Investing $30K+: Go to school or start your own business? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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JW1178
10-23-2012, 17:01
I am kind of at a crossroads in my life. I need to make a change. This would be another career. I already have a lot of skills, been a mechanic for a long time, have a lot, about $40-50K in tools, not to mention experience in non-automotive businesses. I have worked as a professional mover, and a over the road truck driver, still have my class A CDL, and have worked in sales at a home improvement center.

One idea is to go back to school and learn a new trade. Even with a local trade school, I'd be lucky if I don't spend or owe $30K by the time I finish a program. Investing a lot of money, to start over from the bottom.

The other idea is to go into business for myself. I know automotive the best, could start by opening a little shop of my own. However, it's a bit of a dying business. Cars are pretty much becoming maintenence free disposables now adays. People don't get alignments and coolant flushes anymore. One business I was in for a short time, was the moving business. A LOT of money in that business. The only real expense was the trucks and servicing them.

I'm in a delima, invest in school so I can potentially make more money working for someone else, or jump in and build a business for myself? I see it as I could fail either way. Working for someone else has me sour, because how I see it, the economy is bad and unemployment is high, so employers can ask better qualified people to do more for less money.

Gallium
10-23-2012, 17:48
It takes two people at a minimum to go into an "auto business", and those two people do not include a gal/guy friday. That new auto business with thrive best if you can start at 7am, close at 7pm M-F, and 8hrs on Saturdays.

Do you know someone with solid mechanical chops (a brother) you absolutely trust to go in business with you?

K.Kiser
10-23-2012, 17:59
Education never goes out of style, and there will always be a demand for it.. I say get your smarts now, it can only help and if you are unhappy after that then you will still know everything about auto's that you do now..

I've asked myself the same question many times, and if I had a drastically different schedule then school would probably be my choice...

janice6
10-23-2012, 18:02
Go to school and get educated on how to start a new business.

I'm serious, you cannot have too much knowledge, when starting a new business.

*ASH*
10-23-2012, 18:08
go to school . seriously ,

im self employed ,own my farm business BUT IM THIRD GEN BORN INTO IT . im 43 and have never had a public job ever , if not for growing up farming id be lost . i have lucked out into alot of money my dad left me and investments when he died . but i have nothing to fall back on . all i know is farming . plus i got ton of health problems .

insurance sucks when you pay everything out of pocket

i do own a few rental properties . i make good living but i missed out on the school thing .


anyway , go back to school .

Hef
10-23-2012, 18:11
Don't become self-employed in any business if you don't already know the business inside and out.

gilfo
10-23-2012, 18:20
I would train in the transmission service area. I don't know about where you are but the transmission places here in Florida are booming. If I had the money and knowledge that's where I would be. Good luck in what ever you choose.

Hef
10-23-2012, 18:51
I would train in the transmission service area. I don't know about where you are but the transmission places here in Florida are booming. If I had the money and knowledge that's where I would be. Good luck in what ever you choose.

Transmissions, transfer cases, and differentials are a good niche in the auto business. Most mechanics are not trained for that kind of work, and those who are (and do them right) make good money.

2afreedom
10-23-2012, 18:52
I would train in the transmission service area. I don't know about where you are but the transmission places here in Florida are booming. If I had the money and knowledge that's where I would be. Good luck in what ever you choose.

I have had this same thought multiple times. If you can rebuild and or replace transmissions you will never be out of work. My buddy's dad has done this type of work for 25+ years and makes a good living at it. You could also get your auto dealer's license and buy vehicles needing tranny work for cheap, fix them, and sell them for a nice profit.

On the subject of school, please be sure you are getting "schooled" in an area that will provide you with a living wage in YOUR AREA. In small town USA, a two year history degree is worthless. Honestly, I wouldn't set foot back in a classroom unless I was pretty much guaranteed $XX per hour for my efforts. Education in a field with a good job market is always a good thing though.

tshadow6
10-23-2012, 19:03
Your local community college would be a good place for some formal education. Community colleges are quite affordable. Take the business classes so you will be able to handle the paperwork side of whatever trade you are in. My CPA sister in law has told me several stories of blue collar people starting their own business. They know the trade side of the business, but cannot handle the paperwork. Lease rent, utilities, payroll all of that must be factored into the fees you charge.

