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Thread: Been away for a while......

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955

    Been away for a while......

    I've been away for a while and it will be a while before i have time to work in the wood shop. I retired in '07 and thought I would be able to have lots of time in the shop but between family responsibilities and a shorter income found that I was just too busy to be "retired". A few months ago, one of my sons approached me about a business, and long story short I am now a business owner and looking at 2 years or more of intense business development. I bought a franchise with a core service area of 6 counties. We expect expansion into 5 additional counties in the next half year or so. I wouldn't have even begun to give the idea much thought by myself but my son sold $300,000 worth of annual contracts in 6 weeks for a franchise owner in New York so i had to look into the idea.

    The real cool thing is that I will be able to buy some of the woodworking tools I only dreamed about in the past. Thinking about CNC router, drum sander, for starters. Heck, I will probably be able to move and build a proper woodshop before long.

    Meanwhile I've spent the day cutting up fire wood and trying not to cry over spalted curly maple going into the firewood pile. My neighbor dropped off some big maple trunks last spring. They are somewhere around 3' diameter and crazy with figure. I keep seeing bowl blanks and pen blanks and have to restrain myself. We simply need the space for business equipment and I really don't have the time to mess with such things now. It feels like wasting money to make money. Business launch is October 20th and we have lots of work to get done beforehand.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,077
    Good luck Paul. I hope it develops into something great for all involved.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,475
    well i wont have to worry about you having your shop in order any time soon for a shop inspection quess i shudahh took the hint sooner
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    Well actually Larry I will be cleaning that up in the next few days. I am one of those creative/messy kind of folks and usually mess things up and then go on a cleaning binge. My son who just moved home to run the business with me is a neat freak. He has been on a tear since we got back Sunday morning and I am amazed by how much he gets accomplished. I guess I'm just too tired to care a lot of the time. I have been stacking lumber up in the lofts in the barn and quickly running out of room. I had both car bays stacked with everything from Q-sawn white oak, quilted maple, beech, cherry....and need the room for business stuff. I am a little worried about the carrying capacity of my lofts. I just might add a few posts this week. I was just a little envious of your wood storage system. I may have to wave some beers in front of you when I get to the point of designing the potential new wood-shop. A little lubrious thinking can solve just about anything.

    When we get everything to an even keel business wise I expect we will have enough funds to get some acreage.The first step before moving will be to build a very large barn to house the business expansion and I will most certainly be putting in a woodworking wing and a metal/welding/service shop.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
    Posts
    10,188
    congrats on the business venture, you shoulda posted a week earlier I was in Michigan and wouldhave helped you get rid of some of that spalted wood and the excess wood that doesn't fit in your rafters.
    Human Test Dummy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Humid Gulf Coast
    Posts
    542
    11 counties, wow. That is a lot of area. Hopefully they are good spending people in those counties.

    What kind of business are you opening up on that large of a scale?
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,464
    Sounds like an exciting time for you Paul, good to hear things are going well.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,264
    Love the sounds of business in the morning, wish you all the best for huge success.
    cheers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Humid Gulf Coast
    Posts
    542
    You know, a while back I had a chance to pull in with five other men and buy an existing Burger King

    franchise in Southern California. (two others were Lawyers--lol). I put a lot of thought into it, and ultimatly

    passed on the opportunity because I relaized what I wanted was free breakfasts there, vs running the place

    as an owner. They had all kinds of classes to attend as an owner and I really did not want to run a restrant.

    (a bar maybe, but not a restruant).


    Anyway I went back there a few years ago, and ALL of the emplyees were illegal alians. The girl who took

    my order could barely speak english, and messed the order up. I had to wonder what happened to all of

    OUR KIDS who used to work at jobs like this. The High Schoolers.


    Anyway, I think I made the correct descision for me, and for my family, at the time

    Hopefully your descsion was a good one, and good luck in your new venture.

    May your days be filled with profits!

    Last edited by Scott R Smith; 10-02-2014 at 05:06 AM.
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    You know Scott, I have seen the same thing over and over. People start off with good intentions and soon are looking to cut costs and make as much money as they can -no matter what happens to others.
    We plan on doing things our way period!!! I spent 30 years in the auto industry and never felt like I was part of a family there. I did enjoy some years on the job, and working with many of the people, however I was never anything more than a number to the corporation. No matter how much I contributed to their bottom line they always viewed me as "just another cog in the vast machine". Very impersonal.

    Now we have an opportunity to do something different. My friend who has invested in my business, and my son, have strong dislikes for how much of corporate America functions. We have agreed on a business plan wherein we will first defer our wages except for enough to pay our obligations and a "stipend" kind of salary. Just enough to drink an occasional barley pop and get our hair cut. My first job to ourselves is to pay off the investment funds and then our personal obligations. (like our home mortgages) Aside from money kept in the business for expansion and some rainy day funds we want to pay our employees a "living wage". I simply cannot look myself in the mirror and pay my employees minimum wage. Sure I will work hard to find quality employees. The beauty of being a sole proprietor owner is that I can pay employees according to their needs. So some form of profit sharing is high on our list. I also plan on maxing out the ownership in a time share vacation club and offering employees expenses paid vacations. We will have employee get together's like harvest parties. I would much rather work with people whom I consider friends and even members of an extended family. I'm sure there will be a learning curve to all this but when one chooses core values that are virtuous then things can work out. It's a funny thing, I really don't care about becoming a millionaire. You can't take it with you. On the other hand when you enrich other people around you and put their happiness ahead of your own, I think that will be far more rewarding. We are planning on founding a charitable foundation as soon as we can swing it. I already know of 3 other franchisees and possibly a 4th who want to do exactly the same thing. So we will hopefully all participate in the funding down the road a bit. All in all this is a great adventure we are embarking on and it will be fun to see where it goes.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

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