Any Houston Texas one man Cnc shops? - Page 2
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 38 of 38
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,271
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    842
    Likes (Received)
    1275

    Default

    Here's my story in a nutshell if you care to read it.
    Owners - What have you sacrificed to go into business?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Missouri
    Posts
    184
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    104
    Likes (Received)
    95

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Booze Daily View Post
    Here's my story in a nutshell if you care to read it.
    Owners - What have you sacrificed to go into business?
    Thank you, I remember reading that at the time, it was a great thread all around.

    My goal here is to obtain a slightly more clear, mile high view of the ROI and time to profitability for the job shop vs. OEM argument.

    For the job shop, it sounds like 3-10 years to build a decent customer base. By that point there is probably 100k up to millions invested in equipment for a service based business, with minimal take home along the way.

    For the OEM business, the same 3-10 years might be spent developing marketable products while maintaining employment. They spend maybe 50k on stuff to do the initial production work, and can potentially have a 6 figure+ take home. Not speaking from experience here, just back of the envelope guessing.

    I understand this is over simplified, but financially the OEM model seems like a much better approach.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    14,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4552
    Likes (Received)
    6707

    Default

    ^ No its nothing like that simple, key part of job shopping is not you go in with a fixed plan, its that you stay as flexible as you can. Its not a case of go out spend 100K on machinery and bring in a 200K a year in profits, it works nothing like that way.

    First you have to find work, then you have to have the tooling to do that work then you have to be able to run that tooling in a profitable way to do that work. Family wise, its pretty easy to wrap work around things if you go in with that approach in mind, if you go in putting out fires, yeah the phone rings off the hook, you have to decide what you want to do and when.

    Beings self employed simple, turning a profits were the skill is. Going in thinking about 100K machinery - tooling is not the way. You need to be entering with the skills to pull of the work in a more cost effective way than the competition. Your personal skill levels, adaptability and problem solving matters way more than how many $k you start with. Hell if anything the only thing that starting with Hundreds of $k means is you have that much to lose.

    As to the night vision scope, classic example, all products have a price point, does not mean a better product won't sell, but it does mean the higher up the market place you are the less sales you get! Look at the BIG retailers, most people are more than happy with just functional cheap stuff, bucking that trends possible, but its rarely profitable on a lot of things.

    In my case i started off job shopping type jobs, over time they all started to fall more and more into one sector, hence it became obvious it was time to expand my capabilities there. What i do does not generally need multi thousand $ pieces of kit, yeah at times they would sure be nice, but equally they would soak up all the profits. Realistically im not even scratching at 1% of the sectors possibilities and theres very much 2-3 bits of kit inline being built to open up both more and larger profits.

    The notion of 3-10years to market might be true in the pharmaceutical world, in the worlds most of us work in a months about all you get if your lucky, Even then you need production on everything else to keep the money flowing. Being self employed not generally a case of having a idea, spending 10 years developing it, then getting rich over the next few years, the Chinese will eat you for lunch!

    Whilst im kinda OEM of what i do its varied, i have over a 150 products and its growing still at a good 5-10 a month. Some do significantly better than others, but very few turn a loss. The OEM advantage is a markup of multiples of cost, not just a few percent as in job shopping.

  4. Likes Bobw liked this post
  5. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Missouri
    Posts
    184
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    104
    Likes (Received)
    95

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    ^ No its nothing like that simple,.
    ...I did say over simplified and mile high view.

    In regard to job shopping ROI, lets assume the owner is competent.

    I dont think we are on the same page on the product development. I meant spending 3-10 years building a product line, selling at a manageable quantity, and verifying profitability, before leaving the day job and making a large investment in production tools...not 1x super product.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    14,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4552
    Likes (Received)
    6707

    Default

    3-10 years is still a massive amount of time. Set a product line up with enough work in 1 -2 years maybe, but if its taking you 3-10 years, IMHO your chasing the wrong thing the returns just are not in it. Your going to burn out before you get there or the markets going to change - dry up.

    If you need a large investment in production tooling, IME your immediately opening your self upto foreign competition. If there’s a demand for say under 1000 of those widgets, most other people won't bother tooling up to compete with you. If there’s a demand for millions, your instantly competing with all the big players.

