So....what kind of business are you thinking of starting?
"Sorry, fellows, the rebellion is off. We couldn't get a rebellion permit."
What is your mission?
What is your vision?
What is your strategy?
What are your values?
Built to Last
Good to Great
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
How to Win Friends and Influence People
The Four Obsessions
5 Levels of Leadership
Passion for Excellence
The Power of Will
Bargaining for Advantage
Negotiate to Close
Any decent modern college textbook on "business communication" is a must.
"time value of money"
Last edited by presence; 10-14-2012 at 08:29 AM.
I started building the business we own 30 years ago. While it may feel like we've hit the lottery a few times along the way it sure didn't feel that way then
The real fun started when I "re-started" ( hahaha be nice to the people on the way up, cause you're gonna meet the same people on the way down "Ralph Kramden " ) the business after HAVING to go back to work, thankfully it was for the biggest in the business which then helped show me my errors and recognize why people should choose my company over the competition and it's been an upward track ever since and that was 22 years ago. Oh, and after being the top gun with the corner office for that giant "firm", I had to roll up my nickels dimes quarters etc just to get back to Fla to restart my business. I picked an area that I became very knowlegable in and turned out I was right although it took more than a decade for that fact to become known. The worlds greatest collection of these particular coins was named because of my mentorship.
Be straight, work tight, ALWAYS look to improve because if you don't your competitors will.
Last edited by Tudo; 10-14-2012 at 07:08 AM.
Last edited by presence; 10-14-2012 at 08:29 AM.
http://loopnet.com ). People close their businesses all of the time for whatever reason. Some people have successful businesses that for many personal reasons (retirement,divorce,death) need to move on. A perfect opportunity to get in with everything waiting for you to take over.
Definition of political insanity: Voting for the same people expecting different results.
Too add to this thought, another thing you can consider doing is buying into a business that is small and stagnant. Always get controlling interest though for this. For example, in the mid 90's I had a guy who cut my lawn. He was a one man operation, but was at his peak of earnings. He just did not have the time to take on any new customers. I bought him out, which was good for him because it put a lot of cash in his pocket. Over the course of the winter, I hired a marketing firm to go door to door in neighborhoods that had mid-high price homes and we blanketed the region with fliers. The deal was that if you signed onto a full season contract you got a special price. The marketing firm secured the contracts and did all the work for a commission. By the end of the winter we had enough people signed up so that I could hire three more people to cut lawns full time. My outlay of cash was relatively small, and I made my money back by the end of the first year. Year two and forward was pure profit.
So maybe make a list of goods/services that people in your area may like to have more of. Then rank them according to your initial capital, your knowledge & aptitude, things & services that will be required to start & sustain the business & how you will procure them.
Like somebody said, it might be pretty helpful if you took a job at a business similar to the one you wish to start, even at a low pay, it will offer you a "view from the inside" first, without risking your capital, you'd be able to see first-hand, the kind of problems & challenges such a business is likely throw at you & the kind of solutions that are required & then you might be in a better position to make a calculated decision.
Again, just think about goods/services that people in your area would like to have more of.........that will show you a way
There is enormous inertia — a tyranny of the status quo — in private and especially governmental arrangements. Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable
- Milton Friedman
I'm in the learning process too. I will share what I learned so far.
First off, some people have made some good comments in this thread about capitalism in general. I disagree with finding something you "love" to do. This works for people and is a reason why they are successful, but it also backfires for a lot of people. "Love" I would contend, is not a good business instinct.
Instead, think of yourself as an opportunist who is trying to make the most profit for the least risk and investment. I don't care what business I get in, so long as I make informed decisions that result in profit. Always be on the look out for potential areas in the economy where this risk vs reward ratio seems favorable.
I've looked at starting a pawn shop, cash for gold business, security company, and my most recent research is in owning laundromat.
Read the basic intro book: Small Business Manual
Once you get that out of the way and when you find a business area you think has profit, research trade magazines, online forums, and other specialized areas like this.
For example I'm a member of Laundry Planet, it's a laundromat owner forum... and some of the info I learned from those guys is priceless. They are true experts in their field and it amazes me how they cut costs and improve the business for their customers. You will learn the most about your field by the guys who are currently living it.
So my best advice for anyone is do some self-examination and determine what your life's goals are. If all you want out of life is to be in control of your own schedule and not have to answer to a boss, then by all means start something that you love and run with it. But if your desire is to accumulate as many assets as possible, then go in that direction.
Last edited by CaptLouAlbano; 10-14-2012 at 10:15 PM.
Well congrats on your story, but I still don't buy a dime of that nonsense. There's no way an effective or reputable marketing firm charged only a "small fee" plus commission. Marketing firms don't take a commission. Sales, maybe, but they still won't do anything without appropriate marketing support. Then again, lawnmowing isn't exactly a technical business. Meh.
And you are right, lawn mowing is not a technical business at all. This was simple customer acquisition, and like so many other things that I did throughout my career, I hired people to do the work for me. My expertise in business was in finding out new opportunities, evaluating their potential, negotiating deals, and hiring quality people to do the hands-on work.
Last edited by CaptLouAlbano; 10-15-2012 at 05:21 AM.
Do you have any advice for someone who has already done that self-examination. For me, I like to manage things and create plans and then watch them come together. Money is of course another big motivator of course, money is productivity.
