Would like some advice and opinions

sprint_9

Rookie
One hour is too far if you are going to be working long hours imho…

Don
Chris have you done that type of travel to and from work before? If not it's really something to take very seriously. I've made the mistake of too long of drive time a couple times. Sitting back thinking about the drive time doesn't seem bad, then you start doing it day after day and it really can wear on you. Different people have different tolerances, so maybe not as big of a deal for you.

Cost wise something to consider related to the drive is gas, maintenance, wear and tear on your vehicle.
 

Raymond_B

Hobbyist
Chris have you done that type of travel to and from work before? If not it's really something to take very seriously. I've made the mistake of too long of drive time a couple times. Sitting back thinking about the drive time doesn't seem bad, then you start doing it day after day and it really can wear on you. Different people have different tolerances, so maybe not as big of a deal for you.

Cost wise something to consider related to the drive is gas, maintenance, wear and tear on your vehicle.

Your post reminds me of a gentleman that I was interviewing with for my first IT job. I wanted that job so bad, but it was in Dallas and I lived in Fort Worth with a 3 year old and a young wife. He looked at me and said "do you want to spend an additional 3 hours a day away from your family commuting?" Man that really stuck with me.
 

El Toro

Member
Chris all good advice here. Please protect yourself in this lease. Use to travel 1 hour each way 7 days a week............we sold the shop now have house and shop same location and we own it. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

shine

Member
best thing i ever did was close my big shop and build a shop at home . low overhead , great security , no commute , no drive in traffic . in todays world very few small shops make it out there . overhead and loss due to shitty employees just choke them down .

#1 reason for small business failure is treating the money like it's yours .
 
Many years ago, I was in the restaurant business. I leased an thriving restaurant with all the equipment. I grew up working for my dad in his restaurant so I knew what to expect. Or so I thought. Restaurant was open 7 days a week. I was there 7 days a week 10 to 12 hours/day. The biggest problem I had was employees. They quit without notice. They just do not show up for work, steal from you (two of the ones I trusted the most), bring personal problems to work, etc. Then you get a call at 3 am that the alarm is going off or show up one morning to discover there had been a break in and the place was trashed. The money was good but "I WAS LIVING TO WORK NOT WORKING TO LIVE". Did not take me long to realize I did not want to do that the rest of my life. Took me 18 months to get out of the lease. That was one happy day. I never looked back. Helped me become who I am today.

Don't forget you will be required to have workers comp insurance, liability insurance, other insurances. You will probably have to deal with the EPA. Have to pay employer's payroll taxes and any benefits you provide. Not trying to discourage you but make sure you have a lease that protects you and you have a provision to get out of the lease. You need an attorney draw up the lease.

Best of luck with your decision.
 

crashtech

Combo Man & Mod
I think if I had been a bachelor I would have simply lived at my shop. Zoning laws may forbid this in some areas, so it may have had to be done secretly. I had (and have) a wife and family, so it was never an option. But it would have been one way to drastically cut expenses.
 

Elwot

Promoted Users
I know next to nothing about body work or managing a shop. I have however managed people for a little while. I have a saying:
"If you have 1 employee - You have an employee problem"
Something to consider. Good luck
 

shine

Member
consider this . 5k job comes in , joe blow does the job and screws it up big time , you've paid for the overhead and materials . joe got paid but now you have to undo what joe did , pay for all the overhead again plus extra wages undoing it then pay for the job to be done again right .
how many jobs will it take to cover the loss ??? i can tell you the profit for the next 5-8 jobs will go to cover it . i spent 20 years supporting a big shop . the loss was enough to retire in BVI 20 years ago . think long and hard. the only success in a small shop is owning it all , spend 20+ years building it up , paying it off and then selling out lock stock and barrel to retire .
 

crashtech

Combo Man & Mod
Working by myself for the first year, I did make a contraption to remove pickup beds with an engine hoist. At that time, if I needed to remove a large hood, I would just borrow a mechanic from next door. If I had to work alone today, I would need to make a contraption for hoods too, since I don't have any neighbors now. There are many instances where help is either required or very beneficial, and some thought needs to be put into how those situations get handled alone.

I guess they make one, I might need to check that out:

 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
During my projects over the last year, I've made friends with and observed two different shop owners.

One guy rents his shop and is a one man show. He lives in a 5th wheel behind the shop, works around the clock and is just keeping his head above water despite having a full shop and backlog of high dollar work. He always seems stressed out.

The other guy owns his building and has one solid worker. He closes promptly at 5 PM every day, never works weekends, always has time to BS with me, and it seems like he is having fun.

Anecdotes for sure and everyone's situation is different, but I thought I would share those observations.
 

crashtech

Combo Man & Mod
In my case I had to teach my helper everything. It takes a LONG time for that to pay off, but now I don't know what I'd do without him.
 

EddieF

Top Banana
I could never do it. I still dvr & stomach nightly news. You got no power Chris.
Down here every commercial break has at least 1 slime --- lawyer wanting to sue.
Won't even get into rights of whoever u hire. I'd be scared ----.
My 2c.
 

