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Old 01-27-2019, 08:14 PM   #1
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Default Self-employed industrial work

Hey just a thought I wanted to get some thoughts on? Is anyone here self employed doing industrial work and if so, how did you get to that point?
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:21 PM   #2
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I do industrial service work. Not exclusively. But I got several customers because I just answered the phone when they called during an emergency. Others I got through referral. I didn't specifically go looking, but if I were to do that, I suppose I'd start by striking up a conversation with the maintenance heads at various facilities. I have one industrial customer because I gave him some advice at the supply house counter.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:23 PM   #3
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Don't bring up the Libyans.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I do industrial service work. Not exclusively. But I got several customers because I just answered the phone when they called during an emergency. Others I got through referral. I didn't specifically go looking, but if I were to do that, I suppose I'd start by striking up a conversation with the maintenance heads at various facilities. I have one industrial customer because I gave him some advice at the supply house counter.
Nice! Do you have an industrial background? Or a commercial/resin background?
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Old 01-27-2019, 09:39 PM   #5
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Nice! Do you have an industrial background? Or a commercial/resin background?
I started in industrial. Then went commercial/industrial. I've done enough residential along the way to know how. Most of my jobs are commercial and residential service these days. A handful of industrial and agricultural clients.
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:10 PM   #6
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I started in industrial. Then went commercial/industrial. I've done enough residential along the way to know how. Most of my jobs are commercial and residential service these days. A handful of industrial and agricultural clients.
Thanks for the info
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:29 PM   #7
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Up here the safety programs would almost make it impossible to be a one man shop in the industrial world. Then you get the client that wants a job way larger than you can provide and someone else scoops the work..
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:32 PM   #8
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I've had much the same experience as CoolWill, always meeting maintenance guys from various plants at the Grainger counter when they were trying to come up with parts to make a repair the counter person was at a loss with.
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:56 AM   #9
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I did many moons ago. I see you are an apprentice, you do not have enough time in to know all you would need to start your own business in controls. It is a great field to get into but it takes years of experience to be able to design and install something.


Your biggest problem would be insurance, since most projects would involve some type of human interaction, and then life safety is involved. This is what caused me to stop doing machine upgrades. There is also errors and omissions insurance in case something you design causes big time lose of production or damage to a machine.


If you enjoy doing this type of work, do it for somebody.


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Old 01-28-2019, 12:09 PM   #10
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The only one man operations I've come across in the industrial field do consulting work. Mostly in controller programming.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I do industrial service work. Not exclusively. But I got several customers because I just answered the phone when they called during an emergency. Others I got through referral. I didn't specifically go looking, but if I were to do that, I suppose I'd start by striking up a conversation with the maintenance heads at various facilities. I have one industrial customer because I gave him some advice at the supply house counter.
Same here. Answer the phone after hours, on weekends. Answer questions when they ask. Be friendly. It helps to have the same birthday of the owner and eat lutefisk together.
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Old 01-28-2019, 01:25 PM   #12
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@just the cowboy yeah I realize I’ll many years/decades from having a business in control/ instrumentation etc. It is really just a pipe dream for me. Thank you for the insight
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Old 01-28-2019, 03:27 PM   #13
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@just the cowboy yeah I realize Iíll many years/decades from having a business in control/ instrumentation etc. It is really just a pipe dream for me. Thank you for the insight

Don't give up the dream. But like I said if you enjoy it get a job in it. You can make almost as much money working for a good company as working for yourself, without all the headaches.
I got into machine upgrades in the 90's when PLC's were on the uptake. Not as much legal issues then, most of the stuff I did has probably been decommissioned by now, but I still worry about the what ifs because I am no longer in business and insured. Some lawasser could still try to come after me if someone were to get hurt.


Learn Learn Learn. It was a good question you asked.


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Old 02-01-2019, 11:03 AM   #14
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I am trying to do the same thing now . It is extremely slow now and a lot of the problem is the weather and the time of the year. It has been a real education and a expensive one putting it together.
One thing you have to realize is that big companies are EXTREMELY SLOW TO PAY.It is nothing for them to owe a contractor $50,000 for 120 days or longer. It takes a special kind of company to withstand that kind of hit.
When I had my first business I did a lot of work for UPS. I could bill them on Monday and have the check in the bank on a Thursday. That was the exception not thr rule. I don't know how they are now. I am going to fill out a vender form for them in the immediate future. Back then we conducted business over the phone now it is all done on line. Most of the time it gets worse not better when you do stuff on line.

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