I hoped this day would never come - loosing my workshop.

UKworkshop.co.uk

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giantbeat

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in 2004 my neighbouring commercial unit caught fire and took us out as well, lost everything. At the time it was devastating and created many nightmares, I didn't sleep for a month and we lost in excess of £35000 due under insured.
The positives to come out of it were
1/ we got through it
2/ we moved to brand new premises
3/ the partnership survived and is still very strong
4/ more space (higher rent but worth it)
5/ better lay out
6/ more flexible space and the ability to take on more connected space

looking back we ended up in a better place overall, both in terms of premises and as a business, at the time you don't realise that.

You could be in a worse position.


Thats the positive I'm trying to throw at it.... it could be good for us in the long run, new space, new layout, better operation, room for growth etc.. its just far harder to find new space than i expected.
 

Jacob

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Try a few small ads (as "Musical Instrument Maker")?
Write to you local paper with lack of work space as a newsworthy issue and get publicity?
Look for shared space?
If you are a viable business already you've got one big advantage and a change might be a progressive next step.
 

johnnyb

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some places have very few small workshop spaces. it's just a localised issue really. with property going nuts landlords are maximising or worse selling for development. little makers spaces can be ridiculous prices. materials are also very costly which doesn't help.
 

rafezetter

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Would it be worth trying a local farm?
Rent for them, space for you and noise not a problem?
Just a thought.

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO - absolutely not.

WAAAAY too many risks for the upside.

We had a member here whom has long since departed for another forum whom had stored a lot of equipment on a farm - got stolen, even the big machines, gone.

Farms are often remote, with little to no security, and easy access to long dark deserted roads for an easy getaway. The farmer isn't going to provide you with security of any kind, so you'll have to fork out a tidy sum for a full rig with cameras etc.

Which will still give you exactly zero security, because the b'tards won't care and you can be sure even if you put great big signs all over the place, they will make sure they can't be identified.

Even if you use that luminescent powder system that won't wash off, and add GPS trackers chances are even IF you manage to get the gear back, the b'tards won't be prosecuted in any meaningful way and they'll be back afterwards to "sort you out".

The problem with tools is they are too easy to shift and nigh impossible to track, even if you don't lose any big machines, you're still out of pocket, your insurance goes up AND the b'tards will assume you've restocked in a few months and be back again.

Yes the same could be said of anywhere - but there's a reason why the burglary rate is higher for farms than average.
 

Richard_C

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im not looking for you guys to solve the issue, you can't & you are not suggesting any avenues we have not explored between the crew here.

Your first post sounded like you might appreciate a few ideas, sorry to intrude. Good luck.
 

OCtoolguy

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I hope that I'm not being overly simplistic but we here in the U.S. are experiencing the same greed. I am in a mobile home complex that has just changed hands and the rents are headed for the moon.
My suggestion is this, if small industrial space is at such a premium, would it be feasible to buy/lease a large unit and create a "makers" area for others who are in the same fix as you? Maybe an old industrial building that is sitting empty and could be partitioned off and make many smaller areas for other small creators. I've seen that happen here in the States and it has worked out fantastically. Especially if you can find something of multiple levels with a service elevator and wired for the power grid that you might need. Since we don't know your financial situation, it's hard to come up with ideas but this would be the direction I would go if I had your dilemma. Best of luck to you though, I hope it all works out for you.
 

giantbeat

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Your first post sounded like you might appreciate a few ideas, sorry to intrude. Good luck.
My reply sounded far more off than I intended Richard, my apologies, you are not intruding, and of course I do appreciate ideas, I guess I was just sounding off my frustrations to a group who I though would understand my shock and annoyance that I can’t get a look in On any of the units we go to see.

we have been at it since jan 4th… contacted everyone as I have good connections and are just getting the door shut on us despite us being a very valid operation, you assessment of the motorway links is correct, there seems to be plenty of big industry and development for Amazon warehouses etc… not much fir the small manufacturing business.

I actually feature in a promotion video used by Wakefield first to showcase Wakefield as a dynamic place for business… they were full of promises and spiel until i asked them for any assurance they could give.

.
 

Keith 66

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Regarding farms, Its a possible avenue but Farmers cottoned onto this income stream long ago. The site where my old workshop once stood is now occupied by modern workshops, what used to cost me £2000 a year in rent is now £10,000 plus nigh on the same in business rates.
Its worth asking Land agents if there is owt going as they often market farm buildings & semi rural buildings, security may be an issue but its an issue anywhere including industrial estates!
 

RobinBHM

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I'll be controversial.
If you need business premises, but the rents are too high then one question to be asked is, are the rents too high or is the business not as profitable or as good as it needs to be.
Everyone can make a profit with no overheads.