    You need to find something you can make that people want and the tooling lets you make multiples off in different styles with out a vast investment. Equally you need different models - styles. You don't want to be boxed into too much of a niche starting out. Whilst being a specialist place in only one field can be highly profitable, its also highly risky because pretty much any field has good times and bad. Keys to have enough of a spread a given bad patch just really means a bit of a slow down, not a bankruptcy!

    Multi hundred thousand $$$$ investments sounds great for a listed company trying to attract share holders, Successful one man bands is all about keeping over heads low, minimising risk whilst maximising the returns. Yes there’s risk to business, but its not a blind gamble you want the odds very much in your favour to start and you want the decks stacked in your favour as much as possible going forwards. You want multiple avenues open to you and you want to not pick em till you get there.

    As to the whole leaving the day job, that fixes its self, generally most people i know that went self employed got pushed into it, or just realised it was time to quit the day job, done right its like making a smooth transition from walking to standing on a elevator, done wrong its on a par with falling down a empty lift shaft! My case, company i was working for showed its true colours, pissed me off and i kinda realised one day i could be free of it, hence i quit, yeah technically i sorta had been building up a hobby into something starting to resemble a business, but it was pretty rough around the edges back then to say the least. But when i was handing in my notice i had enough of a track record work wise to feel confident i would be turning enough profit every month to pay my bills, but then i was not living in a mansion, nor feeding a family of 5 with a wife into expensive designer labels!

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    3,052
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1213
    Likes (Received)
    1279

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    Better?

    I have tried a few products. Some were quite successful. I hated every second of it.

    The nice thing about job shop work is variety. You never know what might come through the door. It's interesting to setup new jobs and always have to figure out how to make something.

    Making a product is the perfect form of torture for me. Go to the same place every day. Perform the same small set of tasks over and over. Deal with selling things to the retarded general public.

    No thanks.
    I've got my own products on top of doing job shop work. I understand and agree about diversity being nice but so is payment in full when the order is placed. It's also nice to be able to build up stock when you are slow.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Missouri
    Posts
    184
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    104
    Likes (Received)
    95

    Default

    G-Miller - I'm sorry I hijacked your thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    3-10 years is still a massive amount of time. Set a product line up with enough work in 1 -2 years maybe, but if its taking you 3-10 years, IMHO your chasing the wrong thing the returns just are not in it. Your going to burn out before you get there or the markets going to change - dry up.
    I think we are actually in agreement on this, just semantics. On all points actually, and probably my fault. I am looking at the 3-10 year range as a general time frame to earning a comfortable income with either business model. These numbers were made up, based on the feedback received from the job shop guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    If you need a large investment in production tooling, IME your immediately opening your self upto foreign competition. If there’s a demand for say under 1000 of those widgets, most other people won't bother tooling up to compete with you. If there’s a demand for millions, your instantly competing with all the big players.
    My perspective on this was doing the initial prototyping on a BP and manual lathe. If/When products work out, invest in reliable CNC machines, fixtures, tooling. Is 1000/yr the upper limit in your experience? I was hoping to stretch that to 5,000.

    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    You need to find something you can make that people want and the tooling lets you make multiples off in different styles with out a vast investment. Equally you need different models - styles. You don't want to be boxed into too much of a niche starting out. Whilst being a specialist place in only one field can be highly profitable, its also highly risky because pretty much any field has good times and bad. Keys to have enough of a spread a given bad patch just really means a bit of a slow down, not a bankruptcy!

    Multi hundred thousand $$$$ investments sounds great for a listed company trying to attract share holders, Successful one man bands is all about keeping over heads low, minimising risk whilst maximising the returns. Yes there’s risk to business, but its not a blind gamble you want the odds very much in your favour to start and you want the decks stacked in your favour as much as possible going forwards. You want multiple avenues open to you and you want to not pick em till you get there.
    The large investment I was talking about was in reference to the jobs shops, not making products. To sell your services as a reliable CNC shop, I would expect you would need a low mileage 40x20 VMC, CNC lathe, manual machines, and all the tooling, measuring equipment, etc. Looking at stuff on ebay, 100k doesn’t go all that far. If you toss in some large capacity or other speciality machines the investment in the job shop keeps climbing (quickly).

