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wanting to open a shop??

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by elsignshop, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. elsignshop

    elsignshop Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Douglas, Ga
    well i have been doing mobile sign and graphics since i was 16. started doing it in high school to buy me a car and to make my own money so i wouldnt have to ask my parents for money. well now im 23 and i been thinking alot lately about opening a shop here in the town where live at. i been looking around looking for shops for lease or rent, found a couple. i found 1 for $650 a month but have to do a 1 year lease contract, but the bad news is that its not in a really well traffic area. well the other day i found a shop for rent about 2 miles from my home, and i called the guy and he said it was 1000 a month and no lease just pay by month. its more expensive than 650 but its on the main road and alot of traffic passes by. i looked around my town and only found 1 other sign shop around. well the advise im looking for :signs101:is am i going in the right direction in opening the shop, or should i just keep doing the at home business deal. :thankyou: for any advice, daniel
  2. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    you need to sit down, slow down and write a comprehensive business plan (comprehensive) do some research we have spoke about this in depth many times. but it doesnt matter if you are working from home or on the busiest street in your town if you have no idea what you are going to offer, who you are going to offer it to and how you are going to get them to buy it from you. until you have researched your business, wrote the plan and considered all of your options (and the benefits and challenges of each) don't sign a lease or a month to month agreement...failure to plan is planning to fail
  3. Poconopete

    Poconopete Very Active Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    No lease = rent increase month 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, then he kicks you out. Put everything in writing. Are you currently doing enough volume to cover all expenses? Do you have 6-8 months expense $$$$$?
  4. Sign_Boy

    Sign_Boy Major Contributor

    May 18, 2007
    No lease = problems down the road.
    Get something in writing and make sure to get options. (like 3 year with the option of 2 more 3 years)
    Will they allow you a sign on the main road?
    I'd also get a traffic count - you should be able to look it up online.
    Also call your ins. co to find out what it would cost for the new place.
    Stuff adds up - make sure you factor all of these things in.
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Being on a main road or busy highway doesn't mean squat if you don't have a following.... or a business.

    As Dan mentioned… a business plan will do wonders for you. If you don’t have any direction, you might as well be setting up a fruit stand. You need to know what your goals and capabilities really are…. and be realistic about them.
  6. elsignshop

    elsignshop Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Douglas, Ga
    im not tryn to rush anything, i have been doing research and writing business plan for the past 9 months. i dont want to rush it cause thats how a business fails.
  7. elsignshop

    elsignshop Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Douglas, Ga
    the guy said we would do a contract, but just to state that the $1000/month will be a locked in rate for 24 months but no lease. yes right now i do enough $ to cover all my expenses and supplies. i do have enough $ to last for alil over a year worth of exspense

    yes for sign on main road. has a brand new 4'x8' light box sign. i have called my insurance company to see how much more my insurance will go up, its alil more.
  8. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    simple...STAY AT HOME! There is so much attached to leasing or owning a building than rent. Insurance, extra utilities it's just too much to start off with. Go back home, build a list of clients and then maybe in a couple years see where that takes you
  9. AUTO-FX

    AUTO-FX Very Active Member

    Feb 14, 2010
    it would be nice for you to have a shop but make sure you dont put yourself into a position where you are working just to HAVE a shop. It's hard for one guy alone to generate enough to cover everything and make a nice profit- you have to busy all the time.
  10. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    I agree. On top of your $1000/mo you need to add in at least another $400-$500 for utilities, phone, insurance, etc. Then you also have to realize you'll need to furnish new said place or make additions or improvements so that it is ready for your business. (Work tables, chairs, desks, paint, decorations, carpet, etc.) Then all the stupid stuff nobody ever thinks about. (trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, fans, vacuum cleaner, etc.)

    Sure, you can argue about already having some of this stuff - but you won't have everything and everyone's situation is different. Plus to be fair, these costs need to be added into your budget so that you can come up with a realistic hourly rate.

    Depending on your margins EVERY month you'll have to sell $3000-$5000 of work each month just to meet your rent, utilities, materials and misc. things needed for your shop.

    *Notice, we haven't even talked about your paycheck yet...
  11. andy

    andy Active Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Round these parts ALL commercial tenancy agreements are upwards only rentals and fully insuring and repairing.

    Your rent only ever goes up... irrespective of how the economy is doing you are saddled with increasing rent overheads. Every couple of years the landlord gets to nudge up the amount you pay him every month.... which sucks.

    When you move into your new shop or warehouse space you might assume that insuring your stuff is your responsibility... insuring the building is down to the landlord because, after all, it is his building. Wrong... you have to pay insurance on all your stuff AND you pay the landlord's building insurance for him as well.

    Then we have repairing... doesn't sound much but is a HUGE issue. During the time you occupy the building you are expected to pay to fix just about EVERYTHING. If the roof leaks you pay to fix it. If the plumbing falls apart you are down for replacement costs. If the electrical system disintegrates then you'll be the one shelling out for an electrician.

    Come the day you leave you'd better make sure the building sparkles because even the slightest bit of damage will land you with a hefty bill.

    Renting ANYTHING needs to be done carefully and with a keen eye on the small print.... once you sign that piece of paper it becomes a legally binding contract for the amount of time written on the document. Your landlord might SAY you can rent month by month... if you sign a piece of paper which states 24 months then you are committed to paying the landlord £24,000 over two years... whether you are still in the building makes no difference... you committed yourself to £24,000's worth of rental payments and the landlord WILL try to collect.

    Renting sucks real bad... not having to rent is one of the biggest reasons why we bought a brand new building.
  12. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    Exactly. My shop is very well established and I've got the repeat business and enough walkin traffic every month to justify the expense. Opening a shop from scratch that's a lot to cover. It can be done, and in the long run I think it will build a stronger business, but you've got to be prepared financially and mentally for the long road to build the business.

    If you're not sitting on cash to cover at least the first year I think you're just going to frustrate yourself. You'll but your *** for a year trying to get things going only to watch everything you make go out the door to rent and utilities, that will kill your spirit.

    Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do.
  13. routierracing

    routierracing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    shop location

    I've been in kinda the same boat. When I first started I was about 18 and my family was already renting garage and office on a major highway with a traffic count going of (i think) 50,000 a day and we were right on the corner at a stop light at that. I put up a large sign and quickly began to get a crash course in the business. But to my surprise as quickly as my business grew, it was all word of mouth stuff. Very few customers were actually drivers passing buy and usually those types were expecting me to make stuff for next to free.

    This made it impossible to justify the high rent and with that and several break in's, we soon moved out. So the moral of the story is keeping overhead as low as possible has always been whats worked for me. Satisfied customers will usually bring you in more customers.
  14. Wes Phifer

    Wes Phifer Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Andy, I hope I never meet your landlord.
    Did you actually sign that kind of lease?

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