That's not having a pop at the OP, just a general question which needs to be looked at by all businesses.
its a fair point but lots if micro woodworking business models dont work with high rentals

most people with one man band woodworking shops would earn more money doing site carpentry -these days its £1k a week easily, and the only overheads are a van and some festool gear.
 

RobinBHM

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Im currently on a farm, the workshop is 27metres by 7.5m and the rental is £400/month -and I only pay half as its shared

mind you theres no lease, so theres no security but no liability either.
 

doctor Bob

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its a fair point but lots if micro woodworking business models dont work with high rentals

most people with one man band woodworking shops would earn more money doing site carpentry -these days its £1k a week easily, and the only overheads are a van and some festool gear.

but some have described them as "great little businesses", this they are not if turnover is tiny, and every day is a struggle and rents are a killer. More of a "lovely enjoyable business, with poor profit".
 

Daniel2

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but some have described them as "great little businesses", this they are not if turnover is tiny, and every day is a struggle and rents are a killer. More of a "lovely enjoyable business, with poor profit".

You're probably spot on, but a lot of small artisans aren't able
to master the market as you have managed. There will be
various reasons as to why that is, but a lot of small woodworkers
struggle financially. It's nothing new, look at Jesus's dad.
 

doctor Bob

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You're probably spot on, but a lot of small artisans aren't able
to master the market as you have managed. There will be
various reasons as to why that is, but a lot of small woodworkers
struggle financially. It's nothing new, look at Jesus's dad.

I agree whole heartedly, if you have a passion for something and you do it for a living great, but rents are set at market value, if the business can't match them then something is wrong with the business not the rents.
 

johnnyb

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invariably comparisons are made between business x and business y. I consider a one man band isn't a business really(not in manufacture) but a wage earning vanity thing. it's obvious to be financially successful you'd be crazy to do anything manual yourself as that's minimum wage work. but one man bands are can tread the line between making something and making something beautiful. an example. a very good friend of mine is an incredible stonemason he works mainly for a largeish quarry. without his input everything is square and flat.with his input the results can be breathtaking.
he makes a good wage much less than the quarry owner. the quarry owner is a businessman the mason is a craftsmen.
 

Oakay

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I disagree with your minimum wage comment. (Edit: I think I misunderstood you johnnyb after quickly reading 'you would be crazy to do anything manual yourself as that's minimum wage work' as you really meant that's not how to make it big financially. End edit) My staff member is not on minimum wage, he is skilled and worth more than that. I am skilled too. We do what we do because we need to earn a living but not only that, we want to follow our passion. Sometimes that passion will mean following types of work which will not support even minimum wage, but other types of work can compensate for that and make it possible. Job satisfaction and customer satisfaction are important. Sometimes that is not possible and we take the rough with the smooth, but thankfully we are not slaves and are able to make some choices in life, within the options available to us and it is not necessarily all about money.
 
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Jameshow

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invariably comparisons are made between business x and business y. I consider a one man band isn't a business really(not in manufacture) but a wage earning vanity thing. it's obvious to be financially successful you'd be crazy to do anything manual yourself as that's minimum wage work. but one man bands are can tread the line between making something and making something beautiful. an example. a very good friend of mine is an incredible stonemason he works mainly for a largeish quarry. without his input everything is square and flat.with his input the results can be breathtaking.
he makes a good wage much less than the quarry owner. the quarry owner is a businessman the mason is a craftsmen.
I disagree a one man band is a business be it a tree surgeon, recovery operator, carpenter, plasterer, solo GP (rare), dentist, vet, car dealer all are businesses just with different fields and valuations obviously. They are not charities or hobbies etc.....
 

johnnyb

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I mean a one man band is not scaleable it's just one pair of hands. it could be a good business of course but not in manufacturing. the trades you mention provide a wage as a one man outfit not a huge income. not hobbies or charities but a limited amount (mostly) each month.
 

giantbeat

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this thread has taken unexpected and yet fascinating turn/off tangents…. Interesting reading.

I appreciate many of you suggesting shared space, etc… that’s not suitable, I can’t take bespoke tooling to such a place… this is a stand alone established 3 man business with a lot of manufacturing equipment.

several have taken my post about cost been driven up due to lack of available space as “I can’t afford” .. I never said that, nor did I imply it, we have a budget, it has a max point of course & no one with any sense in business willingly pays over the odds.
our max is more than the average £ per sqFt for the area, the problem is lack of availability Or lack of willingness to rent to specific trades, I get shoehorned into joinery and carpentry as its Wood work, I’m far more specific… if anything I’d say I was more plywood manufacturing & finishing… but hey ho

something will come up, or it won’t.
 
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