Posted By Dennis Sklar on 9/7/2008 at 11:47 AM

Hey folks! Thought I'd chime in to say that we've been in business a year now.

Looking back....
Man was I scared! It's quite a step with enough unknown variables to keep one in that frame of mind for a while. I was very fortunate to have help from my previous employer (great guy) and some guys at the local S.C.O.R.E. chapter (one was a retired engineer) but still had a few surprises along the way. The biggest surprise (perhaps) was the cost of running a business and how quickly we had spent our life savings to equip it. I'll admit that I didn't take certain things into account like: Waiting to get paid! duh?

My wife has been a rock! For all my worries, she has been there both in love and support. I remember the gentlemen at S.C.O.R.E. asking her about her level of commitment to the business and saying it would fail without her support. I assure you all that they were correct. By the way, she runs all aspects of the office administration such as: Accounting, Vendors, Telephone, etc... I still get a chuckle when she answers the phone in her pleasant voice, "Good morning, DWS".

She recently got us a dental plan that just doesn't include an apple and a toothbrush!

The Work...
Fortunately, I did my fair share of residential work this year which puts the check right in the bank. However, I've been fortunate enough to also obtain some good return clients and Master Subcontract Agreements that keep the phone and inbox going as well. Payment is not as swift with the larger clients but on time as agreed. I also have a full time employee who does everything I expect of him and is compensated properly for his service. Paychecks are on time every week and the money is in the bank. That is corporate money and not my personal funds which is the way I have learned to perceive it and prefer to look at it. DWS Inc. and DWS are not the same entity, DWS just makes sure that DWS Inc. runs properly (that's a mouthful huh?)

One of the things I did for which I have no regrets was to buy the best I could afford right away. We're now RTK, Robotic and Digital Level equipped and insured quite nicely. Everyone here knows the benefits of good equipment but I just can't say enough about how important good insurance is. It allows us to conduct business with others that would not give us a second look without it. Compiled with other certifications and darn good Standard Operating Procedures, we are finding our little place in this vast surveying world.

Last Thought....
Things are better than I thought they would be last September and for that I am grateful. I have grown to except my personal workload for the time being and will continue to nurture the business until I can afford to delegate some of the responsibilities both mentally and financially. I'm very sure that the majority of you folks reading this understand the hardships of fielding it all day, grabbing a bite around 5:30, then comps, drafting and proposals by night. It can be quite a load sometimes, huh?

To all business owners out there... I commend you for your hard work and diligence. I also commend those that provide the support that helps you through your days (loved ones, employees, etc...)

Good luck to all and thanks for reading my thoughts.


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