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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
@bgriggs Good advice about listening to inspiring material. It is easy to get down while going through the initial stages of a startup. But nothing will work better than a persistent effort.
@RainMan 2.0 OK Rick, time to get going. I suggest you start by going through this thread and writing a list of possible clients and actions. Look them up on the web and Facebook. Write down their locations. Start looking at ads in some of the regional publications. Look for business members of local chambers of commerce, some of them may be good prospects.

There's some pricing information on this string so you can figure out what to ask. Get your machine and set it up. Learn the software at night. Make some sample signs with the company logos you find in your research. Run your designs by us one the Forum and ask for suggestions. Just get moving now, Rick. Nothing will haul your butt out of shock and depression faster than getting into action on your new future.

At one point very early in my business, money was very tight and I was tempted to go get a job. But instead, my wife took me to a car dealership and we bought a car! Having a car payment to make shook me into action and so I seriously started executing our plan--got into action contacting all our prospects and started making money. I suggested you get your machine and software ASAP. You'll have a payment to make and will probably have the same experience I did. You aren't going to do hard sell with anyone, just showing a sample and asking whether the potential customer wants to order some customized signs or other items. They will or they won't. And if they don't take the sample to someone else in the same busienss, even a competitor.

Tell us what you're doing as you go along. Take pictures, you'll use them later for marketing on Facebook. We'll cheer you on! --Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 · (Edited)
I just re-read this string. It is full of great input. Read it if you have any thoughts about making money with woodworking and/or CNC.

I got to thinking about hooking up with a CNC owner and doing marketing for them. The missing person in failing businesses is the marketing person. An appropriate percentage would probably work and would keep me off the streets and out of trouble. Just thinkin'.

I'm going to revive this post from time to time to keep it visible.
@RainMan 2.0 How are you doing on this? Easy to get off track, isn't it. :wink:
 

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I just re-read this string. It is full of great input. Read it if you have any thoughts about making money with woodworking and/or CNC.

I got to thinking about hooking up with a CNC owner and doing marketing for them. The missing person in failing businesses is the marketing person. An appropriate percentage would probably work and would keep me off the streets and out of trouble. Just thinkin'.

I'm going to revive this post from time to time to keep it visible.

@RainMan 2.0 How are you doing on this? Easy to get off track, isn't it. :wink:
Tom , thankfully I’m still employed till Aug-16-2019 . In the mean time I’m trying to save as much $ as I can , and finish projects inside my home.
Will have lots of time on my hands to finish the garage , and then start a cnc build thread .
In theory I could start sooner , but I’m trying to see where I stand financially after I’m layed off . My Shares keep diving , and my company pension is tanking again . Not good timing .

I wish I had room for a 4x8 machine . I talked to cncrouterparts recently, and for an extra $800 I can have a kit built for a 5x5 instead of a 4x4 .
That will help by accommodating sheets of Baltic birch in that size if it’s required, plus a little more real estate is always welcome . I don’t know if an extra foot is going to be detrimental to the gantry stiffness , but I’m hoping not , as they do use the same extruded aluminum for there 5x10 model.
I could accommodate an 8x4 cnc router table if I jettisoned the laser engraver , but I’m planning on getting it fixed while I’m at it .

I realize you don’t get rich with a cnc , but all I want to do is keep my head above water.
After the smoke clears I’m sure I’ll be into it for around 20K ,and thats building the electronics myself and a cheap eBay water cooled spindle and vfd . Will likely never pay the machine itself off,but will sure have fun learning .
Ive always wanted one regardless , and I’m sure it’s something I’m going to enjoy, so that alone is worth investing in one.
I may be able to find a part time job if all else fails , but I’d sure like to work from home.
This was a great idea for a thread ,and I like all the inspiration you guys have here
 

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Rick,

Right now I have 6 custom orders waiting, 2 designs to create, and 2 displays to keep up. One of them sold 8 items off the shelf yesterday. Now i gotta replace (make) those along with with today's sales, if any.

For the next 2 1/2-3 weeks I'll be cutting and finishing 12 to 20 hours a day and napping on the couch (chesterfield for you) during the night on some days.

Plus .... getting the new machine up and running and learning about it. Working on the bed now. Might as well do it right the first time.

Plus.......... it's deer season. Priorities!!!!!

This retirement thing is getting out of hand.
 

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Rick,

Right now I have 6 custom orders waiting, 2 designs to create, and 2 displays to keep up. One of them sold 8 items off the shelf yesterday. Now i gotta replace (make) those along with with today's sales, if any.

