The Trials of a "Pre-Startup" #1: And away we go..........

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Blog entry by 36creations posted 02-05-2014 10:33 AM 1263 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I will try and catch you up on the progress of the 3:6 Creations shop. My brother and I have wanted to own our own business for quite some years now and this year it seems as though it will finally happen. While enlisted in the Army, I tore up my body pretty good. As a 90% disabled veteran, I have been offered a benefit from the State of Louisiana through the Workforce commission that provides me with a small business grant. This grant has its omissions, such as vehicles of any kind, the construction of a building, electronics, and/or payroll of any kind. We can, however use it for equipment and materials as long as it fits within the criteria of the proposed business. To make a long financial story short, I have to come up with $4,000 in capitol and the grant can be as high as $20,000. My part can be anything from payroll to the building to equipment. I have already got my part ready. The last few months have been dedicated to gathering information on equipment needed for the shop, compiling a requisition, and developing a business plan. This brings me to where we are now. The only thing left is to include $4,000 more in equipment and materials and add it to the requisition, compose a “Cash Flow Projection” for a 12 month period, and submit it. This process is about two weeks from completion and final submission. The ground breaking ceremony for the barn renovation should tentatively be between 15 February to 1 March.
We have done what I call a “Social Media Shotgun Blast” on FB Twitter, and are now trying to get a website up and running. It is not my intention to use this site as media advertising or to steal ideas but to learn and share. I have been working with wood and metal for several years now but not on the scale that I will be in the near future. I have much to learn and when I no longer need to learn, my children will be at my funeral. I hope ya’ll like my blog entries and I am ALWAYS open to suggestions from projects to skill to running a small business. It is all welcome.

Feb. 11, 2014
Starting a business is a bit harder than I anticipated but we are going to hang in there and keep trucking. Along with trying to get all the paperwork done, in which I really suck at, we are trying to get the actual shop lined out. This is proving to be quite the daunting task before we even get to plug any tools in. First we thought we were going to put a small 8’ x 12’ shed in MY backyard because the landlord (we rent) said he could use a shed anyways. Well, he backed out, leaving us twiddling our thumbs trying to figure out where we were going to put this $24,000 worth of equipment and materials. Well we moved from that, to putting it in my BROTHER’S backyard. This was actually a better idea (or so we thought) because we could go a little bigger. (12’ x 16’) Turned out we were gong to budget around $2800 for that. Keep in mind that we have to “out of pocket” funding for the construction of the physical building, as the grant money cannot be used for that purpose. Well before we could pull the trigger on that idea, we came up with the idea of renovating a friend of the family’s old 30×30 stall barn. That was a great move considering it was going to cost our whole budget for the building. Uh oh. What about powering it up? That would have put us at almost $4,000. Well we weren’t going to be able to do that so its a good thing we decided on our friends barn. Simple right? WRONG. His barn is 40 yards from the meter. It would have run us about $1600 to get power to the shop from his meter. OK minor setback and a little over budget but, hey, we were looking at $2800 before. Still, $1600 just to get juice to the shop really sucks. SOLUTION: The shop gets its own meter and service! The light company pays for the “golden” wire and we get juice at a fraction of the cost we first anticipated. This option, as you know, has a million advantages. It WILL be a 200 amp service. We feel pretty sure that will cover anything we need to do between two people. Anything more and we should be looking at a commercial building anyways. (nice thought…) It keeps our power usage separate from the actual homeowner and simplifies the bills. When we vacate the barn (details of what we leave behind are still being considered) he will have an awesome garage or stall barn with its own power package that may be even better than the one he has in his house. There wont be any tripping his house power since it is completely separate form the house juice. We get all of the service verses sharing with the house. We can isolate the barn electrically every day. The list goes on and on. The juice people say that it will cost from $0-$300 depending on my credit which translates to $300 due to my stellar credit. Hey 300 bones is sooooooo much better than 1600 in any book. What about the meter box, fuse panel, interior wiring, lights, receptacles, switches, etc…? Got it covered. The grant will pay for the lighting. We are just going with some simple fluorescent 2 bulb 48” units that tie in parallel for now. Some of the tubes will be centered for general lighting and some will be used over work stations to provide a better lit work space. 110v wiring was donated to the business by an interested party. He also donated a trim router with a HUGE assortment of attachments and the meter box, (brand new with master shut down, receptacles (110v and 220v) and fuses of its own. instructions still with the unit). He ALSO donated a planer/jointer, a planer, and a belt/disk sander that I will be picking up tomorrow. OK so I give this guy a lot of credit because he truly believes in what we are doing. The real credit goes to our maker because it is very evident that he has big plans for our little shop. HIS plans mind you. This doesn’t mean WE will get big but we get to play a big part in His plan for us. This man was placed in our path for a reason. If you are a faith-based true Christian, you know exactly what I am talking about. Its the kind of thing that makes you look upon your life and wonder if there is anything more you can do for God outside of what you are currently doing because of the blessings you receive. So I reckon we are looking at about $500-$600 to get the inside wired, after we get all the lights, connections and conduit. The personal deadline for the cash flow projections was today and I barely met that and I’m not sure they are going to be good enough but we will find out by Friday I hope. I’m not even sure if they are realistic. I know I am ranting but I guess that’s what a blog is for? Not sure; this is my first lol That should get us caught up on everything. I did notice that there were a bunch of views but only one comment. I would certainly welcome any advise you guys have. Here is the link to a video I made of the barn “before” footage. I see potential…..

-- In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. PVB 3:6

3 comments so far

View Abe's profile


22 posts in 1993 days

#1 posted 02-05-2014 12:38 PM

Looked at maybe creating a kickstarter to help out with the fundage?

You can open one up on pretty much anything, but there are no guarantees on what will come back to you. – A

-- - Abe

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5300 posts in 3129 days

#2 posted 02-23-2014 08:46 AM

Figuring out what incentives/rewards to encourage participation has been the stumbling block for me. I guess I just haven’t found the right combination of project and smaller representative chunks to encourage people to contribute. Hope you have success with the crowd-funding idea.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Matty272's profile


51 posts in 955 days

#3 posted 03-15-2014 08:39 AM

For kickstarter ideas, how about making it something like turned carvers mallets (simple to make, yet difficult to master) or carpenters mallets. Fairly low value, but 100 orders of a $20 mallet is still $2000 pre-order lump of cash ready to go.

Or chopping boards to order. No idea what they go for in your neck of the woods, but they can be quite expensive around here.

You could even do a package of all your pre-order items as one of the higher tier kickstarter things.

Just a few thoughts from one veteran to another (even if you are ex-army :P )

-- It's worth every moment of effort you put in if the kids enjoy it!

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