I'd say you know enough about re-gears that you'd probably shy away from that. I know, I know, yours works, and you're very proud of it, but do you want to go through that on a regular basis?
Everybody does oil changes. Not saying you can't compete, just saying its a hard market to crack.
Alignments cost money for the machine. I vote to stay kinda simple for now.
Dealing in used axles wouldn't be too bad, but people will want a built option as well, so we're back to re-gears...
In addition to building and re-building driveshafts, you can get some good u-joint instillation business as well. Make a deal with a supplier to keep good ones on hand, and make it known. Sometimes good u-joints are hard to find.
Copy that on the oil change business! However, there is only one place in town. Not sure what the investment would be, or what kind of fees/regulations are in place for handling hazardous materials. That could be killer.
The regearing doesn't scare me. I have a friend who does it for a living, and he is very good. He is so fast when he does it, but he has also done thousands of them. He told me how it was when he started out, and how slow he was. Like anything, you have to go through the learning curve. My question is "Would I still have customers after the first two or three"? Thought about offering the service then subbing them out to my buddy, but I don't know if he'd go for that. I would like to become good at it myself, and knowledgeable.
Bodywork? Or if you brush up on welding make some custom parts.
I know for sure I definitely do NOT want to do body work for a living! Welding/fabbing is a strong possibility.
As much fun as I have working on my Jeeps, doing it for a living on any vehicle is a no-go for me.
I think you need to talk to the bank, and have a good look at the books, before getting to far into this.
With any small business, I would expect at least a 60 hour + work week.
Ken4444, great post!
Definitley will talk with the bank and have the books checked out. But she ain't calling! The widow was supposed to call last Tuesday and show us the shop tomorrow after church. She has not contacted us.
I own a pharmacy, and I can tell you that business valuation is always difficult. You can certainly do it, as long as you are able to put out a good service or product. Get the books reviewed by an accountant, it's the best money you can spend. Also if the accountant has a certificate in business valuation you'd be even better off.
I will demand a good service... that's a given. My name would be riding on everything, and it is a potential legacy to the kids. It would have to be successful, but I don't have to become wealthy. My wife has two friends that are accountants. Either would be willing to review the books.
Skipper you are correct you will need a secondary product or service and as all aways I am here for you ole buddy so I have compiled a list of possible joint ventures.
Skippers House of Custom Driveshafts and Waffle House
Kerr's Nail Salon and Driveshafts
The Golden Shaft
Driveshafts and Political Consultants
Skipper figuring work flow, your resources and and all things I would figure to have dual purpose machines so a welding and fab shop along with the DS service. You need a welder anyway you can pick up a plasma table and make some stuff plus you have Clay and Beth busy with the business.
Waffle House! Nail Salon! Holy Makra!! Give me an example of dual purpose machines George.
How bout driveshaft/muffler shop.
Mufflers/exhaust systems... That's kind of a cool idea. I love the sound of a good system. Only two shops in town. Maybe...
I have to agree with the fab and welding shop recommendations. You'll already have a good chunk of metal working equipment for the driveshafts, so it wouldn't be too big of a jump. I know you said that Beth is onboard, is Clay? Or is he still looking to go out on his own?
Clay is definitely on board. So are my two youngest. But Clay is also going through that "What am I going to do"? phase of growing up. One minute he talks of college, the next it's all about getting out there and getting a good job! We are pushing college, or even the armed forces.
A year or so ago I needed to reinvent myself. I wanted to take a hobby I truly enjoyed and turn it into a money making endeavor. My first idea was to buy a local gas station that was for sale, have the gas side of it pay for most of the business expenses (I would be buying the land too) and use the 2 garage bays to specialize in Jeep repair or modifications. My main problem was the Jeep market is just not that big around here to support it so I went to plan Bee and started a beekeeping business which is buzzing!
My point is, I think the Jeep market seems to be much bigger in your neck of the woods but the problem you will have to overcome is most Jeep guys like to do their own work (at least the older CJ's and even the TJ's). If you can specialize in one aspect of it, say driveshafts, while you build up the Jeep part of the business you might have something. Start collecting old Jeep parts like MoC and some of the others, put Clay's welding expertise to work, not just on Jeeps but all sorts of projects...how about becoming the Southeast distributor for Crabtree shackles and hangers? handle the welding aspect of Jeep mods so the bolt on guys have an alternative?
Lucdog does have a very good point about working on cars to make a living and definately expect to live, breath and spend dang near most of your time at the new shop. Will that leave enough time for you to dig up the septic tank to repair, plant your potatoes, write all your poems, mow the lawn? etc etc etc...