    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    As to the whole leaving the day job, that fixes its self, generally most people i know that went self employed got pushed into it, or just realised it was time to quit the day job, done right its like making a smooth transition from walking to standing on a elevator, done wrong its on a par with falling down a empty lift shaft! My case, company i was working for showed its true colours, pissed me off and i kinda realised one day i could be free of it, hence i quit, yeah technically i sorta had been building up a hobby into something starting to resemble a business, but it was pretty rough around the edges back then to say the least. But when i was handing in my notice i had enough of a track record work wise to feel confident i would be turning enough profit every month to pay my bills, but then i was not living in a mansion, nor feeding a family of 5 with a wife into expensive designer labels!
    I am probably over thinking leaving the day job. No mansion, designer labels, or kids here either. Although we do want kids, and the biological clock will end up competing with the shop eventually.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    14,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4552
    Likes (Received)
    6707

    Default

    The 1000 limits not set in stone, just realise the more potential your product has and the more your product proves that potential in the market place the more likely people are to copy it,

    Look at it another way, your arch enemy is running a company in china looking for products to make. Cursing through ebay, they come across a product you make that they too can clearly make easily and profitably and there’s sales of 100,000 listed. Your going to have competition and fast!! A lower qty item especially one that needs more complex - non std tooling and its a lot harder for others to copy and a lot less profitable for em to do so, hence they leave you as the only supplier, which keeps prices high and most sales heading your way. Coming back to this places favourite, do you put your hot dog cart outside a fast food joint or a stadium with no other food sources for miles? Who gets the most sales????

    Setting up a job shop with the typical cnc 20x40 mill lathe and collection of manual machines, great, you have a functional job shop, now in a area suffering a oil slump, loads of other shops fighting over the scraps. IMHO its a flawed model, your instantly setting your self up to compete with everyone on the same work. Competition means harder to get jobs and generally jobs that then pay less!! Job shops are akin to vultures, yeah you get the free kills, you get to pick the carcass clean, but in a lot of cases its not all that much harder to be the fat lion basking in the shade after making your own killings and stuffing your self on the profits.

    Thats not to say you can't take in job shop work too, but starting out planning to do that full time is selling your self into a tricky competitive spot. As the posters above mention, job shoppings a 9-5 gig, making your own products any time you want. With online sales, its really easy to run your own set-up around your life and multiple jobs.

  10. Likes Hillside Fab liked this post
  11. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    14,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4552
    Likes (Received)
    6707

    Default

    Kids wise, yeah were seriously contemplating it, after talking to various people, sounds like most things, you can make it as cheap or expensive as you wish.

  12. Likes Hillside Fab liked this post
  13. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Missouri
    Posts
    184
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    104
    Likes (Received)
    95

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    The 1000 limits not set in stone, just realise the more potential your product has and the more your product proves that potential in the market place the more likely people are to copy it,

    Look at it another way, your arch enemy is running a company in china looking for products to make. Cursing through ebay, they come across a product you make that they too can clearly make easily and profitably and there’s sales of 100,000 listed. Your going to have competition and fast!! A lower qty item especially one that needs more complex - non std tooling and its a lot harder for others to copy and a lot less profitable for em to do so, hence they leave you as the only supplier, which keeps prices high and most sales heading your way. Coming back to this places favourite, do you put your hot dog cart outside a fast food joint or a stadium with no other food sources for miles? Who gets the most sales????

    Setting up a job shop with the typical cnc 20x40 mill lathe and collection of manual machines, great, you have a functional job shop, now in a area suffering a oil slump, loads of other shops fighting over the scraps. IMHO its a flawed model, your instantly setting your self up to compete with everyone on the same work. Competition means harder to get jobs and generally jobs that then pay less!! Job shops are akin to vultures, yeah you get the free kills, you get to pick the carcass clean, but in a lot of cases its not all that much harder to be the fat lion basking in the shade after making your own killings and stuffing your self on the profits.

