Sold business - I'm out, but THANKS to all
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  1. #1
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    Default Sold business - I'm out, but THANKS to all

    Okay, this thread started because I just posted an answer on another thread, but didn't want to derail it.
    Greg (CNC Toolcat) had asked a question - that is below together with my answer...


    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post

    What is it about "growing" a business, why do we let a business take over our life, rather than the other way around?

    ToolCat
    The trouble is Greg , how many of us are actually in charge of our businesses?
    The reality is customers want - we deliver. And if that means working all weekend, then we do it.
    Again
    And again...

    I sold my company in August. It broke my heart to get out, but 3 different docs in a 9 month period told me I MUST CHANGE WHAT I'M DOING.
    The first two docs were temps, the last was my own and it was quite a sobering discussion.

    Too many 12 (min) to 14 (average) and 16 hr days, and working through the night when needed, and Saturday, and Sunday morning, had it's toll.
    Yes we punched above our weight - we were 4/5 people, 11 cnc's, Tier 1 supplier to 3x Aerospace OEMS and 1x military OEM and right into their engineering dept - some concept design, a lot of production engineering, the prototype and then the production.
    Predominantly electronic enclosures, but plated/painted/assembled etc. Full turnkey - a one stop shop.

    And finally it broke me after 12 years and a partner which didn't even know how to turn a washer on the manual lathe.
    That was probably the main thing to be honest - 100 things in a business to do, and he's stood in front of a couple of vmc's (a very narrow comfort zone).
    Was it his fault - yes and no. When you start out you have the best intentions but very quickly you grow apart because one person has to take the reigns and run the show. And then the gap gradually widens but unfortunately rather than step up to the plate, he was happy to watch me work myself into the ground.

    Anyway, the options were to shut it, run out the contracts and sell the machines and put the factory back to the landlord - probably 8 months work. But wifey (she had worked with us for 10 years) convinced me to sell it and I got more for it than I would have by shutting it, but more importantly, I legally handed it all over on the one day, and walked away.

    But like I said, it broke my heart - it was my baby. So rather than think, and rot, I thought it best to submerse my head into different things. Immediately after, I worked on refurbing a rental property of ours (4 weeks) and then working for an old customer of 20 years (contracting) and am now currently sat in Spain on holiday with my wife for another month.
    While still doing a bit for said customer, over the interwebz.

    I promised my wife that she had supported me wholeheartedly for the 12 years, and it was my time to support her now, with whatever we end up doing.

    So a HUGE thankyou to Don for this site, and a HUGE thank you for EVERYONE that has contributed here and helped me.
    RIP Frank Mitty, RIP Mark McGrath, RIP RJ Newbould. You guys were knowledgeable, and entertaining. I would have loved to have shaken your hands and said thanks.
    When I first joined here, I didn't know how to set a cnc (lathe or mill) let alone program one. You guys sorted that for me, either directly by answering my Newb questions, or indirectly by my hours and hours and hours of reading and searching this site.

    I will still be around, but look forwards to getting my health back and seeing what the next chapter of our lives bring us.

  2. #2
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    Congrats, I'm sure its not an easy decision to make, best of luck improving your health. I think we're all trading some of it in this line of work and from a few other members who just vanished after some health issues, I think the RIP list is longer than we know...


    Doesn't seem like many have had any luck with business partners. I almost went that way at first but very glad I ended up doing it on my own.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SND View Post
    Congrats, I'm sure its not an easy decision to make, best of luck improving your health. I think we're all trading some of it in this line of work and from a few other members who just vanished after some health issues, I think the RIP list is longer than we know...


    Doesn't seem like many have had any luck with business partners. I almost went that way at first but very glad I ended up doing it on my own.
    Thank you for your reply.
    Yes, I started to think about others on here when I read your comment about vanishing members - the game is mentally draining, made ever more difficult by non value added red tape (idiots behind a desk...)
    One member I met 10 years ago from up the road to me (Boris) had been quiet for a few years, but I'm glad to say he logged into here a couple of months ago. So he at least is still around!

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    I can only imagine how heartbreaking selling off your business was. However, congratulations are in order. At the end of the day, the ultimate end game for most of us is to sell out & be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
    I commend you & hope to be in your shoes at some point down the road. Enjoy your well deserved retirement & goof off time!!

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    Glad you're going in a new direction and hope health and happiness return. A successful shop owner I know (who has since sold the shop) always gave me this advice- "No Partners, Ever!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by toolmaker96 View Post
    ...At the end of the day, the ultimate end game for most of us is to sell out & be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
    My final chat with 'my doctor' - he asked me with a very puzzled face "what are you trying to achieve'?
    I started to tell him "100% on time delivery, zero rejects, food on the table for everyone in the company" and he looked even more quizzical at me.
    I stopped talking, and he said "so why are you killing yourself? How does this help? Remember, we're all just here passing through"...

