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Old 11-19-2010, 08:58 PM   #1
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Default Checking intrest for a new business

I’m looking into starting a small business, restoring interior plastics, including but not limited to, dashes, kick panels, pillar trim, etc.

Specific to the miata I am able to refinish dashes whether it just be the top half back to black or the whole dash with two tone. I would even be able to do LE dashes or Look alike LE dashes once I had a good color match.

I’m also planing on making new door cards (the fiber board backing) for all na maybe Nb if they are the same door panel style. These would be sold in many variations.

The trim work can be done on anything with trim just need to get the correct color products in.

The only part that might become of concern is with panels that have cracks or gouges the pattern of texture will not always match correctly as there is no way to perfectly match the original grain.

My main focus would be on the interior trim restoration or color change.

Types of work I would be doing would include;
trim restoration including fixing small cracks
Dash restoration
Plastic lips with small cracks could be fixed.
rear filler panels
Door panels
Top installs
Car stereo installs
Oil changes
tune ups etc
OBD2 scans
most other maintenance work or performance installs

Eventually
headlight restoration with clear coat
wheel painting
head light and tail light smoking
full paint shop
I would also like to become a megasuirt dealer.


I’m trying to gauge interest in this time of work.

Last edited by 92Miata; 11-20-2010 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:26 PM   #2
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MegaSquirt and plastics repair seem very much different! I dunno, it seems like you could be spreading yourself too thin. Are you talking about just the install of the MegaSquirt, or the tuning as well?
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:47 PM   #3
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The megasquirt is later on down the road after things were all set up.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:43 PM   #4
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There is some serious coincidence here.

There was another guy a while back that came here and talked about his metal polishing business that he was starting. He couldn't spell for **** either. After a few people sent him stuff to polish, he vanished and screwed them all.

People hunted the guy down and got their parts back and there was much lesson learning.

True story.
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by y8s View Post
There is some serious coincidence here.

There was another guy a while back that came here and talked about his metal polishing business that he was starting. He couldn't spell for **** either. After a few people sent him stuff to polish, he vanished and screwed them all.

People hunted the guy down and got their parts back and there was much lesson learning.

True story.
This year I think has been the tamest for mt.net. Nothing to strange has happened.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:53 PM   #6
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It might not generate as much interest as you think. Depending on cost to restore the parts, you can buy all these parts still pretty darn cheap. Used or new.
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:52 PM   #7
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How much local business do you think you would have? For most people, you could buy many of the parts new when you consider the cost of shipping parts both ways. Depending on activity, you may do well to service used car departments for car dealerships. Very very few used car managers will buy new parts if you can refresh the interior for low cost.

If you are up to it, it may supplement the start of your business.
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:04 PM   #8
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2 hours from me. I'd be down for dash restoration for sure. If the price is right of course...
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92Miata View Post
Types of work I would be doing would include;
trim restoration including fixing small cracks
Dash restoration
Plastic lips with small cracks could be fixed.
rear filler panels
Door panels
Top installs
Car stereo installs
Oil changes
tune ups etc
OBD2 scans
most other maintenance work or performance installs

Eventually
headlight restoration with clear coat
wheel painting
head light and tail light smoking
full paint shop
I would also like to become a megasuirt dealer.


Iím trying to gauge interest in this time of work.
Restoration work and oil changes, OBD2 scans, tune ups, etc, is like saying your a jack of all trades, master of none.

If you want to do restoration work, and you think thats what you'd like to focus most of your attention on, stick to just those types of services.

I dont know if you have a shop or not already, but if you don't, now your talking a ******* ton of extra **** on your end that you'll need. Cost of the shop space, tools, insurance, etc, will all be needed to do legit installs and pull in paying customers, enough so that it covers the cost of all those "extras" thats you'll incur.

Theres lots of shops that do oil changes, tune ups, free scans, and installs. You have to think about whether or not you'll be able to compete with the other shops, all the while doing restoration work as well.

If you think you have a knack working with plastics, and fixing or restoring worn used parts is something you'd enjoy, go for it. Thinking about doing headlight restorations and taillight smoking is more realistic than thinking your going to do all the above. Start small and focus on what you know the best, if you do well enough and have the time, resources, and customer base, then you can expand.
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:26 AM   #10
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/\ what he said
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dwood11 View Post
It might not generate as much interest as you think. Depending on cost to restore the parts, you can buy all these parts still pretty darn cheap. Used or new.
Depends on what you consider cheap, for example 90-93 arm rests from rosenthal are $45 each plus shipping, I would charge $20 each to restore them. The center dash panel is $80 and if I just needed a refinish I would only charge $25 to do it, and the tabs that break would only add $10-15 to repair.

So in most cases it would be very cost effective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy vegas View Post
How much local business do you think you would have? For most people, you could buy many of the parts new when you consider the cost of shipping parts both ways. Depending on activity, you may do well to service used car departments for car dealerships. Very very few used car managers will buy new parts if you can refresh the interior for low cost.

If you are up to it, it may supplement the start of your business.
The only parts that shipping would be an issue on is dashes those would have to be local work.
There are quite a few local people with miatas and other cars I could drum up business with.

