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Thread: Officially Licensed by the state

  1. #1

    Default Officially Licensed by the state

    Hey friends. Just wanted to announce that early January of this year, I applied to North Carolina to take the electrical exam. On March 1st, after taking a solid exam prep course led by Jeff Rodriguez, I took and passed the exam on my first try and got a score of 87 in 5 hr and 20 minutes.

    I just received my notification from the state that my NC electrical contractors license was granted!

    I don't mean for this to become a thread about the $#@!tiness of licensing, and yes I agree that it is retarded that someone can't hire who they want to do what job that person is offering to do. But, I am happy with my score, and some very intense weeks of preparation paid off in a nice way. From what I gather the exam has a 17% passing rate.

    So here I am at a crossroads in life. My wife works full time and I do as well, but we are due to deliver our 3rd baby (girl #3) in a few short weeks. She will stay home on maternity leave for a couple months following the delivery, and then I want to get her in a position where she can cut her hours to spend more time with the kids. I would like to go full time into business for myself but the timing is tough because the instability coming at a time where she will be out of work doesn't seem wise, and my current job is stable, pays top dollar, and is enjoyable.

    Anyone here experienced with starting a small service based company? Any good references or tips would be greatly appreciated.

    I opened a QuickBooks account and have registered for sales and use tax ID from the state and intend to go part time (weekends and evenings) for some time to build cash in the business account. I already have more work than I can do by myself in that limited time, but not sure if it's enough to go full time.

    Eh this went longer than i intended, but just wanted to share with you guys.



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  3. #2

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    Congrats, I bet Gunny can hook you up.
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  4. #3

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    Good for you and your business. Seems to me it's a good time to be in the trades, such as electrical and plumbing. Academics emphasized nonsense for the longest time and people laughed at those who still pursued vocation and vocational schools.

    Anyway, good luck and don't forget to take A LOT of cash as payment! LOL
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  5. #4

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    Congrats on the skills, sorry for your somewhat forced participation in this crappy non-voluntary business arrangement with an uninvited 3rd party.

    I rebuilt gas apparatus (regulators, torches, etc.) for 10+ years and my accountant/wife held my hand for all the government hoop jumping.
    Learning how to enter ALL my business stuff into Quick Books to satisfy an accountant saved me a lot of money and kept me aware of what exactly was happening with the business. My workload allowed it, yours may not. Don't skimp on the accounting.
    Legal means legal all the way. I've seen others drop the "legal ball", and it ain't pretty.

    I have an aunt and uncle who ran their own electrical business for around twenty + years in the pre-Quick Books era, and aunty working their books was a full time job. Everything is documented, everything. Aunty and uncles greatest challenge seemed to be their electrical business expanding and contracting, and the employee challenges that come along with that.

    My own experience working for an electrical contractor showed me the importance of niche work. The license holder I worked for did a LOT of high end client stuff. Changing light bulbs, hanging fans, etc. for upscale clients for $80 an hour, minimum 3 hours. Stuff like that was the stuff that kept his crew busy and the lights on while he chased new construction and more involved remodels. He had the gift of schmooze and a relationship with an interior design/lighting store -priceless. The bay he rented was in the back of the interior design/lighting store. Need someone to hang that fancy $500 fan for you? I happen to know a guy...

    Make those business expenses work for you.
    Make those business expenses work for you.
    Make those business expenses work for you.

    If you aren't taking full advantage of business expenses, you might as well not be legal.
    Last edited by bunklocoempire; 03-20-2017 at 01:43 PM.
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  6. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by asurfaholic View Post
    Hey friends. Just wanted to announce that early January of this year, I applied to North Carolina to take the electrical exam. On March 1st, after taking a solid exam prep course led by Jeff Rodriguez, I took and passed the exam on my first try and got a score of 87 in 5 hr and 20 minutes.

    I just received my notification from the state that my NC electrical contractors license was granted!

    I don't mean for this to become a thread about the $#@!tiness of licensing, and yes I agree that it is retarded that someone can't hire who they want to do what job that person is offering to do. But, I am happy with my score, and some very intense weeks of preparation paid off in a nice way. From what I gather the exam has a 17% passing rate.

    So here I am at a crossroads in life. My wife works full time and I do as well, but we are due to deliver our 3rd baby (girl #3) in a few short weeks. She will stay home on maternity leave for a couple months following the delivery, and then I want to get her in a position where she can cut her hours to spend more time with the kids. I would like to go full time into business for myself but the timing is tough because the instability coming at a time where she will be out of work doesn't seem wise, and my current job is stable, pays top dollar, and is enjoyable.

