writing a business plan

by Von Poppel on Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:02 pm

Hey everyone,

My wife and I are seriously considering opening a laser etching store in a big mainland European city.
I just read all topics in the 'laser' part. I also read everything on ladyada.net about laser information. Waw!
This is a great source for info, big thanks to all contributors.

In order to write a business plan I need more information to set my prices.
What's the monthly cost to run a 35W laser? All info is useful.

Thanks!
Von Poppel
 
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Re: writing a business plan

by tsaylor on Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:33 pm

I'm just starting on the same thing. I was hoping to find some more financial or business related information in the forums. If anyone has any financial info they would be willing to share it would be helpful for my forecasting.

If you're running a business now, did you write a business plan or just get started? What were your chief concerns before getting started? After you started what concerns did you discover that you didn't know about?
tsaylor
 
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Re: writing a business plan

by 250 Coupe on Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:59 am

The monthly cost to operate just the machine is nearly nothing. They don't draw much more than the rated wattage and that only when running full throttle.

Cost to run the business is a different thing. I do mostly wholesale and my customers supply most everything so it's mostly artwork fees and laser time for me. I go through a can of cermark every three months or so. I charge an average of $60 and hour but don't really have a minimum charge since I'm doing 2 or 3 thousand parts at a time.

I tried to write a business plan using Business Plan Pro but never finished it. At this point, I sometimes wish I had never gotten started, it's cost me $60,000 to start what is basically a hobby and that's money I'll never get back. Marketing my service was very hard for me, I'm not all that out going and I could never come up with viable ways to drum up interest. I finally gave up and have 4 customers that might bring me $2500 a year if I'm real lucky.


Michael
70W Epilog Legend 24, bought it new in December 2002
250 Coupe
 
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Re: writing a business plan

by Sailor_Jerry on Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:33 pm

How did it work out for you guys?
Sailor_Jerry
 
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Re: writing a business plan

by Brastic on Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:48 am

Business plans are a brutal thing to write. They take a lot of time and humble you. With that said, you cannot start a business with out one. Business Plan Pro is good. A business plan makes you research and understand the market you are getting into. Most people will ask a couple of friends, run a couple of numbers and jump in. That is where you loose $60k easy. You most likely already know the product. What you need to know is the market and how to market into it. Now days, putting up a pretty web page will not do much. It will take you a solid 3 months to run a good business plan, and then review and modify it every 3-4 months from then on. It will keep you focused.

Best of luck.
Brastic
 
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Re: writing a business plan

by Sailor_Jerry on Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:31 pm

Turns out you were right Brastic. We did put the time in and carefully planned and detailed what we were looking for. We were convincing enough that a local credit union gave us a loan and 1 year later here we are, struggling and still working our day jobs on top of a new business but we are loving it and are so glad we went ahead with it.

If you are thinking about doing a business and have come across this post, my advice is take the time and commit to paper your ideas and plans. It will help you think through the steps better and if you have to go to a bank they will want to see it.
Sailor_Jerry
 
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Re: writing a business plan

by dmpyron on Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:09 pm

If you live in the States (sorry von Poppel) you can try using SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives). These folks really, really want you to succeed and I had a lot of help with mine. You can get a lot of help from volunteers, but I paid the guy that helped me build mine. I bought some software that turned out to be worthless.

I used it to get a small loan. I'm also using a small plan, for an individual project (a group cruise) to get another loan to cover immediate expenses. 4% from them is better than 19% from the credit card.
dmpyron
 
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