Hope everyone is enjoying the great St. Louis weather at last. Within the last 5 weeks we have gone from a foot of snow to 93 degrees today… what do they say here, if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes?
So, on with the story. I talked about money and skills, so on to other critical success factors you will need to accomplish when getting your business off the ground.
- Tools and supplies. When thinking about starting, look at reducing your start-up costs. Do you really ‘need’ those items to start, or are they just something you would like because you love filling your garage with tools? I definitely love filling my garage with tools, but I also have to ensure that the money is being spent on the business in a way that each dollar I spend is invested with a view to a return. The best advice I can give is that when you look at buying tools, by the best brand you can, with the best guarantee. You will break them, it will piss you off, and you will spend more time and money going back and forth trying to replace them than it would have cost to have bought good ones in the first place.
- Don’t be cheap when it comes to items such as welders, just suck it up and buy a Miller TIG welder that also switches to AC for Aluminum – trust me, it’s worth it. Buy a good MIG as well for tac welding, like a Lincoln MIG. Buy a decent, 3-head, 80 cubic feet compressor. Anything less, and you will spend all day waiting for it to catch up with your tools.
- When it comes to air tools I buy Harbor Freight. That goes for the tools, air lines and the consumables, such as sanding discs. The reason – they are cheap, I buy two of everything and if they break, I throw them out and open a new one. I know it goes against my mantra of buying good quality, but lets face it, they are probably made in the same factory as everyone else’s tools as well, and I reduce my downtime by having a spare on hand – plus, their guarantee isn’t too bad either.
- The most critical tool is a bike lift. No need to go mad and drop a grand on one, just keep your eyes on the Harbor Freight website, or sign up for their e-flyers. Every couple of months they sell their bike lift for $299.00 with $100 delivery charge – that’s about $200 less than normal. That’s what I use, and its never failed me. Just make sure that once you raise it to the height you need, insert the safety bar in the slots, and then lower it onto the bar – that way, you are not carrying the weight of the ramp and the bike on the hydraulic rams.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned!