Manufacturer of Hydraulic Presses

Starting Your Own Machine Shop in Retirement

December 2, 2021

Does the thought of retirement make you flinch? If you don’t want to be like your neighbor, the highlight of whose day is the arrival of the mailman, consider starting a business in retirement.

If you’ve always enjoyed drilling, polishing, pressing and grinding, if you love the sound of machinery at work, you might be the perfect candidate to start a one-person machine shop. Here is a look at the possibilities for an enterprising senior.

From Hobby to Online Business

In Maine, Bruce Bohrmann, spent his pre-retirement working life in catalogs and advertising. As a hobby, he enjoyed puttering in his home machine shop, making custom-made knives for friends and family. After retiring, he turned his hobby into a lucrative online business selling these high quality knives to buyers around the globe.

He got help from the Small Business Administration and SCORE. The same type of help is available in Canada through Service Canada, which offers resources for self-employment, loans and financing.

Demand Is High

The demand for machined parts is high. After an company designs a prototype, it must get it fabricated by machinists. Parts for custom equipment are made by machinists. When old factory equipment breaks down, replacement parts can be hard to come by. Machine shops can make parts to order to keep the machinery running.

Machined parts are used in just about every type of consumer good. This includes blenders, grills and everyday electronics. In addition, every industry uses machined parts. This includes pharmaceutical companies, aerospace, automotive and construction, to name just a few.

Is It for You?

If you’ve worked as a machinist, you already have the skill to do the work. With help from SCORE or Service Canada consultants, you can get a handle on the business end.

If machining is already a hobby, consider switching it up a notch like Bruce Bohrmann. You can make parts for factories in your city with regular needs. Entrepreneurs need prototypes to show investors. Hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers need parts for their latest projects. The demand is out there. By marketing yourself, you can tap into it.

If you enjoy machinery and would like to start a satisfying new career, opening a one-person machine shop in your garage might be the answer. Take classes at your local vocational school or community college to find out if you’d like to do it day after day.

Don’t worry if you don’t know every step of the process of putting together a one-person business. Seniorpreneurship brings to the table valuable life experience and a strong set of skills gathered in your earlier jobs. You have the judgment that comes with age and a unique perspective that keeps you motivated.

Benefits of Starting a Business

People who stay active after retirement stay healthy. Study after study has proved this. You dramatically reduce the chances of dementia, lessen the risk of stroke and heart attack and suffer fewer chronic health problems when you keep your brain and your body active.

A machine shop isn’t for everyone, but it can be very satisfying for the right person. Starting a business in retirement adds money for extras to your budget. It gives you a second chance to start the business you always wanted. It will help you stay healthier and more alert.