What You Should Know About Starting a Manufactured Stone Manufacturing Business
HOW QUICKLY CAN I BE MAKING STONE AND TILE?
You can be making stone and tile samples the day you receive your manuals and mold samples. We normally start shipping your training materials within two days of you ordering your Package. Read your Manufacturing Manual upon receipt, and you will be prepared to start making samples immediately. If you purchase some sand and Portland cement the day you place your Package order, you'll be even more prepared. And while your stone and tile samples are curing, you can read your Marketing Manual, prepare your Business Plan using our Business Plan CD, and start building your racking systems, tables, etc. Realistically, you can be up and running in a week if you dedicate yourself and have a little help.
HOW QUICKLY CAN I BE SELLING STONE AND TILE?
As stated above, you can actually be making stone and tile samples the first day you receive your Start-up Training Package. It includes your manuals on CD, your Tile Manufacturing Training Video, Business Plan on Cd, etc., as well as a quantity of different stone and tile molds to start making samples immediately. In that these samples are just for "show", the normal additive package is not necessary. Actual production stone and tile will take the few weeks that it takes to have your vibrating table manufactured and shipped, unless you vibrate by hand. So to answer the question... you can start selling almost immediately!
WHERE DO I GET MY SUPPLIES AND RAW MATERIALS TO MAKE MY STONE AND TILE?
Your manual has a number of national supplier contacts where you can purchase whatever you might want or need to acquire. There will probably be local outlets for much of your supplies as well. You are not forced to purchase from any one source, as is the case with franchises. If you can find something locally at a lower cost... by all means use that source. Of course we hope that you will consider using Olde World Stone & Tile Molds as your primary mold and supplies source.
HOW MUCH PRODUCT CAN BE MADE IN AN AVERAGE WORK DAY?
You are limited only be the number of molds that you have. When using a vibrator table and mortar mixer, two laborers can make approximately 500 square feet of 12"x12" tile, or 300-500 square feet of stone, without too much effort. The variables are the thickness and style of the stone being made.
HOW MUCH SPACE DO I NEED TO START MY MANUFACTURING FACILITY?
While you can get by with as little as 600 or so square feet (a two-car garage), we normally recommend about 1000+ square feet if at all possible for an efficient production facility. That size plant will handle normal business growth and production increases for the first year or so. About 1500 square feet is ideal for a commercial sized plant, and will handle typical growth for the first five years.
WHAT DO I NEED TO PURCHASE IN ADDITION TO WHAT IS SUPPLIED WITH MY PRODUCER PACKAGE?
Depending on the level of production you wish to begin at, you may need wood to build your racking systems, tables, cement, sand, and molds to make samples. Some items needed may be available in your garage or basement... shovels, a wheel barrow, work gloves, etc. You'll receive a Materials Acquisition List with your manuals. Expect to spend another $300 to $1000 for a commercial startup, depending on what you have on hand, and depending on the size of the Producer Package purchased.
CAN I VISIT A FACILITY TO TALK TO A PRODUCER ABOUT THE SYSTEM AND HOW IT WORKS?
Please understand that this is not a franchise. As such, we have no control over Producers, and we cannot expect every Producer operation to be representative of our business.
In that our manufacturing process is "proprietary", and due to the high number of responses we receive from prospective Producers, it is not practical nor prudent to offer our current Producers' personal or business information to others, even though they may be potentially strong Producer prospects. For those reasons we have been forced to give the following standard answer to requests to see a working facility, and to meet with existing Producers. Once you are a Producer, you may join our pool of Producers who want to share information and interact with other Producers.
We sign a Non-Disclosure and Privacy Agreement with our Producers to guarantee that they are not bothered by prospective customers of ours. This protects their privacy, and our proprietary formulas, system, and information. Unfortunately, in the past when we offered existing Producers as references, a few prospects drove them crazy, calling at all hours, or showing up unannounced! This caused bad feelings with a number of our Producers, and is what prompted our current policy. I'm sure you can understand and will appreciate our policy once you become a Producer. One thing a new entrepreneur doesn't need are phone calls and interruptions while trying to run and grow their new business.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF THERE IS ALREADY A PRODUCER IN MY AREA?
Phone or email Olde World Enterprises, and we will check territory availability. We constantly monitor and control Producer placement to avoid market saturation and territory duplication.
WHAT FRANCHISE OR OTHER ONGOING FEES ARE THERE THAT I WILL HAVE TO PAY?
Even though you receive lifetime support and guidance, remember that we are not a franchise. Our relationship is best described as a "supplier", or "licensing" relationship. We supply you with the training to operate a stone, tile, and paver manufacturing business using our mold technology, production, and marketing systems. There are no ongoing fees or costs associated with your sales volume as is the case with most franchises. You are totally in control of your business... and your profits. We are there to guide and help you should you want help. That service is part of every Producer Package.
IS THIS A BUSINESS THAT CAN BE OPERATED BY A WOMAN?
Most definitely! We have a number of single moms operating their own stone, tile, brick and paver manufacturing businesses. The building products industry is not a "for men only" business. Many women excel in this area due in part to their creative talents, which can be beneficial to the business. When we started Olde World Tile in 1992, my wife and I made the tile together. It is a great family business.