Any other useful information, books recommendations, or other tid bits of advice? Appreciate it.
Last edited by VoluntaryAmerican; 10-15-2012 at 07:18 PM.
@CaptLou: When you purchased the pizza shops, were they already generating a good profit? I would imagine the original owner would not have sold them to you at a reasonable price if he was making loads of money already. I am assuming you made some changes to the businesses to increase their profitability?
You sound similar to myself in that I was never a hands on guy, but played more of a CEO role than anything else. So it sounds to me like you are well suited for buying businesses and watching them earn money. I would say to you, like I did, don't quit your day job until you find your businesses are able to generate enough revenue to replace your full time income and provide you with enough income stream so that you have ready cash to invest in other businesses. That way you can experience a snowball effect and watch your portfolio grow.
As far as books, I have to be honest, I haven't read any business books in years. With the exception of some rental properties, I am pretty much out of the game now for many years. But what would be helpful for you is to take some classes at a community college or online school. Go cheap, you just want to learn the basics. Take a course in economics, accounting, finance, business law, etc - sort of the core requirements for a Business Admin degree. This should get you acquainted with all the jargon, and give you a basic understanding of how things work.
When looking at businesses to buy the formula is pretty simple. First is that obviously you want to buy a profitable business. I never would buy a loser thinking I could turn around a sinking ship - there was simply too much risk. You want to buy into something that will generate immediate income, and something that you can forecast being able to recover your initial investment in a relatively small number of years. You also want something that you feel you can add some value to, and will be able to grow in some respect.
Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough, hire quality people and pay them well. Your life will be a lot easier if you pay someone handsomely and they are a trusted employee rather than paying them the going rate and having to hire someone new all the time. A lot of the people on my payroll were low wage employees, but because I treated them well, I would have many of the same people coming back year after year. It was really nice having a game attendant working for us for 4 or 5 seasons in a row as a summer job through college rather than having to find someone new each year.
Good luck to you.
I'd call that a hobby.
That is not easy, but possible. In my case, I need a partner as lazy as me so we both make the maximum amount of money with the least amount of actual work. To put that in economic terms, I have a very backward bending labor supply curve. Sometimes there are reasons why everyone needs to be busting ass, and sometimes there will be reasons partners need to make major decisions without consultation (you need to trust their capabilities), and sometimes you will just need to defer decisions to someone you believe has a better grasp on the issue at hand. You do need to have a partner with the same mindset. If one wants to work 60 hours per week, and one wants to work 10, you'll obviously have problems. You should probably either be complementing each other or mirroring each other and everyone needs to be happy.
Yep, and then you can spend all kinds of time on hobbies.
I know people who could sell chinese cowshit, and it's probably lower quality and more expensive than the same thing they can find locally. You're going to have to sell something to someone. If you're offering a service, you still have to sell it, and it will quite possibly be the difference between success and failure.
Find some real life mentors who are extremely successful. You can get a lot of advice on message boards, but there are a lot of things that are better discussed on a phone. Be careful about taking advice from people (especially family members) who aren't successful, themselves. It won't hurt to listen to them. (They may have good ideas, or explain to you why they they have previously failed, etc - whether they know it or not.) If something is working, do more of it. If something isn't working, stop it unless you have a plan to make it work.
I have a friend who made millions doing that. He would pretty much hire people at 50% more than they could make anywhere else. If they were slackers, they'd be gone in a week and everyone knew that up front. The other employees wouldn't put up with slackers, either. They worked hard, and expected others to do the same.
We have allies many of you are not aware of. Watch the tube. Show this to your 30 and under friends. Listen to it. Even if you don't like rap, it has 2.7 million views.
Cut off one min early to avoid war porn.
I agree, that is the service part. The selling.I know people who could sell chinese cowshit, and it's probably lower quality and more expensive than the same thing they can find locally. You're going to have to sell something to someone. If you're offering a service, you still have to sell it, and it will quite possibly be the difference between success and failure.
My wife's clothing store did ok based solely upon her ability to sell and her passion. She had a couch and coffee and cookies in her shop to make people feel welcome and give it that boutique atmosphere. She was providing a service. Sure it was retail, but the money she made was based solely upon her abilities.
We had a temp girl work there and sit behind the desk. She never made a sale (or she did and we suspect she was stealing from us). I filled in a few days and I hardly ever sold squat and everyone was always asking to see my wife.
We put her same clothing online and her competition has it for close to wholesale. Then we ran across a few Chinese sites selling for less than she was paying. By then it was too late, otherwise we would be buying from those sites.
Definition of political insanity: Voting for the same people expecting different results.
It might be said later in the 6 pages but you're starting a business but you're not sure which one? You don't have experience in your field yet? You don't know the profit margins/ratios? The competitors? Your target market, advertising cost, leads/sale, profit/loss On and On and On.
Maybe I'm in the minority here but my wife and I didn't start our own businesses because we woke up one day and decided to. It kinda just happened over time. Good luck though.
Out of every one hundred men they send us, ten should not even be here. Eighty will do nothing but serve as targets for the enemy. Nine are real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, upon them depends our success in battle. But one, ah the one, he is a real warrior, and he will bring the others back from battle alive.
Duty is the most sublime word in the English language. Do your duty in all things. You can not do more than your duty. You should never wish to do less than your duty.