Business Proposal
You ever wanted to be your own boss?


Phone: 970-567-2500
Email: mark@coloradostonecrafts.com

Web Introduction

Hello. It seems you may possibly be interested in learning about stone engraving. I have been engraving stone since 2002 and during that time I have received many requests from people wanting to know more about the business. So much so, that I recently committed myself to writing a detailed “how-to” manual that contains all the knowledge and know-how that I can provide to help you be successful.

But first it’s important to determine if this may or may not be a good business for you. To help you figure this out I have written the first three chapters that are now available on my web site.

Setting the Stage

For many, times have been pretty tough in America over the last 10 years. Millions of people have been laid off from work since the housing and banking industries nearly collapsed in 2008. Most economic indicators painted a gloomy and sluggish picture of our economic health. Unemployment, national debt, inflation, welfare, illegal immigration, none of it looked good. President Obama’s progressive government was trying to spend our way to prosperity, but that just doesn't work. It’s just common sense that you can’t spend yourself rich, but that is what Keynesian Progressives believe.

Now, it seems, our country is fed up with the way our politicians are running our government and we have elected an outsider as President, a billion dollar businessman that we hope can “drain the swamp” of Washington DC and turn things around. It’s been less than a year under President Trump and so far there are some good economic signs: stock market has been racing (up 23% YTD so far by Dec. 2017). Finally, economic growth is above 3% again. Unemployment numbers are going down. Companies are investing in American jobs again. Government regulations have been radically cut. Illegal border crossings are way down. And in my mind it’s a very good thing that some brave reporters (and Trump himself) are finally exposing the corruption from the Washington swamp rats. So it seems some things are looking up, but we’re not out of the woods yet. The National Debt is still a huge problem, North Korea continues to threaten the world (they launched another ICBM just yesterday) and Democrats, the Liberal media, and the Washington establishment are fighting Trump every step of the way.

When I first began to understand our country’s economic situation I was thankful that my job could not be “suspended” by my employer in 2008, like it was back in 2001 when I was working for a high-tech company. Back then, I was working the night shift and, just before the attacks on 9/11, the entire night shift was laid off. Fortunately, I was able to use my small severance payment ($6,000) to purchase the equipment I needed to start my own stone engraving business.

This business has been good to me but I want to point out that this business is not a lottery ticket to riches. I’m not selling a cheesy multi-level marketing scam or some online fake business. This is a real business that you will need to invest in, with time and money and capital, which you can then produce real products that bring in real income. Your investment is in the knowledge and know-how to learn this trade, the knowledge and know-how to create and/or find markets for your products, the knowledge and know-how to make money from manufacturing products. This is the challenge and the adventure that I can help you with.

The rest of your investment, should you decide to do this, is in the equipment, materials and tools that you will own. Your success will be determined by the decisions that you make regarding your own business. Yes, this responsibility is yours, but I will provide the information that can save you years of learning on your own. As it is with all legitimate businesses, there is some risk involved. How you invest and build your stone engraving business is all up to you. It may turn out to be less successful than you were hoping, or it's quite possible that you could be wildly successful.

With that, I would like to provide ten reasons why I think this business is an excellent opportunity, in fact, better than most business ideas you may have come across:

Why Stone Engraving is a Good Business

1) Flexibility: This business is flexible in many ways, in the types of materials you can engrave, in the variety of products you can make, in the size of the business you want to build. Though I have intentionally kept my business small, it does not have to be that way for everyone. It has enormous growth potential, especially if you have a light industrial shop and are able to hire a few employees. But keeping this business small and growing slowly, as I’ve chosen, is also a good option for a lot of people.

2) Product Variety: Whether big or small, this business has a wide variety of products that can be manufactured. You may get a sense of this from the pictures on the web site. From small garden stones to large business signs and everything in between, and not just stones, but there are markets for engraving tiles, cement, cultured stone, bricks, and more. Just about any hard construction material (except metal) can be engraved with this process.

