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Discussion Starter #1
Since it got started in the other thread, it got me wanting to see what else is out there. As I said, Myself and a couple buddies are looking at starting a business. As of right now we are more looking at a weekend/side business to see where it goes first. It is hard for me to give up health insurance for something that is uncertain. That is why I have turned down several jobs at Colsa that are temps with a possibility of full time.

But before we embark on something this life changing, we want to research more.

Is there places where I can research small business loans, goverment grants for small business etc.

Also a place where I can find out about local/state/federal laws on businesses, i.e. lisences etc.

Is there a place I can find out about zoning laws and stuff like that, since if/when we start it, it will be done from the home until if/when it takes off and we get an actual shop and make it full time. Basically is there a website i can read up on if it is legal/illegal to work out of the home on vehicles. Ya know, if im turning a wrench on a truck commercially can the cops gonna come knock on my door.

Is there a website about health insurance for small business and its employees. I think if we can get health insurance for us we would be more willing to look at it full time more from the start then a part time job.

Is there some kind of office locally I can go to, to talk to someone for advice. do's and dont's, etc.

Basically I am looking for any and all info I can find. We want to do a full research before we embark on this. Two of us have always dreamed of having our own shop, one of us is a good salesman, and i need to convince my brother to move. (Todd I know you are reading this, and I know you want to :goodfinge)

I appeciate all info guys.
 

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green ones make me horny
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What are you trying to do?
 

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Businesses have three layers (minimum) of gov't interference to deal with.

Best advice is follows: spend a couple of hours with a CPA in your local area. This will be fastest source of $$$ impact information.

Secure a work stream, and build your enterprise through sweat equity.
Borrowed money has to be paid back, one way or another. Find a company that is willing to contract with you for fleet maintenance, work out of your service truck, avoid large inventory and large shop rent and insurance???

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Since Ken asked. We are looking at starting up a 4x4 shop. One to compete with the crappy Rocket City Offroad. May not be a big competiton at first, but a way to give people a choice. The plan would be to charge for parts what it costs us to get them, then charge a couple hundred extra. For example, say someone wants a 4" rough country lift for an 88 Bronco. Well we can buy the kit and install it. Cost of the kit is 550 from RC. That is what the customer is charged for parts. Then we charge 300-500 for labor.

Unlike Rocket City that tends to add a minimum of 100 to parts then several hundred more to labor. Something like a 4" lift that we would charge a total of 850-1050 would cost 1200-1500 from Rocket City. That is how we are leaning to run the business. Plus they do shady work.

We were looking at doing it here at the house...but gotta look at customer appeal to. Most people wouldnt want their truck worked on in a front yard, like the bronco is being.

We have a real good possiblility of having a shop cheap. Best friends mom is looking at putting one of those metal buildings up on their property. which would be on a major road. She wouldnt charge us much to use it. This is making me want to think of more full time though to go that route. This is the bad thing about not owning my own place/land. I cant just put buildings up at my leisure. I do plan on going by my bank where I have an inside track with a manager (good family friend and good solid finacial advice)


wont have a fleet, and dont plan on a large inventory...more of a order as wanted type inventory. insurance is where i am concerned about. I know nothing when it comes to business insurances.

yeah I would like to lean away from a business loan if possible, that is why i asked about grants. I have heard that the goverment does have grants to help start small business. A good friend actually paid attention in his economy class unlike myself, said our economy was built around small business and entrepenuers (sp?) lots of things to help out starting one.

thanks for more links marv

and thanks meaux for the advice
 

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green ones make me horny
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it would be better if it was in a shop, i dont think you would want someone seeing your fiasco with your gears you know. that is a big risk if you drop someones truck. not trying to be a dick but that is shit you got to look at. if it takes off though i will work for you when i get out of the military.

ken
 

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Discussion Starter #7
imlikeojnow said:
it would be better if it was in a shop, i dont think you would want someone seeing your fiasco with your gears you know. that is a big risk if you drop someones truck. not trying to be a dick but that is shit you got to look at. if it takes off though i will work for you when i get out of the military.

ken
not taking you as one ken...you just being you, yeah I know we dont want that to happen. We have been researching 2 and 4 post lifts for the past couple days...it really wouldnt happen then.

right now im trying to make heads and tails of all this insurance stuff..googles Small Business Liability insurance....wow is all I can say...im confused :brownbag


I know you would ken...might just have a spot for ya too. lol 3(4 if my brother comes here) mechanics of the shop all own broncos that would be funny, and the sales man...drives a ranger
 

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SrATEX said:
not taking you as one ken...you just being you, yeah I know we dont want that to happen. We have been researching 2 and 4 post lifts for the past couple days...it really wouldnt happen then.

right now im trying to make heads and tails of all this insurance stuff..googles Small Business Liability insurance....wow is all I can say...im confused :brownbag


I know you would ken...might just have a spot for ya too. lol 3(4 if my brother comes here) mechanics of the shop all own broncos that would be funny, and the sales man...drives a ranger

i think insurance is pretty big thing. i would find a local garage there and talk to them about it. go to the source that would be the best way. if you can get it off the ground it would rock. that and you can always build a course in the back for people to test there new lift on...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
before i get deep enough to build a course...i would have to buy some land
 

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oh yeah i would also say specialize in all forms of mechanincs not just 4 wheel drive. thats just me
 

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Discussion Starter #11
maybe on the side...i would prefer to focus on one real thing...there are too many "Big Boys Toys" in Huntsville. We dont need another one. However we only have one offroad shop, that isnt very good. There are only 2 real dedicated 4x4 shops in the state....amazing for Alabama aint it. Much wider market in the market that I enjoy personally. I dont enjoy ricers, I dont enjoy lifting an 86 Caprice so some guy can roll 24s.

