A small manufacturing business can be started in your garage. This is not a far-feched idea. Apple computer was started in a garage by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Starting a manufacturing business in one’s garage can be a good way for a resourceful entrepreneur to get a new idea off the ground.
The website of the Houston Chronicle recently reported in an article entitled, “How to Start a Small Manufacturing Operation in Your Garage”:
Starting a company in a garage is nothing new. Many businesses get their start by building themselves from literally, the ground – or garage – floor up … Manufacturing an item in your garage is a good way to get a business started. Have a plan to expand, though, when your garage operations are unable to keep up with demand.
There are many small metal shops that startup in a garage. The basic tools can fit in a garage – a small metal bandsaw, a MIG welder or arc welder, a drill press, a bench grinder, bench vise and an abrasive metal saw (a “chop saw”).
Wood Shop or Cabinet Making
One of the most common small manufacturing startups in a home garage is a cabinet making business or wood shop. It is not uncommon for a home-based business to have a table saw, drill press, upright belt sander, and a full set of wood clamps and other tools.
Vacuum Forming Equipment
It is possible to construct a vacuum forming machine from readily available parts and materials. One could build a quite sturdy machine with metal and wood. Many plans are available on Internet websites. A small manufacturing business could literally be started that makes and sells vacuum formed parts or finished products. Products can also be manufactured that use a mix of vacuum formed plastic plus extruded plastic. The plastic extrusions can be purchased from an outside supplier and the finished products could be combined with vacuum formed parts.
In some locales, these home-based manufacturing shops can be quite elaborate and zoning laws permit full commercial use in a residential area. Many rural and semi-rural areas need commercial businesses to be located on the same property as one’s residence because there are no nearby commercial centers.
In many urban or suburban areas, though, there are zoning restrictions as to the use of one’s residential garage so one should check these beforehand. In any case, out of consideration for the neighbors, careful thought should be given for any noise or clutter that could be associated with running a business out of one’s garage.
Either way, one should have a backup plan in case the business grows too fast or becomes a nuisance for the neighborhood. One should always be aware of the availability of commercial space for lease or rent in case the manufacturing operations need to be moved. For an expanding business, this can be a good thing.
For a small manufacturing startup business, finances can be tight and starting in one’s garage can be the right move.