I have a full time office job making decent salary, good benefits, etc. But I want to be self employed.
Since I have incorporated my LLC I have landed about 15 residential jobs and about $1k/mo of commercial stuff…
My weekends are pretty much booked out between commercial repeats and filling in the gaps with residential jobs. I am working 7 days per week, if you count my marketing job.
I guess I’m just wondering, and with Winter right around the corner, should I just keep humming away like this and wait until Spring time to “jump off”? Or should I make the switch now and go on the hunt for steady commercial jobs?
I am in Colorado, where winter months can be very sporadic, with Jan/Feb days sometimes hitting 50s and sunny, but also sometimes can be -10. I have my own personal pickup truck (03 F-150) that’s not quite beat up but its not exactly professional - part of me wants to leverage the $1k/mo I’m making on commercial jobs to buy a newer (and white) f-150 to then put my logo on.
What are your thoughts? Any suggestions? I’m about 1 decent commercial job away from having to make the decision of turning work down or quitting my day job and making the switch.
Thanks in advance to all you pro WC’s out there.
**I should add that I’m 28, recently married to wife that works full time. No kids yet. Looking to try and start a family in 2-2.5 years.
I am making more at my day time job than part time window cleaning, but not by much.
What makes me indecisive is that I do not like working behind a computer all day. I would much rather be my own “boss” and own what hours I work vs. not.
I see what you are saying - I guess the source of my indecision comes from not knowing that I will be able to stay busy 20 days/month. If I can stay busy and earn more accounts within 2-4 months, then I will be making more money than my current job. Still uneasy about medical coverage and 401k, etc that I would not have being self-employed.
It seems to be a consensus that in cold states, all the slack ass window cleaners can’t be bothered to go out. That leaves some low hanging fruit for those who are willing in my book. Plus you’ll get the inevitable residential from them once spring hits. Win win.
Have you factored in the cost of what would be lost without your current benefits in the wage comparison between window cleaning and your current job?
Don’t know enough details to say exactly but, if you can continue to have dual incomes, I would save up what you are earning with window cleaning over the winter to position yourself better off for this next spring.
Basically just have to analyze the opportunity cost to both options. If your window work is stable (customers have been with you for a little while) I don’t know if there would be much to fear. It’s the indecision that “kills”…
What you focus on expands. Commit. If you put low time/effort into your business, you’ll get low results. If you go all in, it will pay off. Don’t delay on doing what you know will benefit you and your family in the long-run, even if it means less money right now. Your business is an investment. Work for that company and you are slaving to make the owner rich. Work for yourself and you are working to make yourself rich. You can definitely stay busy 20 days a month. When you’re not doing jobs, you’re marketing and selling. And every hour you spend will be more satisfying than your desk job ever could be. Get yourself established ASAP so when spring hits your name is already known and you hit the ground running. Live simpler if you have to to get by for now. Live now like noone else will so you can eventually live like noone else can. This is worth it. Do it!
I don’t know how long you’ve been cleaning, but I’d bust my ass and save all the WC money for a year. In that year you’ll see the ebbs and flows and know how to plan for them and then when you’re ready to make the leap you’ll have a cushion for the slower months.
Keep in mind that if you are paying for medical then your wife will need to provide that through her work so her check won’t go as far. If you’re planning on a child then factor that into the costs of medical too.
Sounds like you’re kicking ass man! I’d would prefer to have more work than I can handle before I made the leap. I wouldn’t want to put myself in the position that if one commercial account dropped me then I’d be scrambling.
Another thing… fall off a ladder and your income goes away without employees to keep the accounts serviced. I know, captain cautious, right? Just think about all the angles.
Wait till spring time , build a solid foundation during winter . Save money , payoff debt , live simple and buy marketing equipment/supplies . Set a launch date , with a count down and don’t change it .
Plus ∞. You’re in the best situation to do things in a safe, sensible way. Double income, no kids (DINK, for short).
Read total money makeover, then maybe explore some other Financial Independence blogs to get a more rounded view.
If you and the Mrs. are seriously committed to paring down your lifestyle and are willing to deal with some short term “hardship”, you could probably have debts paid off and a decent emergency savings in time to launch your business in the spring.
Oh, and for reals, don’t buy a new truck. Especially not something as ubiquitous as an F-series
Thanks for all the great responses. I’ve set some goals for myself to expand my business through this winter, primarily through adding storefront accounts. I’ll use up my PTO to cover the residentials that I can. I’m going to save for a strong marketing push in March and prepare myself for that in the mean time. Sounds like an overwhelming no on the truck upgrade as well, so I think I will spend a little to clean my current truck up and get a nice clean logo put on.