he knew who to talk to in the local government about permits and regulations regarding zoning and waste disposal.

Gun Grape
14 Jul 10,, 22:37
First decide where you want to be a GC. Sounds strange but decide what you want to build and decide what license you need from there. Also what qualifications you must meet.

Every State has different licensing requirements and various fees and expenses that go with each type of license.

Although I refer to myself as a GC on the WAB I am actually a Certified Building Contractor.

This allows me to construct Single and multifamily residences up to 3 stories tall and commercial construction throughout the State.

If I had only wanted to do single family homes I could have gotten a Certified Residential Contractors license. That allows you to build single family and multifamily (3 or less ) homes up to 2 stories high.

A General Contractor can build anything, including roads and bridges.

The test is almost identical. The difference is the amount of liability insurance I am required to maintain.

$300K as a General/Building Contractor. $100K as a Residential Contractor.

Next once you have figured that out, find a established contractor in that area and talk to him. You are 6 years from retirement, so he isn't going to perceive you as a threat. He will be able to tell you all the ins and outs and how they apply in that area. Might want to approach him with a "Looking to retire and become a contractor "Back Home". What kind of tips can you give me?"

And being in the military. The Transition Assistance Office can help. :biggrin:

Gun Grape
14 Jul 10,, 22:44
the ability to set my own hours (realizing that there's an upfront cost in terms of time to getting my brand name established),

ROFL.. I'm taking my first real vacation in 5 years this week. A whole week off.

You will be happy with the "set your own hours" if your plan is "Work from sunlight to midnight."

and being able to see that you've actually changed something.

That is the cool part, all joking aside. Riding down the road and being able to look at a building and say "I built that".

15 Jul 10,, 15:01
Got to agree with Gun Grape about the "set your own hours" thing and holidays, well yes you can have a holiday when and if the work dries up and no one wants to pay you. ;)

One of the people most of us in business get to meet is Murphy (of Murphy's law fame), especially if you have to deal with rules, regulations, by-laws, suppliers, subbies, etc.

You may also get to meet Murphy's cousin Paddy who is usually some form of officious, soleless bureaucrat.
Paddy will convince you that Murphy is an eternal but hopeless optimist.

Best of Luck, :)