JOB SHOP -- if you had to do it all again?? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    truth to tell...I made nothing but beer money from 55 years hard work......and now have millions from selling the land I bought to park junk on......And Ive still got about 150 tons to go and two more blocks of land........the guy I sold to last year (Afgan refugee)....cant believe the property search he got on my block --I paid $4000 for it in 1980.....thats $4k to a million in 40 years....and tax free!.....the land I live on now is whats left of a farm that was sold for 200 pounds in 1952.Ive been offered 3 million by developers.....Hey Ive got a lot more than these young jerks in their fancy suits and Benz cars,and I let them know it.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmari --MariTool- View Post
    Dont buy land or property. Rent. Are you a machinist or realtor, make up your mind. When you got "fuck you" money thats a different story.
    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    truth to tell...I made nothing but beer money from 55 years hard work......and now have millions from selling the land I bought to park junk on......And Ive still got about 150 tons to go and two more blocks of land........the guy I sold to last year (Afgan refugee)....cant believe the property search he got on my block --I paid $4000 for it in 1980.....thats $4k to a million in 40 years....and tax free!.....the land I live on now is whats left of a farm that was sold for 200 pounds in 1952.Ive been offered 3 million by developers.....Hey Ive got a lot more than these young jerks in their fancy suits and Benz cars,and I let them know it.
    John's post was kind of what I was thinking when you posted that Frank. All to often when the bottom falls out, the only thing left of value (possibly to save your hide!) is the dirt!
    Personally, I'm not a fan of renting. I get where your coming from. But...................
    Last edited by wheelieking71; 05-23-2021 at 03:06 AM.

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  5. #23
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    The one I sold was 3 acres next to the toxic waste dump.....was quite handy ,in those days we were carting liquid chemical waste into the dump,and also doing lime slurry from the acetylene factory......The lime slurry couldnt be left in the tank,or it would set like concrete.....so out on the ground ....one funny episode ,I bought a fleet of old bitumen tankers from Shell Bitumen....got them for $1 at auction,because they were kinda solid bitumen......anyhoo ,someone broke off one of the valves ,and of course nothing came out.....musta taken about a month for the thin stream to reach the ground--unnoticed ......come the summer ,the guy used to keep horses there was yelling on of his horses was covered in bitumen.....the bitumen had run out very slowly,and the under the long grass was a layer of sticky black goo.....I tried to clean it up by dumping waste paint thinner ,didnt work ,and you couldnt breathe for the fumes...Kinda inflammable too.....The good old days.

  6. #24
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    Because I am a bad employee, I have to do it myself. The best move I made was to keep the general public out!
    Work with other business or professionals only!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    John's post was kind of what I was thinking when you posted that Frank. All to often when the bottom falls out, the only thing left of value (possibly to save your hide!) is the dirt!
    Personally, I'm not a fan of renting. I get where your coming from. But...................
    All too often I see the bank taking your hard earned property and building when shit goes south. Once they have a lean on the property you can't do anything with it. You can own it personally or put in in a trust, but nothing is 100%.

    But of coarse everyones results many vary. Just giving advise on what I have seen and heard from neighboring machine shops and fab shops. Food for thought.

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  9. #26
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    Just spit balling / rando musing,

    I think there is a difference between "Town mouse" vs. "Country mouse".


    A lot of big and older (commercial) shops have literally started out of a literal horse barn (of various sizes).

    I think the value of a well planned tactical retreat* is underestimated, as in "Business" it's always assumed that mindless growth and scaling is always possible with the additional rocket fuel of almost unlimited financing.

    Owning land, buildings , acreage etc. (variously) gives you the possibility of removing at least one, two or three treadmills from your life.

    Treadmill of being locked into various multi year leases + utilities cams etc.

    Treadmill of Machine payments and staff you need to keep on most of the time / good talent.

    And if something happens to you (physically or medically) - [Assumption of peeps starting new shops / manufacturing enterprises / thread "Theme" ]. Then you may find yourself committed to many hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions just standing still or barely trying to keep your head above water unless... ---> you've reached the point where your input to the business is 100% unnecessary or you have managed to make yourself irrelevant to the company ~ a worthy goal in of itself assuming the company functions well without you.

    But if things go "Pear shaped" a "Black Swan" I think they call it these days, then you could be on the hook also for a lot of high risk items + having to make rent AND make machine payments.

