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  1. #11

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    There's a big difference between processing for yourself, and doing it with machines for other people.

  2. #12

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    I would tell you to put some feelers out and there and is what happens. However, I did work in a lab and some of the EPA regulations make running a c41 lab difficult. Advertise that you do it, even if you can't and see who responds.

  3. #13

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    One thing I'm looking for, is someone who will run C-41 chemistry with the formalin stabilizer or yore. Why? I like to have film cross-processed. But generally when E6 is crossed into C-41, formaldehyde is not part of the processing, though it's needed for E6 film. Also, I still have older C-41 film in the freezer that requires the stabilizer with formaldehyde. No labs seem to offer this chemistry. If you were successful in creating such processing a business, I would potentially be a customer for such jobs that required that type of stabilizer if you were to use it.

  4. #14

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    How about buying a closed lab? Does those labs need to be reviewed according to EPA rules / regulations monthly, quarterly or annually?

  5. #15
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    If you were doing this twenty years ago it would have been a pretty risky way to invest your retirement money if you have never done any commercial lab work, in the current state of the film processing industry in the "digital age"it would be as reckless as founding a company making buggy whips.
    Ben

  6. #16
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    If you are in a medium or big metro area, and can pick up a good processing machine for pennies on the dollar, I'd think it'd be an easy and fun low risk thing to try in your garage. E6 should be a lot less materials and work than printing color prints to go with negatives.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by railwayman3 View Post
    If you're going to offer a reliable business service with promised turn-around time, that will inevitably tie you down to some extent. Customers will expect this prompt turn-around, whatever your work-load at the time (which may vary with the season and other factors beyond your control), and you would also need to think how you would cover during your holidays and possible illness (even a few days in bed with flu!).

    The commitment is much higher than, say, a part-time job in employment where the hours and duties are fixed.
    This is VERY true. This is why, reguardless of your issue, it's a one to two day turn around for most support issues out of our IT office, we don't want people to get in the mood thinking we'll fix everything in minutes, or that everything can be fixed in minutes. They expect a one day turn around and expect to talk with my secretary and know while I'll call them back, it will be a few hours to a day.

    As for the business end, it will depend on what you can offer. If you were local, I'd bring my film to you if you were reasonably priced, for send away service, you have to worry about shipping cost. Personally, I'd love to see someone process my 120 and 220, do a proof scan, then let me select what frames I want high quality scans of. Do all the scanning and send me back film and scans and do it reasonably.

  8. #18

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    I'm just getting involved in film again. Processing hassles may drive me out just as quick. If I could find a service like you describe I would use it locally. It is an interesting argument that turn around is important. Yet people are happy to mail film across a continent for processing then wait on the postal service of two countries (I'm Canadian) for turnaround status. For me one of the charms of film is the outwitting of the digital age and powerful marketing forces that control our life. Big brother lives on Madison Avenue not in the White House.

    As a retirement business it is probably safe to say you are not concerned about your target market long term. If you are any good, and your business will disappear if your not, local shops will pass the word. I found decent labs in Calgary from the internet responses. The chemical issues would drive me crazy and need careful research. Also, without people like you wondering these things and acting on them when there plan is feasible film will disappear.

    One more point. All the people I know who have started retirement business' work harder than they ever have. The initial period will be 6 days a week to get established before you reach a point of sustainability. I'm old school about retirement, Babcock men die in harness, is my creed.

    Could you make as much developing in a hobby shop to a select group of shutterbugs, love that name. As long as you respect the planet and your safety it should be workable. A giant machine and 50 gallon barrels of chemicals is a different matter.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canuck Bob View Post

    One more point. All the people I know who have started retirement business' work harder than they ever have. The initial period will be 6 days a week to get established before you reach a point of sustainability. I'm old school about retirement, Babcock men die in harness, is my creed.
    Agreed.

    I think the point which I tried to make earlier, which is largely being missed, and which applies to any successful business, retirement or otherwise, full or part-time, is the commitment needed to meet the expectations of customers. If the OP, as he proposes, offers a quality one-week turnaround, customers will expect just that, whether he has one or 1,000 films to do that week, whether he has a vacation booked for that week, or even if he has a bad cold and just wants to stay in bed.....

    There's a huge difference in doing anything as a hobby, with no time constraints, pressures, or anyone else to please, compared with doing the same thing as a business for outside customers.

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