Re: Just Dreaming...

Posted by Alan Speakman on Feb 11, 2007

Hi Ingrid,

Having been down a similar road... Some thoughts...

* Dreams are one thing; reality is another. You're going to need a business/life plan that includes: startup costs, the breakpoint where you'll actually start making money, seasonal income, minimum income to sustain a reasonable life, tax considerations, 401K considerations, insurance, effect on the family, advertising/Web costs, how many hours/day you can work, number of days/week you can handle, upcoming costs both inside the business and outside as well, etc., etc., etc.

* Now would be an excellent time to break out the old MS Excel, and build a relevant spreadsheet. (If you're going to have to go to the bank to get a loan, you'll probably going to want that spreadsheet to go hand in hand with a good PowerPoint presentation.)

* There have been some excellent points taken on your post. You might have enjoyed building your first kayak, but trying to build your 101st under a tight budget and a looming mortgage payment is probably going to be another type of experience.

* Seriously consider "keeping your day job" and building part-time on nights and weekends. That way, you can get a real sense for the market, establish yourself, learn the skill, adapt your shop, etc. And at the same time you won't have to panic when your car breaks down.

* As one of the CLC guys said, talk with anyone who'll listen and listen when they talk. Contact anyone in the business. Check with local cabinet makers (maybe it's the heating costs that are going to be the fly in the ointment.) As you've been building houses for 20 years, there's no doubt you have the skill. What you need is the experience gained by others. Forums, email, and just chatting all offer a wealth of info.

* Anyway, my guess is that you can at least make a part-time go of it. But you really need to think it through and plan.

My $.02.

Best of luck to you...



In Response to: Just Dreaming... by Ingrid H on Feb 11, 2007


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