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Anyone here own a business?

  1. Feb 3, 2007 #1
    I would like to start my own engineering company in the future.

    Anyone own an engineering company? What is it about and how much did it cost to start?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2007 #2


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    Not sure what your background is, but you need to be an employee a while before you start out on your own. You need to learn the pitfalls at someone else expense. When you have the oppurtunity to work along side people and watch what they do and why they do it the way they do you are giving yourself an education on how to run a business. It can cost you pennies to get started depending on how you go about it. Some companies frown upon their employees going out on there own while continuing to work for the company. The thing to keep in mind is to look for oppurtunities. Sometimes they are not so obvious. But you definitely need to get experience working for someone else first. That experience may lead you to believe that you don't need all the headaches that go along with running your own.
  4. Feb 4, 2007 #3
    I'm a computer/electrical engr.

    I'm not sure what kind of business I wan to go into but I still have about 10 yrs to think about it.
  5. Feb 4, 2007 #4
    I’m going to have the same problem then you david90, in the near future?
    What makes the most money in today’s expensive life?

    My setup is more like computer/electrical and maybe chemical
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
  6. Feb 4, 2007 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I'm in my ninth year of doing consulting, programming, and engineering for industry. I never intended to go into business again after my previous effort - mainly an electrical engineering project funded by a grant from the NEH - was wiped out by a 500 year flood. But I suddenly found myself in demand, so I ran out and RENTED a laptop [real confidence eh?] and I was in business for about a hundred bucks out of pocket; well, plus I think twelve dollars for the name registration. The phone has never stopped ringing for long ever since.

    I do a lot of bread and butter programming with the occasional terror of small to large R&D projects. Many of my customers are OEMs developing new products or processes. I've also worked on the NMD program and a couple of other military projects. Currently I am involved in projects related to Boeing's new 787, as well as some civil and municipal applications.

    I am fully insured for what I do, but depending on what you intend to do, you may need a PE certification before anyone will insure you and before you would be legal. Insurance costs me about $5K a year for every million in coverage, but this can vary greatly depending on the risk.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2007
  7. Feb 5, 2007 #6
    It very much depends on what business you are talking about.

    I have started some zero outlay companies, and am infact in the process of setting one up now, these are the sort of internet start ups, you can do it from home and as you generally don't need any stock there is no significant outlay apart from your time. If they take off the time element becomes a pain so you either sell them on or take it on full time. You can start in the UK for less than £50. Really hard to make it pay more than a bit of pin money though and there is a lot of leg work setting it up, the cash only arrives in selling it to some sucker who wants an internet company but is not prepared to put 12 months+ site research and development into it.

    If you want to sell your mental skills as a consultant then it is best to quit your current job and get taken straight back. A few friends have done this some are really successful, some tick over quite nicely and some folded really badly and are stuck with huge debts and no work. Remember that by the time you have paid your taxes and put aside some pension, holiday pay and sick pay you often find your no better off than when you were fully employed but with no job security or redundancy pay. Saying that if your skills are truely sought after then you can earn a years pay for less than 6 months work. I would say that is the case for 2 out of the dozen contractors I know well.

    If you want to sell your manufacturing and design skills then you are looking for some serious cash. You need offices, equipment, vehicles. You need to limit your liabilities in case you fold and that means accountants and a few hundred a year in registration. Then theres insurance, employee pay and benefits. A friend did it, he quit his job just after designing a really good bit of internet retail software, became a consultant inthe same comapny who needed him to continue developing the software and that financed him setting up his own company and gave him guaranteed work for the 1st year or so until he could get his own client base. He is making a mint but he had to work at it in the early years and knows that he could loose it all over night. His staff levels frequently alternate between 10 and 1 month to month.
  8. Feb 5, 2007 #7
    What kind of internet business can one start to make nice money from?
  9. Feb 6, 2007 #8
    If I knew that I would be doing it.
    The easiest site to set up is an information provider.
    If you are looking for some information on the Internet and there is no site dedicated to it then you have a niche. You then spend about a year building up a database of information on that subject and putting a web page around it.
    You then spend 2 months trawling round companies who are interested in the subject of your site and sell them advertising space. You charge for advertising on either site traffic or click through.
    You then spend the next 6 months promoting your site to get a decent client base.

    Easy, providing you have the initial idea, put in the leg work building it, can get a professional looking site, have a niche that is not so small that there are no clients.

    Also factor in the following 1st year costs:
    Buying a domain name.
    Building a professional looking Site (My programmer charges me about £2k for a simple site).
    Rental of space on a domain hosting server.
    Buying advertising for your site on google to make sure it hits the top ranked sponsered link on multiple key words.
    Registering the name of your site as a copyright.
    Registering the name of your site as a company.

    This sort of site can bring in a few £k/year in advertising revenue with little site management effort. I look to be cash neutral in 2 years and steady profit after that.
    Once the site is ticking over you can look at ways to increase advertising revenue or look to selling the whole site.

    Note that I have done this more than once and am still working 9-5, so this is about second stream income not retirement. If of course you get the killer idea "lastminute.com", "Amazon", "YouTube" then you are minted.
  10. Feb 6, 2007 #9
    So basically, the www is well suited for advertising in products, buying and selling?
    On this moment I’m running two websites, but it’s only for self-catering and I’m only the webmaster, so the pay is a bit crappy, and I don’t have to do almost anything, maybe one a year a update of some pictures, but it’s also a side line income, but it also doesn’t count

    So how does this websites work? "lastminute.com", "Amazon", "YouTube”
    Does the company gets a % profit then they sell something online?
  11. Feb 6, 2007 #10


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    There are thousands of ideas and the best are probably ones that haven't been thought of yet. That's really a uselessly broad question, like asking 'what should I do when I grow up'.
    Amazon works the same as any retailer does: they sell a product. Lastminute works like a travel agency: they mark-up tickets and resell them to people. YouTube generates income (they do not turn a profit and that will need to change...) via advertising, like many websites.
  12. Feb 6, 2007 #11
    I’m sorry that I’m not as clever then you russ_watters, I apologize, it’s seems that I’m pissing you of.
  13. Feb 6, 2007 #12


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    You're not pissing me off, I just wish you'd put a little more thought into your questions.
  14. Feb 6, 2007 #13
    What should I be when I grow up? :P
  15. Feb 7, 2007 #14
    Going out on my own which I've done recently has really put the willies up me. I was in no way prepared for just how frightening and demoralising it was when all of a sudden there was no teammate to fall back on and I was entirely responsible for the work, and I'm talking about small domestic jobs at that!

    My advice would be if you're planning to start your own company make absolutely certain you start out focussing on as few avenues as possible and make sure you know those avenues like the back of your hand. Don't run the risk of trying to float your business on even slightly unfamiliar waters. I'm not saying it won't succeed if you do this because it still probably will if you're committed. Just it's best in life to avoid bad experiences, and that will certainly give you one of them.

    Personally (touch wood) I'm over the hump and the 'I've changed my mind and I don't want to do this anymore' part of it now. The good thing being is now I can on some jobs earn in half an hour what I would once in the dim and distant past had to have worked for 15 hours to get in a smoky, noisy, crowded bar somehwere full of drunk and occasionally violent people till 3am and I'm only 28 years old yay!
  16. Feb 8, 2007 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    THAT is a fact! It is a whole different world when you have no one to turn to in a pinch. This is what often separates the men from the boys.

    That is also a fact. I noticed the other day that I made exactly as much before lunch as was made in a week on my first serious job.
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