Are you a one-person operation, do you have employees, or do you rely on other contractors in your business? There are so many pros and cons regarding each type of business, but I believe part of it is about the stress level a business owner wants to endure and how well they can manage people and a business. Here’s a mix of pros and cons of each type of business model.

Being a One-Person Operation

  • You have full control over your business and installations.
  • A one person business doesn’t have to rely on employees or subs to show up, it’s all on you.
  • A one-person business owner/contractor means you have to do it all, from bookkeeping, scheduling, ordering product, providing the manpower for the installation, and everything in between. 
  • When you are sick or injured, there is no back up.
  • The older you get the slower your production level, if it’s all physical work, which, for flooring contractors is pretty much all physical.
  • 40 hours a week is part-time.
  • Your reputation is critical.

Having Employees

  • You will be doing more managing.
  • You will need more operating capital.
  • You will need the jobs to keep employees working.
  • You can train them to your specific needs.
  • You will provide all supplies required to do the installation.
  • You can provide work vehicles with you company logo should you choose.
  • If an employee makes mistakes on a job, they will not be responsible for the monetary costs, the employer will take the hit.
  • Productivity needs to be managed very carefully in order to be profitable.
  • Your reputation is critical.

Relying on Subcontractors

  • You won’t be dealing with payroll deductions.
  • You don’t have the control that you’d have with employees or working by yourself.
  • You cannot control their costs so you need to negotiate pricing.
  • You cannot tell them when to arrive on to a job.
  • You may or may not have control of the type of supplies they use to install products.
  • You cannot tell them they need to attend training events.
  • If there is a mistake on the job, the subcontractor is liable, but this doesn’t mean you won’t be involved with time or even monetarily.
  • You can’t control the type of vehicles they drive or any company logos on their work vehicles even if they are doing your work.
  • Your reputation is critical.

The common denominator? No matter what type of business you run, your reputation is such an important component that you need to make sure you can maintain the standards for continued growth and establishing a strong clientele.

A good friend of mine, Randy L., who is 59 years old, is going in for a knee replacement this week and he works by himself installing resilient flooring. Randy will be down for approximately six months with his recovery and is not sure whether he will be able to install full-time once he recuperates. So where does this put him? He’s not sure yet. Only time will tell to what level he will be able to perform. For now, he’s just going to see how the knee operation works out and then do the therapy and see where he ends up. Fortunately, his wife also works, so they’re able to handle his down time. Monetarily, can you handle being down for an extended period of time as a “one-man band”?