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Help in starting my own business

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by ShannonS, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. ShannonS

    ShannonS Member
    from IOWA
    Messages: 96

    Need some input on starting my own in Iowa. Have my own truck and plow been working under a guy for 2 yrs now. Want to do it on my own. Tax write-off and all. If someone in iowa or maybe its the same in alot of different states would let me know any of the phone numbers for sba in iowa that would be great. And I have been doing this with my dad also for many years now operating heavy equipment like cats and mack trucks. And using cat 916 to load trucks and scrape the lots. Thanks alot for all the help if u can.
     
  2. MGardner

    MGardner Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    First thing, I`d do is shop around for a good deal on commercial insurance. One problem when I started is they ask ,how long have you been in business. If less than two- years sometimes they require the premium up front. They did me. Then save all receipts and open a business checking account ,separate from your personal. Hopefully you have or are in the process of choosing a company name. Everyone ask`s you your company name. Being a sub-contractor is a good thing,verses being someone`s employee. What you`re saying is, you,as a contractor are assuming all responsibility on projects they aren`t interested in, but don`t mind giving you a" leg up". Go around kicking down doors,so to speak and go at it as if you are in business for yourself and your income now requires you taking risk and responsibilty. It helps when you are a likeable person because when you make mistakes they will overlook it if they like you. Get a good cell plan and keep the same number,I lost thousands when my business started by changing cell numbers. When you show people you are serious and this is your dream people will help you with the basics ,but the nitty gritty ,when everything goes south sometimes is also your baby. So my suggestion is approach work with thoughtfulness and be competative and you will learn that you will need someone in your corner to help you keep your chin up ,at times it`s a roller coaster. Like my freind told me , you CAN`T let some of this **** get to you !!,or it will kill you. Now I know what he meant.Be ready to loose money once in a while on some jobs, thats part of learning. You learn by doing what you are worth and what your time is worth. If you have lots of time and no $$$$$$ you will usaully work a job for much less than if you have lots of $$$$. It`s exiting and challenging and yes I think it`s worth the trouble, if you are honest.
     
  3. ShannonS

    ShannonS Member
    from IOWA
    Messages: 96

    Thanks for the information, who are the better insurance companies for the General Liability insurance?
     
  4. MGardner

    MGardner Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    I use Auto-Owners out of Lohman Bros., Bettendorf Iowa. Pay a monthly premium of about 150.00 . My agent is a freind and has saved me a lot by simply informing me of insurance pricing, what you REALLY need verses just a plain old policy. Ours is pretty detailed and has replacement costs on each peice of iron.
     
  5. DadnSon

    DadnSon Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    When registering your company name, you might want to look at becoming an LLC ( limited liabilty corporation ). Nice way too go but, get an accountant if you haven't already, they will fill you in.
    If you choose to be an LLC just remember that you are a "Member" not an owner, president, etc. so, make sure you sign things that way. My business cards only have my name, not my title.

    If you want to go a step further and have family in Nevada or Delaware then, you could register your company name (head quarters) in either state and list your Iowa address as a service branch and save on state taxes. There's more too this but, a GOOD accountant will be specific when explaining this option.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. ShannonS

    ShannonS Member
    from IOWA
    Messages: 96

    Ok so where do i start first? The bank or the lawyer? And what do I ask for or say?
     
  7. MGardner

    MGardner Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    I wouldn`t start with either one. I would see what kind of work I could put together for a start. If the work is there ,just get a commercial contractor policy. If you need to finance equipment ,you may have to pay some higher percentages until you become established. Becoming established is the challenge. When people can use you and you go in and do the job from start to finish. You need to get with some older guy local, thats beeen contracting for years and have coffee with him, or just ask to talk with him.Someone that you admire and isn`t stuck on themself. Thats how I got started asking questions from old timers that had survived business setbacks and still came out on top of things.