Hey guys and gals
I am a long time lurker, posted a few times, and I've about decided to take the plunge and look into starting my own shop. I have decided that it will be more than a hobby, since I don't see my personal situation affording me the finances to do it as a hobby. I am looking at getting with my local Small Business Association and taking out a SBA loan. I was thinking about getting enough for 2 or 3 small new CNC mills (or larger used machines) and maybe 1 or 2 small CNC lathes, plus all of the other associated machinery (cutoff saw, drill press, finishing equipment, etc). My thoughts are to begin making hardware for muzzleloading rifles (my father has made them from scratch for years) and looking for work to bid on from bigger shops that need help. I have worked in manufacturing for the last 28 years, and would probably work alone for a while.
Does anyone have experience with the SBA? How did it go?
Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
RICHARD ZASTROW - Thanks, yes I have been studying the SBA website thuroughly. The SCORE website is a new one for me, and I will check it out.
I am looking for opinions of working with the SBA and banks that give SBA type loans. Personal stories about their practices and things I might need to lookout for.
Lyle, I suggest you look into SCORE before SBA. SCORE is made up of mostly retired exec.'s etc. The SBA will require business plans etc. which SCORE will be helpful in preparing. They will probably also be able to direct you to state & federal programs which might help you get started. Often, if your business is located in a somewhat depressed (high unemployment) area, there are special low interest loans and even grants available.
Hope that helps.
Having been there and done that except I didnt use SBA loans. If you are actually going out to buy a complete machine shop from scratch you better have it set in stone that you are going to be able to cover your payment and overhead. I would think that is a lot for a one man shop to have to generate that much cash flow. I myself started out with a manual mill and small lathe and built it up from there in my garage. When I sold the place it was in an industrial park had 4 manual mills, 3 cnc mills, 3 manual lathes 1 cnc lathe, 1 wire edm machine, 1coordinate measureing machine 2 grinders various other stuff. Bought each machine 1 at a time. Rarely had any machine loans. Overhead can eat you alive and another thing beware of the taxes!!!
Just my .02 worth. Good luck
kritic - Thanks for the warnings. I am working on the financial calculations and I know that if I can't make enough to cover expences, then it's time to rethink.
jrrdw- Yes, I have been checking the SCORE site out, and I have registered at the local Cincinnati chapter. I am going to be setting up in a rural area so some of the special finacing just might apply.
I'm sure you know this allready, but i'll say it anyway -- Tech Tips: Make sure your building is up to county/zone codes, fire/eletric are particuarly importent. Address numbers need to be easiely seen from the street, incase emergancy services are needed. I sagest a monitered alarm system, will offset the insurance cost a little, plus it's like having a auto dailer to 911 for what ever emergancy may arrise.
Make sure you clean my wrench before you put it back into my toolbox.