    Anyone here experienced with starting a small service based company? Any good references or tips would be greatly appreciated.

    I opened a QuickBooks account and have registered for sales and use tax ID from the state and intend to go part time (weekends and evenings) for some time to build cash in the business account. I already have more work than I can do by myself in that limited time, but not sure if it's enough to go full time.

    Eh this went longer than i intended, but just wanted to share with you guys.
    Congratulations! It seems you are already getting started if you can fill your weekends and evenings. Do you have all the equipment together already? Truck/tools/etc.?
    What kind of work are you looking for commercial or residential?
    I do know a couple of electricians that work alone but put in bids for industrial jobs and then call each other in when they need more hands. Perhaps you could let some other electricians know that you are licensed and if they have a bid in on an industrial job you would be available to help them.

  7. #6

    Default

    Congrats!

    My BIL is an electrician and makes bank working side jobs for cash. It's nice for them because he can set his own hours and work around my SIL's job and their grand kids (they're raising them). Ironically, he's a Democrat who bitches about other folks not paying their fair share. Back to you, I would work for cash as much as possible and build up some seed money to live on until your business takes off.
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  8. #7

    Default

    1) Consult with a business attorney
    2) Being a licensed service provider does not mean you are licensed to be a licensed service business. Your state may have further requirements, such as liability insurance particular to your field.
    3) Don't be afraid to turn away work. You'll find yourself in situations with customers that might make you uncomfortable. Get paid IMMEDIATELY. Be leery of commercial accounts, unless you want to spend time chasing accounts receivable.
    4) Call clients back IMMEDIATELY. Customer service is EVERYTHING.
    End the Empire- Restore the Republic- Repeal the 17th

  9. #8

    Default

    Don't do work for family
    “I don’t think that there will be any curtailing of Donald Trump as president,” he said. "He controls the media, he controls the sentiment [and] he controls everybody. He’s the one who will resort to executive orders more so than [President] Obama ever used them." - Ron Paul

  10. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by asurfaholic View Post
    Hey friends. Just wanted to announce that early January of this year, I applied to North Carolina to take the electrical exam. On March 1st, after taking a solid exam prep course led by Jeff Rodriguez, I took and passed the exam on my first try and got a score of 87 in 5 hr and 20 minutes.

    I just received my notification from the state that my NC electrical contractors license was granted!

    I don't mean for this to become a thread about the $#@!tiness of licensing, and yes I agree that it is retarded that someone can't hire who they want to do what job that person is offering to do. But, I am happy with my score, and some very intense weeks of preparation paid off in a nice way. From what I gather the exam has a 17% passing rate.

    So here I am at a crossroads in life. My wife works full time and I do as well, but we are due to deliver our 3rd baby (girl #3) in a few short weeks. She will stay home on maternity leave for a couple months following the delivery, and then I want to get her in a position where she can cut her hours to spend more time with the kids. I would like to go full time into business for myself but the timing is tough because the instability coming at a time where she will be out of work doesn't seem wise, and my current job is stable, pays top dollar, and is enjoyable.

    Anyone here experienced with starting a small service based company? Any good references or tips would be greatly appreciated.

    I opened a QuickBooks account and have registered for sales and use tax ID from the state and intend to go part time (weekends and evenings) for some time to build cash in the business account. I already have more work than I can do by myself in that limited time, but not sure if it's enough to go full time.

    Eh this went longer than i intended, but just wanted to share with you guys.

    Congrats! Here's a few tips. (I'm a bookkeeper). There are apps now to keep track of your receipts..many will integrate with QB. There are also some to track mileage per job and will calculate for your taxes. Let me know if you need help setting up your chart of accounts..I can advise you...no charge. If you need an affordable prepaid legal plan for sole proprietors, give me a shout. I just sold one to an a/c contractor.
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  11. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by otherone View Post
    1) Consult with a business attorney
    2) Being a licensed service provider does not mean you are licensed to be a licensed service business. Your state may have further requirements, such as liability insurance particular to your field.
    3) Don't be afraid to turn away work. You'll find yourself in situations with customers that might make you uncomfortable. Get paid IMMEDIATELY. Be leery of commercial accounts, unless you want to spend time chasing accounts receivable.
    4) Call clients back IMMEDIATELY. Customer service is EVERYTHING.
    Good list. #4 is truth. This is how you grow your business business. I run a handyman service. Through an acquaintance I met a older couple in a retirement community. The home design has high kitchen lights. They needed two of them changed. I used one of those bulb suction devices. 15 min. work. 15 min. bull$#@!. Because older people always want to bull$#@!. Consider this part of your service if you go this route. Factor it in. So for 30 min. I charge $50. Next day another person in the community called me for the same problem. Two days after that and another three had called. Do good work, take an interest in your customer and word will spread.

