Small Machine Shop Work At Home Business
Many individuals who have worked in mechanical industries that once had machine shops are finding themselves looking at starting a small machine shop work at home business. As more and more machining industries are going offshore this is leaving more opportunities for someone to start a up a small machine shop work at home project. Depending on where you live this can be profitable depending on your expectations of the business.
A consideration for starting your small machine shop work at home project is there enough work there to support a shop? You need to find your niche, get yourself a business license for your home and separate your business finances from your family finances. You must always consider that machine shops sell time, and bigger machines cost more per hour than smaller ones.
Adding machining services is not as simple as throwing a couple of machines in the back of your machine shop. Careful consideration should be given to how much time, effort and capital you want to invest in machining. Remember, your machine shop also must be competitive with other machine shops if you are going to compete. If your machine shop can't deliver on quality or time, it wasn't worth adding in the first place. How you want your machine shop to run depends on a lot of variables--part volume, variety of parts, tolerances needed, required speed, level of complexity, and following these few basic machining concepts will help you formulate a plan.
Now what niche do you pursue, depends on your goals. Every neighborhood has need for someone to do small jobs that require some machining. Doing repairs for people is a hard way to make money things these days are fairly inexpensive, no one will pay you a hundred bucks to fix the lawn mower they got at Home Depot for just over a hundred dollars.
Consider do you have any hobbies where you might get into a niche product where your location won't be quite so important. UPS/USPS goes most anywhere, so if your niche item is small enough to ship for a reasonable fee you can have customers all over the world. The USPS flat-rate Priority Mail boxes are a huge bargain if you have small but heavy things to ship.
So another alternative is you need to look around if there are any manufacturers who will send their smallish/nuisance jobs to you. Are there any around you? Or look to see if any other machine shops have extra work and farm it out to you. Best to start small with a few jobs to get your feet wet while still, hopefully, having another source of income.
Check with a few metal suppliers in your area. They always have people walking in who need something with a few holes, things like that. Leave a few cards and then take what you like, if that's the type of work you want.
You can always try becoming a government sub-contractor they will keep you busy. Since there is a war right now I'm sure they have plenty of work. I bet there are many small companies that are doing lots of government work in your area that you are not even aware of their existence. With the proper research you should look at who is adding machines in your area. If you call machine suppliers this would help in locating who is busy to help you uncover these potential places to acquire machining work.
How you setup your shop is important perception is reality. Keeping a clean machine shop will equate to your customers quality and quality these days is extremely important. This awareness of keeping a clean machine shop at all times could be the difference in landing work. Keeping a well lit and orderly environment is a plus that could give you the edge you are looking for. Remember first impression customers get when they look at your clean work environment maybe just what will get you the order over the next small machine shop working at home. There are also technical reasons for the keeping your machine shop tidy, the semi-conductor industry is known to be particular about contamination of parts they will consider this in the manufacturing of there parts as scrap. So keep cleanliness top on the list it can only help you.
Next comes what tools do you start with I would suggest buying tools that are ready to run, and not to become a machine tool restorer. Unless you're very experience and have lots of money I think CNC is way overrated. I would get manual machining equipment for starters and worry about CNC equipment when the business justifies it.
One of the great places to buy machines is on EBAY. When trying to find machining equipment on EBAY always look for machines that are in your geographic location. Moving machinery adds a lot to what you're going to pay. Along with using EBAY to find small machine shop tools Craigslist is a great place to explore to your machining tools. Many people in your area advertise on Craigslist, this is a great way to find small machine shop equipment.
If you can't find used small machine shop tools you might want to explore the new Chinese machines that have come onto the market in the past few years. They are attractively priced and many instances are a better choice than a used American machine. For a small machine shop work at home business they offer many lathe and mill units that are together. This can be great for those that have limited floor space or just getting their feet wet in this endeavor.
Make use of whatever expertise you have in the things that interest you. You'll have more fun working on things that interest you, and if you do have a lot of knowledge in that area you won't be starting from the bottom on trying to come up with new products/improvements to existing products. Keep in mind that once you start up the small machine shop work at home business you can write off a lot of the purchases - you still have to pay for them up front, but you get some of the money back later when you offset income against expenses/investment. Set up small machine shop business properly from the start it will pay off tremendously and good luck.
Full time work at home jobs