×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

"Non-engineering" Small Business

"Non-engineering" Small Business

"Non-engineering" Small Business

(OP)
I was at a superbowl party last night and discussed something interesting with a fellow ME.  He and his wife have started a small business on the side selling grain over the internet.  I don't know how much money they make or anything, but I was definitely intreagued.  

I'd like to hear what others have done for a small business not related to their "day job".  

RE: "Non-engineering" Small Business

I had two friends from MechEngr Graduate School, "Dick & Jane".  They got married.  He worked in manufacturing automation, she worked in software development, both very computer savvy folks.  Jane liked to "garden", that is, plant flowers and shrubs, purchase gnomes, etc.  She started a gardening supplies website in her spare time.  They ran servers from a spare bedroom.  Then they decided to do it full time.  Went big time, hired staff, Jane was Prez and Dick was Chief Tech Officer.  Then they got purchased by BigCorp during the late-90's internet boom.  After the bubble burst 1-1/2 years later the company was closed.  They became very rich in the overall process, but they were forced to dump all of their loyal employees by the BigCorp's corporate chiefs, and Jane took it very hard.

TygerDawg

RE: "Non-engineering" Small Business

I own a store on the side.  I work as an engineer from 8 to 4:30.  Before 8 I stop by the store, turn on the computer, crank up the heat, vacuum, etc.  At 4:30 I head to the store and work the evening hours from about 5 til 8 each night.  I sometimes stay later depending on what needs to be done.

I work all day Saturday, every Saturday.  Haven't had one of those off since April 2005.  Most Sundays I go in to clean.   My books are so far behind it isn't funny.  I have 3+ years to pay on my SBA loan.  Financially, it's cost a lot more than I ever expected, in every way.  Someday it will pay off.  I am tough, I'll make it.

My advice would be (1) don't quit your day job until you know it's going to make it.  Start part time so you can at least pay bills.  Cut out every unnecessary expense in your personal life.  Stress over money is a killer.  And (2) go in with a partner.  It's really hard to go it alone.  You need to be able to take a day off here or there.  My family has been really helpful but I still get the feeling like they are thinking, "we told you it wouldn't work..." but it is, I'm just exhausted in making it work.  

RE: "Non-engineering" Small Business

My wife and I are about to do exactly this sort of thing.  Packing it up and moving to the middle of nowhere--because we can (beautiful mountain place in CO).  Our dream is for both of us to work in a different business all together--something helping people much more directly.

We don't yet know how to make that pay the bills unless we start running around doing speaking gigs or something--which really isn't what we had in mind.  So for now, I remain an industrial designer while we make the jump to CO and settle in.  We have the start of a three year transition plan where I can begin to ween off of this design business and we'll begin to put more "weight" on the new business plan.

This may be obliquely related--I was given this book yesterday by my "mentee"--looks fascinating, although I've only read the first chapter.  May be something to think of, since the topic deals with such jumps in the market and of marketable thinking generally:
http://www.danpink.com/aboutwnm.php

Jeff Mowry
www.industrialdesignhaus.com
Reason trumps all.  And awe transcends reason.

RE: "Non-engineering" Small Business

I used to teach tennis at the local club on the side. I also did the round robin setup, tournament director, that sort of stuff. Keeps me involved I guess.

A couple of other "side" careers that I have heard of:

1) One of my professors worked (owned) a coffee shop. He would invite students over to talk about whatever once a month. Coffee on him.

2) A colleague owned a ranch. I don't know if he ran it or leased it out. I believe it was very profitable.

They did this aside from their main careers - a hobby as it were.

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close