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nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
11/22/19 5:01 p.m.

The gokart track thread was so interesting,  so here is another one for business ideas.

Maybe some of you remember, I have a lot of cars, I've downsized from 24 to 17 lately.

I have a 2000sf shop that is cheap and horrible, and have tried to move to the barn,

but the county come down on me and said no repairs, no unregistered cars.   So I have been looking for space to move into.

I am a retired software engineer, and these cars are my hobby, but the rent on space to keep them and work on them is too expensive.

So I am planning to rent a 4500 sf building, and need to come up with a business to run out of it to pay for it.

0.  Rent indoor storage space for classic cars.  (btw, a rv storage place is next door)

1.  Tow Company.   Buy a tow truck, hire a driver, tow and store some cars.  I hear this is a great business in demand.

2. R/C racing.  Indoor and Outdoor in Parking lot.   Seems horrible business.

3. Build Car Trailers.   Particularly the no-ramp drop-bed design I talked about before, I just finishing up building one.

4. Fabricate Race Cars.   Seems iffy

5. Build Electric Cars.   Same as above.

Or your own ideas.  Growing pot is not allowed, the market for hookers is already saturated in this area. ;)

 

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
11/22/19 5:12 p.m.

Shouldn't you come up with the business first and rent the warehouse second?

I don't have much to add regarding your ideas, beyond that the trailer business does not seem lucrative unless you are at the high end. I got mine from Econo Trailer in Pennsylvania and they did not seem to be getting rich from the business. Maybe give them a call?

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
11/22/19 5:21 p.m.

Building an electric vehicle of any stripe is very expensive, unless you came up with a method of building a Lowcost 7 using a wrecked Leaf or something similar that would be a cheap and attractive electro-track toy.

Tow companies, like semi companies, are full of meth and will do anything to keep workers on. Unless you're in a position to take advantage of a bad scenario (i.e. you know many and they nearly unionized over a bad workplace while a contract is up or something) I'd say no.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
11/22/19 5:25 p.m.

Will

be following thread

 

maybe you will need a business partner. I am down to 9 cars, from high of 16 

slowbird
slowbird Dork
11/22/19 5:29 p.m.

Whichever one gets the most tax breaks. cheeky Like a nonprofit charity that gives go-kart rides to less fortunate children. And when there's not enough of those around to keep the karts full, the "employees" can drive go-karts all day to justify keeping the place open. Okay, so maybe just the one that leads to the most go-kart fun.

 

(Disclaimer: I know nothing about businesses, or tax codes, or making good decisions.)

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
11/22/19 5:32 p.m.

Portable Dyno  that you can take to car shows on the weekend ,  and use in the shop during the week, 

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf New Reader
11/22/19 5:42 p.m.

Where you are and if there is competition and/or need for the items discussed would help.

Zoning is important as you have found.

Portable Dyno does sound good, but . . . sound and startup cost.

I was going to help a couple friends establish a detailing shop and a bed liner shop. Both seemed relatively simple and not a super high $$$ startup.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/22/19 5:44 p.m.

How much capital do you have to work with?  (more of a rhetorical question)

I recommend building storage condos like these.  Develop the land and sell off the individual units with triple net lease which allows you to remain as the property (land) owner.  Keep as much of the space as possible for your own use.   

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
11/22/19 6:22 p.m.

This is a little off but on Wheeler Dealer they took one car for an MOT inspection. And they had a brake test machine which measured how each brake was working by percentage , and I believe front / rear bias .

I have never seen that offered here......

 

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
11/22/19 10:37 p.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

Building an electric vehicle of any stripe is very expensive, unless you came up with a method of building a Lowcost 7 using a wrecked Leaf or something similar that would be a cheap and attractive electro-track toy.

Tow companies, like semi companies, are full of meth and will do anything to keep workers on. Unless you're in a position to take advantage of a bad scenario (i.e. you know many and they nearly unionized over a bad workplace while a contract is up or something) I'd say no.

My E36 M3-hole shop neighbor today was telling me about someone who starting a tow business just out of prison, and now he has a good sized business that is highly profitable, and I just met a guy who expanded his tow business from Seattle to here and said it is a great place to expand, sacramento keeps getting bigger, traffic keeps getting worse, accidents keep happening, illegal parking keeps rising, etc ... lol

But frankly I would rather not deal with any employees at all, so think this idea is out even if a good business.

 

What about just storing classic cars indoors?   That seems ideal no hassle plan, just not sure I can get enough customers, although the expensive indoor places seem full.  The roof in this building is very high, I can stack two cars no problem, maybe three!  and fit alot in there

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
11/23/19 5:58 a.m.

In reply to nimblemotorsports :

Is it climate controlled?

I would think insurance is mega expensive for that in an earthquake zone.

Stampie
Stampie UltimaDork
11/23/19 6:34 a.m.

