recently registered... any advice

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scsurveyor in turbeville, South Carolina

84 months ago

I am a 31yr old recently registered surveyor from S.C. I am trying to start my own business (not a smart decision) at this time. Ten years ago I couldn't wait to get registered, now I can't find work and am about to give the hell up, no one is hiring and I can't help but think I have wasted my time. I really love what I do, when I have something to do. Any advice?

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one man's opinion in North Pole, Alaska

80 months ago

I'm about your age and started my own business 2 years ago. I am extremely blessed to be in a part of the country that has not been too hard hit economically, so that is a MAJOR difference in our situations, obviously. Here follow some things I was/wish I was told when starting a business...

1. Follow the money. You should absolutely be in this for the money. When you are "just starting out" is when you can least afford to be paid less than you're worth. Be respectful but firm in pricing.
2. You are recently registered. As someone else has said, this means the state considers your "minimally qualified" to work independently as a land surveyor. Triple-check everything. Challenge your assumptions. Take a minute and think of the arguments for the prosecution and defense if any aspect of your project would be litigated. Did you win?
3. Cashflow problems can hardly be over-stated. If you're fortunate, in your first year or two you will find someone to work with you who can wait to get paid until you do. I was fortunate. Sort this out beforehand. If you land a $50,000 construction surveying job, can you front, say, $25,000 in payroll before you get paid?
4. Pay your employee more than he is worth. Don't be stingy.
5. You better be doing high level work. Charge accordingly.
6. Finance good, late model (if not new) equipment.
7. Maintain good insurance at at least the minimum requirements of the projects you hope to handle.
8. Reputation, reputation, reputation. Go the extra mile. Always always be on time. If unforseen circumstances affecting budget or schedule arise, call your client IMMEDIATELY. Rule of thumb: if you wonder if you should make a call, you DEFINITELY should make a phone call.
8b.Provide awesome service. Do your best to be on your client's team. Work till 10pm so that concrete pour happens on time in the morning. Draft till midnight to deliver that drawing at 8am so the real estate closing happens at noon.

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sai in Bangalore, India

80 months ago

thanks alot. hope the above comment will help me alot. because, iam going to start land survey business shortly. plz help me and advice me for new ideas on starting land survey business.

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scsurveyor in turbeville, South Carolina

79 months ago

thanks for the advice one-man, land surveying has gone dead in south carolina but i did manage to land a job with DOT in a surveying capacity that will at least keep my kids fed. If my phone will start ringing again maybe i can make my own business work.

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chrism79 in Bakersfield, California

78 months ago

Wow! You definately sound like someone I want to learn from. Any chance you'd hire a surveyor from California. I'm 31 and been licensed for a few years, yet I realize that I still have a lot to learn. Like you said, "minimally qualified".

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