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  #11  
Old 12-13-2010, 12:26 PM
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GrayM GrayM is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 84
No, I don't. I'm 18 and a freshman in college. I was doing my best to avoid the university route while in highschool, and looked hard into going to a trade school for machining. Ultimately my goal is to own a business in whatever I do, and when I looked at the startup costs for a machine shop vs. how much you can charge it seems like a tough business. Obviously you've got more experience/knowledge than me, but the way I saw it I could go a couple routes. I could spend $30K or more on a vertical knee mill, manual lathe, couple of welders and all the tooling associated with those machines, and be a job shop/ fab shop, but then my shop rate would be about $40 give or take.

The other way I could go is to buy a VMC and turning center and do production runs. Than my start up costs would be much greater, and I'd be competing with China, Vietnam, and everywhere else they pay their labor $1 USD per day.

At any rate, I caved and I'm going to school for business. I'm just now in the start up stage for my landscaping business and plan to be rolling this spring. I hope to grow it to the point I can earn my full time living on it when I graduate.


45 Minutes is probably doable. You just need to have an hourly rate that you bid at and factor the drive time into your bid. For example if you charge $50 an hour you've got $75 tied up just getting to, and from your first and last job. If you're there 6 1/2 hours and mow 13 yards you've got to spread that $75 over 13 people, so that would be $5.77 extra per person. Factor that into your prices and you should be good! You'll have a few people who will choose other services over you because of the $5, but I don't think it'll break you.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:57 PM
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elitefox elitefox is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: missouri
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Sounds like income has been decent so I would hate to lose a big investment off the start. I think it would be so much easier to start with lawncare, then move to a machine shop after your growth occurs. Start with a machine shop first and fail, then you took a way larger hit then the LC failing. Its very very hard not to make it in LC just cause EVERYONE has a yard. Start with LC, grow, hire, then build your own machine shop 7-8 years down the road.. Use LC to fuel your fire so u can really pursue your dream of product design/manufacturing in the long run
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