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.
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
She recently got us a dental plan that just doesn't include an apple and a toothbrush!
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
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?
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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Rounding my first year
September 8, 2008