Originally Posted By: Jeff Demler
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Those are some awesome posts, thanks guys. Bruce, I have to agree with Ted, you answered ALOT of my questions. Russell, thanks to you for adding just a bit more. I am very impressed with the professionalism on this forum that I have seen so far. That should be a compliment to both NACHI and to all who post here. I do not know of anything offhand that I could have asked to prompt more information. As far as the NACHI boards and reading all of them, I am planning on doing this all summer in my free time.
I have already searched the board for info pertaining to AHIT, and came to the conclusion I would be better to attend the classes in person, especially since it is located about an hour to an 1 1/2 hrs from me. I also do not want to skimp on the education part, so am planning to take the full course with marketing, etc. As long as my trucking company makes money this year, I should be set for startup costs including education.
My company is already set up as an S Corp., but the name of it won’t work for HI (JMD Cartage LTD.), but am going to check with my accountant about keeping this corporation, but using a different name (dba, or subsidiary)? It might just be better for me to set up another Corp. or LLC, as it is pretty easy to do. The hard part is actually running it and not getting into tax troubles and fines, etc.
I am also lucky enough to have self taught how to do websites, and already have professional software and have an Associates Degree in Computer Networking, so I am planning on doing my own websites, business cards, brochures, etc. (anything I can to reduce costs). Eventually, I may also host my own website as there is much more flexibility in doing so. Those are the things I am not so worried about, but thank you for pointing them out as I may have overlooked something, and it is always better to get info from an experienced businessperson. I have very limited experience with business, just what common sense, and learning the hard way. Not fun going the hard way.
My wife already gave me the go ahead to shut down my other Corp., but I am just getting back into it for the season, and the money will come in handy later in the year. As far as toughing out the lean years, I have LOTS of experience in that. My current business is seasonal, and with lack of snow, we are not in great shape right now. Long, cold snowless winter! Just today spent my last 4000.00 on license plates for the truck, but should see some returns very shortly. I am actually thinking this HI thing will be much less overhead than I am used to, and with fuel the way it is now, it may just be a rough year? Yes, my wife makes enough for us as long as I can add a little to make ends meet, and may be able to drive other trucks for guys when they need a break. I NEVER wanted to be a truck driver, but graduated from college after 9/11, and could not find anything for over a year, so I bought myself a job! I am also looking toward the future, and believe HI has a much brighter one than trucking ever will. I am also not too worried about the lawsuits, etc. because of the fact if I screw up my current job, I can do prison time, kill people, and just create a real mess if I am negligent at all. They probably would be able to get at my personal assets even with whatever corporate veil there is, because it is ALWAYS the CDL drivers fault. The lawyers would find a way. I think they would have to prove negligence, though. Enough about trucks, as I hate em now.
I guess my biggest stumbling blocks were how much work I could expect, and is nice hearing your stories because I was figuring if I could get at least one a week, I would be ok at first. Once I start it, I will go full steam and put as much effort into it, or more, than I already do with the truck. I put in at least 8 hours a week in unpaid time just dealing with the truck, not counting any paperwork related to the business. Not to mention that I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent as an electrician and HVAC. Have always liked buildings, and was my dream as a kid to be an architect, but was unable to pursue this dream because of financial reasons. Plus, I was too busy being a kid and not looking at my future like I should have.
I want to invest in my families future and do not mind putting in extra work, as long as I am the one to reap the rewards from my hard work. I am hoping I am done being an employee, as I am just making someone else rich. I didn’t figure that out until I started my current business. The wife also told me this is my last shot, so I better make it count!
Sorry for such a long post, but am very excited about it, and the more I think about it, the more excited I get. I just want to make sure that when I do start, that I am fully competent to do quality inspections and not rip off the customer. My buddies removed a fuel oil tank that was leaking and not noticed by the inspector. He also never went on the roof, and from what I was told, was in just as bad shape.
I have the computer, digital camera, truck, and even some tools. I know I need more, that is what the summer money is hopefully going to do.
I guess I just running on now, as I am getting myself excited again.
Again, thanks guys, and I am sure I am not done asking questions. But until I read more, and educate myself some more on the forum.
PS. As far as becoming a NACHI, I have passed the online test 2 out of 2 times. I already see the value in the Association. At least it is a start!