    If you happen to be more "Country mouse" and have a building(s) that may be one two or even three clicks up from a pole barn then if times are hard or something untoward happens to you personally or to key elements of your business then depending on how you have capitalized your business you have the ability to stop and start whenever you want or temporarily "Down" tools to pivot a business into a new direction.

    The machine financing thing can be easier if you don't have to make rent, the money you would have paid colliers for rent makes it easier to make machine payments + a bit of the mythical "Go fuck yourself" $ is helpful in combination with financing ~ in as much as Financing should be designed to give you more future flexibility as to what you want to do with your cash versus putting yourself on a treadmill who's ONLY purpose is to make machine payments.

    The one thing I like about land is that it's not so liquid, not so immediately spendable.

    I've owned property in three different countries (simultaneously) and on two different coasts and have never regretted it long term. [Ten years of a additional sweat equity initially.].

    For some reason the demand for land and property seems to go up ??? I guess always more people (population growth and ever greater demand for productivity ) - creates this upward pressure and demand (long term ) - no matter what. [ Colorado has gone nuts with a lot of Californians and Texans moving here ; a lot of "Up pressure" on land and real estate that some folks locally don't like at all .].

    I'm just spit balling - but being in a situation where people can't take stuff away from you or take away your ability to make a living is always good + not making Colliers rich / pissing $ away.

    Having assets that have the capability to accrue value is always good IMO - different from the gang-buster's business model. [More long term / legacy - thinking/ mind set.].

    I totally get why a more urban based manufactory going from strength to strength at break-neck speed would not seek to "Own the building".

    I think whatever you can do to keep playing the game (no matter what) and not damage your credit ratings / finance-ability is a worthy goal - however you devise the means to do that.

    Sometimes the "Art" of hanging in there by your fingernails is also underestimated (through various crashes and bad times / boom / bust economy.) until you hit your stride to be able to really hit the "Big time". [I think in modern financial / business speak they call that an inverted (positive) "Black swan" or a business that's engineered to be 'Anti-fragile". ].


    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________

    * Finding suitable link XENOPHON + the Anabasis. [ One Mo']. --- > Anabasis (Xenophon) - Wikipedia

    ^^^ Most acclaimed and skillful (and respected) retreat in military history.

    The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable - Wikipedia

    + Google "Fragility and Black Swans " re: business plans / vectors.

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  11. #27
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    And there it is, land or rent is so high in many towns and areas, a small mechanical shop of any type can not make it in a normal commercial location.
    Locally, the better buildings are wineries, others often filled with RVs. The junkyard I pulled rusty machines from is getting cleaned up to be sold.

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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by donie View Post
    And there it is, land or rent is so high in many towns and areas, a small mechanical shop of any type can not make it in a normal commercial location.
    Locally, the better buildings are wineries, others often filled with RVs. The junkyard I pulled rusty machines from is getting cleaned up to be sold.
    Additionally in my case - two units over from me there was a murder where a rapist put a woman in a freezer (at a gluten free bread company) [a number of years ago - apparently it wasn't murder free bread.]. Then more recently flooded three units with a massive water tank failure only slightly affected us; other tenants totally maxed out the amperage on the building (additional expense if we needed extra amps brought to the building and to our space), another tenant was stealing electricity from other points in the building [investigation with the electricity company]; the folks on the other side of my unit (Merry maids) as soon as we started making actual noise - endless complaints etc. 'cuz they were used to relative silence - although I can hear them type on a keyboards (in the warehouse space) - the acoustics are so bad. [Before that (slightly different location) we were just about to commit to signing the lease when we found out that the unit next door was to be turned into a "Cross fit GYM" with these people slamming down far too heavy weights all day long ~ We have really finicky optical alignments we have to make in a vibration proof environment - not just climate controlled. So that would have been a friken distaster.


    We have to do some (newer) unusual stuff with X-rays and other spectra [not quite wearing lead undies etc. all the time] but having a whole building to yourself on your own land relatively far away from other people means they can't bother you nor vice versa nor cause any actual harm by any number of means to anyone else - through or under or next to an adjoining wall/space or building.

    Any of the more rural -ish areas we are looking to buy/ buy into (currently) will, I know in ten, fifteen or twenty years won't be so rural anymore. Some of these locations I am scouting are quasi-adjacent to ear-marked areas for massive planned communities / and housing developments but never the less favorably zoned for what we want to do...

