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  1. #1
    Hi all,
    I have 6 years experience using CNC and manual machines and am looking to start my own precision engineering sub-contracting company and eventually produces my own product. I will be working on my own to start with.

    I have a workshop sorted the size of a double garage complete with 3 phase and roller door.

    I have formulated a list of local competitors and customers with a plan to send a package including covering letter, pamphlet, and a machined sample of something useful with my company name (e.g pen pot). I also have a contact to do a decent website.

    I have allowed 13,000 to start up a used plant list:
    Manual mill = 3000
    Manual lathe = 2000
    Pedestal drill = 300
    Tapping machine = 350
    Linisher = 150
    Bandsaw = 130
    Surface Table = 50
    Bench grinder = 150
    Misc. tools = 200
    Compressor = 700
    Enco mini CNC mill = 1500
    CNC turret mill = 4500

    I will be doing this on the side whilst doing my current job in order to build up a big enough customer base before going full time.

    Does anyone have any advice on things I have missed please?

  2. #2
    Cold cut chop saw maybe for cutting up some stock before machining. You would also need a good selection of drill/taps, dies and cutting tools/tips for your machines.
    Also have you allowed cash for a basic stock of materials? What about CAD and a pc? Are you going to do any CAD work before machining or are you going to program everything of the machines?


  3. #3
    Formulate all of the above into a business plan, you can download these off the net. Take your figures then double it, give yourself targets to be done by.
    If the nagging gets really bad......Get a bigger shed:naughty:

  4. #4
    Ok, thanks guys. I'll be doing manual programming to begin but hopefully as my customer base grows and I can leave my full time job I'll go for a Haas Super Mini Mill 2 with OneCNC CAD/CAM. I'll download the business plan template too. Thanks again!

  5. #5
    I am not sure the 200 you have allowed is going to be anywhere near enough for small tools eg. Mics, slips, cutters and even coolant(we pay 60 for a 25 litre barrel). Indexable tip tools for turning/milling are a small fortune on their own. I'm not trying to put a downer on your efforts, but just trying to pass on some experience in these matters.

  6. #6
    most important NO TEA OR COFFEE

    utility bills

    best advice is get your self a plan,set goals, advertise, and you do know the first 2 years or so no to little income for your efforts

    I wish you all the luck in the world but please walk into this with your eye's wide open


    do you have a rent to pay or are you working from home

  7. #7
    EDITED: Sorry, just reread the original post - I thought you meant your workshop was your double-garage. I'll leave the first few questions in place in case it's useful for someone else but I appreciate they may not exactly apply to you

    So you'll be using part of your property for business purposes?

    Have you checked that there are no restrictions on the property? A search on the land registry costs a few pound and should warn you about any restrictive covenants affecting the property (ie not to be used for business purposes)

    Have you considered that part of your property may now attract business tax rather than council tax?

    Have you discussed it with the insurance company assuming you have house insurance? You may need to alter the insurance as it would probably be invalidated by running that kind of business from home, especially considering the value of the equipment bought.


    Is there the potential that business customers will visit the location or that you will visit theirs? If so, have you considered Public Liability Insurance? As a subcontractor are you prepared (ie insured) to deal with claims that the component you made was somehow incorrect, causing damage to the customer's equipment/loss of profit etc?

    I'd recommend a meeting with a decent accountant (who will be your new greatest love when they help you and your new greatest hate when you get the bill), and check if your bank has any advisors for small businesses.

    There are a million questions you need to ask (and answer) that will apply to any start-up. Hopefully the answers aren't going to stop you proceeding, but you really need to make sure you've asked them.

    The biggest problem with a business is rarely the actual business itself, it's all the paperwork and hoop-jumping that goes around keeping it legal.

    All that being said and done, best of luck with the venture, I hope it works out well for you :tup:
    Last edited by Rogue; 10-09-2011 at 12:33 PM.

  8. #8
    Thanks for your advice guys, the workshop will be the unused downstairs section of a family members industrial unit so I wont have rent to pay until i start making some money. Also, my mums fiance happens to be an accountant, and my brother is an expert in web design so everything is falling into place :-)
    Thank you Rogue, i will look into public and product liability insurance too. Purchased my first lathe today - Harrison M300. Lovely machine!

  9. You can start selling as a "sole trader", no paperwork required. If you want to limit your liability just tell an accountant, they can set up a new company in their sleep. Best thing about that is you pay 20% corporation tax on your profits and take your money tax free as a dividend.

    Insurance is easy if your business is on the list, employing people is a nightmare. When you form a company you get all the paperwork for that, but if you ring them and promise never to employ anyone they excuse you. Arrange to pay your NI stamp by direct debit, about 12 a month.

    I did it, after years of living in fear of "da boss" I don't have one. Sometimes I work all hours, but I don't have to, it's a liberation

  10. #10
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Current Activity: Viewing Has been a member for 8-9 years. Has a total post count of 1,313. Received thanks 126 times, giving thanks to others 3 times.
    You've got to remember to pay yourself the minimum wage though.
    I know a local guy who's company got fined because he wasn't paying himself the minimum wage for the number of hours he was doing!

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