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I think as time goes on more and more small independently owned shops will close and larger and more centralized shops will be more prevalent. The necessary cost increases will of course then drive the cost of consumer products higher.

As more and more industries adopt more and more standards, certifications and, government controls, more small shops will be forced out of the market. As more and more industries and business bend under insurance demands, more and more small businesses will be forced out of the market. As more and more cities/townships/counties crack down on “home businesses” and small businesses, those small shops will be forced out of the market. As more and more businesses adopt absurd policies that require lawyers to navigate, more and more small businesses will be forced out of the market.

The simple fact is, people can whine, complain, bemoan, decry, the lack of “entry” into the market, yet continue to support the policies that create the very problems they decry. Both of my grandfathers owned their own businesses, neither would be legal or permitted for a myriad of reasons today. One of my grandfathers had 12 full time tool makers working for him at the peak of business. They produced tooling for Parker, Flagler, Deere, CAT, components for NASA, the Defense Department and countless others. If you had the same shop, the same skills and abilities, you couldn’t do the same work today without a plethora of certifications, licenses and government permissions.
 
The simple fact is, people can whine, complain, bemoan, decry, the lack of “entry” into the market, yet continue to support the policies that create the very problems they decry. Both of my grandfathers owned their own businesses, neither would be legal or permitted for a myriad of reasons today. One of my grandfathers had 12 full time tool makers working for him at the peak of business. They produced tooling for Parker, Flagler, Deere, CAT, components for NASA, the Defense Department and countless others. If you had the same shop, the same skills and abilities, you couldn’t do the same work today without a plethora of certifications, licenses and government permissions.

I agree, but I also think that many of those policies are what keeps the last few bits of manufacturing we have in the US from moving somewhere cheaper. Your grandfather didn't have to compete with giant manufacturing firms in SE Asia. Even if all regulations disappeared overnight, we would not be cost competitive against well equipped companies in a part of the world where there is significantly more manufacturing infrastructure, and labor is practically free.
 
I think as time goes on more and more small independently owned shops will close and larger and more centralized shops will be more prevalent. The necessary cost increases will of course then drive the cost of consumer products higher.

As more and more industries adopt more and more standards, certifications and, government controls, more small shops will be forced out of the market. As more and more industries and business bend under insurance demands, more and more small businesses will be forced out of the market. As more and more cities/townships/counties crack down on “home businesses” and small businesses, those small shops will be forced out of the market. As more and more businesses adopt absurd policies that require lawyers to navigate, more and more small businesses will be forced out of the market.

The simple fact is, people can whine, complain, bemoan, decry, the lack of “entry” into the market, yet continue to support the policies that create the very problems they decry. Both of my grandfathers owned their own businesses, neither would be legal or permitted for a myriad of reasons today. One of my grandfathers had 12 full time tool makers working for him at the peak of business. They produced tooling for Parker, Flagler, Deere, CAT, components for NASA, the Defense Department and countless others. If you had the same shop, the same skills and abilities, you couldn’t do the same work today without a plethora of certifications, licenses and government permissions.

Don't you have products?

I feel pretty OK about the direction my product stuff is going. It's quite a bit different from job shopping, but I don't worry about my stuff being ripped off or my customers going somewhere else. I worry about keeping products fresh and preventing my creativity from stagnating.

Kevin Potter shares his product stuff for all to see. I love that he does that. Weird small companies like his and mine are isolated from job shopping idiocy. Find some weird shit that nobody does and become the world's foremost expert at it. Then build a vertically integrated mini factory in your rural backyard where you get to play mad scientist.

Don't be a supplier for Parker, Flagler, Deere, CAT, NASA, or the Defense Department. Become your own little version of them. Write your own rules.
 
Don't you have products?

I feel pretty OK about the direction my product stuff is going. It's quite a bit different from job shopping, but I don't worry about my stuff being ripped off or my customers going somewhere else. I worry about keeping products fresh and preventing my creativity from stagnating.

Kevin Potter shares his product stuff for all to see. I love that he does that. Weird small companies like his and mine are isolated from job shopping idiocy. Find some weird shit that nobody does and become the world's foremost expert at it. Then build a vertically integrated mini factory in your rural backyard where you get to play mad scientist.

Don't be a supplier for Parker, Flagler, Deere, CAT, NASA, or the Defense Department. Become your own little version of them. Write your own rules.
What's your product line?

I've considered doing something along that line in my niche field, but I always thought that the marketing would be a hassle.
 
What's your product line?

I've considered doing something along that line in my niche field, but I always thought that the marketing would be a hassle.

I make a myriad of automotive products.

When I started out my intention was to make products. I didn't have a plan B. I'm a good salesman when I have to be.
 
It's a good market to be in. I live an hour from Buttonwillow Raceway, and I keep meaning to pin one of my business cards up on the board there and see what shakes out.

Some of those racers have deep pockets and terrible money management skills.

I used to make parts for a guy who was running a Cosworth Sierra in the Time Attack series, and nothing about that car was off the shelf since there was no aftermarket for it in the USA.
 
Products is where it is at. I am not a machinist. I'm a business owner who wants to make his own products so I've got a machine shop full of awesome machines. Sometimes they are running 20 hours a day and sometimes it is weeks between turning them on. And this perfectly fine.

Like Garwood said, you can become the domain expert for your field and then the customers will come to you and the certifications and everything else become a lot less relevant. My company has all branches of DOD buying our products from us and there isn't a certification to be seen around here.
 








 
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