A new direction in life

Talk about E-Types here

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dal2.0litrefrogeye
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#1 A new direction in life

Post by dal2.0litrefrogeye » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:56 am

Hi all , just would like to run an idea past my learned freinds ( maybe call it market research)
I've Been at my place of employment for 23 years , and now feel it's time to possibly move on , my job is workshop manager , but I'm still very much hands on , I find after being on the phone for hours either ordering parts or arranging time slots for trucks mots / services , to get back to fixing or fabricating something a stress relief ,
Any way back to my question , with my knowledge of classic cars ( the many many restorations and modded builds ) i get many calls over a month for advice on doing x.y.and z etc , So my idea is to advertise myself as a classic car buying advisory , ( I'll be the head to the you buying with your heart type thing )
So has anyone on here used that type service , maybe you love the E , or any other classic for that matter , but your mechanical knowledge is limited ,
Really I'm starting to see if it is a viable career path , cheers for any ideas and thoughts ........
Wow that was a long winded add :lol:
Its a way of life not a hobby
Darren . 64 4.2 modded 69 4.2

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mgcjag
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#2 Re: A new direction in life

Post by mgcjag » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:09 am

Hi Darren....Iv been into classics for a long time...but only know a few who have actually paid for that service...normaly the "Head" is provided by a mate or other enthusiast.....Steve
Steve
1969 S2 2+2 & Building a C type replica

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malcolm
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#3 Re: A new direction in life

Post by malcolm » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:20 am

I think it's a choice between what you like and what you could earn. Obviously, you would enjoy the role and be suited to it, but could you earn enough to meet your requirements?
I think you need to consider how many classics are bought each year, (research should give you an idea), how many of the buyers would be new and might use the service, what %age of them could you get, and how much you could charge each.
I suspect the earnings wouldn't be great, but if you only wanted to tick along and have money in the bank, maybe it might be enough.
You also need to consider how easily you could get back into regular employment if it didn't work.
There would also be the issue of dealing with the complaints - you advise on an old car which of course develops problems, so you are blamed for bad advice. No matter what you agree about liability, moans would be there. Could you deal with that?
Good luck whichever way you go.
Malcolm
I only fit in a 2+2, so got one!
1969 Series 2 2+2
2009 Jaguar XF-S

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rswaffie
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#4 Re: A new direction in life

Post by rswaffie » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:26 am

Hi
I used a service provided by an private individual when purchasing a Healey 3000 about 5 years ago. He provided a detailed written report, covering body, trim and mechanics including a road test. There were about 100 points covered. He them provided his opinion as to value based on the market. It was called a pre-purchase inspection. He also did insurance valuations. From memory it was about £250. He even had a portable car lift the he used.
He was, however semi-retired and did this for beer money so unless you have a extensive client network it may not be a viable full time occupation.
Richard

S1 3.8 FHC Opalescent Golden Sand with Tan Trim 889504
Now running-in my diy nut ‘n’ bolt restoration. :wrench: :hammer: :fingerscrossed:

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christopher storey
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#5 Re: A new direction in life

Post by christopher storey » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:02 pm

The real demand is for people who can provide a hands on service on classic cars . With your experience I would have thought you can do that, but the snag is that you need premises, and thus the outlay before you start to earn anything is considerable, and thus there is a significant element of risk.The other warning I would give, and this is from direct experience, is that for every satisfied customer, there is another who is either just plain stupid ( like the man who had the engine on his Mk VI Bentley rebuilt, and was expressly told to run it in gently, who then drove it 200 miles home at 85-90 mph and then sued because the big ends ran ) or dishonest, or both. I had 2 clients - one very well known indeed in the motor world - who gave up specifically because of this aspect of life

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PeterCrespin
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#6 Re: A new direction in life

Post by PeterCrespin » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:15 pm

Yes, I think there has to be a ‘thing’ you sell for profit and can calculate how many you need to sell to get by - even if the ‘thing’ is your knowledge.

