Possible business venture

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Possible business venture

Postby prevel » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:28 pm

I have a possible business venture that I wold like an opinion on. I have direct access to 8 or 9 small to medium size country stores ( think 7 11 ) and 1 truck stop.
The owner approached me and offered me the space to put custom key chain racks in all stores if I thought it would make any money. He wants the large racks of names made of wood or maybe acrylic. Now I have no clue how I would do this or even if it would be worth the effort. He is a friend and just trying to help my wife and I out of a tough place. So I guess my question is would this be a suitable thing for a router or should I think about laser? Seems like a good opportunity, and there will be more stores added if they do well.
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby GeneMpls » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:25 pm

A laser would be way quicker. no holddown issues.
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby mark-s » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:51 pm

Laser, no question.
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby plcamp » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:30 pm

Definitely a laser. Multiples can be lazed at the same time yielding a product requiring little or no secondary operations.

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Re: Possible business venture

Postby Adrian » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:49 pm

Biggest issue with something like that is the amount you have to put into stock that will probably never be sold due to the enormous amount of name possibilities and spelling. I've done custom name plaques for nearly a decade and sell several a day yet every day there's one I haven't done before. Not an issue when you're making to order but you'll have to put a lot of thought into which names to do to start with until you've got solid sales figures.
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby Savannahdan » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:00 pm

Agree with others regarding lazer and also with Adrian regarding the amount of stock and variations of names. You'll need to develop the display rack and also make extras for their staff to restock. You might want to also consider novelty items that can utilize the equipment such as the 3 piece chicken dinner. Sounds like a great opportunity but will involve a fair amount of initial design, layout, cutting and finishing work. Sounds like it could be fun and hopefully financially rewarding for you and your wife.
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby newmexico » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:59 pm

1. Are you willing to work 15 hours a day, 7 days a week?
2. You'll need working capital to get all that started.
3. Watch your profit margins. Chain stores are notorious for squeezing your margin so low that you are not making enough.
4. Are you aware of the competitive nature of that kind of market? Are you a competitive business person?
5. Will you have a consistent source of wood in your area to support the volume you might get yourself into?

Good luck!
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby prevel » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:58 pm

Thanks everyone. Good points to think about. I appreciate the input.
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby martin54 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:18 pm

I don't think I would look on that as a good opertunity to be honest, a lot of work & outlay upfront for possibly no or little return, if it doesn't work out there is also little you can do with them as they have names on :lol: :lol:
If I were going to consider it then I would have to make sure I could afford to lose the time & money that was invested in it & I would probably only look at one outlet initially to keep my outlay as small as possible.

Price might also be a problem if you are looking to make some money, these things are often mass produced in places like India & China where manufacturing costs are so low it is almost impossible to compete. I would guess that Adrian can command a better price for his because they are bespoke & made to order :lol: :lol:
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby highpockets » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:31 pm

martin54 wrote:I don't think I would look on that as a good opertunity to be honest, a lot of work & outlay upfront for possibly no or little return, if it doesn't work out there is also little you can do with them as they have names on :lol: :lol:
If I were going to consider it then I would have to make sure I could afford to lose the time & money that was invested in it & I would probably only look at one outlet initially to keep my outlay as small as possible.

Price might also be a problem if you are looking to make some money, these things are often mass produced in places like India & China where manufacturing costs are so low it is almost impossible to compete. I would guess that Adrian can command a better price for his because they are bespoke & made to order :lol: :lol:



+1
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby newmexico » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:00 pm

+2 on Martin's excellent comment above.

We got a wild hair a couple of years ago and started making Spinners. After an investment in time and money, best price we could come up with was $12 each. Then...
... Here comes China. Cheap spinners by the boat load.

Why not try making wood bow ties? Hot item around here.

IMHO, there are two price points that people are comfortable with in my area: $25 and $45.
If you can produce a product that fits into those two price points and make a profit and not get copied by China or everyone else, then you are going to make money.
Also, being able to market your products is yet another issue.
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby prevel » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:09 pm

I have declined his offer and have instead have offered to supply him with the stand and key chains if he want to assume the risk and pay for them up front and then buy the replacement stock from me as he sells. I am still waiting on his response. Thanks to everyone who offered an opinion, I always find it's best to ask smart people before making dumb decisions. :lol:
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby scottp55 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:17 pm

I didn't post before, as everybody else had already mentioned that Name key fobs were going to be problematical, and the market is pretty flooded.

BUT, IF you could get your friend away from names, and maybe do something and start small/unique/and area or local interest in a key fob.....Then MAY be worth your while?
Hardest part is to get your foot in the door, and goods displayed...and sounds like you have an IN.
Everybody in business has a price point in the backs of their minds though....ask your friend what he was thinking of......MAY just be a non-starter.
We had good luck here with small high end shops with a key fob design in the high end tourist towns.
To our surprise they weren't always bought as key fobs....many got bought for Zipper pull downs for everything from jackets/purses/beach bags/totes/luggage/etc.

Ocooch has scroll-saw ready .25" stock in many woods(Bloodwood sold the best), and not much outlay there. Machining is reasonable IF design and bits are right(and not too many Z lifts).
Laser is fast, but hard to beat a good dense hardwood with decent design in a pocket, or clean VCarve.
CAMDEN ORDER 4.25.16.jpg

2.2 inch cherry.jpg

4.18.16 KEY FOBS SECOND AND THIRD COATS.jpg

Maine keyring 0.jpg



My design aren't being used right now by the people that Dad gave the company to.
Be glad to give you 3 blank fob designs(oblong ones shown) that sold well and you could do your own designs, and answer any questions you may have by e-mail if you PM me if it will help you two out?
Cheap/small enough to carry around and maybe give to owners of likely shops?

Just DON'T do something like these 3D "Small Celtic Dragon" ones I made from Michael Mezalick or you'll go batty and they'll tend to walk away :D
8.8.17 MM DRAGONS 4.jpg


Be glad to help if this sounds interesting.
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby prevel » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:29 pm

Wow, that super generous of you. Thank you very much.
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Re: Possible business venture

Postby scottp55 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:29 pm

You have a PM:)
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