Here we are now; roughly three months into our business venture. Has it all gone smooth without a hitch? Absolutely not, but it has gone well and we’re improving and learning from mistakes with each week that goes by. We’re building our brand as well as building respect from the very passionate local gear head community.
First we’ll talk about what has gone wrong in our short time. We definitely underestimated the level of investment required to get this off the ground. The dyno is not a cheap piece of equipment to purchase, so we had to look for financing. Of course banks are not that thrilled to hand over wads of cash to start-ups, so there were many hoops to jump through and at times it seemed like they required everything but a blood sample and your first born child! In the end we understood. In all reality, the strictness is a product of our country’s financial stability…something we can’t say for our neighbours to the south! If we were in less of a rush to get started, there are other financial options available. Locally, the Prince Edward Lennox and Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA CDFC) help local businesses get started and provide support to grow your business.
Breakdowns have been another setback for us. Two events we attended we lost out on business due to equipment breakdowns. One was our speed pickup cable that runs from the dyno drum to the control module. It was damaged in transit and we didn’t notice until we got to the SMP Drag Racing event. Jason’s quick ingenuity provided a quick fix to the cable which allowed us to continue on for that night, but the downtime cost us a few runs. We’ve since purchased a new cable and now have the old one as a backup should we run into any more problems. The second incident was a faulty speed card. The speed card has a little optical eye that reads the speed of the dyno drum and sends that info (through the speed pickup cable) to the control module. Without drum speed, you will not get any dyno readings. Unfortunately there are no quick fixes for this, and because we didn’t have a spare we were forced to leave June 24th’s Arm Drop Event early. We’ve since ordered two replacement cards in order to be prepared if the problem happens again. Lastly, was just a general issue with time. We were so rushed getting everything ready for the May Arm Drop event that we weren’t as prepared as we should have been. Ideally it would have been great to have the unit ready for the start of May to allow for a few weeks of testing. We ended up only having two days! We needed more time to learn the whole process, but we did the best we could to to be ready for May 20th. We ended up having issues with rpm pickup on carburated vehicles, but we eventually solved the issue at the event.
I know the above paints a grim picture of our business, but in reality it’s been a positive experience. For starters, Jason and I work very well together. We both have a passion (bordering on obsession!) for cars and speed, which of course is a HUGE prerequisite for owning your own dyno business! We also have great balance with our talents. Jason’s extensive mechanical background has been essential for our quick learning curve, troubleshooting problems, as well as talking with customers about recommendations for better dyno results. For myself, I do know my way around cars, but my experience running my own web design business provides an asset for designing and managing our website, social media platforms, as well as general business operation. Without that mix of talents it would have been very difficult to establish ourselves going forward.
The last positive I will mention is simply the positive support we’ve received so far from the local automotive community. We expected that the dyno would generate some early interest, but we didn’t expect things to happen so soon. We’ve had nothing but compliments so far and we would like to thank everyone (especially those who actually read this!) for the early support!