Should You Start Your Own Land Survey Business or Work for Someone Else?

Land survey business

Some people prefer the security and steady work of being employed by an established land survey company. Some want the freedom to call their own shots and operate a business on their own terms. There’s no definite right or wrong way to earn a living as a land surveyor. But one of these paths is probably a better fit than the other.

Pros of Running Your Own Land Survey Business

The most obvious benefit of operating your own land survey business is freedom. You’re in charge of everything. You can name your company, make your own hours, choose your own clients and even decide whether or not to wear a uniform. You’re also in charge of your quality of work, which builds your business brand.

As a small business owner, you can also build your company as large as you want to make it. Depending on how much time and effort you’re willing to invest, not to mention the capital, you can have a great website, become an industry thought leader and carve out a niche that’s right for you.

Cons of Being Your Own Boss

With everything, there’s a downside. As a business owner, you’re in charge of everything including the things that might take more of your time than you’d like. If there are documents to file or reports to produce, they’re on your desk. Every bit of research, phone call, marketing effort, blog post and website upgrade are your responsibility. There are also finances and taxes to think about.

Most small business owners work an enormous number of hours every week. There’s no clocking out when your name is on the door. And while you have the freedom to work with whoever you choose, it’s also up to you to find those clients and keep them happy. Small business owners have a difficult job, but many of them wouldn’t have it any other way.

Land survey business

When someone else’s name is on the door, they carry the responsibility for equipment, business insurance, and numerous other expenses.

Pros of Working for an Established Company

Freedom comes with being an employee, as well. When you’re off the clock, you’re really off the clock. Employees can go home, have dinner and relax for a few hours while small business owners are shuffling paperwork and making phone calls.

Working for another company also gives you a clear cut set of rules to follow. The risks are low. While the freedom to call your own shots sounds like a plus, your business is on the line if you make the wrong call. Working for an established land surveying company puts the responsibility for office rent, marketing, client leads, insurance and sometimes even the company vehicle on someone else’s shoulders.

Cons of Working for Someone Else

Your work volume is directly related to the effort the company puts into drumming up new business. If you’re not on salary, low client volume affects your personal bottom line but you’re powerless to do anything about it. And if you don’t agree with some of the company’s policies, you’re probably out of luck.

As an employee, you have virtually no authority to make business decisions, including ones that have a direct effect on your earning potential. If pay is late or the check doesn’t clear, you’re at the mercy of your boss.

Owning and operating a business is part of the American dream. Probably the most enticing benefit is freedom and all that it implies. Many of the land survey business owners who work 80 or more hours per week wouldn’t have it any other way. But that’s only true for part of the population. Sometimes, there’s more security and stability in punching a clock and punching back out again at the end of the day.

Continuing education is part of life whether you’re a business owner or not. When your credit hours are due, check out PDH Academy’s approved courses for land surveyors.


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