WHO WILL INSTALL MY STONE AND TILE?
Unless you are already in the installation business, and are a qualified installer, we suggest that you do not install the stone or tile yourself. You will be busy enough and making enough money operating the manufacturing end of the business, to get into installations. Our manual has a section that teaches you the basics of installation so you have a working knowledge of it... but that is as far as we recommend you go unless you really have a strong desire to learn installations, or you have someone in the business with you who wants to do the installations. We will help guide you to other learning sources.
DON'T WE NEED TO OFFER INSTALLATION OF OUR PRODUCTS AS PART OF OUR BUSINESS?
We normally recommend that you align yourself with two or three good, local installers, and offer their names on a referral basis. Let the customer choose who they want to do the installation of your stone or tile. That takes you out of the "loop of responsibility", so to speak. Your responsibility is to provide the stone or tile... their responsibility is to install it. Everyone knows their job and obligations. Another benefit of this arrangement is that we normally recommend that you sell your products to the installer at wholesale prices... they in turn become salesmen for your products. You may want to work out a referral fee type of arrangement with the installer for any work that you direct their way. All of this is covered and explained in your Marketing Training Manual.
WHAT ABOUT ALL OF THE TILE STORES I HAVE IN MY AREA... AREN'T THEY MY COMPETITION?
NO. As a matter of fact, if you decide to wholesale, many of them may end up being customers of yours. You will enable them to offer their customers something unique and not normally available to them... a hand-made, custom product. Many dealers are excited about having an exclusive on a new product... yours! These marketing options and techniques are covered in your Marketing Manual.
HOW DO I MARKET MY STONE AND TILE?
Each territory is different, and needs to have their Marketing Plan analysis done based on the specifics of the territory. As a general statement though, we suggest selling directly to the consumer and DIY via a factory outlet type of facility, directly through dealers and distributors, including smaller building products stores, and through stone and tile installers. The rationale for each, the advantages and disadvantages, and tactics for using each outlet is covered thoroughly in the Marketing Manual.
WHAT GROWTH RATE CAN I EXPECT FROM MY BUSINESS?
Although the growth rate is directly proportional to the capital available for growth, and the effort put forth, a mid-sized production facility calls for zero to $150,000 in sales the first full year, 150,000-$300,000 by year three, and up to $400,000 after that, with a smaller, flatter growth curve in later years. With a materials cost of about 10%, the profit potential is quite evident.
YOU'VE SAID ELSEWHERE THAT I CAN START MAKING MONEY FROM DAY ONE... HOW?
You will learn in the Marketing Manual how to sell your stone and tile before you start making it. It is standard in the industry to get a 25%-50% deposit from customers ordering tile and stone. That deposit will pay for the supplies to make the stone or tile ordered... with profit left over for you. Remember... once you are set up, materials costs only run around ten-percent or less of product selling price.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I CHARGE FOR MY STONE AND TILE?
This is a difficult question to answer without knowledge of your market. One of the items in your Startup Kit is a Marketing Questionnaire. You will need to go to stores and enter the selling prices of stone and tile in those stores. Once complete, an analysis can be done of your market. Generally, Olde World Stone and Tile sells for no less than $3.00 per square foot. Most Producers sell at $3.00-$7.00 a sq. ft. As you can see, this is a nice return on an investment of about $0.30 per square foot in raw material.
HOW MUCH MONEY CAN I EXPECT TO MAKE WITH THIS BUSINESS?
Rather than offer the obvious answer of "effort put in equals dollars available to take out", let me offer this... Our average cost for labor, materials and overhead of a 3,000 square foot building came to about $0.65 per square foot of tile produced. Our suggested wholesale price per sq. ft. of tile was $1.89-$2.29 depending on the color, style, etc. Add $1.00-$3.00 per sq. ft. for stone, depending on the market. Our suggested retail prices for tile were $2.89-$3.29 per sq. ft. - again add $1.00-$3.00 for stone. These prices were on the low side due to Florida being possibly the most competitive market for tile in the country. Nationally, the average retail prices for our tile are $3.99-$6.99 per sq. ft., with stone being at the higher end. A market and price analysis should be done on each territory.
HOW IS AN OLDE WORLD STONE & TILE MANUFACTURING FACILITY LIKE A RETIREMENT FUND?
The day will no doubt come when you are ready to retire. Wouldn't you like to know... for sure, that a retirement will be possible? That you will be in a position to sell your manufacturing business for large multiples of what you've invested in it? Every penny invested now... will pay you major dividends later. With your own successful business, there are no worries about your corporate retirement fund being absconded with by the management, or if there will be money coming in from your Social Security. You will know that you have a viable and marketable business to either sell, or pass on to a family member
Should you need... molds or moulds, colorant, concrete sealer, stains, or other concrete, cement, or plaster supplies for your handyman or home improvement project, please visit our catalogue website at www.TheMoldStore.com or our shopping cart website at http://www.TheMoldStore.us to get ideas. If you are interested in starting a concrete stone and veneer, or concrete and cement paver, brick or tile business, visit our Olde World Stone & Tile Business Opportunity website at www.Oldeworld.com for full details, instructions and various stone making and other concrete product making packages. We also offer D-I-Y Packages in our catalogue and on our shopping cart websites.
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