Mid Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay - Idea - Looking for feedback
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03-17-2012, 04:43 AM
I have over 10 years of experience in the marine industry. Everything from advanced composite construction/repair, aluminum & ss fabrication, fiberglass construction/repair, gelcoat/paint application/repair, to electronics install, mechanical installation/service to basic seasonal services I have done and done well.
It seems to me there is a gap in businesses offering these services. You have your rough and tough guys billing from $20 - $40 an hour but tend to lack the wide range of abilities and modern methods, parts/materials. Then there are the big dogs where billing starts at $80 an hour if your lucky, to maintain the huge amount overhead.
My questions are how tough do you folks think it would be to gain a hold in this market and would their be enough business to keep things running smooth? I'd plan to minimize overhead in a variety methods while offering the advanced and wide range of services for a more reasonable price. If this were to be a successful I'd plan to bill around $40 - $50/hr for unskilled and up to $60/hr for skilled labor.
Having the opportunity to work "behind the scenes" in this market has allowed to me see what businesses have done wrong and right.
What do you think?????
03-17-2012, 05:33 AM
It sounds like an interesting concept, but I think you may have a difficult time keeping your costs down for a couple reasons. Considering the wide array of services you plan to offer, it's going to be difficult to keep overhead down, just from an inventory, and equipment standpoint.
Facilities becomes a big $ eater... If you become mobile, this may be tough as well. I'd think you'd need a bus to carry a metal fab/ fiberglass/ paint/ electrical/ mechanical shop. Weather can also contribute to downtime in a mobile outfit.
You planning on being a 1 man show? My guess would be that projects can tend to move a little slower than some owners would want if you don't have a crew on them, and some just require extra hands. So then the question becomes, sub or employee? And the time and $ associated with that.
Methinks you'd have your work cut out for you.
But, considering the wide range of abilities you've gained in just 10 years, you sound as though you may be a prodigy, so you could be the one to pull it off.
Best of luck to you!
03-17-2012, 08:18 PM
Like anything that sells well, its all about consistency. We all know what to expect from the high dollar. And we generally keep the low buck guys within a limited scope so its easy to limit issues. If you are gonna break into the market with mid-range, there should be some warranty and expressed guarantees offered. I have been working on my boat for a couple years straightening out the issues and finding new ones. Along the way helping out others, I find that no matter what single company installed what. There seems to be stark differences in wiring layouts and wiring organization.
Big Fish Little Fish
03-18-2012, 10:20 AM
I for one can not pay $40-$50 per hour for unskilled labor and I would have to avoid $60 per hour for skilled. Thats $600.00 per day for a 10 hour day. Don't know many people who make that kind of money or many who will pay that kind of money. I can find someone in need of work to do unskilled much cheaper. What you are proposing is not much different to whats already out there in my opinion. At those hourly rates one would have to try to do the work ones self.
03-19-2012, 05:42 AM
What area are you targeting?
03-21-2012, 05:05 AM
Have a friend who started that way - one of the best mechanics I know... he started with doing the mobile business. IMO Everyone gets tired of it. He started at $50 with the same wide skill set as you, but as business grew, had to hire people and get a shop etc... stopped doing fiberglass work etc.. I think the other thing you will find is most people do not like the service they get from the big dogs... he is slammed with work and is only about 10-15$ cheaper than the dealers, but gets the work done right and normally much faster. You don't always have to be cheap - just good.