Hef
10-23-2012, 19:26
Your local community college would be a good place for some formal education. Community colleges are quite affordable. Take the business classes so you will be able to handle the paperwork side of whatever trade you are in. My CPA sister in law has told me several stories of blue collar people starting their own business. They know the trade side of the business, but cannot handle the paperwork. Lease rent, utilities, payroll all of that must be factored into the fees you charge.

Great advice. Most people don't understand that being good at a trade doesn't mean one is capable of being successful in that trade as a business owner. Running a business is an entirely different skill set on top of the trade knowledge.

happy seal
10-23-2012, 19:46
Dont open your own business because if you ever get hurt you'll have to fire yourself when you have to take pain meds! :dunno:

cgwahl
10-23-2012, 19:55
If you have the tools already, maybe go to school and work out of the garage doing the odd jobs here and there part time?

If you get enough clientele, perhaps consider doing it full time.


You will want to get insurance and could give you an idea of is this what you want to do full time. Not to mention give you some experience running a business.

bchandler
10-23-2012, 19:58
Go to community college. Get an AA (not an AS). You can apply the AA towards a 4 year university degree by transferring 100% of your credits. With the AS you'd have to start over from scratch (or nearly so) if you ever decide to get your 4 year.

Also, anyone who would hire an AS would hire an AA (for a more generic job, not a specialist job like x-ray tech etc), as the classes are usually a bit higher level. And it costs the same. So there's really no disadvantage.

An engineering degree is a good way to go, take it from me. 4 years of dedication and late nights studying buy you the rest of your life with a relatively cushy and secure field that pays very well. Not as well as starting a business that becomes successful, but there's much less risk, and much shorter hours. Plus you learn to think in a whole new way about the world.

samuse
10-23-2012, 20:26
I went to school for welding. I already knew how to weld but some formal education really helped out.

Gareth68
10-23-2012, 21:19
Three words...

Hot Dog Cart.

:whistling:

LASTRESORT20
10-23-2012, 21:39
To make a decent Living in ones own business ....at what ever one decides to do...or product they want to sell.... one must learn how to reach out to many people on a continues basis...

IndyGunFreak
10-23-2012, 21:41
Starting your own business is TOUGH! If you are not super motivated, prepared to put in a lot of hours, etc... use the money on education. So many businesses fail in the first 1-2yrs, unless you have some sort of experience you've not mentioned here... I'd definitely go to school rather than start a business.

*ASH*
10-23-2012, 23:36
Three words...

Hot Dog Cart.

:whistling:

OH SNAP !!:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

IndyGunFreak
10-24-2012, 02:28
OH SNAP !!:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Whatever happened to emt?


Nevermind, I see he still posts in the Survival/Preparedness forum.

Rotn1
10-24-2012, 18:30
Let me take the contrarian position.
In today's market / economy many a degrees person is unemployed or underemployed. The percentages are less than the general economy but are still unacceptablly high.

Today it's the idea, opportunity, service and ability to execute. Some of the wealthiest men in the country dropped out to pursue their idea. And, that is the point, it is the idea.

From my own perspective I earned more working 18 months out of my basesment than the previous 25 years working for someone else. I am working for "someone else" again and miss those few months I had.

If you have a good idea and the passion, I say go for it. The key is to run the scenarios and modeling to improve your odds of success

RWBlue
10-24-2012, 18:51
It looks to me like some of the above are pushing their own thoughts.

Here are the questions:
1. What do you enjoy doing?
2. Can I make a living doing (insert answer 1)?
3. If #2 is yes, do it. If no go back to #1.

And since this is not your first rodeo, will you outlive the occupation you came up with in #1?

Some thoughts:
If you like working on cars...my car needs some work, but there isn't really anyone to work on it. I believe I need a ABS sensor, a door sensor, someone to get a CD player from the junk yard and install it, and the service engine light come on when I am pushing it hard driving over 85mph. I don't think the market is dieing as much as people don't have a trusted person to do all the little things that need to be done.

Louisville Glocker
10-24-2012, 19:06
Great question, but no single good answer. How old are you? I've owned two business, one is still going 15 years later. I got a good education before I went out into business. That gave me a backup plan, because as others have said, a lot of businesses fail. Then all of your hard work (and money) pretty much go up in smoke.

Your own biz is a ton of work. More than you expect, and even more if you want to make it work. Maybe get an engineering degree? Guaranteed job! And you can use your mechanical skills....look into a good state school. (I got my Physics degree from Purdue)

p.s. I do like the moving business idea. Maybe start that and run it part time while you're going to school?