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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2005, 04:11 PM
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little OT: Starting a business?

Im looking to start a business that it is a little bit outside the custom motorcycle world. But anyways, im new to the forum and see that we have a lot of people that own their own business. I spent alot of time over at the Chopper Underground forum reading around. I was wonding if you guys had any advice in starting a business, I plan on using my CNC plasma cutter to make a few bucks, then buy some more equipment. Any books you guys would recomend, how did you get your business started? Im looking more on the legality side of it, paying taxes, ect.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2005, 04:19 PM
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started as proprietorship
everything is a rightoff, even toilet paper
stick to low liability items, that you can wing it on without being sued cause someone died(like a brake bracket or somethin)

if you can do that...buy insurance and branch into the higher liability....but ins will eat your ass alive at first, so make parts that dont need it, and make them well, and make contacts and friends...before you try to unload a new"single fork front end"

make some custom brackets and what not...folks will get you to make what they need if you do a quality job on the simple thing

my .02...worth .02

labor is tax free thats a selling point to a customer
operate at a loss (3 years out of 5 ) i believe is allowed
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2005, 05:55 PM
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Dont go in debt. Start in your garage build a reputation.
Seen two local aftermarket bike shops fold, both defaulting on $250,000.
Unlikely there will be any More SBA loans for startup bike shops in my area.
Get out and find a market for your service, it wont just come to you. Come up with a Master plan of attack.

Don
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Old 07-03-2005, 06:20 PM
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Good advice. What how exactly do I start a business, where did you get started?
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2005, 07:09 PM
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business liscence...city hall, county seat....where ever they do it on the left coast

inexpensive



make up some business cards...also cheap

set up some metal suppliers....get your cnc running if it isnt..and start hitting the fab shops

Last edited by gypsy chopper; 07-03-2005 at 07:12 PM..
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2005, 07:54 PM
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What about paying taxes and such, any advice.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2005, 08:09 PM
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i throw every reciept in a box and a book keeper fixes me up...EVERY reciept..papertowels,gas,boots....phone bill...

beyond that i am the wrong person to ask...i suggest finding a bookkeeper unless you are up to it

the proper forms to file federally are a:


your normal 1040...and a......schedule C/form 1040

thats your normal itemized return... with the addition of the schedule c

that is for a "sole propreiter"
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Old 07-03-2005, 08:16 PM
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I started my own business 15 years ago.

The critical element is the market that you are going after. Find your niche. Do what brings the most pleasure (not masturbating), and the most money for that service. Do it to the best of your abilities. Never cut corners. Take your time...do it right the first time.

As for taxes. Straight 1040 with schedule C. Like gypsy said, keep all your reciepts, and write checks for everything. It is easier to record later. I use Quick Books. Great for small business.

Good luck,
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Old 07-03-2005, 08:29 PM
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I would start part time. That way you don't have to worry about supporting yourself, too. If you ever get so much business that you can't keep up with it, then you can try to decide if it's enough to go full time.

Contact shops that use the type of products you want to make. Make a few examples, to show them you've actually done it. Tell them you'll do custom one-off pieces. Listen to them, and they tell you what they need. Don't be bashful about talking with shop owners, and don't be discouraged if they don't buy from you right away. If you have talent, you will find business, but you will never get 100% of it, so don't let it bother you if some people say "no", or buy from another source. A last thought: Nothing is ever good enough. Keep looking for ways to improve your product, fill a new demand, or even create a new fad.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2005, 10:19 PM
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WOW, honestly great advice all around. Im still trying to get a shop and all that fun stuff.
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