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Thread: Thinking of taking next step

  1. #1
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    Default Thinking of taking next step

    Hi Guys
    I've got a small machine shop that I run part time out of my garage.I'm thinking of taking the next step and renting some space and hiring one or two employees to run it full time.Looking for info on the best way to go...should I hire through a contracting company?
    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Gold Member Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking of taking next step

    I would say you are a long way from renting space and hiring employees. When you are working 16+ hours a day 7 days a week out of your garage and still can't keep up with the orders is the time to think about taking on an employee. If you're not willing to put in 16+ hours a day, then work for someone else and run a hobby shop out of your garage part time. Take this from an old guy who has been there and done that. 40 or so years ago I expanded too fast and it was the biggest mistake I ever made. I was lucky in that I was able to sell out and pull back into a more comfortable zone. The guy that bought my shop went bankrupt about a year later due to an economic downturn.

    Taking on employees is a big responsibility, now you have another mouth(s) to feed, you have to keep your employees busy, meet payroll and it adds another layer of complexity to your operation. Hiring from a temp agency is a good option, but don't lock into any long term (90 day) contracts with them, hire day labor. You also have to ask yourself if you want to be a machinist and run a machine, or drive a desk.

    I could write a whole book here but the major points in no particular order:

    • Do you have enough work to support paying rent?
    • Is your equipment paid for?
    • Is steady work available?
    • Are you willing to put in the time to run a successful business? Are you willing to have no life while getting started?
    • Do you have enough savings to pay the rent for 6 months if the work slows down?


    Above I have focused on the negative. I do have to say that running your own business can be very rewarding, but work into it slowly. Don't borrow money to buy equipment, pay as you go.

    Best of luck !

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Default Re: Thinking of taking next step

    Follow what J.Dawson says. My experience is very similar, with employees comes baggage ie. crazy wives or girl friends, drug issues, damn cell phones etc.... you get my drift.
    There is definitely a point where skilled help makes all the difference but wait until its absolutely necessary and your work load is consistent. I've fought the pressure
    for growth from my customers and really taken my time growing our company. We recently began utilizing kids from the local tech schools, they're schedule is one week
    in the shop and one week in the classroom so we see them every other week. Once they graduate and if you've trained and treated them well you usually have a new full
    time employee who hits the ground running. These young kids are amazing at 3D modeling and CAM programming. Best of Luck



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