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05-01-2021, 10:17   #1
BenvanNiekerk
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Commercial partnership with up and coming carpenter

Hi everybody.

We are a startup business inviting expression of interest for a commercial partnership with an up and coming carpenter to manufacture a small range of simple yet bespoke furniture using a variety of sustainable local woods. One specific requirement is that this person or company needs to be able to steam bend and shape some of the furniture to exacting standards.

The person/company preferably needs to be based in Leinster to reduce lead times, however, we are keen to meet anyone countrywide that would be able to assist us and start a longstanding profitable partnership. Reliability is key.

The owner has a strong business management background and we strongly believe that partnerships with suppliers should be mutually beneficial, and we believe in cash on delivery to build trust and strengthen the commercial partnership. (Perhaps I need to amend this to ensure people don't misconstrue the intention - I will pay the required deposit upfront, and then pay the outstanding amount before taking delivery. I am a fierce supporter of ethical business, and will not ask anyone to put themselves or their business at risk because of my order.)

We'd use the first half of 2021 to plan, create, and test prototypes, and roll out the products from June 2021 onwards.

Should you be interested to discuss this further, please feel free to email me at dot com so that we can exchange details, arrange a virtual meeting, and review your portfolio to discuss the venture.

Thanks in advance,

Ben

Last edited by BenvanNiekerk; 05-01-2021 at 14:58.
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05-01-2021, 11:48   #2
kadman
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Please be advised that this is not a forum for commercial advertising. It is a forum for discussion of
woodcraft related topics.

Should you require , direction, suggestions, or design criteria in general on any prototypes, please
post your specific questions.

If you require staff then this is not the place to seek them, thankyou.
kadman.
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05-01-2021, 12:45   #3
Calahonda52
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Now that the pitch has been marked, I would just say that, as someone who has been looking at proposals for many years: the tone does not auger well for a partnership: unlimited risk shared.. no thanks
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05-01-2021, 14:55   #4
BenvanNiekerk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calahonda52 View Post
Now that the pitch has been marked, I would just say that, as someone who has been looking at proposals for many years: the tone does not auger well for a partnership: unlimited risk shared.. no thanks
Thanks for the response Calahonda52.

I am not sure how paying for everything before taking delivery is a shared risk? Am I missing something? Perhaps I need to make the intention in the original post clear - I edited it accordingly.

I am discussing this with Kadman via PM, and he has been super helpful. I shall amend my original post after having heard back from him.

Last edited by BenvanNiekerk; 05-01-2021 at 15:00.
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05-01-2021, 19:22   #5
kadman
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When this was first posted by the OP, my thoughts were exactly in line with Calahonda52 and then some.
Most of which I have made known to the OP.

Should you consider such an option you need to approach this with eyes wide, wide open.
I speak from many years experience of designing, making such protoype items. Some of which I have been burnt on
in materials, time, and assurances not lived up to by the client.

My first reaction was I dont want to see anyone thinking this is a golden opportunity, and then get fleeced or let down by
entering into an arrangement to make prototypes, and then for some reason not being able to deliver on their commitment,
or missing something in the original brief that leaves them unable to receive payment. And frankly boards is not here to become a legal pincushion.

On the otherhand I dont want to stop any potential business from developing, nor any potential budding craftsman from
moving onward and upward.

So for now I am leaving this thread open for discussion on the woodwork elements of the prototypes needed,
as in design brief at the outset, material requirements ect

I will be watching this closely.

Feel free to discuss the developing woodwork.
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06-01-2021, 09:57   #6
kadman
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Maybe the OP would like to post some pics of the design items he would like prototyped.

And maybe clarify whether these designs are steam bent or laminated, as there is a clear difference.

Having had the opportunity to see 1 design in particular, I suspect it is laminated materials as opposed to steam bent.

Different method, different skilset, although similar.
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06-01-2021, 11:43   #7
kadman
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Just in case some woodworkers, novices or otherwise are tempted to rush into making prototypes.
Here is a video of the prepwork and tools required to make a simple shaped form.

Prototypes consume time and materials at a wasteful rate, so be prepared. This is a laminating exercise
as opposed to a steam bent exercise.

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06-01-2021, 20:53   #8
kadman
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If OP needs to post images, then you can send them to me and I will
upload them for you until your post count allows you to post your own images,

K.
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07-01-2021, 12:39   #9
kadman
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Just to keep you up to date on PM discussions with the OP
There has been no more since 15.11 pm 05/01/21 post no. 4.

Hopefully there will be.

Anyway for the benefit of novices that may consider jumping at this.

Things to consider.
Step 1.

There has been mention of a research and development funds available. Which should mean funds for prototype development.
THis should mean money upfront on provision of your design brief for , costs associated to the design which include,
cad work, mockup design materials, and time elements paid per hour during this initial phase.

In writing and signed by both parties

If you cannot get this...you need to ask why. If you can't get proper professional commitment at this stage,
will you ever. Trust needs to be built up over a period, this is a starting point.

Discuss?
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07-01-2021, 21:34   #10
quietsailor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadman View Post
Just to keep you up to date on PM discussions with the OP
There has been no more since 15.11 pm 05/01/21 post no. 4.

Hopefully there will be.

Anyway for the benefit of novices that may consider jumping at this.

Things to consider.
Step 1.

There has been mention of a research and development funds available. Which should mean funds for prototype development.
THis should mean money upfront on provision of your design brief for , costs associated to the design which include,
cad work, mockup design materials, and time elements paid per hour during this initial phase.

