Having had my “road to Damascus” moment, the realisation dawned on me that although I had just had a world beating business idea; I in fact had absolutely no way in which to achieve its fruition. After all, here was I with no tools at all, other than a very worn Phillips screwdriver, a decrepit claw hammer, a knock-off 12mm Marples “blue” bevelled chisel (with sides that could only be described as having been ground using the kerb) and a rather cheap and nasty ¼” drive socket set missing the ½” and 3/8” sockets to boot. It wasn’t just that I had no tools; neither did I have any premises or even a shed to work out of. I live with my partner in a one bedroom flat, where I can’t even close the door of the toilet if I happen to need to sit as my size 10 feet get in the way of the door. Where was I to work? What was I to work with? It also dawned on me dear reader that I had absolutely no clue about starting or running a business either.
What was I to do? Without tools – I could do nothing. Without premises – I could do nothing. Without a functioning business – I could do nothing. My situation was such that a spending spree was totally out of the question. I couldn’t afford to by any new tools, I had no income other than the few pounds I could occasionally earn when some kind soul would take pity on me and have me do some odd-job they needed done. And this dear reader was not as often as I would have liked. So I was left with a bit of a dilemma. How could I get some tools and pay for premises from which to work? What tools would I need? Not only would I need hand tools but workshop equipment, after all if I intended to become a commercial woodworker I would need some machinery just to make stock preparation economical enough to justify production. I would also need some items of equipment just from an engineering and precision standpoint, after all I intended to make my wares to the highest standard that I could and that would require for some aspects an investment in engineering quality machinery.
I decided that my first task then, was to list the tools that I considered to be the absolute minimum that I would need in order to be able to make my ideas reality. There would be no point in finding premises if I had nothing to put in them. This meant that I had to break down each and every stage of production for each product I intended to make and decide what tool would be used. Now, as I said earlier I am a bit of a greenie at heart and the basic core idea of the products I was going to make is to have people look upon the technology based consumer items that they buy as being a lot less consumable and a lot more permanent. What I wanted to do was to show people that they did not have to replace everything when they wanted to upgrade but just to replace the component that would make it faster, better and that they would save a tidy sum into the bargain along with the planet.
So, I set upon making my tool list and as I did so my heart began to sink. As each tool was added to the list, along with the approximate cost my goal seemed to ebb further and further over the horizon. There was no way I would ever be able to afford this. My partner and I were just staying above water as it was each month with her income and had on average £8 of “disposable” income each month after all the bills were paid. And that was only if we just sat in the flat and did nothing else. It had taken 5 months of saving in order to afford the paint to do up our living room. How the hells bells could we find a means to implement my idea.