Starting a Machine Shop #1: What is the Vision?

If everybody is doing it the same way, there must be a better way.

-Anthony Melchiorri

A lot of machine shops out there, when they got started they just went out and bought a machine. No plan, no direction. Just using the idea, if you buy it, the work will come. While that may have some truth to it, this makes growth happen by accident and makes it difficult to really explain why you are a better choice than any other shop. If you want to differentiate yourself from every other machine shop out there, you need to have a vision.

There are all kinds of resources out there discussing vision, what it is and how to find yours, I will give a small snippet of what I think it it then describe what the vision is for BetterCNC.

When you think of vision, you should be thinking of what is it you want your shop to be. What does your shop look like, what are you doing in it? Is it just you and a couple manual machines building replacement parts for farm equipment? Are you having meetings with Boeing and Lockheed which your super high tech shop just moved into its new building? Whatever it is, you should know it. There is no such thing as a vision too big or too small, as long as it is yours. Your vision is what gives you a sense of direction. It helps you think, “to get to my ideal shop, what should I be doing right now? What should things look like?”

At BetterCNC, our vision is to have the best experience for our customers. Not just to always deliver quality parts on-time etcetera, everyone does that or at least tries. We are driven to provide the absolute best customer service. We want our customers to remember, those guys at BetterCNC are really on top of it.

Working with machine shops has always been a fairly static experience, send over a drawing, get a quote, send a PO, receive parts. And with the industry going digital in everyway, that is becoming even more so. While that may get the job done, soon enough, that is going to become the baseline. For BetterCNC, our vision is to actively build a more personal connection with our customers while keeping the same convenience of the digital age. We feel that still personal touch you often get with a smaller machine shop will keep BetterCNC at the top of customers minds when they need anything built. Small shop feel, big shop benefits.

That being said regarding our vision, we are keeping that thought in everything we do starting out. That is why we have our website and social media pages built already so we are easy to find. We’ve kept our company name short and easy to remember. We chose the simple yellow B as an emblem because it’s versatile and yellow incites a feeling of happiness and optimism. Every little detail matters.

So when you are out there, thinking about starting a machine shop, don’t just think about buying a machine and making parts. Think further than that. Build the machine shop in your head before you try and build it in real life. What does it look like? How does it feel from a customers point of view? What are you doing in it? Before taking any step into the endeavor of starting your own company, you should be able to answer those questions.

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