Starting a Woodworking Business #15: Late nights

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Blog entry by Sam Yerardi posted 12-28-2009 11:28 PM 1969 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Exhausted but loving it Part 15 of Starting a Woodworking Business series Part 16: More change »

Hi everyone… it’s been a bit since I last posted so I thought I’d take a few minutes and do some blogging…. :)

I’ve got a new shop in the back now. It is a 16’ x 40’ building with a gambrel roof. I bought it from the Amish. It came completely assembled, so when they were pulling up the street in front of my house, I thought what in the world have I gotten myself into? It is as big as a mobile home and when they tried to push it to the back yard it got stuck at the corner of the house. I had to cut down our old apple tree. I hated to do that because the neighbors always came by to pick some and we always got a lot off of it. For some reason, though, this year there were no apples at all! Anyway, we cut down the tree and he drove it back out to the street and made a run at it. It is slightly uphill and there was about a 2’ rise he had to go over. Didn’t make it. It was stuck completely, truck and all, and he was going to let it set there until the ground froze next month… talk about a white elephant in your front yard…. I went across the road to the gold course and they brought over a backhoe and pulled it in. They didn’t charge me anything. I was praying like crazy as they inched it into place. I need to insulate it and add heat. I only have a a kerosene heater out there right now so it is cold. I’ve got a job I’m working on this week and am scheduled to install it by Friday so I’ve been fairly busy. I’ve got work scheduled for the next three weeks. A couple jobs fell through, one being a small remodel that the owner didn’t want to go more than 2K. I estimated it and I couldn’t even get the materials for that. Even if I got a sizable discount, I still coun’t do it. I knew when I looked at the job I couldn’t do it for that but went ahead anyway. It was a good learning experience.

I have had a few somber days, and a couple depressing, but it soon passed. I try to focus on my new direction, and not on what I don’t have that the last job gave me. Not o much feeling that I’m going the wrong way, but a feeling of loneliness in what I’m doing. In my previous job, everyone knew, ok, he’s an engineer, so he does what an engineer does… in my new job, every job is different, so I find myself telling people a lot what I do. Which is ok, but it makes me realize that I still haven’t focused enough to say, THIS is what I do… I’m getting there.

I bought a copy of QuickBooks Pro for Contractors. I’m still waiting on my EIN number from my lawyer (won’t be back in the office until after New Year’s) so I can’t start a business bank account yet. I talked to them today and as soon as I get the number, I’ll have some accounts set up. Talked a new accountant and I’m going with him. I don’t think the last one took me seriously which irritated me a bit. I feel like sending him an email telling him why he won’t have my business but I have bigger fish to fry…

Still hanging in there and loving it. Especially the grandpa part…. :)

Happy New Year’s if I don’t blog before then!

-- Sam

10 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3680 days

#1 posted 12-29-2009 12:11 AM

Best of luck in your new venture, and on outfitting your new shop.

I was a lone warrior, at work, for a number of years. It sure can be difficult. It reminds me of what an old friend once said about being single: it was the best and the worst times of his life.

Cherish the good days, and … outlast the bad ;-)

-- -- Neil

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3810 days

#2 posted 12-29-2009 12:41 AM

going forward with faith and in faith is hard at times..but its always after we’ve taken the steps do we see the blessing…..cant wait to see the shop…....bundle up for them cool days…...once the insulation is in, you will be warmer…...but your the contractor

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4084 days

#3 posted 12-29-2009 12:45 AM

Wish you Well Sam

View Grumpy's profile


25623 posts in 4358 days

#4 posted 12-29-2009 12:55 AM

Happy New Year Sam. Just as well it was’nt a cherry tree, Abe would not have been impressed. LOL

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3902 days

#5 posted 12-29-2009 01:07 AM

I hope you kept the wood from the apple tree.
Its great wood and machines and carves nicely.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18671 posts in 4182 days

#6 posted 12-29-2009 01:41 AM

Your accountant reminds me of when I started business, a banker advised to keep my job. He said banks didn’t want to know contractors, fishermen and restaurants even exit until they have been in business for at least 2 years. I told him I wouldn’t need him in 2 years. That was 25 years ago, bank has long since closed its doors and I am still self financed.

Hang in there Sam!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4606 days

#7 posted 12-29-2009 01:46 AM

Hang in there Sam. You’ll get it going.

Be prepared for this; the slow time of the year for a remodeling contractor is between Christmas and the end of April (approximately.) The reason is the tax season. If you have work lined up previously into that time of year then that is one thing, but do not plan on “sealing the deal” on too many jobs during that time.

Many people will call you and want bids, but they are all waiting to see where they come in on their tax return. I almost always get jobs based on client’s tax returns, but not until they are sure of what they are getting.

While I don’t like to give out too much personal information, it may help you to know that I usually average between $500 to $800 per month in sales for February and March. This is common for me in Montana, but I never slowed down while in Ohio durning these months. This is based on the fact that I already had jobs sold or was on a big, never-ending job during these months.

I could go to Ohio today and pick up right where I left off. I have a very loyal client base that still asks my family or still emails me occasionally wondering when I will return.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 4402 days

#8 posted 12-29-2009 02:49 AM

Thanks guys!!

I’m sorry to say I didn’t keep it. I wish I would have though…

Great story!! The first accountant had a constant grin and that in itself irritated me. He wasted no time in telling me he charges 140/hr. Nice guy. Maybe one day I can do a plumbing job for him :)....

Thanks for the info. I appreciate it! I’m hoping I can at least cover my bills during the winter but I realize I’m just starting. Another thing I’ve noticed is that my family is taking me serious now. They don’t keep telling me about ‘they’re hiring at the plant where you got cut – - have you sent them any resumes?’ anymore. I think it is because my wife has been telling them this is what I want to do. I’m eating the elephant one bite at a time.

-- Sam

View mlindegarde's profile


49 posts in 3577 days

#9 posted 12-29-2009 04:11 AM

I’m just getting into woodworking as a hobby and I stumbled upon your blog while browsing through the website. Last year a friend of mine and I started our own business. Although we are in a different line of work, I can certainly relate to the fun that comes along with getting things going. I hope everything works out for you.

I saw in one of your previous posts you’ve got a website. Let me know if you ever want any help with that: I’m pretty good with that stuff.

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 4402 days

#10 posted 12-29-2009 05:08 PM

Thanks Mike! I appreciate the help! Right now my website just has ‘under construction’. I will definitely appreciate your help. I just haven’t taken the time yet to focus on it. Another one of the miriad things to do…

-- Sam

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