I’ve done a few E-type inspections and charged people $250 for the report, plus fuel to get there and back. They are fun to do on a warm day in a roomy garage but to make a living I’d probably need to do half a dozen a week, or double the price, which isn’t realistic if they have to be in driving distance. When you work out what your service and price are, and how many you need to sell, cut the number by 50% and work out how long you could survive.

As for mechanical work, you can start out from your home garage to see how you get on. I’ve done a few jobs for people but the very few I charged money for I inevitably didn’t bill for every hour. One job was for rebuilding an engine - which is pretty easy to budget and any nasty extras are normally extra machining jobs not building costs. Even so, because I was doing the work for money I was paranoid about someone stripping it down and moaning because I left a bit of carbon under a piston crown, or used a plain washer and Loctite where they expected a spring washer, etc.

If you fancy your chances, start doing it at weekends or one day a week. That way you can build up experience and customers before deciding whether to do it full time. Much less risky and you avoid bank loans...
1E75339 UberLynx D-Type; 1R27190 70 FHC; 1E78478; 2001 Vanden Plas

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dxke38
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#7 Re: A new direction in life

Post by dxke38 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:45 pm

Since I retired I've helped several people with E Type problems ,whether buying or ongoing maintenance.
I think to do this full time would be a lot of hassle and worry. Any problems with the vehicles you inspect could be blamed on you. I only help people I know and friends and your customers would not be friends if things go wrong. Perhaps I'm just cynical but good luck if you go for it.
Derek
64 ser 1 fhc, 71 ser 3 2+2.

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politeperson
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#8 Re: A new direction in life

Post by politeperson » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:58 pm

Darren,
You have more talent then many "car restorers" I know.
Set yourself up in "the business", you would be very good at it and you are in the right part of the country for customers.
You would get plenty of work from this forum alone.
You are a popular guy.
Life is too short not too!
Contact me if you need help with setting a business up-anytime FOC.
James
James

L.J.K. Setright was right.
"You just cant beat a good E-type"

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dal2.0litrefrogeye
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#9 Re: A new direction in life

Post by dal2.0litrefrogeye » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:34 pm

Cheers for your advice and ideas so far :yellow:
Its a way of life not a hobby
Darren . 64 4.2 modded 69 4.2

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abowie
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#10 Re: A new direction in life

Post by abowie » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:51 am

Sadly, coming from a medical background always makes me think of liability issues.

If you give a car a positive report and then the engine blows up, what degree of liability are you prepared to accept. If you pass a car and then the brakes fail and the occupant is injured, what level of responsibility is aimed at you.

You only need one of these to bugger your business.
Andrew.
881824, 1E21538. 889457..oops. Jezza the V12 XJS race car.
http://www.projectetype.com/index.php/the-blog.html
Adelaide, Australia

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max-it-out
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#11 Re: A new direction in life

Post by max-it-out » Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:23 pm

Might be an idea to check out how much a good insurance policy for this type of business would be before going ahead.
Mark

1968 series 1.5 roadster

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neal herridge
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#12 Re: A new direction in life

Post by neal herridge » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:35 pm

Hi Darren.
Is it a change of job you want , or a burning desire to start your own business.
If its the first with your skills any restoration firm would jump at the chance to employ you, knock on a few doors even if they have no adds for new staff.
If its your own business how about working as a sub contractor for say a firm who does general work on classics but not bodywork that way you may be able to use their work shop to start you off.
Or you could go mobile with a van again no need for your own place to start with.
As others have said you must get insurance cover if something goes wrong & it may not be your fault it could still hit you in the pocket.
Also cash flow is king, you will also need money in the bank to pay your bills at home to cover the times when you have no work which can happen on start up.
Think about going as a Ltd Co. there are more costs re accountants but it does protect your assets if the worst happens.
Don't forget there is a lot of paper work to keep on top of .
Good luck which ever way you go, you have the skills & are a hard worker so it will be a success what ever you do.
Neal.

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