    Edit: To add. The original couple referred me to someone in their church outside of the retirement community. She in turn referred me to her sister and an acquaintance. The acquaintance has several rental units. She in turn recommended me to two other people in her church. So, as you can see, just doing one job and doing it right will ripple out.
    Last edited by phill4paul; 03-20-2017 at 02:15 PM.

  12. #11

    Default

    Congratulations!

    Lots of good advice so far...

    My input is to not jump the gun.

    Being self employed is quite the hurdle..........Or blessing.......Depends on too many things to address.

    Talk to your wife, your family and your friends and then soul search about what self employment means to you...

    One man can only accomplish so much.......More men more work with exponential headaches.

    Come up with a realistic goal then a plan and only then jump in.....

  13. #12

    Default

    Congrats!
    "Logic is an enemy and truth is a menace." ~ Rod Serling
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  14. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    Good list. #4 is truth. This is how you grow your business business. I run a handyman service. Through an acquaintance I met a older couple in a retirement community. The home design has high kitchen lights. They needed two of them changed. I used one of those bulb suction devices. 15 min. work. 15 min. bull$#@!. Because older people always want to bull$#@!. Consider this part of your service if you go this route. Factor it in. So for 30 min. I charge $50. Next day another person in the community called me for the same problem. Two days after that and another three had called. Do good work, take an interest in your customer and word will spread.
    Edit: To add. The original couple referred me to someone in their church outside of the retirement community. She in turn referred me to her sister and an acquaintance. The acquaintance has several rental units. She in turn recommended me to two other people in her church. So, as you can see, just doing one job and doing it right will ripple out.
    Ya , my roofing buddy has done four roofs within my family and a small siding job on an addition.
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  15. #14

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    Grats on getting your license! You are now officially qualified to be paid for electrical contracting!!
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
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  16. #15

    Default

    Thanks for the kind words people, and great tips. I might pick a couple brains a bit more, I'll be back soon
    No - No - No - No
    2016

  17. #16

    Default

    Hey, great news, congrats.

    My last licensing hurdle required three weeks of combined study and testing, and that was just for an endorsement, so I know what you went through.

    Be very cautious about pulling the trigger on self employment with child on the way and high fixed overhead expenses.

    Everybody here is giving good advice, take it all in, mull over what you want to do, but be very cautious at this stage of your life.

    Losing the sole breadwinner position in that situation can tear a family apart.

  18. #17
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    Well done sir!

    I can tell you that Icymudpuppy has a small service business and I do his online marketing for him. We are both pretty successful I would say. I would say his business would be more similar to what you are doing than mine is.
    Citizen of Arizona
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  19. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bunklocoempire View Post
    Congrats on the skills, sorry for your somewhat forced participation in this crappy non-voluntary business arrangement with an uninvited 3rd party.

    Ditto.
    Congrats.
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    and our liberty comes from our creator. It has nothing to do with government granting it. -Ron Paul

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  20. #19

    Default

    I think everybody should pursue a license sometimes. Its a very rewarding experience, to know that the government thinks you're good enough to do what they licensed you to do.

    Congrats again! Make them proud!
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!

  21. #20

    Default

    If I had a kid on the way I might just take a job @ a company with some health ins and start yer own business by working your days off . Once you cannot keep up with it two days a week , then maybe just go to your own full time.
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  22. #21

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    Also it's usually good manners to send the government a thank you note.

    They do read them and they appreciate the gesture
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!

  23. #22

    Default

    Congrats on the new baby asurfaholic!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    I think everybody should pursue a license sometimes. Its a very rewarding experience, to know that the government thinks you're good enough to do what they licensed you to do.

    Congrats again! Make them proud!
    The legal meaning of "license" is approval to do something that would otherwise be illegal. Strange that things like fixing electrical sockets, shuffling numbers, drive a car, provide medical assistance, etc are all illegal if not for the state's approval. Hmm....can you smell the freedom?

    I don't have much to offer to your situation except big picture thoughts but wish you luck otherwise. Having those skills will be more important in the relatively near future than the purely legal business aspect. People without direct hands-on skills will travel a tough road ahead, I'm afraid. For you, might be better to keep the job you have, put any earnings you can spare into assets that maintain value and hone your electrical skills as a side-gig. There will be a time soon where those skills will pay for themselves, with or without permission from the state. I assume you know by now that there's some big changes underway in the world. Skills will be the most valuable asset you have.
    Last edited by devil21; 03-21-2017 at 10:53 AM.
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  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleaner44 View Post
    Well done sir!

