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Old 20-07-2013, 07:13 PM   #1
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Default Pitfalls to watch out for when starting up for yourself?

I've been out of work for a while and things aren't really looking to change in the near future....
So, I was thinking of turning my hobby in to a small business. I'm a proficient mig and tig welder and can fabricate high quality panels. An example below of a wing i fabricated while learning to use the english wheel.

Having never worked in a garage setting before, how do you go about effective marketing and advertising??
I've got a million questions rolling around in my head, but i'm just looking for basics at the moment.

Cheers for any replies

Rob
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Old 21-07-2013, 09:16 AM   #2
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Hi Rob,

If you've knocked that up by yourself then you are obviously a man with skills!

If you are looking to go down the car panels route, I had an interesting chat with a mechanic yesterday who reminded me that the car I'd just bought there were only 30 left on the road - ie. you can't base a business on cars that are so rare.

But with your skills, I'd say you need to do some market research on an area you find interesting and post up on appropriate forums to see what kind of uptake/feedback you will get?

I know it might go against what I said above but just imagine if you were a Jag E-type or XK120/150 owner and needed new high quality wings - where would you get them from?

Keith at Day Mouldings has been making fibreglass wings for vdubs for over 20 years now and if you've seen his setup its simple but he obviously is making a living from it. When I visited him he had another 10 sets waiting in the wings that were already pre-booked.

Never have too much in stock I'd say. Good luck.
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Old 21-07-2013, 10:17 AM   #3
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Cheers, unfortunately that wasn't my jig. Regards the jag stuff to get the good quality panels so i could replicate them would require a rather large mortgage....
I've been thinking long and hard and it would be more down the route of part restorations, maybe some mobile work to help people who are restoring cars at home. I like the idea of making panels, maybe 356 speedster seats, thought about trying to get hold of some oval wings/decklid to replicate, maybe some ghia parts....
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Old 29-07-2013, 10:58 PM   #4
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Mobile welding perhaps? That always scares quite a few, if you are happy to do it/can do it of course?
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:10 AM   #5
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I would not go mobile, insurance would be a sticking point and your public liability will be high.
if your thinking of doing repo panels look round local and see what the local resto companys are working on, its better to have a local contract than one 200 miles away. you can also work with them on marketing the panels.
see if theres any local historic motorsport companys about as there always needing body repairs and panels.
one off panels will earn you good money but will never keep you busy, you need to tool up and make a batch run of parts, which means a big investment in kit and tooling.
like i said get around to the local resto companys and talk to them. we have a guy in northampton who is shit hot and does a lot of sub contract work for a lot of the resto shops round here, he even made up a custom roof skin for a lambo project i helped on a few years ago.
dont restrict yourself to classics as the bespoke modern coach built is worth just as much and is more one off type work.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:57 PM   #6
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I've run my own business for 18 years and have mentored several people to run their own businesses.
Drop me a line and I'll give you some advice. Too much to write on here.

I'll PM you my phone number
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your advice, luckilly i've managed to find work now.
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