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OT: Business Owners - how'd ya do it? (Cont. from Jayl13's thread)

Old 07-19-2002, 11:41 AM
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Default OT: Business Owners - how'd ya do it? (Cont. from Jayl13's thread)

I made these comments in a Jayl13's boat finance thread, but I thought I'd move them over here for clarity's sake.

For those of you that have started or run your own business (and I know we've got a number of OSO members in that category), how did you get started? Where do you find businesses for sale, or how did you decide to start a new business? Any "lessons learned" that you can share with the unwashed masses?

My wife and I have talked about doing this any number of times, but we're never quite sure where to start and (more importantly) what mistakes to avoid.

Any tips/thoughts/advice?

Much appreciated...
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Old 07-19-2002, 12:01 PM
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What type of business are you interested in?
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Old 07-19-2002, 12:04 PM
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There's a lot of ways to skin this cat. What worked for me may be totally different than what worked for someone else. I would guess that most people get their start either by identifying a niche that needs filled or making a business of their current job.

One lesson I learned. Don't spend money on things you can do yourself (marketing, advertising, etc). Be competatively priced and ALWAYS do what you say you are going to do.
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Old 07-19-2002, 12:05 PM
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Default I'm all ears!!

Too Old, I don't know if you seen my post on the other thread or not but here is a summary.

When my wife(fiance at the time)graduated from college a co-worker and I had passed a building that had housed a resturant that went belly up(poor service, small menu, attempt at fast italian food) and I made the comment that would be a good location for a Quizno's. Well 6-7 months later a Quizno's opened in that location and does a very good business. I have started some research on franchises but just don't know how and where to start.

When you say alot of capital what does a franchise like to see? Down payment plus 1-2 years of forcasted expensise??

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Old 07-19-2002, 12:12 PM
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My best advice is to come up with a capital outlay plan that includes all your expenses for the first several months. Total everything up and this is how much money you need to start the company. DONT START UNTIL YOU HAVE 3 TIMES THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING TO NEED!

The biggest killer of small business just starting out is lack of capital. Even if the company is making money if you run out of cash it will die. It takes money to make money.

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Old 07-19-2002, 12:23 PM
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My advice is to pour your heart into whatever you decide to do, in other words dont go into a business that you will not enjoy just because you will make a lot of money. Also take nothing for granted I have seen too many people loose their a$$es because they spent too much money within the first few years of starting their business just because they thought they finally had the world by the a$$. One other thing is to plan things really well before you jump into anything and always have a backup plan and a way out in case you dont make it. I hope this helps

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Old 07-19-2002, 12:40 PM
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Strange But it seems like it's easier if you are from a different country.
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Old 07-19-2002, 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by gmhdfan
Strange But it seems like it's easier if you are from a different country.
Look out! Here come the PC police!!! I've noticed that particular phenomanon myself, especially in the gas station and convienence store markets.

I've also heard (but don't know if it is true or not) that immigrants don't pay federal income tax for the first 5 or 7 years, something like that. Like I said, not sure if that is true or not... but it makes ya wonder...
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Old 07-19-2002, 01:04 PM
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Interesting thread(s)
I've noticed a lot of wealthy people are in the landscape business.
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Old 07-19-2002, 01:25 PM
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The best comment I always hear is "he's got it made, he owns his own company", sure I do but along with that comes all the problems, headaches, sleepless nights, maintaining enough business to stay profitable etc.....not to mention

Working Capital needed
Bank line of credit needed
Customers who go bankrupt on you
Putting up with employees (I am lucky I have a crew who are in it just like me and for that, I reward them
Frickin Medical insurance increases that are 30-40% yearly
Competition from others in your industry.

remember once you hang out the shingle that says "open for business", you are married to the business. No BS about it, I am in the office many weekends working on projects that require immediate action. I would rather be out boating but business first.

Lastly, you better have a wife or girlfriend who is into the business just like you or that will put up with the associated problems with running your own business or else you will be in divorce court.

Are there rewards, sure, hard work pays off and as long as business is good and you put your heart into it, the potential is unlimited. Make as much as you want
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