For the next 2 1/2-3 weeks I'll be cutting and finishing 12 to 20 hours a day and napping on the couch (chesterfield for you) during the night on some days.

Plus .... getting the new machine up and running and learning about it. Working on the bed now. Might as well do it right the first time.

Plus.......... it's deer season. Priorities!!!!!

This retirement thing is getting out of hand.
Sounds like you need to hire employees. Just kidding.

It’s a lot easier to work for yourself than someone else though . Especially knowing you can hit that couch on your terms lol.
I talked to my tax lady , and she said I can write off earning for up to five years . Then if it’s not showing a profit, there’s no more write offs .
Would be nice to at least pay these toys off
 

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OK, most of you already know that I'm not a CNC guy. Which is likely why I never paid attention to this thread before. But when it popped up today, something caught my attention, and now I think I need to read it. Because I'm thinking about getting a CNC machine? Not only no, but Hell no. It is because I'm thinking that a load of the information will also apply to a non-CNC guy, like me.

So, my question for today is:
Is there anything specific I should look out for that would apply to me, that I need to ignore, or just need to read it, pick out what would, apply to me, and ignore the rest?

Fortunately not dependent on woodworking income (a bit of prior planning - retired Army, the disability income was not planned), but on the other hand, can't afford to give away all I make.

I think later I will start a thread asking about pricing.
 

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@RainMan 2.0

Sorry to hear about the lay off. Been through those and there is definitely a better life on the other side.

Don’t forget to look into programs that might be available through the government. Not sure how it works in the North but around here there are opportunities for learning new job skills etc., possible seed money for starting a small business etc.
and take heed of all the valuable comments in this thread.

We are all rooting for you.
 

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@RainMan 2.0

Sorry to hear about the lay off. Been through those and there is definitely a better life on the other side.

Don’t forget to look into programs that might be available through the government. Not sure how it works in the North but around here there are opportunities for learning new job skills etc., possible seed money for starting a small business etc.
and take heed of all the valuable comments in this thread.

We are all rooting for you.
It’s unfortunate that I’m almost blind in my right eye , as they’ve built another mine a few hours from me , and they just hired my neighbors son who is 53 .
But there not going to have someone in poor health driving a 2 million dollar truck .
I’m pretty much left with working for myself , or possibly HomeDepot. I would much prefer to see if I can make it at home though .
Just walking around those stores shopping kills my back , never mind actually working there .
The products that would sell the best in my head , may not move at all . We have a lot of wealthy people an hour north of me in Fairmont and Invemere , and it would be nice to make a journey there once in a while .
I know your not allowed to park on the side of the road anymore , as there’s a big pullout where I’ve seen vendors before .
May have to rely more on e-commerce
 

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Just remember, Don't listen to the folks who say "they can't do it".. … because they are right about themselves..... because THEY can't.

Find a few people that are doing what you want to do, build a friend ship, adjust for what you want out of it, have fun, go for it.
 

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The products that would sell the best in my head , may not move at all . We have a lot of wealthy people an hour north of me in Fairmont and Invemere , and it would be nice to make a journey there once in a while .
I know your not allowed to park on the side of the road anymore , as there’s a big pullout where I’ve seen vendors before .
May have to rely more on e-commerce
Rick, for a long time I communicated with a retired college professor. He has/had a workshop in his basement, and primarily made some nice boxes, which usually sold around the $40- 50 mark, perhaps a bit more. No CNC. He hit craft shows several times a year, did well enough to give his small sailboat to charity, and to buy a larger one. Then started getting repeat customers. Then the repeat customers started contacting him direct. Somewhere in there he started selling in a consignment shop or two. Eventually he stopped hitting the craft shows, the repeat customers increased, and he got to the point where the consignment shops were contacting him. Not saying that will happen to you, but it does prove it is possible. I don't know about the craft shows as such, but I think consignment shops might be a good start, just make sure that buyers know it was you making whatever, and how to get in contact with you.

In the small town I live just outside of there is now a new 'general store', selling all sorts of stuff. Apparently they are doing decent business, not stopped to check, but have to drive past almost every time I go to town. A lot of the stuff outdoors is wooden yard art, etc., so thought they might take consignments. But when I called, they said they did when they started, but no more; I'm thinking they but the crafts outright, then resell them, but forgot to ask. They did say that every 2-3 weeks, they rent out up to 20 spaces in their parking lot, $25 each, for venders to sell. That seems to be going quite well, so later going to give that a shot. I've been thinking that flea
markets would be a good way to sell my stuff, but this is closer and should work as well. So you mght want to give flea markets a shot.
 