RosharonRooster

Promoted Users
Without knowing and entire life situation it's hard to give advice....but I dont like to rent or lease anything. I saw the ad says owner finance. Big money. Is buying it an option at this time?. My wife commutes an hour each way. She gets home exhausted...I work 8 mins from home. I get home and have time to tinker in the shop. That hour commute gets old. I'm not sure another 25k a year would make it worth it for her. She's looking. Just sounds like some long days in your future. Not getting younger. What about moving somewhere that you could build or have a pole barn built? And take on jobs. I was paying 125 for a storage for 1 car plus 55 for storage of open car hauler. Thats 180 a month. When we moved. I pulled a 2nd mortgage to build my shop behind my house, (note was 225 a month,, no Brainerd for me) against everyone's financial advice. 10yrs later I own everything on the property...in short...rent or lease isn't a long term solution for the working man. Just my opinion

He gets to keep making money without having to do any work?...you want to be that guy in 10-15yrs....so start planting those seeds today.
 

Chris_Hamilton

Trying to be the best me, I can be
Thanks for all the advice guys.
I would love to build a shop at home, but where I live is like the land that time forgot. All the jobs in the town close to me evaporated after NAFTA. 1800 of them. They are all gone. Then Tobacco which was the only major cash crop in this area, has almost completely gone away after the Feds changed how it was sold. So there is nothing here now. Would sell the home and land but wouldn't be able to get anything remotely comparable somewhere else. I haven't been able to really get any decent work for my little home shop since I left my Job. I wanted to build a car to show and get work with, but doing it the way I want to requires cash of which I am slowly depleting. So I got to do something. We'll see how it goes this afternoon when I meet with the guy. Worst that can happen is I fail. I've failed before.:)
 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
Thanks for all the advice guys.
I would love to build a shop at home, but where I live is like the land that time forgot. All the jobs in the town close to me evaporated after NAFTA. 1800 of them. They are all gone. Then Tobacco which was the only major cash crop in this area, has almost completely gone away after the Feds changed how it was sold. So there is nothing here now. Would sell the home and land but wouldn't be able to get anything remotely comparable somewhere else. I haven't been able to really get any decent work for my little home shop since I left my Job. I wanted to build a car to show and get work with, but doing it the way I want to requires cash of which I am slowly depleting. So I got to do something. We'll see how it goes this afternoon when I meet with the guy. Worst that can happen is I fail. I've failed before.:)
The additional info is helpful. In my area (1 hour south of Seattle) the restoration shops are backed up at least a year. I hear the same for the whole west coast.
Can you draw a bigger circle than your local area? Some customers might be willing to trailer 500 miles to get good work rather than waiting for their local shop.
You have a great reputation here. Maybe someone knows someone who knows someone . . .
 

crashtech

Combo Man & Mod
Thanks for all the advice guys.
I would love to build a shop at home, but where I live is like the land that time forgot. All the jobs in the town close to me evaporated after NAFTA. 1800 of them. They are all gone. Then Tobacco which was the only major cash crop in this area, has almost completely gone away after the Feds changed how it was sold. So there is nothing here now. Would sell the home and land but wouldn't be able to get anything remotely comparable somewhere else. I haven't been able to really get any decent work for my little home shop since I left my Job. I wanted to build a car to show and get work with, but doing it the way I want to requires cash of which I am slowly depleting. So I got to do something. We'll see how it goes this afternoon when I meet with the guy. Worst that can happen is I fail. I've failed before.:)
I hope it all goes your way, Chris!
 

Carshinebob

Promoted Users
I can only give advice from my own experience. ymmv. It seems from reading this thread you have a rough business plan woked out. I've always been the guy that thought I could work myself harder and longer to get through anything. Now that I'm 65 (and in the last 20 years) I'm finding that maybe that's not such a good idea.
I'm really glad I bought the property when I moved my shop to the current location. The previous building was leased from my ex and I could not build any real estate equity. The equity I'm building now is my retirement and with out that I wouldn't have much for retirement. At your age in a career move, making enough to be able to put some money aside or invest for retirement would be something to consider. If I was leasing my building I can't imagine having anything at the end for all the time and energy I've invested in this business.
Good luck I'm pulling for you. ~BOB
 

Chris_Hamilton

Trying to be the best me, I can be
Thank you Gents for all the kind words. You guys are all class acts.:) Met with the Guy this afternoon. Left more confused than before. I can't get him to spell out exactly what would be needed to lease it. He did say that he would like 10K in lease money upfront and for me to have proof that I had an additional 10k in working capital. I'm not going to do that. I told him the max I would be willing to put upfront would be $7500. I also told him I would help him clear any jobs. I left saying that I would give him a few days to decide exactly what he wants and I would call him. So I don't know. I don't think he is as busy as he claims or ever has been as he has no mixing bank and looking at the frame machine, even though it was old it looks like it's hardly been used.
So as of now I don't really know.
 
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