Used car departments is an option but that’s a down the road thing that I need to look into and see what can be done with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turotufas View Post
2 hours from me. I'd be down for dash restoration for sure. If the price is right of course...
A dash if its just faded and out of the car I’m looking at about $150, whether its two tone or not.

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Originally Posted by Vashthestampede View Post
Restoration work and oil changes, OBD2 scans, tune ups, etc, is like saying your a jack of all trades, master of none.

If you want to do restoration work, and you think that’s what you'd like to focus most of your attention on, stick to just those types of services.

I don’t know if you have a shop or not already, but if you don't, now your talking a ******* ton of extra **** on your end that you'll need. Cost of the shop space, tools, insurance, etc, will all be needed to do legit installs and pull in paying customers, enough so that it covers the cost of all those "extras" thats you'll incur.

There are lots of shops that do oil changes, tune ups, free scans, and installs. You have to think about whether or not you'll be able to compete with the other shops, all the while doing restoration work as well.

If you think you have a knack working with plastics, and fixing or restoring worn used parts is something you'd enjoy, go for it. Thinking about doing headlight restorations and taillight smoking is more realistic than thinking your going to do all the above. Start small and focus on what you know the best, if you do well enough and have the time, resources, and customer base, then you can expand.
I want to be able to offer more then one service to customers, if they bring there car in for a new set of door panels and were also considering a radio and speaker install then I would be able to do that all at once. I don’t know that I could keep enough work going just doing dashes and trim so I would offer other services to fill the gaps in work.

I do not have a shop as of today because im not going to rent space till I have the business license set up and the other stuff to go with it. The shop will start off small and grow as work allows.

Like I stated earlier the oil changes and other work is just filler and also to save customers time, not to compete with the other repair shops around.

That is my intention with the shop. I’ve already got a friend who has a mid 70s Malibu I am going to do the body work on and paint it satin black for him, I also have a friends AE86 who I’m going to do door panels for and maybe some other stuff so I will have some work to show and get my name out.

just to add some stuff I have done.

These are the pillar trim from my miata that I did really quick with rattle can, they were cleaned properly and promoted to make sure that paint sticks. I would only be using high quality paint sprayed with an HVLP gun that is made for this type of work.
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these are some bumper covers ive done at work, not the same thing as interior parts but the painting part of it is the same and shows how well these products finish.

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Old 11-24-2010, 08:53 PM   #12
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A dash if its just faded and out of the car Iím looking at about $150, whether its two tone or not.
My dash is almost perfect. Except that it's cracked to hell within the highlighted area of this image. Can you fix that, sir?
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:23 PM   #13
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Honestly in the web Miata business, you will have better luck making affordable parts out of carbon fiber or fiber glass. Few examples would be hoods, bumper/skirt lips, spoilers, over fenders, hard tops and so forth.

You do fine work sir however look at reality, you wont see many people ripping off their dashes or bumpers and shipping them 500 miles away for 50 bucks each way + cost of repair when you can find new or used parts in good condition for 60-70 bucks total.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:28 PM   #14
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My honest impression: Sounds like a difficult business to me, at least if you're looking at it as a full-time gig. I've seen a few shops that do this kind of work, but it's always been as a sideline to a bigger general upholstery sort of shop. Not saying that if it's something you really enjoy you shouldn't pursue it, just that if you're saying to yourself "Hmm, I need to think of a business idea to make money... How about dash restoration" that maybe I'd keep looking.



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This year I think has been the tamest for mt.net. Nothing to strange has happened.
It's going to be hard to beat the ChuckyZ saga.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:40 PM   #15
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My dash is almost perfect. Except that it's cracked to hell within the highlighted area of this image. Can you fix that, sir?
Thats a really tricky spot to repair, if you were local and was a spare dash you wernt worried about loosing then I would give it a go. But it wouldnt be worth the cost of shipping i dont think its worth it.

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Honestly in the web Miata business, you will have better luck making affordable parts out of carbon fiber or fiber glass. Few examples would be hoods, bumper/skirt lips, spoilers, over fenders, hard tops and so forth.

I would love to do somthing like that but as of now its not something i can do.

You do fine work sir however look at reality, you wont see many people ripping off their dashes or bumpers and shipping them 500 miles away for 50 bucks each way + cost of repair when you can find new or used parts in good condition for 60-70 bucks total.
Dash repairs would be for local people only as shipping is a problem. As for bumpers i will not be doing that since that becomes a conflict of intrest with my full time job.

Quote:
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My honest impression: Sounds like a difficult business to me, at least if you're looking at it as a full-time gig. I've seen a few shops that do this kind of work, but it's always been as a sideline to a bigger general upholstery sort of shop. Not saying that if it's something you really enjoy you shouldn't pursue it, just that if you're saying to yourself "Hmm, I need to think of a business idea to make money... How about dash restoration" that maybe I'd keep looking.



It's going to be hard to beat the ChuckyZ saga.

This isnt a full time thing, ive actually just come up for a promotiong at work so my time for doing this will even be less. Doing this is just for fun for me and to better my skills.

Im in the process of securing a shop and proper licenses ect to do this.
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:04 PM   #16
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Your work looks really good!


I don't see Miatas really as being old (or valuable) enough yet for many people to bother with restoration. Customization, on the other hand, seems more likely. Have you ever considered offering interior parts with custom textures/themes/patterns/artwork?
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