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Just remember, Don't listen to the folks who say "they can't do it".. … because they are right about themselves..... because THEY can't.
With me it was people saying, "You can't do it." Puzzled me for a long time, because I knew I could. Finally figured it out, what they meant was that 'they' couldn't do it, so they figured if they couldn't do it, there was no way I could. It used to make my day when they would tell me that, and I could tell them I had already finished it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
@RainMan 2.0 Hey Rick, go back to the first post and re-read it. It's a fairly well laid out approach that can keep you OUT of the lowball price competition. Go for the high end! Sketch out in writing a direction you might take this. You have at least 7 months to go, so I suggest you start executing your plan NOW. Of course, you can always do the employee thing again. It is easier that way, but you are not in charge of your own fate. When I started my business almost 37 years ago, the most important thing to me was to have my own busienss. To never have to work for someone else again. Even though the first few years were lean, I persisted. And I can tell you, persisting is everything. Everyone can be stopped from time to time. The trick is to always keep restarting. If you run up against something that stalls you, look at it until you understand what it is, and then find the solution and way out.

The biggest problem most people have in starting a business is that they don't do the work, or worse, they do what they want to do and don't do the rest. Making contacts, visiting potential clients and asking them to buy your stuff is something many people don't want to do, and when they don't, their business fails. I only know one thing that overcomes that, and that is finding someone you can make commitments to and who will ask about what specifically you have actually done. You must consider this person to be your most important contact, especially when they catch you breaking your word.
 

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@RainMan 2.0 And I can tell you, persisting is everything. Everyone can be stopped from time to time. The trick is to always keep restarting. If you run up against something that stalls you, look at it until you understand what it is, and then find the solution and way out.
When I read that it reminded me of a guy I learned about years ago. He had about 10 or so businesses - all at once. He would start a small business, get it going smoothly, then hire someone to do the work. Then he'd work on doing it again. None of the businesses gave him a lot of income, in fact I think that after he paid for materials and payroll he only made about $10 a week on 1 or 2, but put together, he had a healthy income. Every once in awhile in awhile one of his companies would run out of customers, or for whatever reason. No problem, he would either have a new business ready to put into operation, or he would work on it until he got one ready. I don't know if I could come up with 2 ideas for businesses that would actually make money, let alone 10 or so.

I guess the moral is just keep plugging, keep coming up with different things that sell, and different places to sell 'em. Short version of your advice Tom.
 
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Hello for all
My name is Hasan
I am from North Carolina, looking for friends, I have 4x8f CNC router and 4x3f 130 watt co2 laser cutting machine in my home garage.
Truly say I don't know how I can start in USA, it's fully different than our country, the marketing
Communication, the material
I need help if that's possible
Regards
 

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I agree with you tom
My 25 year experience in business,I never worked for any one I have my own business,9 months I am in North Carolina ,import my machines,and I start to look and learn from other how everything is going in new culture for me
,I am so sorry maybe someone or most of you feeling that's I can't explain well but ,I spent last 7 months also study ESL classes
To learn English language
It's a first time I enrolled with forum ,
And so exciting to get more knowledge
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
For as many years as I've been writing as a big part of my work, I still have my daughter look at and edit everything I write. Hassan, suggest with your new language that you have all designs with words checked by someone with good English ability. Spelling errors or using the wrong word can get your work rejected. But with all your experience behind you, you should do pretty well.
 

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Well I had a good conversation with a gentleman from the Creston area yesterday .
I was repairing his line and asked what he had done for a living . Apparently he sold Salmon and other seafood on the side of the road .
Only worked in the summer ,and on a long weekend he was selling over $17,000.
Had other vendors in other towns that also sold for him , and he’d take a cut . Earned him a few hundred K yearly .
He mentioned you do not need a licence to sell if your out of city limits . That’s why I used to see him on highway pullouts during the summer .

So I mentioned my idea with wood carvings , and he told me a funny story .
The Indian reserve going to the States is on the highway , so these two Indians would sit outside selling woodcarvings by there store .
One would sit there painting while the other had a knife and some carving tools etc .
Well it turns out all there stuff was made via cnc at night , and they’d just capitalize on it by saying it was all done by hand lol.
I guess the tourists just ate this stuff up . Gotta give them kudos
 
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