    In CO the housing / land market has gone nuts - there's just not enough "Stock" and builders certainly won't be able to keep up. [The rent we signed onto originally was very favorable for the location but the payment schedule can become tricky after about 5 years and also newer landlords / owners trade and buy the building - Colliers that manage the whole complex have brokered two separate sales of the building I rented - so whatever contracts you thought you had can start to slip and slide in much more spendy directions + various arbitrary additional CAMs etc. ].

    Quote Originally Posted by donie View Post
    And there it is, land or rent is so high in many towns and areas, a small mechanical shop of any type can not make it in a normal commercial location.
    Locally, the better buildings are wineries, others often filled with RVs. The junkyard I pulled rusty machines from is getting cleaned up to be sold.
    So yeah in my case being nudged further out but not 100% in the boonies- luckily we don't rely on passing "Traffic" etc. and eventually we can have a smaller closer into town "Presence" / office if need be (when we are ready) - renting in that case being the much smaller fraction of overall risk being quite manageable.

  14. #29
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    Long story short and big picture,

    Given ~ That we live in boom-bust economies(s) [Plural] average "cycle time" for that (I am told) is approx. Seven to eight years but probably closer to every 15 years (long term average);

    Having the ability to throw the "Master switches" of your business and set them to "Standby" mode or have a skeleton crew or even partially "mothball" aspects of your business is helpful when larger factors such as - Personal Health, market bubbles, market sector decimations / destructions + [one in a hundred year events - epidemics , floods "Acts of God" etc. + conventional market crashes and wars - play their hand or "Do their thing" + the already normal (business) risks associated with your direct competition home and abroad.].

    So sometimes owning the land, buildings and (most of your) machines just makes it easier to hit "Standby" (for your business) without loosing your shirt nor necessarily loosing good people. + buy you time to pivot and do new developments to take advantage of new opportunities and new markets ~ Difficult to do if you are on several relentless treadmills just trying to make ends meet. Hard to find time for newer or better endeavors.

    In some cases the relentless fast expansion scaling and financing is just to compensate for hard times from a previous crash. Can get a bit unstable. + the needed skill (IMO) or pre-architected ability to hang in there by your finger nails (in some cases) ~ really depends whose $ you are burning, if it's your own $ - good skill to have.

    Things are a bit more settled / smoothed out "In the country" - or can be if you can build your own shop(s) / facilities. [If that's a good fit for what you do. Certainly not for everybody. ].

    If you are real player then it's " Town & Country " ;-) ( one day right ... lol).

  15. #30
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    Default Document document document....

    Quote Originally Posted by markwiggs View Post
    Hey Guys I can't fathom the depth of combined experience on this forum, and I can't help but think for those that have had Job shop businesses or worked in them in a management position, and also those running the machines where the carbide meets the stock… if you had to do it all over again what would you do differently, what have been the biggest lesson learnt over time..? Lets loosely contain this around the Job Shop model as that's the space we are in.. thanks in advance..
    From the beginning, create a spreadsheet, and in the spreadsheet keep headers: part number, material used, where you bought it, date or a reference number, material cost, selling price, PO number, date of PO, the program numbers, which machine, and where the special tools are, and where the fixtures are, for the job, if applicable.
    It is never too late to start this process. Even if you’ve been at it for fifteen years, you can still start to document. Here is why: your memory is excellent right now, you know where it all is. You have so many vise jaws, and so many chuck jaws and, this is for this job, and this one is that job. But, if you ever want to expand, you need to be able to tell others where to look. Or, you get busier, and busier, and 20 sets of work holders becomes forty, sixty, etc. You can not waste time looking for stuff. Worse, is you watch others wasting time looking for stuff.
    Last advice: get to work 15 minutes early and write down the things that you need to do that day. Look at the list at about 2pm. Cross the completed items off the list. Make sure the tools are ordered by 3:30 so they get to you tmrw, not two days from now. At the end of the day, for fifteen minutes put tools away, look at the orders that came in during the day, and start your list for the next day. By staying on top of the ball, you will be ready for anything.

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  17. #31
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    I started making "job boxes" about 25 or more years ago, I started with rubbermaid boxes and graduated to ammo cans, 50 cal for big jobe and 30 cal for smaller jobs. Each box has sample parts, mating parts, jaws, special tools, drawings, anything to make the part, pull the box and make the part, run the job, put it back and go on to the next job. Cutters like endmulld and drills I order a dozen at a time when I get down to six, I run mostly aluminum so it is a year or mores worth on hand at any time.


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