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Starting my own Hydrographic Business

HydroDanHydroDan Posts: 6Member
edited February 2017 in Paint Booths
Hi all,

Im thinking of starting a hydrographic business. Just wanted to get peoples thoughts.

I am going to be working from home (Melbourne,Australia)

I have a strong automotive background with also being a qualified Panel Beater, so if any customers need panel work done as well I can do it.


I want to venture into dipping rims, engine covers, car interiors

so give me your thoughts peeps
Post edited by HydroDan on

Comments

  • loochlooch Posts: 1,465Member ✭✭✭✭
    Get some training first to see if you can do it and they will show you what you need to get started the couple grand now is better than tens of thousands only to realize that its not for you 
  • HydroDanHydroDan Posts: 6Member
    ive had 8+ years of being a qualified panel beater
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,707Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    edited February 2017
    First thing to remember.... while this process does borrow from other industries, it requires its own set of skills and has a steep learning curve. Training is a great idea if you are planning to make it a profitable endeavor. Make sure you understand the process is difficult, and YouTube makes it out to be much easier than it is. Once you jump in head first and start? You'll understand. As we have said many times, you simply don't know what you don't know, and that's ok. Just have realistic expectations of the process.

    Admittedly, I have no idea wtf a "panel beater" is exactly, but I would guess it requires some experience w automotive painting. So yes, you will have a leg up there to an extent. Painting and clear coat techniques are both required. But realize the products you normally use may or may not work with the process. You will have to test them. Being that you're down under, materials made specifically for this process may be difficult to find.

    All that being said, I believe it could indeed be a great addition to an automotive repair and customization shop.
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,707Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    And welcome to the forum!
  • DeviousDipsDeviousDips Posts: 1,148Member ✭✭✭✭
    Welcome and I was thinking the same thing on the panel beater lol
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,707Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Guess I should have used google... lmao

    "A panel beater is a term used in some Commonwealth countries to describe a person who repairs vehicle bodies back to their factory state after having been damaged (e.g., after being involved in a collision)."
  • HydroDanHydroDan Posts: 6Member
    lol thanks guys. Yes I re-align cars after people have a collision. I'm not sure what they call it in other parts of the world.

    I was going to start off small in my own garage and trial/learn. There is a big market over here for hydrographics, with only a handful of companies, the business could Boom.


    thanks for your input guys.

  • schidroschidro Posts: 315Member ✭✭✭
    I thought the same thing when I started. Hmm I'd be the only one dipping around this area so yeah it will work out and I'll make some cash. That may have been the single most stupidest idea of a business plan I've never had. Unfortunately I don't know how to give up & I'm still at it. I enjoy it but I wish I had do e a lot of things differently. This is just my own experience and opinion. And welcome. 
  • HydroDanHydroDan Posts: 6Member
    schidro said:

    I thought the same thing when I started. Hmm I'd be the only one dipping around this area so yeah it will work out and I'll make some cash. That may have been the single most stupidest idea of a business plan I've never had. Unfortunately I don't know how to give up & I'm still at it. I enjoy it but I wish I had do e a lot of things differently. This is just my own experience and opinion. And welcome. 

    is it working out?
  • NotSoFastNotSoFast Posts: 3,141Member, Moderator El Moderator
    Unless you get yourself a steady production run, this is likely not to be a profitable business. Profit margins on single items is tiny especially compared to the time it takes to produce the work and your overhead from materials and tools. We've been dipping two years and we still haven't broken even on our startup expenses.
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,707Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    I agree with @NotSoFast. If you want to make money just dipping, it's difficult. You need production. If you're just adding it on as an option to other customizations or repairs you're doing? I think it'll work out for that purpose.
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 5,673Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    If you are using it as an additional service to what you already do, understand that you are going to CONSTANTLY be hustling. You will always be having to explain the process, constantly trying to explain the merits of the process, constantly selling. When you have production runs, you concentrate on dipping, when you have a public service, you concentrate on being a salesman.

    Not sure if this is a universal rule, but in the business I work for now as a Manufacturing Engineer (unrelated to dipping) I am told "You only get 30% of the business that you quote on". Not 30% of the business that we talk to people about... 30% of the people that search us out for the services that they know that we offer and come to us with...
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,707Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator

    When you have production runs, you concentrate on dipping, when you have a public service, you concentrate on being a salesman.

    Bingo.
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 12,479Administrator El Jefe
    I trained a panel beater from Auzzieland...his name was Keith...great guy...have not heard from him in a Koala's age though...not sure if he is still doing it or not...

    Never forget when he asked me to drive him by a "bottle shop"...
    "A what?"...
    "You know mate...where they sell bear"...
    "You mean where they sell BEER?"...lol..."OHHH a "Liquor Store"...

    Funny Auzzies....and welcome to the forum!...
  • norcalfranknorcalfrank Posts: 849Member ✭✭✭

    If you are using it as an additional service to what you already do, understand that you are going to CONSTANTLY be hustling. You will always be having to explain the process, constantly trying to explain the merits of the process, constantly selling. When you have production runs, you concentrate on dipping, when you have a public service, you concentrate on being a salesman.

    Not sure if this is a universal rule, but in the business I work for now as a Manufacturing Engineer (unrelated to dipping) I am told "You only get 30% of the business that you quote on". Not 30% of the business that we talk to people about... 30% of the people that search us out for the services that they know that we offer and come to us with...

    That seems like a low number, but that might be that industry standard. When I was in consturction, we expected to get atleast 50% of work we bid, and it was usually a little higher than that.

  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 12,479Administrator El Jefe
    I was always taught around 30%...you get more than that? You are bidding to low...
  • norcalfranknorcalfrank Posts: 849Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017

    I was always taught around 30%...you get more than that? You are bidding to low...

    Since I knew a few people in the trade (friends) I had a pretty good idea what prices were on comercial and residential work. I learned the trad working for 3 different companies mainly, with a combined 115 years experience. I certainly wasn't low by any meens. Maybe in larger metro areas that is the norm, but up in our neck of the woods, 50% was more the norm. Less competition was maybe the reason.

    maybe we can ask @Tsunami? He was in the same trade basically, though I don't know if he was i a metro area or a smaller town, and I haven't seen him on here in awhile.


  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 12,479Administrator El Jefe
    Yea I don't know where he got off to...I know he was having a rough go with his ex-wife and I am sure that dragged him down...I will text him and see how he is doing...
  • norcalfranknorcalfrank Posts: 849Member ✭✭✭

    Yea I don't know where he got off to...I know he was having a rough go with his ex-wife and I am sure that dragged him down...I will text him and see how he is doing...

    Hmmm, that's too bad. He has some great input to the forum. Hope he is doing okay.

  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 5,673Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Dave was alot of fun. Another reason the remotes were a blast.
  • HydroDanHydroDan Posts: 6Member
    edited July 2017
    Thanks for all your advice. I've been busy with making my own tank, thought id give it a go anyway.

    Recently I have completed part one, i made my tank.

    I haven't done bad. $100 for a tank, heating elements, digital thermostat and bits n peices

    water stays at a constant 29 celsius or 90 degrees fahrenheit

    I've converted my shed into an area where i can dip, and closed off a section and made a booth.



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