3) Low Capital Investment: The fact that this business has a low capital investment should appeal to many people who want a home-based business. It might appeal to young families that need some extra income or need to save for the kid's college. It could be a great business for retired couples who are getting squeezed by inflation on their fixed income. If you are considering buying a business or franchise, you know how expensive it can be. This business is an affordable alternative.

4) High Profit Margins: Unlike most businesses, there are high markups for these engraved stone products. The cost of the materials to make the products is less than 10% of the retail prices. So a stone that sells for $125 only uses about $10 in materials, and the time required is probably not what you expect either. It typically takes about 30 minutes to engrave a stone that I would sell for $125.

5) Personal Fulfillment: The intangible qualities of this business offer personal reward, fulfillment, and gratification. If you’re tired of being stuck behind a desk, or if you want to work with your hands instead of tapping on keyboards, or if you yearn for some creative expression, this business can satisfy.

6) Going Green: I’m not a cheerleader for the Green movement, but these stones are natural and “green” for the environmentally mindful. Since there is a big movement in our society to be more that way, it might pay to consider this. Given the choice of a plastic stone made from a mold in China (where the colors fade quickly) and a real stone engraved locally, which do you think most people would choose, even if it costs a little more?

7) Limited Government Regulation: This business is fortunate to have limited government regulation. You will have to check with your state and city to make sure, but as far as I know, there are no licensing requirements for engraving stone. Compare that to my plumber friend who says his licensing cost $9,000 per year for all the counties he does work in. Many industries are a red-tape nightmare when it comes to government intrusion and regulation, but engraving stones is not one of them. Oh, there are OSHA regulations to consider IF you have employees, but other than that, there are no specific regulations for engraving stone.

8) Novelty Aspect: One reason why people are so curious and interested in engraved stone is because they have never seen anything like it. The novelty of it makes it interesting and desirable. Even now, I still talk to people who have never seen engraved stones except in a cemetary.

9) Special Knowledge: One of the best reasons this is a good business is it requires some special knowledge. The question I get most is, “How do you do this?” because people have no idea. If I challenge them to guess, most people assume it’s done with lasers, but it’s not. This special knowledge is what I’m selling.

Suppose you wanted to start a business, say, making wedding cakes. Chances are you can probably make a delicious cake, and with a cake decorating class and a little time, you could figure the whole thing out on your own.

Another example, years ago I helped a friend start a tree trimming business. He took one class at a community college to learn some tree identification. He then bought a chain saw and a flatbed trailer, hired me to help him, and we were on our way trimming trees and bushes. Soon after that, he bought an old used dump truck at auction, and when I say “dump,” you can take that both ways. Then he financed a small front loader and we were doing the big stuff. We were cutting down 150-year-old cottonwoods. Today my friend runs two or three crews and has a dozen tractors and trucks. His successful business didn’t require any special knowledge. It was something he figured out on his own; he cut a branch off a tree and built up from there.

This process of building upon common sense is applicable to a lot of business ideas; not so with engraving stone. It requires some special knowledge just to get started. There is equipment and material and know-how that are not very intuitive. This also means that not everyone can figure it out. Even in today’s world of the internet and YouTube, finding the knowledge you need to engrave stone is a challenge. In a real way, this business has a built-in resistance to competition.

10) Uncommon Skill: Lastly, the skill of engraving stone is not unique or rare, but it is uncommon. How many stone engravers do you know? You would probably have to live in or near a big city to even find one. When I started, I couldn’t find anyone in Northern Colorado (with four good-sized towns) who could engrave a river rock. See, if you are one of the few who have a specialized skill that's needed, you will likely be in demand. The cake decorator and the tree trimmer will have to compete with many.

Now that you know what motivated me to offer this business idea and you know ten good reasons why I think it’s a good business, you might be wondering, “Why doesn’t this guy just franchise his business?” Well, I looked into that a lot. I interviewed people, read books and articles and in the end, I decided not to. The next few pages will share what I learned and explain my decision about Franchising.

Web Introduction
Not a Franchise
The Proposal





For questions, requests, or concerns....
please email or call me in Windsor at 970-567-2500

All artwork and pictures on this web site are copyrighted, 2018