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Long time reader, first time member

TacDriver14
(@tacdriver14)
FNG Member

Hi all,

I've been in surveying for 15 years, licensed for 7.  I've recently been spending a lot of time thinking of going out on my own, which has brought me here.  I've really enjoyed reading through many of the business and finance section posts... lots of great input.  

Anyway, I thought I'd sign up and join in on the fun.

Thanks for all the great reading!

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Topic starter Posted : November 18, 2021 6:00 pm
Wendell
(@wendell)
5,000+ posts Admin

Welcome 🤗

So glad you've decided to step out of the shadows and engage with us. I agree, there's lots of great knowledge to be had here.

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Posted : November 18, 2021 6:08 pm
Jered McGrath PLS
(@jered-mcgrath-pls)
1,000+ posts Member

Welcome!

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Posted : November 18, 2021 6:15 pm
Wendell liked

Chris Bouffard
(@chris-bouffard)
200+ posts Member

Welcome!  Going out on your own is a major financial investment, I'vebeenthere and done that through some pretty hard times and was able to pay the bills and put food on the table.  Lots of family time, blood, sweat and tears lost but I made it through 4 reallybad years with an established following based on a few decades of good relationships.

If you care to share more about your goals and means to accomplish, or even share your business plan with us, I'm sure you will get some great feed back from those of us who have done what you are proposing to do.

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Posted : November 18, 2021 6:45 pm
Wendell liked
Brad Ott
(@brad-ott)
5,000+ posts Supporter

Welcome, friend!

Go for it!

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Posted : November 19, 2021 5:57 am
Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
5,000+ posts Member

If you need rtk gps, I've got some old legacy e units. I'll not be using. 

N

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Posted : November 20, 2021 8:48 am

TacDriver14
(@tacdriver14)
FNG Member

@chris-bouffard 

Thanks Chris.  I'm lucky enough to be currently employed full time by a construction company that doesn't mind if I do my own private work part time.  I also have a local surveyor that I work with that allows me to use his shop and equipment for the last couple of years.  I've managed to do enough work for him that I've bought some of my own equipment and formed my own company (me).  The dilemma I face now is weighing whether or not it's worth it to jump in full time.  I was so busy this last year that I turned down way more than I took in and struggled to keep up with client needs from the few I was loyal to.  Ultimately I do plan on going full time, I'm just working out when and how.  This site has been a great resource for me just reading through what everyone else's experiences are.     

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Topic starter Posted : November 29, 2021 7:36 am
Chris Bouffard
(@chris-bouffard)
200+ posts Member

@tacdriver14 my story is long, so I will spare everybody from reading it.  you already know the basics.  There are things to consider when going out on your own as a one man band.  Having a newer rig and equipment, maintenance of both,hardware and software expenses, health insurance, E & O insurance, and the list is endless.

Being out working in the field alone is never a good idea from a personal safety stand point, but, if you go that route, just remember at the end of the day, you will have to process your data, resolve your boundaries and draft your work.  An 8 hour day will become a thing that you only remember from the past.

I made it through the storm but ended up with 15 people working for me and I got burned out from lighting the candles from both ends.  I didn't do the field work, for the most part, but I did the set up for construction, the boundary resolutions, the proposals, billing, payroll, had to market, get out and shake hands, kiss the babies and all that fun stuff.  Collecting the money when the bills were due was the biggest problem, some weeks I could not even pay myself so I could either pay my people or my suppliers.

After 4 years, I had enough and tooka job running Survey for a long established firm that weathered out the storm.  It was nice to spend time with the wife and kids again.  Think of family first if you are married and have kids.

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Posted : November 29, 2021 3:03 pm
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

One thing to keep in mind.  At all times.  The money comes in when it comes in.  There is no routine pay time or amount.  Forget the old "every Friday" or "twice-monthly" pay period most people have built their lives and budgets around.  You have to learn to not sweat the money thing until a day or so ahead of when big payouts must happen.  One day you have $1.37 in your account and the next day you have over $10,000.  You are the one who must determine the best way to manage the payouts to survive when an income drouth occurs for too long.

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Posted : November 29, 2021 7:59 pm
Brad Ott and BushAxe liked

ekillo
(@ekillo)
500+ posts Member

@holy-cow 

I know that feeling, when I started out, I would have $10,000 owed me and not have money in my pocket to by lunch, those ham sandwiches sure got old in a hurry.

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Posted : November 30, 2021 3:03 am
Brad Ott liked
FL/GA
(@flga-2-2)
5,000+ posts Supporter

Welcome! Good advice above, only one thing to add would be always keep track of accounts receivable and demand payment in accordance with your predefined time period. It's a pita but keeps the cash flow manageable and somewhat "normal". In the event you have to loan your company personal funds on occasion, document it well, or watch for inquiries from the IRS about it. 😎 

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Posted : December 2, 2021 5:23 am
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