In writing and signed by both parties

If you cannot get this...you need to ask why. If you can't get proper professional commitment at this stage,
will you ever. Trust needs to be built up over a period, this is a starting point.

Discuss?
Not necessarily from a wood working point of view but from trades friends who have entered broadly similar arrangements.

1. Everything written down and both parties stick to this EVEN if YOU make a mistake and it costs you. You can't expect to change the agreement in your favour and then expect that the other party won't
2. Build in re-negotation clauses. You both might plan everything perfectly the first time but that would be rare.
3. Calculate your material costs and work out a deposit to cover them. Can you carry out this work ouside of your day job (I have a friend who works shift and welds stainless pipes on his days off - the welding is extra money and he can afford to not get paid on it for labour if things go bad but he always gets materials/material costs upfront)
4. Calculate your labour*. Here you will have to work out what time is associated with research and experimentation and what time is associated with actually carrying out the work.
5. Keep patterns and jigs. LABEL THEM. if you are updating the jigs label them - jig 1, rev 1. Jig 1 rev 2 etc.

* keep a notebook and write everything down, no matter how stupid it seems. It will allow you to plan the next iteration of the design a lot better. You can also write down what was work, reserch or just standing thinking and come up with a correct figure (aftter you get comfortable with the job) to base a proper labour cost on.
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07-01-2021, 22:20   #11
kadman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quietsailor View Post
Not necessarily from a wood working point of view but from trades friends who have entered broadly similar arrangements.

1. Everything written down and both parties stick to this EVEN if YOU make a mistake and it costs you. You can't expect to change the agreement in your favour and then expect that the other party won't
2. Build in re-negotation clauses. You both might plan everything perfectly the first time but that would be rare.
3. Calculate your material costs and work out a deposit to cover them. Can you carry out this work ouside of your day job (I have a friend who works shift and welds stainless pipes on his days off - the welding is extra money and he can afford to not get paid on it for labour if things go bad but he always gets materials/material costs upfront)
4. Calculate your labour*. Here you will have to work out what time is associated with research and experimentation and what time is associated with actually carrying out the work.
5. Keep patterns and jigs. LABEL THEM. if you are updating the jigs label them - jig 1, rev 1. Jig 1 rev 2 etc.

* keep a notebook and write everything down, no matter how stupid it seems. It will allow you to plan the next iteration of the design a lot better. You can also write down what was work, reserch or just standing thinking and come up with a correct figure (aftter you get comfortable with the job) to base a proper labour cost on.

I am in total agreement. Good post.

As you correctly point out , the medium i.e. is immaterial at this stage, whether it be timber, steel, plastics, fabric, glass,tech, ect,ect,
Proper arrangements at an early stage, minimise headaches for both parties.

And write it down folks, so that you know what you are both agreeing to.
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08-01-2021, 01:12   #12
JayZeus
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The ‘radio silence’ here is all one should need to determine exactly how much business experience, professionalism and partnership one could expect to rely upon in the event of difficulty in realising the mutual benefit to which the OP refers.

It smacks of someone with limited business experience looking to take advantage of an enthusiastic source of skilled craft labour, dressing it up as some form of partnership, while essentially asking them to apply for the privilege of doing the work required to realise their designs or perhaps little more than an outline idea.

Before wasting any time, I’d expect to have the opportunity to critically assess the OP’s prior business experience before taking this too seriously. Too many people think an idea and having some prior ‘business’ experience equips or qualifies them to launch a start up. In many cases, it’s not a true entrepreneur who does so, rather someone who can’t find employment seeking to benefit from the sweat of others. Do not work with those people.

Simple and bespoke products made using sustainable local woods, yet requiring a third party to create a prototype, with terms largely favouring the OP while they test their idea? I’d want to take a good long look at their business plan and would insist on equity if it were to have any ‘legs’ before I’d draw a line or turn on a single machine. Without that, there is no partnership, just waffle. Be 100% clear about that, everyone. No equity, no partnership.

The only other way I’d consider it would be with block drawdown hours plus all estimated material costs + contingency, paid in advance for all design/prototyping/revisions to be a minimum requirement to commence. No cheques. No deposits. Payment up front, then do the body of work under contract, on an agreed time and materials basis.

Let’s face it: If they can’t do those things, they can’t afford their startup and you’d be a fool to finance it for them in any way, just because you’d like to be an ‘up and coming carpenter’.
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08-01-2021, 08:15   #13
kadman
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Another excellent post about the possible pitfalls awaiting the young entrepreneur.

These posts are exactly what is wanted to make sure someone that considers this is not caught
like a rabbit in the headlamps. I think we have all seen this many times before throughout our careers,
the fervour of youth in the workplace, turned into an opportunity by unscrupulous employers, to mold them
into workhorses.

I do hope the op comes back to continue the discussion on his proposal, but as you say the silence so far is deafening.
I could say more here, but at the moment I am going to keep my powder dry.

K.
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08-01-2021, 11:47   #14
kadman
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In case you are wondering if there has been further discussion by the OP and myself.
There hasn't which is his prerogative which we should respect.

I would have liked to flesh this out further in every respect as it would have been a helpful
exercise for the novice if he came across a similar scenario.

So for the moment as the saying goes, " we will have to let the hare sit"

Notice I never used the saying "...te or get off the pot", as this is a family friendly forum
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08-01-2021, 17:30   #15
Calahonda52
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Sorry guys for not coming back to this thread, i have been a little distracted by the medical ramifications of a second elevated PSA blood test received on Wednesday last.

I will review the thread later, but thank you for your contributions thus far, i do appreciate it.
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