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Starting a plumbing/excavation business

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by Diamondbackjack, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. Diamondbackjack

    Diamondbackjack New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2020
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    USA
    I have been thinking of one day starting a plumbing/excavation business. I’m 20 and from Iowa. I have about 6 years plumbing experience(residential and commercial) and about a year of running some equipment(mini hoe and skid mostly). I was just wondering how would I get started? I am looking to do things like running and repairing underground sewer and water lines, septic tanks, new houses, etc. I still have to go through my schooling and get my masters and stuff but this will give me time to save up, learn, and get some more time on equipment. But yeah, how could I get something like this started up?
     
  2. partsandservice

    partsandservice Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Georgia
    You have to buy the machine first.
     
  3. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,959
    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    That's going to blow a hole in your student debit.
     
    Ronsii likes this.
  4. jonno634

    jonno634 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2018
    Messages:
    86
    Occupation:
    Farmer
    Location:
    Garfield, WA
    — work for someone else while going to school, save, save save..... and I’d suggest when u start that you rent equipment at the beginning until you start having predictable jobs.
     
    Jonas302 likes this.
  5. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,052
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    Welcome to the Forums DBJ!

    Looks like you are on the right track at such a young age. My suggestion would be work for a larger company until you get your master's card and save everything you can to start your company.

    Starting a company is a daunting task that requires a lot of money, time and effort. You will be starting out having to purchase (cash) or finance (payments) everything you need to get started and then build a customer base.

    A 1 ton truck, 6500LB mini and 10K trailer used = minimum investment $50-60K.
    Corporation start up and filling - $1000
    Licenses, tags and gov't fees - $1500

    Then you will need to market and build a customer base.
    Marketing - $1 to $10,000..

    I've got more but have to run.
     
  6. NepeanGC

    NepeanGC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    56
    Occupation:
    #dirtherder
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Work for someone else for a bit, learn as much as you can from them, make every connection you can, save every dollar you possibly can, and then, once you've got 100-150k saved, see if you're prepared to part with that much cash all at once.

    On the good days, being in business for yourself is awesome. On the bad days, it truly sucks. Right now, a lot of guys are feeling the pain. A lot of businesses are leveraged way too heavily to weather the storms of business. Avoid the temptation and you'll be fine. But leverage to me means a lot more than money.
     
    Wytruckwrench and KSSS like this.
  7. terex herder

    terex herder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2017
    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Kansas
    No matter how good you are as a plumber or operator, once you start your own business your number one job is businessman. A mediocre plumber who is a good businessman will stay in business, a mediocre businessman who is a good plumber won't last long.
     
    John Canfield and Ronsii like this.
  8. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,004
    Occupation:
    Finish grader operator
    Location:
    NB Canada
    I worked with a guy that was into landscaping cement work and laying brick pavers. He said he had a partner. Once all expenses were paid, all profit was divided 3 ways. Him, his partner, and the company. He basically just drew a living, but it was the only way to compete with larger companies. You have to make a living, but you have to keep money in the company as well. He mostly rented equipment if he needed it. Unless the mini excavator is digging or rented, it's not paying the bills. I went into work to plow snow the other day, and there were 12 excavators, 4 dozers, 3 graders, trucks, 2 crusher spreads, and a bull pen full of half ton trucks all sitting. No money coming in but the loaders plowing. Glad I'm not payin the bills. Construction season is not till the middle of May, and with all that's going on it's looking pretty bleak. Bigger companies will come here and under bid us on what bigger jobs there are, and we will probably under cut the smaller guys here and price jobs that we wouldn't normally bother with. On the plus side, as far as pluming goes, all this toilet paper people are buying is gonna fill a lot of septic tanks.
     
    Ronsii likes this.