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Good Morning,


I am looking for some advice/help/guidance on starting my own business. I currently work for a large organisation; however, I have, for the last 6 months, considered starting up on my own. I am looking at offering freelance Estimating/Tendering/Design/Drawings service in the Plumbing/Heating/Renewable sector. I have over 10 years experience both on and off site. I have NVQ in Plumbing as well as a HND in Building studies. The aim is to start approaching small/medium Plumbing contractors offering my services as a freelance. In time, I would like to progress to larger companies, but also look into the route of offering surveys on project, plumbing, heating and renewable. There is also the possibility to offer cavity/loft insulation surveys and installation, however, this is a friend, but we have both a keen interest in going down the Energy Assessor route to provide new/existing properties with a EPC. Both commercial and domestic. However, the start up aim is freelance estimating/Designing for small to medium projects. I am finding a little bit daunting as I work for a very large and successful company in the Technical office, offering a OKish salary, but I feel more satisfaction when i work on my own, and get a better sense of self satisfaction. To start I will be home based, however, I want to spread my client base through the North of England, offering a simple solution providing a freelance service, when in the long run, it would be cheaper to pay for someone to freelance for a company as opposed to paying someone. theres the whole stage of being quiet and busy etc, and although many small plumbing companies, and one man sole traders can do the pricing themselves, often, they miss out on work because they are late returning tenders/quotes/estimates to clients as they simply do not have the time. I am seeking advise on the best way forward, where to advertise, the legality involved if it can be deemed as 'poaching' customer/clients away etc. I simply have no idea where to start.



Any help is appreciated


Richard Hunter

07904 702751

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@ richard


If I understand you correctly, you want plumbers to pay you to do their estimates/quotes etc?


This is a good idea if you do it on a strict 'no win no fee' basis, assuming that independent plumbers operate in the same way as larger companies (which I doubt).


Another point, you need to check your contract of employment. Poaching clients could land you in hot water (excuse the pun :hihi:).


I admire your thinking, but you need to do thorough research before you take the plunge (again sorry :hihi:).


The best of luck with the venture.

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Hi Richard its a bit hard to be a freelance Estimating/Tendering/Design/Drawings service in the plumbing sector as how could anyone know where your loyalties lie? steveroberts is correct about just paying plumbers to do there job on a domestic scale but I take it you are talking about doing it on a commercial heating and vent scale. How could you benefit a pipefitting company if they are finding the work to give to you to quote? And if you did pull any work in what company would you give it to do? That brings us back to where your loyalties lie? If some of your other clients find your giving work to other companys but not them I think you would find your work off them would come to a end.

Give me a call if you need the name of a fue commercial plumbers

Thank you Scott

Edited by sawheating
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Hi Richard,


You have obviously thought about the problems involved if you take any of your employers customers. Would they have any leverage over you even if you were perfectly legal in what you were doing? Also think about your finance when, in the beginning funds were tight? Remember that when you are working on your own you would probably have to wait for payment. There are the questions of how you would set up your business etc and I should be glad to have a chat about this side of things. However, I should say that the biggest questions to ask yourself are whether you AND your family if you have a partne,r are up for taking the stress and the bumps of moving from a 9 to 5 and monthly salary to something much more rocky?

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Hi all,


thanks for your comments,


To clear a few pointers, Plumbing companies would employ me as a freelance, so they get the tenders/quotation request in from their clients and pass onto me. I then price the job accordingly, return to the company paying me, who can then pass onto their client. I understand the pros and cons, there is alot to take into account. the chance of it being a sucess are slim, however, I have already had interest from half a dozen large companies. I am just putting together a portfolio (complete with spell checking) of work I have done in the past for clients. this inclues Tenders, Estimates, Quotes, Cad dwgs, as well as Boiler/Rad sizeing, Heat losses etc. My aim is looking at larger companies to freelance, as like we all know, the trade fluctuates from being pulled out to having little on. The work from clients can be as infrequent and as frequent as they wish. I would never turn down a client just because they are either too big or a one man band, everyone is the same. I know I am going to have to look far and wide for this kind of work, but I am pretty flexi in what I can do. It could simply be drawings for a project, or to put together the tender package, doing the Bill of quants, or simply the 12 estimates that need to be back for Friday but your too busy to even start looking at them. Or the one stop shop, initial estimate, boiler rad sizeing, heat losses, etc to drawing. For estimating for larger companies, I have an idea on the offer to 'sell', but for smaller 'one man band' companies, the idea is to go down the route of 'no win no fee' - within reason.

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