Is it worth a career change? Part 2

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Ouch.
First let me defend myself a little. See my responses embedded.....
J T wrote: [snip]

Hmmm. The posting was the beginning of the "homework." I know I have a lot to do and if you knew me you'd know how I analize things to the max. These postings have garnered me a lot of good points and now I can begin to get serious. The part-time apparoach willnot work for me. I'm changing jobs whether I like it or not (either through "forced" early retirement). I stil have a mortgage and kids in college so I won't be doing anything unless I feel strongly that it'sa sure thing.

in western South Carolina back in the 1930's. He lost the fortune later on wine, women, and gambling, though.

experience, and opinions -- I'll decide for myself what I want to do. Everybody uses "advisors" whether they're a "big boy" or not.

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Tue, Dec 12, 2006, 5:44am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (NeverEnoughMoney) doth sayeth: <snip> Hmmm. The posting was the beginning of the "homework." I know Ihave a lot to do and if you knew me you'd know how I analize things to the max. These postings have garnered me a lot of good points and now I can begin to get serious. The part-time apparoach willnot work for me. I'm changing jobs whether I like it or not (either through "forced" early retirement). I stil have a mortgage and kids in college so I won't be doing anything unless I feel strongly that it'sa sure thing. Do you have any persimmon or pecan? Know where I might find some? My paternal grandfather made a fortune with the first portable sawmill in western South Carolina back in the 1930's. He lost the fortune later on wine, women, and gambling, though. The check is in the mail. BTW, I'm looking for people's advice, experience, and opinions -- I'll decide for myself what I want to do. Everybody uses "advisors" whether they're a "big boy" or not.
When you start talking about buying a bsiness at the end of Dec, and still asking all these questions, doesn't sound to me like you done enough homework. You can start out of your garage, or rent.
I doungt I'd know how you analize things, no matter how well I knew you. My mother knows me and she she has no clue how I analizy things, nor do my sons.
Sure the part-time approach will work. If you're retired, you'll have money coming in, that should cover the mortgage, and tell the kid(s) to get a job. So, get another job, doing something, to put food on the table, and pay daily expenses. Then start part-time.
Sure thing, eh? Death and taxes. That's the only sure things I know of.
Don't got no persimmon or pecan. And wouldn't let you have it if I did, I'd use it myself.. I would imagine you could get some from one of the sawmills around here.
Well, your grandfather made it, so it was his money to spend. At least he didn't wast it.
I at times do ask kpeople for advice, but seldom for their opinions. Sometimes the advice gives me something new to think about, sometimes not. Usually the opinion starts out, "What I'd do is", and is usually a complete crock. So, my "advice" is, to get a day job, and don't quit it just yet. My "opinion" is, it ain't gonna be as easy as you seem to think - it's gonna need to be primed with money, hard work, a lot of work, probably more money, befor you start pumping money out. My "experience" is, you're not gonna be the next Bill Gates of the wood business.
I'm sure you will decide for yourslef. A final parting shot. I knew an officer that invented a helmet stand. It folded up, and was meant to hold a helmet for washing, shaving, whatever. He actually was granted a patent for it. Only cost hime about $10,000 U.S. He figured he get a gubmint contract and make a small fortune selling these to the military. Then he found out that he'd invented something that didn't solve a problem. turned out people would rather set the helmet on the tailgate of a vehicle, on the ground, or wherever, rather than have an extra piece of gear to set up, take down, and generally mess with. And it only cost him $10,000 to learn that. Because he didn't do enough homework.
I'll repeat myself here. Get a day job. Start your business part-time, out of your garage, or some cheap rental place. Then IF it gets off the ground, consider quitting your day job then. But, if you really want to start full bore, instead of baby seps, I'd still say you should do pretty well wigh a portable bandsaw,collecting free timber to saw and sell, and custom sawing - at least to start. You might want to look into a used mill first, and I'd talk to a few owners if it was me. Whatever you do, I'd advise not putting a dime on a credit card, talk to your local bank about some type of loan instead. Credit card interest will eat your ass up. The fee is now $150.
JOAT Where does Batman buy gas for the Batmobile?
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Never Enough Money wrote:

Man, if I was you, I'd ask the guy for a record of recent years sales, where he buys his stuff from (and other operational quesitons), etc.
Why is the guy selling? Maybe it's because he's not making any money at it? You must consider this.
Another thing to keep in mind.. How much in demand are exotic woods? What's his existing client base? Are there any current customers that would give you some reliable repeat business.
I think this would be a tough business to get into. The hobbyists that just need a board or two are going to go to a place like Woodcraft.. that's where I go if I want one piece of Bloodwood or whatever. Are you going to be cost competitve enough to sell Maple/oak/whatever to the local cabinent shops or serious hobbyists.. For example, some friends and I order about 600 board feet about every 2 years. There's a place that gives us a great volume discount on FAS grade wood when we order that much and gives us free delivery. Are you going to be able to compete with a place like that.
I'm a bit concerned that this business is a very small niche. Look over everything carefully. It might even be worth getting someone experienced in running their own business to help look over the paper work.
If you really want to open your own business, have you considered a laundrymat (I've read that's the business that has the smallest rate of failure), or maybe one of those janitor franchises, or some other franchise? True, it won't be wood, but based on people I've talked to, as soon as you turn a hobby into a business, it's no longer fun. I have a friend that ran his own pet store for 6 years. He hates pets now, and is pretty bitter about the whole experience.
In regards to your other question: A lot of turners harvest their wood from downed trees. I'm sure some pay big bucks for those exotic bowl blanks at woodcraft, but a lot of turners get their bowl wood for free.
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Never Enough Money :

These are very good questions and you need to figure them out on the basis of your market. You have to decide who your customers are going to be, what are they doing now to satisfy their needs and finally what are the numbers for the business - cost of material, taxes, rent, utilities, salaries, etc.
I'd find someone in area, if possible, who is with SCORE. This is a group that helps upstart businesses or those who are in trouble to get the right info. Also check your finances. How long can you go WITHOUT pay? Can you may your utilities, food, insurance, gas, car payments for 6 mos or a year?
Perhaps, you could arrange to the "big guy" in this business, that is allow the present owner be the day-to-day manager and you just are the finance guy behind him.Would allow you to continue in your present job and gradually get a sense of what it will take to run the business on your own.
As far as HD - I doubt they would stack exotic lumber. The volume they deal in is far to great - most people wouldn't know what do with it and it would hit/miss as to the quality and form (you might get mostly rough cut lumber is odd sizes).
I'd also seekout advice from high-end cabinet shops in your area or find a woodworking group. Got to be one nearby. Find out where they buy their lumber. That will give you a lot of start.
I wish you a lot of luck but it appears you are on the road here and just want some advice to keep you there. If it were me, you're dates are a bit too rushed - there is so much to consider.
Our local community college has a small-business center and they have a lot of courses on how to startup a business and maintain it. Look for something similar in your area.
MJ Wallace
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