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbter View Post
    sat in Spain on holiday with my wife for another month.

    So, you will getting a new wife next month then? Is this a European thing?



    Hopefully this is a good move for you. (not the wife part BTW)


    -----------------

    We'll catch you on the flip flop eh?
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    So, you will getting a new wife next month then? Is this a European thing?



    Hopefully this is a good move for you. (not the wife part BTW)


    -----------------

    We'll catch you on the flip flop eh?
    Ox
    HaHaHa!
    No, the wifey is a keeper! We've been together since 2000.
    I'll have to do something - so hopefully continue contracting over the net but early days.

  13. #9
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    Retired from a long stint with a defense contractor. Often thought about going into business for myself but never did, something about not answering to bosses and such. Somewhere along the line I found the wisdom to realize that every potential customer might wind up being my boss. Only difference is I would be the one choosing to work for them instead of some HR person hiring another one. In the bigger picture whether working for another company or our own business we still give a large part of our lives to the machining game.
    I know it was hard for me to walk away from my job of nearly 40 years and it must have been much harder for you to get out of the business you worked hard to build, congratulations and best wishes.
    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny VanVoorn View Post

    Often thought about going into business for myself but never did, something about not answering to bosses and such. Somewhere along the line I found the wisdom to realize that every potential customer might wind up being my boss.

    Only difference is I would be the one choosing to work for them instead of some HR person hiring another one.

    Dan

    Your right, every customer Is your Boss

    You might think you get to choose what work you do...

    --in some situations you can, but when you Need Work to keep the lights on you take what you can get.

    --when you get a nice customer base and mostly weed out the jobs you do not want..every once in awhile a Good Customer comes in with a "favor job" that you really just have to take on the chin and get done. After all...that customer Is your Boss.

    The good part about running your own business, you can pick and choose whether you want to come in Early, Stay late or both...sometimes you get to decide to just say the hell with it and work the weekend instead. It's Your business, it's your choice!

    Truth is...you get to set the direction of the business, try not to run into those OT snags, schedule work without overbooking and let things run themselves...but when the proverbial PooP hits the fan...Its do whatever needs to be done to get back on track.

    The toughest part is learning to be able to say No to customers requests...if not you'll always be able to find someone wanting to pawn off their emergency onto you. You'll be the one working the weekend by yourself as many employees find it easy to say no boss, can't work this weekend.




    Hey, getting off track--

    Congrads on getting out, best of luck to you!

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    I sold my business twice. Each time was a combination of relief and regret.

    The first two guys walked in and asked me how much I would sell it for so I gave them a number. I thought they would walk away at the number but they didn’t.

    The second, I was 67 and wanted to do other things with my life and wife. I still have contact with both of the new owners and work with them at times. Plus I have my own little shop at home with a 3axis CNC and a nice little Feeler FTL-618 Toolroom Lathe. So I can still play with them and do little projects for others and myself.

    But, I know what you’re feeling…

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  19. #12
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    That means that you're not really "stuck" there anymore eh?
    Now it's all by choice.

    If you only had a $ for every part you'd made....



    ----------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    put money into 401K that gets at least 6% long term average interest. when you get $40,000 yr or more (pick any number what ever you think is enough) interest profit then you reach point
    .
    1) you do not have to work if you do not want too.
    .
    2) you do not worry about loosing any job. you do not feel trapped at a job you hate
    .
    3) you get to decide what do you want to do rest of life. often finding a simpler low stress job is just for something to do to keep busy.
    .
    staying home watching tv every day all day long gets boring. same with going fishing or playing golf every day. some cant handle retirement and look for a low stress job

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    "Too many 12 (min) to 14 (average) and 16 hr days, and working through the night when needed, and Saturday, and Sunday morning, had it's toll."
    BTDT.Wise choice.I was going through the same issues .For several years
    and I had money loaned at 19.75%. Finally left.New owner lasted 6 months and closed it down.I restarted with just me.Never hired again or do I want to.All I make is mine all I loose is because of me.That was 20 years ago.Never missed the old way for a minute.Wanted to be fitter at 60 than 50 and want to keep doing what I'm doing now till I'm done.Have my shop
    on my "estate",so no commute and can tinker in the shop on my crap if I choose.
    Last thing is most people will not know how rough the road is without being in the drivers seat.Go have fun.

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