Good luck because having your own business is fantastic, tiring, rewarding, a pain in the *** and something I would do again and again all in one!
Reinvent myself... wow! That's pretty much what it's all about. If I didn't have two kids with disabilities I would have been self-employed years ago, but there was no way to afford the insurance/meds. We have the idea of carrying a line of truck/offroad products that can be installed. Maybe advertise that we specialize in Jeeps. The problem with that concept is we have only built one, so we're not specialists! I'm willing to bet I know more than most folks around here though! Again, the learning curve.
One thing not mentioned yet is that hobbies are fun but work is just work. I personally would never try to make a full time run at anything related to jeeps because to me they are a enjoyable hobby that I want to keep. It's a release for me to go cut something up or bolt something up. Once you start turning wrenches for someone else on them the enjoyment slowly will fade and it will become another job. Granted its still a job in a field you enjoy but most of the enjoyment leaves.
I bet the same will happen with bees. After a couple years its will be more work than fun. I am sure Jim will tell you the same thing about welding and fab work. Go ask any airline pilot if they fly for pleasure anymore. I personally have experienced the same as well with my work.
So back to my orignal point.. I personally would not do it because I would not want to lose something I love doing.
Not trying to discourage you Scott just giving you some more thinking points.
If you do do it here is a catch phrase for you. "Scott's Driveline. Our products leave our competitors just plain Skeered."
Good advice MoC. And I have a friend who owns a bike shop. We used to ride together a lot. Then he couldn't. The first time I heard the phrase "going into business ruined a good hobby" came from him.
I would look for a driveshaft business to be able to do differential work as well as custom axles (narrowing, and the like). Probably CV axles too.
Expecting to be doing U-joints. Entertaining the idea of custom axles. The potential equipment would be capable of CV joints/axles as well. Diffferentials I covered above. I believe I could get good at them.
Thanks for the input Everyone. Are there any more ideas/suggestions?
I'm thinking steering components too.
Today started with my boys jumping on the bed this morning. They pinned me down and started tying me to the bed!! Well, let me back up... it REALLY started at 1:30 this morning when I had the Deputy out to the house. My Yahoo (pronounce YAY-hoo down here) neighbor has been playing his shop stereo, loudly, for the past sevreal weeks. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When we have church services here at the house he turns it up even louder, and he runs his 3-wheeler back and forth across his pasture. It is LOUD! So I figured this stereo thing was simply a way that he is trying to aggravate me. Last night I couold hear the music inside my house. We live very rural. What can a person do? I tried waiting him out, but he never turned it off. So I called the Dispatcher last night and asked for a Deputy to come out and talk to me. He turned out to be a really nice guy, tough, but nice, he offered to go over to the Yahoo's house and tell him to turn it down. I explained that it wouldn't go well. He said he would probably have to truss him up and haul him to jail, which would have tickled me, but it just wasn't a good scenario. There is another Deputy that we both know, and I suggested he get involved when he came on shift. So the deputy at my house arranged it. Then we talked about custom cars/trucks and shows. He enjoys that himself, and he is getting a truck to build next week. He enjoyed checking out Clay's Jeep, and we chatted until 3:00! It was a good visit. The second Deputy called me this morning to ask what was going on, and I explained it to him. He said he would call Yahoo and tell him turn off the music. It was off when I got home. YAY!!!
So the kids tied me up, and my wife baked a quiche for my birthday! I have a sick little family!!! So I BURST from my bonds, ate the quiche, and laid around while we decided what to do today. Wifey wanted to take me shopping. So I bought a pair of Danners (for work) from Cabelas (talked to the salesman out in Nebraska for 30 minutes- he is building a '67 Chevelle!). Then me'n Beth loaded up in Clay' Jeep and went to valdosta to shop and eat. The big boys took the little boys to the movies, and Beth and I tooled around in the 5. WHAT A GREAT DAY!! The Jeep did GREAT! We sucked exhaust fumes, got hot feet, but MAAAN, was it good! Lots of head turning, and several Jeep waves. I got the boots, a new belt (also for work) and a couple BuckWear T shirts at Gander Mountain. Lunch was at Cheddars... first time I had been. It was very good. So now we are home. The Jeep developed a couple of electrical issues that I will iron out, and it has a lope like it has a cam. I can't get that out of it. It runs fabulous at higher RPMs. Plenty of torque and acceleration. Anyway to determine if there is a cam in there without taking anything apart?
Sorry for the super-mega post, but I had lots to catch up on.