Electronics startup tips

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by nDever, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
    Hey guys,

    Anyone here own a business? I'm on the road to staring a small electronics business, and I'm thinking about starting online. I've been reading numerous articles on the subject from various sources, and some of the most common tips I see is,
    • Identify your target market
    • Record very detailed accounts of spending
    • It takes more than an idea to make a successful product
    • Be passionate, and the rest will follow
    • Be professional
    These could pretty much apply to any business startup, and not just electronics specifically. For those of you who have done (or are currently doing) this, I would very much appreciate the wisdom you guys have to offer.
    Motanache likes this.
  2. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    What do you mean by "electronics business"?

    Selling cell phones? My advice is study what radio shack did, and do the exact opposite.

    Repairing consumer electronics? My advice is start a plumbing company instead.

    Repairing industrial electronics? Start a plumbing company and keep your eye out for a failing industrial repair depot with an established customer base and buy them out before the bank kills them.

    Industrial field service? Now there's something you can actually have a chance of success with, but if you can't talk a girl into sleeping with your fat friend then you probably can't talk a plant maintenance manager into letting you touch his machines. You will need word of mouth testimony, hard to get started. You'll need test equipment and a reliable vehicle if you don't already have it.

    Retail components sales? Dont even bother. Better luck selling handmade quilts on etsy.

    I think the best option is coming up with something new, or uncommon, and convincing people that they need it even if they don't. When I was self employed in industrial field service I bought a $4k thermal imaging camera and made sure to uncase it any time even a sliver of opportunity presented itself on a job; "see how fast I can isolate problematic components with this super duper expensive unfathomable technology? It usually doesn't make sense for maintenance department such as yours to invest in such a device, but luckily for you I offer thermal imaging as a service aside from field service, here's a brochure on it."
    I was saving up for a high speed camera before i got out of the game and went back to the land of the "employed".
  3. Glenn Holland


    Dec 26, 2014
    Here's an idea for an electronic/electro-mechanical start up: Start an elevator service and maintenance company.

    In California, there are several elevator start ups a year and it can be successful -IF and only IF- you have a solid business plan and expert management. However most of them don't have either and they wind up biting the dust.

    Many elevator start ups come from journeyman mechanics who have maybe 10 years experience and good hands on ability. However the industry is also loaded with pitfalls like handling customer relations, personal injury suits, and insurance claims.

    The industry is also well known for sharks who underbid just to get the business. Then they rip off customers by providing inadequate service -or perhaps no service at all. My perception many elevator companies are "Running A Race To Hell" to see who can get to the bottom first -and rip off as many customers as possible on the way.
  4. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    I started a business making factory automation system components. If your going to build something I have two pieces of advice:
    1. Build a few and sell a few.
    2. Don't succumb to the pressure to improve delivery time by building in advance of orders.
    Motanache likes this.
  5. Glenn Holland


    Dec 26, 2014
    From my observations after being in the field for 35 years, the electronic/electro-mechanical industry is not going to be profitable venture for small start ups.

    However, I've been seriously thinking about going into something completely unrelated like these ideas:
    • Marketing a new style of pre 90s vintage men's shorts and swim suits. :p
    • Designing energy and water efficient hot tubs and solar heating. :)
    • Becoming a radio talk show host or a writer for political journalism. :mad:
    • Becoming a pornography consultant. :eek:
    I've known a few people who worked in the latter and it's a good paying career!!!
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  6. Motanache


    Mar 2, 2015
    Interesting. Can I even start doing this even though I'm poor?

    You can advise me or we can work online. Just find clients.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  7. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    Reread post #4. Being poor makes things more difficult. In order to build a few you have to buy components, fabricate boards, write the firmware and program them. This all takes time, which you may not have if you are busy with your day job. Once you have a few you need to sell them and that takes time, which again may be in short supply.

    One possible alternative is to find a client and have them fund your work. This takes time and patience. Ultimately you need to allocate your limited resources as you see fit. Even if you manage to get off the ground there is no guarantee you can stay there.
    Motanache likes this.
  8. Motanache


    Mar 2, 2015
    It's just something nice.
    I've never seen anything like that.....................

    20 years before inventing the bipolar transistor (1945)
    The FET transistor was invented.
    He did not win any prize although the first transistor then was made...................

    The inventor of the FET transistor has gone to many companies to present their invention.
    None were interested. They preferred to use tubes instead of the transistor............
    That delayed the technique for over 20 years.
  9. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    A couple of things:
    1. You cannot prevent people from copying a schematic. Your only defense is to innovate faster than your competition.
    2. If you are an expert at something, you can get companies to fund the development of a product to their requirements. Happens all the time. Others will confirm this.
    3. Life is short, about this there is common agreement.
    4. People sometimes focus on small and insignificant problems and lose sight of the big picture. Letting go of small problems allows you to focus on the big picture.
    An example of #4, when my father in law came down with dementia, arguing with him became pointless, because he would forget what I said 5 minutes later. It was no longer important to either have arguments or win them. It was easier to go along with everything he said.
    Motanache and cmartinez like this.
  10. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    In my case, I began my career by designing and building simple machines. As the machines got more complicated, so did the electronics needed to control them. So I stopped buying PLC's for the simplest applications, and began learning digital electronics instead. Now, after 25 years, electronics takes about 50% of my work. I'm good at digital stuff, but I'm practically a noobie when it comes to analog... still learning, though... and I'll never stop.

    In essence: one way to start in electronics is by incorporating it into something that you're already doing and then grow from there.
  11. DickCappels


    Aug 21, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
    Motanache likes this.