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Determining whether I am qualified enough to start a business

Mountain08Mountain08 subscriber Posts: 1
edited August 2008 in Selecting a Business
Hello Everyone!  I`m new to SUN but I`ve been viewing for some time now.  I really love this website.
I have a question regarding the amount of qualification/experience to start a business.  I have been struggling with the idea of starting this business for a year and a half now.  This business would consist of designing the plot plan for residential septic systems.  I`m currently an Design Engineer so I have plenty of experience with CAD software.  My issue is that I do not have enough experience with the installation of septic systems.  I have met with the local health department guy and he said that for now he is telling the designer how and where the septic system will go and the calculations for the installation.  I`m worried that installers (the ones that will hire me) will think that I have no clue as to what I`m doing and I will never get another job.  Is it normal to go into a business where you are suppose to be an expert and not know everything (know the basics) about what you`re doing???  Please let me know if I`ve completely confused you.  Any input would be greatly appreciated!


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    Mountain08Mountain08 subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you for all your input!  My business would consist of using a total station (a surveying station) and plot the contour of the property.  I would then create a drawing using CAD to determine the best location for the septic leach lines.  The reason that an installer would hire me is they do not own a total station.  I know that I could use my engineering skills in a different area but I have a mechanical engineering degree with no PE license so I do not have the knowledge of a civil engineer. 
    I know that my biggest obstacle is fear.  I know that once I got started I would be fine.  Like you said, kywomanjt, it`s not that complicated. I act like it`s rocket science.  My dad keeps telling me to get mt first job and we`ll worry about the details when it gets here....he has been in business his whole life so he is completely confident.
    Thank you both for replying.
    I really like hearing other views on my dilemma
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    Mountain08Mountain08 subscriber Posts: 1
    I agree that Craig is an awesome contributor. 
    There are new laws coming into effect in Ohio that require all septics systems have a design plan which includes a contour map with all the design features.  I would be responsible for deciding where to put the septic tanks, leach lines, and drains if needed.  Septic installers currently do not have to provide a design plan so they do not need to hire a designer to do the contour map and CAD work.  In this business, I would be responsible for knowing the elevation of the septic tanks and leach lines.  I would basically be a designer that the installer will be required to hire or that installer will need to buy survey equipment and learn CAD.  There is one guy in the area that does this because one county has followed the soon to be rules.  This guy was covered with work back in 2006 but I think with the economy that has changed. 
    Please let me know if this is still confusing. 
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    Mountain08Mountain08 subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you for all your suggestions.  I really appreciate your response and the responses of everyone else.  I have actually thought about doing jobs for repeating customers such as installers for free on the first job.  That would give me experience while allowing them to see if they like me.  My dad has an established business drilling water wells and knows many of the local contractors so I am hoping that he can help me by spreading the word about my business.  I am also planning on sending out a letter to all the contractors and joining local organizations to spread my name.
    Thank you again for all your help.  I will keep you posted in my decision.
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