    I can tell you that Icymudpuppy has a small service business and I do his online marketing for him. We are both pretty successful I would say. I would say his business would be more similar to what you are doing than mine is.
    I may well be interested in some online marketing. I have a website. Have done nothing to promote it. JCelectricservice.com

    It's just something I threw together in a few hours and need to tweak it I'm sure...I tried to add a button that mobile users can click to call, but it's teh fails..

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by asurfaholic View Post
    I may well be interested in some online marketing. I have a website. Have done nothing to promote it. JCelectricservice.com

    It's just something I threw together in a few hours and need to tweak it I'm sure...I tried to add a button that mobile users can click to call, but it's teh fails..
    Officially Licensed by the state
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  26. #25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by asurfaholic View Post
    I may well be interested in some online marketing. I have a website. Have done nothing to promote it. JCelectricservice.com

    It's just something I threw together in a few hours and need to tweak it I'm sure...I tried to add a button that mobile users can click to call, but it's teh fails..
    If you're looking at marketing yourself, there are inexpensive solutions. Get a small listing in your local yellow pages. Cancel it after one year. The interwebz will pick up on the listing and you won't have to pay for yelp or other directory hits. Get an additional line for your home (if working from your home). Cancel the account after establishing it, and port the number to a cell phone, using a "friends and family" account. This way, your cell will have a local exchange; very important as a local business. People look for referrals all the time on community facebook pages. I make a ton off of this resource. I've been self-employed for 20 years, and spend about $15 a month on both telecom and advertising.
    End the Empire- Restore the Republic- Repeal the 17th

  27. #26

    Default

    You are amazing! Government or no I'd want someone certified by someone before they messed with my electricity ! Congratulations!


    As for marketing, these days I find Facebook to be quite effective.
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  28. #27

    Default

    As far as marketing goes besides just doing a good job all I've done is print cards. I forgot to put my email on my batch and I wish I had. I make it a point to get my customers e-mail and then send them and introduction then I create a folder of clients. 80% of my business is handled that way. They e-mail me and tell me what their problem is and I e-mail back with a date/time. I'll call the night before to confirm. I hate talking on the phone and it eats up my minutes. Customers seem to like communicating via e-mail and so do I.

    As far as cards I got mine through Vistaprint. Nice inexpensive cards. You design from templates. I think it was $10 for 500.

    http://www.vistaprint.com/lpt/bc1-ca...30009872&GNF=0

  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by asurfaholic View Post
    I may well be interested in some online marketing. I have a website. Have done nothing to promote it. JCelectricservice.com

    It's just something I threw together in a few hours and need to tweak it I'm sure...I tried to add a button that mobile users can click to call, but it's teh fails..
    The website is ok, but needs a whole lot more to get you customers.

    Take a look at this website:
    https://jackrusselltrapping.com/

    It needs to be constructed in a way that makes it easy for humans and Google.

    The good news is that the market for an electrician near New Bern, NC is not very competitive, from a local internet marketing perspective.


    Quote Originally Posted by otherone View Post
    If you're looking at marketing yourself, there are inexpensive solutions. Get a small listing in your local yellow pages. Cancel it after one year. The interwebz will pick up on the listing and you won't have to pay for yelp or other directory hits. Get an additional line for your home (if working from your home). Cancel the account after establishing it, and port the number to a cell phone, using a "friends and family" account. This way, your cell will have a local exchange; very important as a local business. People look for referrals all the time on community facebook pages. I make a ton off of this resource. I've been self-employed for 20 years, and spend about $15 a month on both telecom and advertising.
    I would not recommend this advice. I know you mean well, but this is not the way to go in my professional opinion. This is what I do for a living and there are tons of great thing one can do without the expense of a yellow pages ad, even if it is cheap. In fact you can get listed on tons of website for free, even most phone book websites. While I have no doubt that this has worked for you, there are better ways now. If you want, I will gladly share ideas with you.

    If either of you want to talk by phone just let me know.
    Citizen of Arizona
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  30. #29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by otherone View Post
    If you're looking at marketing yourself, there are inexpensive solutions. Get a small listing in your local yellow pages. Cancel it after one year. The interwebz will pick up on the listing and you won't have to pay for yelp or other directory hits. Get an additional line for your home (if working from your home). Cancel the account after establishing it, and port the number to a cell phone, using a "friends and family" account. This way, your cell will have a local exchange; very important as a local business. People look for referrals all the time on community facebook pages. I make a ton off of this resource. I've been self-employed for 20 years, and spend about $15 a month on both telecom and advertising.
    Yeah , I ran an ad for one year and then cancelled it . Money well spent I think .
    Support CalExit .






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