With a lot of alignment shops only aligning to factory specs I've thought a shop specializing in aligning autocross/race/cambered out street cars would be needed. 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
11/23/19 7:43 a.m.
Stampie said:

With a lot of alignment shops only aligning to factory specs I've thought a shop specializing in aligning autocross/race/cambered out street cars would be needed. 

https://www.thealignmentguy.com/

 

This guy does that.  He mounts tires, does alignments and will do minor repair if  needed. The autocross and racing community swear by him. 

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
11/23/19 7:46 a.m.
Stampie said:

With a lot of alignment shops only aligning to factory specs I've thought a shop specializing in aligning autocross/race/cambered out street cars would be needed. 

 

There is a guy like that around here and does all the high end stuff that people won't take to a dealer or there is no local dealer for around here.  "No Questions Asked" tire mounting, etc.  Does well.  

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
11/23/19 7:51 a.m.

In reply to nimblemotorsports :

Do not get into the trailer building business.  I bought materials at wholesale or even less and in 5 years I made an average of 12 cents an hour building and selling them. 
Trailer parts are a volume business.  100 units are where the first volume discounts start and 1000 units  are required to get to the point of making a profit.  

nutherjrfan
nutherjrfan UberDork
11/23/19 8:56 a.m.

I know nothing.

The regulars on here can attest to that.

I was going to say maybe teardrop trailers or hot dog carts but Frenchyd cleared that up.

But I did have a couple of other ideas that came out of nowhere.

Driving school?  Remember my opening statement.

Automotive coding/school.  Teach people how to use MegaSquirt.  Dunno how burned out on tech you are.  Remember my opening ....  smiley

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
11/23/19 9:13 a.m.

In reply to Fueled by Caffeine :

I prefer an idea in this vein- ask around at actual motorsport gatherings/concourses/car shows and just ask people what they've needed while making their cars.

... aside from the standard 'rust repair' comments lmao

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
11/23/19 9:20 a.m.

In reply to nutherjrfan :

Our HS offers drivers ed but so many of my neighbors pay for private driving schools.   I can't stomach teaching 15 year olds how to drive - just finished my last one.  
 

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
11/23/19 10:31 a.m.

I've been planning to build an engine dyno, well should call it a "motor" dyno? laugh    And thought of offering that service, and tuning for speeduno setups, but after thinking it through a chassis dyno would be better for a business, and don't want one of those.

I only need something that will generate $2000/mo (in profit), which is poverty wages in general.   

$200/mo storage for 10 cars does it, or 20 cars at $100/mo.   I did realize today that this place is across the metro bus stop, and that is bad because people ridding the metro can see it and would not be good if people knew about the cars inside (although they can't see inside, you get the point)

I am leaning to the trailer thing, it will be one like this, but different.  My concern here is someone with patents will come after me.

Lightweight Drop Deck Trailer

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
11/23/19 10:39 a.m.

if you have connections to cut metal I think Teardrop trailers are also interesting....

What price point are you looking at for a single axle trailer like the video ?

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
11/23/19 11:00 a.m.

I went to the annual budget meeting for AMP a couple years ago and was nothing short of stunned at the percentage of their revenue that's generated by the kart track. This was with almost zero marketing, and the whole thing being run out of a trailer and tiny garage (before the new facility.)

Granted, the karts are gas-powered and FAST, and it's one of the best public tracks in the country, but depending on the ability to get people in the door, that would be high on my list out of the options you've mentioned.

 

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
11/23/19 11:07 a.m.

Also: I don't know how well it would work in CA, but a buddy of mine had a sweet retirement business: He posted an ad in the local paper every week - "Will pay cash for junk cars."

He bought a ramp truck and had more business than he knew what to do with. Advertising only in the paper got him all the non-internet savvy folks. He'd typically pay no more than $100 for a car, stack em on his property, wait for an uptick in scrap prices and squish them for cash money.

What SUCKED is that he was not a car guy, and had no interest in flipping or stripping for parts. He'd get all kinds of weird E36 M3. The one that stands out is a rust-free AMC Rambler that was in "survivor" condition. Broke my heart that he had no desire to at least strip it & part it out on ebay.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
11/23/19 11:08 a.m.

Option C3P0: Rent a warehouse in Michigan and haul rust-free cars out there to flip.

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
11/23/19 11:33 a.m.
californiamilleghia said:

if you have connections to cut metal I think Teardrop trailers are also interesting....

What price point are you looking at for a single axle trailer like the video ?

I would build a cnc plasma cutter to make all the parts.  I looked at RaceKing, they sell that trailer for $4000 usd,

I could make a good profit at that price, my guess is materials would be $1500ish, maybe sell at $3000 ?   Sell 4 a month and I'm good.

What I like about the trailer thing is can sponsor a race series and any excess profit can be expensed as advertising to the race series.

captdownshift
captdownshift UltimaDork
11/23/19 11:42 a.m.

Self serve carwash with a touchfree drive through bay is my suggestion. 

If you want to get fancy, lease out 2-3 stalls to a detailing operation.

Keep a bay for yourself to do paintless dent repair. Sell a very limited number of high end wash, wax, ceramic and detailing products out of the paintless dent repair studio. 

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