    Thats not to say you can't take in job shop work too, but starting out planning to do that full time is selling your self into a tricky competitive spot. As the posters above mention, job shoppings a 9-5 gig, making your own products any time you want. With online sales, its really easy to run your own set-up around your life and multiple jobs.
    Yes, I agree that job shopping is a tough way to go. Not planning that route for myself for the reasons you cited.

    I haven't completely figured out my widget making plan, but the lower initial risk, higher potential returns, and lifestyle options are strong selling points. Definitely not looking to compete with china on commodity products, though. Logistics would probably be an equally large concern for a small shop shipping qty 1000s/wk.

    The OEM downside for me is the same as ewlsey. But, I figure since I have survived a cubicle for a few years, I can tolerate that too.

  14. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    14,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4552
    Likes (Received)
    6707

    Default

    ^ qty does not bother me, i went into print straight out of school, going from something different every hour to 2 weeks and 500K run jobs was a big shock to the system, yeah educations great, but it sure did not pre-pair me mentally for the boredom - repartition!

    As to figuring the widget making out, IMHO you can't you have to have that bit of flexibility, any plan today that seams like its 100% right is going to be at least 20% different tomorrow!

  15. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Missouri
    Posts
    184
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    104
    Likes (Received)
    95

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    ^ qty does not bother me, i went into print straight out of school, going from something different every hour to 2 weeks and 500K run jobs was a big shock to the system, yeah educations great, but it sure did not pre-pair me mentally for the boredom - repartition!

    As to figuring the widget making out, IMHO you can't you have to have that bit of flexibility, any plan today that seams like its 100% right is going to be at least 20% different tomorrow!
    I wonder what the optimal balance is between "You can have any color as long as it's black." vs. no focus at all, working in totally unrelated markets. Probably no right answer.

  16. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    14,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4552
    Likes (Received)
    6707

    Default

    ^ All depends what your doing, thats the lovely thing about marketing and selling to whimsical humans. Common sense and the obvious only gets you so far!

    The unrelated markets is a good move though, its a key thing if you want to avoid the ups and downs of something like the oil or automotive world.

  17. Likes Hillside Fab liked this post
  18. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,175
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    999

    Default

    If was easy you wouldn't being doing it, someone else already is. Simple is the most complicated thing you can do. If you think 3-10 years is a long time you have never been in business. To look like an eagle it is best to soar with the turkeys. Inventory is the enemy of innovation. Random thoughts just leaking out.

  19. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    14,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4552
    Likes (Received)
    6707

    Default

    ^3-10 years, most people starve to death or become homless, yeah you have to do stuff others easily can't but that does not mean its complicated if you think outside the box.

    Inventorys a must for for filling orders though especially in the e commerce world, people have a scratch they want to itch, they need to be able to do that in as few a clicks as possible. Let impulse work in your favour!

  20. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Missouri
    Posts
    184
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    104
    Likes (Received)
    95

    Default

    Gary, I think 10 years scraping by and eventually folding would be a long time. 10 yrs of working in the right direction toward a successful business would be time well spent. I appreciate the thought leakage lol.

  21. #37
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central Texas, West and North of Austin
    Posts
    1,627
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    178
    Likes (Received)
    531

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by swatkins View Post
    I know a man just north west of Houston that has a one man shop for his second job.. He has not had a single job since last year. The oil bust has hit everyone and work is hard to find. The larger shops do not have enough work and are taking in anything to keep the doors open. Thus the small stuff that makes sence for the garage shop guys is hard to find...


    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
    In Texas, if you are doing machine work, you either are doing oil field related machining, or you are getting work because everyone else is doing oil field related machine work. Simple fact of life here.
    Only one's that escape this fact are the medical shops. A few aerospace shops, maybe. But just about everyone else falls in there. And yes, when oil goes south, in Texas, times get tough. I've been chasing it since May 23, 1983. Never seen it(that rule) fail.
    Everyone was all up in the air when oil was $100/bbl, thought it would last forever. I said it's up on this big high, when it crashes, it's gonna crash hard. It did. Now it's crawling back. Some things never change.

  22. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Angleton, Texas
    Posts
    1,714
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    939
    Likes (Received)
    536

    Default

    We thought we weren't doing "oil field" work ... but it turns out most of our customers were.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •