Doing a car build for someone or having potential customers visit the shop to talk about their needs sounds like a dream come true for most automotive business owners. For me, however, not so much. This month, I’d like to share a quick recap about why BenzForce was created and the things that impact my decisions about what I’m willing to work on.
I didn’t start BenzForce to build an empire or lay my hands on everything going out the door. I started it to help people get the products they need for their Mercedes builds. Higher-end performance parts typically originate in Europe, and this creates supply chain problems for the U.S. market. I hoped to conquer the problems through volume purchasing, solid partnerships and offloading tasks that can be performed over here.
Several people have reached out to me asking if I will build a car for them, fix problems created by other shops or finish a build started by someone else. I’m truly honored to be considered for these projects. But, I have a couple of obstacles that prevent me from taking on most of the work I’m offered.
- Environment and Tooling : I would love to have a 4-bay shop with a couple car stackers, lift and tooling, but I don’t. In the videos on the MR300D page, you don’t see a commercial garage; you see my home garage. While I plan to purchase a press, plasma table, 3-in-1 machine, etc., I have no room for them at this time. In fact, right now we have 5 cars with only 2 drivers. Because of my homeowners’ association, we have to keep 2 cars at another location or the HOA will fine us for parking in the street overnight. I plan to build a shop in the near future, but I have some pretty lofty financial goals that take precedence. I’m too close to the finish line on those goals to sideline them now.
Timeline: Right now, I am a Sr. Technical Architect and
Lead Technical Consultant for an Oracle Gold Partner specializing in a niche of
Supply Chain Manufacturing called Product Lifecycle Management. What does that mean? It means that I have a boring tech job which
allows me to be in a blessed financial position. I do not consider myself wealthy, but am also not
I suspect I make more money working the keyboard than I ever will working on cars or pushing parts. The downside is that I would much rather work on cars! Seeing the tangible results of my efforts is far more rewarding than seeing text on a screen. But as committed as I may be to an automotive project, the day job comes first. Prospective clients need to understand this up front because it affects the overall timeline of my automotive projects.
- Compensation: I wrestle with this issue. While I care more about the quality of a project than other service providers might, my workmanship comes with strings attached (see #2). Taking on a project that I’ll run out of my garage and asking for a lot of latitude with my availability are factors that play into price structure. I need to decide whether to run it like a software project – billing for time and materials -- or as a fixed bid. I’m also thinking about a hybrid pricing approach. I don’t have all the answers about this yet. If you have suggestions, please email me!
Again, I am humbled by those who have reached out to me. In a couple years, I hope to begin construction on a shop. In the meantime, I have the new BMW project and would like to take on a couple of customer cars per year if the projects are a good fit.
If you want to know more about how I work, my temperament and my attention to detail because you’re considering hiring me, please watch my videos. It’s not feasible for people to come to my shop to “vet” me. If you’re still interested after watching me in action on YouTube, let’s talk. If it sounds like we’re a match, we’ll work out the details.
For those who want to pay a casual visit to my shop, let me know. I’ve had several Facebook and YouTube subscribers come over to hang out, and I’m open to friendly visits.
As always, thanks for tuning in.