Is there anyone that has their own business ?


Postby htg engineer » Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:07 pm

I am a time served Plumber, Gas/Heating Engineer.

I am seriously considering starting my own business, this will be a partnership with a work colleague. I live in the North East.

We will specialise in Central Heating Boiler repairs and servicing, as this is what we do now. But will do any gas and plumbing work, like heating installations, fitting cookers and bathroom suite's etc.

Has anyone tried / succeeded in doing this ?
any regrets ?
anything to look out for ?
Any advice ?
htg engineer
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Postby The Heating Doctor » Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:12 pm

Hi heating engineer, I know we have had differing opinions in the past but I wish you every success in your venture. I have been a MD of a company so can advise you from that point.

Number 1 piece of advice I can give is to make sure all your tax situation is up to date at all times, this includes VAT. Make sure you have receipts for everything and can account for all money to the Tax inspector as and when he rquires it. If you do not have an accountant appoint one straight away. Get this rite and you will save your self a lot of grief.

As you are a partnership you need a formal agreement drawn up by a solicitor to formalise your partnership.

Make sure each of you know your responsibilities i.e. who is going to do the estimates, who will do site surveys, book work as in accountancy, order materials, etc. etc.

Form a relationship with a good (not necessarily the cheapest) merchant, many merchants can offer a free heat loss service which will be a real time saver. This service is offerd through the radiator manufacturers such as Purmo & Quinn. Also a good merchant will feed work back to you, if they have a good trade counter and or showroom they always get asked to recommend installers. Builders Merchants have small developers as customers who may build any thing from 6 to 50 houses a year who ask for recommendations. I currently work as a design engineer for a builders merchants and I have circa 150 properties I am currently designing for. 105 appartments with underfloor htg and 3 en-suites, 10 appartments with air conditioning are just two of these projects. All of this work is supplied to us by builders, we then pass on this to our plumbing & heating customers. We have been doing this very successfuly for 5 years and it keeps growing. The builders win because they get a free mechanical services design, our P&H customers win as they get fed the information and form relationships with the builders and we win as a merchant because of the increase of business. One customer started off 18 months ago with him and a old beat up Sherpa van, through working with us he now has 5 engineers on the road in brand new vans, a projects engineer in a office and himself in a brand new pick-up and looking to employ an electrician next year.

Last piece of advise and for you perhaps the most controversial, get rid of Baxi now you are on your own and do not have the weight of your current employer with you there will be little or no support for you.

Stand out from the crowd offer something different look at Viessmann or Alpha with their long guarantee periods how much is a extra 4 years of guarantee worth? Thats parts & labour, could you become either of their service engineers for your area?

Best of luck
The Heating Doctor
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