So what im saying is I want, along with my partners, is to focus on a 4x4 shop. On the side we may do some other things. The other mechanic does have a ricer, and he has mentioned as a side to work on them a little, but his heart lies in wheelin. that ricer is just a DD.
 

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I was thinking of custom fab stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ok...i can see that then...im gonna go talk to the bank next week about a loan for a few things...to include a better air tank and a good welder.
 

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Daniel, the world doesn't work like "build it and they'll come". Some things to consider;
  • If there are a lot of "Big Boys Toys", there's gotta be a market for 'em.
  • If there's only one off-road shop in town, where's the local market? How much business does Rocket City do?
  • If you gotta lift ricers and a Caprice now and then, it's money in your pocket.
  • Insurance? Talk to your own agent. He can tell you what you'll need.
  • Get credit reports for all of you guys. Experian is easy to work with. Don't bother with Equifax or TransUnion - a bitch to get thru their sites. You get one FREE report every 12 months under Federal law.
  • Scout around and see if some of the "Boys Toys" shops can refer some business your way. Maybe even do some "farm" work for them.
Expect to just keep you head above water for 3-5 years, Won't be a Rockefeller over night. But if you really love doing it, and you do it smart, and you do it good, you'll succeed.

Got me a credit report (free of course) a week ago. Zero negatives and 9 "paid", "closed" and/or "never late" loans and accounts since '87. They're only supposed to go back 10 years, but hey...:shrug

If you go for a loan (IMHO you should), you can put me down as a personal reference. I think I know you well enough by now.
 

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If there are a lot of "Big Boys Toys", there's gotta be a market for 'em.
If there's only one off-road shop in town, where's the local market? How much business does Rocket City do?
If you gotta lift ricers and a Caprice now and then, it's money in your pocket.
Insurance? Talk to your own agent. He can tell you what you'll need.
Get credit reports for all of you guys. Experian is easy to work with. Don't bother with Equifax or TransUnion - a bitch to get thru their sites. You get one FREE report every 12 months under Federal law.
Scout around and see if some of the "Boys Toys" shops can refer some business your way. Maybe even do some "farm" work for them.
ill take a shot at this being as that is where i am from.

there is a market for it definately, and i think if you take the business out of madison are where they are at you should be fine. alot of people do it themselves for the fact that they cant afford to leave there truck behind for a week or more waiting for them to get it done, plain and simple. there has always been a market up there for it, when i was growing up the only other place to get it done was in hazel green and that aint worth it IMO. Marv this is north alabama, there is more country there than you can shake a stick at. there is definately business for it
 

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Tex I gotta say this, and I'm not trying to trample your dreams.. But there are 2 4wd shop in OKC and 1 custom fab shop... They are all starving for bussiness. Most shops make their bread and butter on parts, Not installs.... One of the more reputable shops here just recently stopped doing installs cause it was costing them to much for labor and insurance.... Even 4wp only has one installer and bunch of tire monkey's.... Most 4wheelers do their own work. How many times have you seen people posting up looking for a shop only to come back and start posting about doing it themselves...... I'm not trying to discourge you, I'm just saying. The 4wd market is slim on installs and long on parts sales... Talk to Chris at 4wheelcustoms.. He might be able to shed some light on things also.. Good luck with everything----Fog
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Fog I appreciate the input...you are right, and that is somethign to look at
 

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Here's a thought, along the lines of what Fog said, from the "you gotta crawl before you can walk" department.

Back in the early 70's, I got an FFL at $10/yr, just to buy guns and shooting supplies at wholesale for myself. But friends would want guns, too. So I'd get them and charge $10 + shipping + wholesale price for them. Suddenly, I had more friends than I ever thought thru word-of-mouth advertising. UPS was my warehouse. Could've built a business except I already had my career with the government.

If you could hook up with some mfg/distributers (like Ryan) and sell at maybe your cost + shipping and keep your profit at something less than JCW, Jegs, Summit, LMC, etc., you could start putting some money aside for a bigger operation. The biggest expense would be advertising. Minimum inventory, if any, and you could do the "...and I can install it if you want..." thing.

Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
marv said:
Here's a thought, along the lines of what Fog said, from the "you gotta crawl before you can walk" department.

Back in the early 70's, I got an FFL at $10/yr, just to buy guns and shooting supplies at wholesale for myself. But friends would want guns, too. So I'd get them and charge $10 + shipping + wholesale price for them. Suddenly, I had more friends than I ever thought thru word-of-mouth advertising. UPS was my warehouse. Could've built a business except I already had my career with the government.

If you could hook up with some mfg/distributers (like Ryan) and sell at maybe your cost + shipping and keep your profit at something less than JCW, Jegs, Summit, LMC, etc., you could start putting some money aside for a bigger operation. The biggest expense would be advertising. Minimum inventory, if any, and you could do the "...and I can install it if you want..." thing.

Just a thought.
Yeah is was just spinning that thought in my head.


having ads made for me will be free..got a buddy starting a graphics design business.
 
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