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Old 01-13-2010, 08:55 AM   #61
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Re: start your own business

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Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
I co-started a media company a few years ago and I learned two key lessons

1. Good friends don't necessarily make good business partners
2. Bad business can ruin good friendships

In spite of that though, I was able to get the company to the point that we were having serious discussions with a similar company to merge and I would stay in a managerial/ownership role. But as those talks lingered ESPN came calling and I took that opportunity...a couple of years later that company was bought by ESPN for a few million dollars. Yay me...sigh
I tried a small biz venture with a friend a few years ago and it fizzled out before it could strain our friendship too badly. I will definitely think twice before going that route again.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:05 AM   #62
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Re: start your own business

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The restaurant industry is really tough. My boss and his brother started a bar/grill right after college and it failed. Set them back a few years financially. Fortunately now we are both working for a fantastic restaurant group that is killing it right now, but it's established - nearly 12 years in the DC area.

I love the industry, but I don't know if I would want to open up my own restaurant/bar. Getting any small business started is a 7 day a week job for a long time till you're fully on your feet. Plus the failure rate is so high. I would do it if I was one of a handful of investors and I didn't have all of my eggs in the basket so to speak. Plus the concept would have to be unique and powerful. In a town so diluted with restaurants and bars like DC, you've got to stand out or you're done.

I actually almost started a car detailing business a few years back, but decided against it. For now. It's still something I may venture into a few years down the road. I have some great ideas for it I think.
I almost think the key may be to try to be a big fish in a little pond, rather than opening a place in a saturated area. My parents ran a successful small town bar/restaurant and my Grandparents on both sides did as well.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:46 AM   #63
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Re: start your own business

That's the best way to do it. The town I live in is small and basically it's a college town with both Washington and Lee and VMI. What I hate about living here is that the people coming into town (most retirees from the north) open up the most idiotic business ventures ever and they all fold within two years because their fortune they made in NYC dried up.

OK, basically my community is made up of college kids and retirees, and just recently opened are three new banks, a freaking SMOOTHIE stand and a dog bakery. How many of those do you think are going to work out? I'll let you guess, only the banks are still standing right now.

Basically, just give the students or retirees what they want... booze.

If someone were to come in here and open up an actual sport's bar that doesn't get taken over by the town white trash and have student specials, trivia, kind of like a Buffalo Wild Wings, they would easily make a profit within the first two years.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:23 AM   #64
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Re: start your own business

Its amazing how little ground work people do before they try to open a business. Just this past Monday I insured a couple opening up a new business. When I asked them what they expected for their annual gross receipts they got this dumb look on their face. Thay had no clue what to expect for gross receipts and thats what makes the business run. So now they have $30,000 invested, signed a three year lease, and they have no clue what to expect for their gross receipts. Go figure.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:29 AM   #65
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Re: start your own business

What was the business?
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:44 AM   #66
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Re: start your own business

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Its amazing how little ground work people do before they try to open a business. Just this past Monday I insured a couple opening up a new business. When I asked them what they expected for their annual gross receipts they got this dumb look on their face. Thay had no clue what to expect for gross receipts and thats what makes the business run. So now they have $30,000 invested, signed a three year lease, and they have no clue what to expect for their gross receipts. Go figure.
Yeah I've heard and seen similar horror stories. Basically if you don't do your homework you are bound to fail. I remember this little ice cream shop in my area, great ice cream, horrible location in a strip mall behind this huge clock tower. You could tell that just based on the location it was doomed. 6 months later it closed.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:08 AM   #67
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Re: start your own business

Yeah brother the resturant biz is tuff. My family and I bought a established steak house back in 99. When we bought it they were doing about 750k a yr. Our first full year there we almost doubled that, but I was there from 10 am til 12 midnight those first 365 days, ouch! Then I would take 1 day off a week which became a 1/2 day because it seemed like every day I was off I was getting a phone call about something. The food biz can be great money makers, but having the time to enjoy the money, time with your family, and all the headaches involved convinced me it wasnt worth it. If I was a single man Id probaly still be there. I stayed there til 03 and went back to what I had done for 15 years in the previous family business, Pest Control. Its been a little over 5 years since I started and it can be a very good source of income, but right now its just keeping the lights on thanks to the economy, but I think this year for me will get back to what one of the signs hanging in my office says, 'Killing is my business, and business is Good!'
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:52 AM   #68
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Re: start your own business

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What was the business?
Music Store and they also give leasons.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:52 AM   #69
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Re: start your own business

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Yeah brother the resturant biz is tuff. My family and I bought a established steak house back in 99. When we bought it they were doing about 750k a yr. Our first full year there we almost doubled that, but I was there from 10 am til 12 midnight those first 365 days, ouch! Then I would take 1 day off a week which became a 1/2 day because it seemed like every day I was off I was getting a phone call about something. The food biz can be great money makers, but having the time to enjoy the money, time with your family, and all the headaches involved convinced me it wasnt worth it. If I was a single man Id probaly still be there. I stayed there til 03 and went back to what I had done for 15 years in the previous family business, Pest Control. Its been a little over 5 years since I started and it can be a very good source of income, but right now its just keeping the lights on thanks to the economy, but I think this year for me will get back to what one of the signs hanging in my office says, 'Killing is my business, and business is Good!'
That reminds me of Trample
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:52 PM   #70
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Re: start your own business

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Yeah I've heard and seen similar horror stories. Basically if you don't do your homework you are bound to fail. I remember this little ice cream shop in my area, great ice cream, horrible location in a strip mall behind this huge clock tower. You could tell that just based on the location it was doomed. 6 months later it closed.
A store opened up called "Great Mistakes" they sold items that had small flaws in them. I passed the store one day and their sign read like this.

Great Mistakes

Going out of business sale

I got a good laugh out of that.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:20 PM   #71
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Re: start your own business

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A store opened up called "Great Mistakes" they sold items that had small flaws in them. I passed the store one day and their sign read like this.

Great Mistakes

Going out of business sale

I got a good laugh out of that.
That's priceless


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Old 01-13-2010, 03:29 PM   #72
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Re: start your own business

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Music Store and they also give leasons.
And let me guess, no research on demographics or anything like that. It's just a, "This is a great idea. Let's roll with it..."?
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:57 PM   #73
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Re: start your own business

Back in the day I used to play paintball almost every weekend and I always thought it would be really cool to own a field. Ideally I'd have a place with both indoor and outdoor courses so that I could have business all year round.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:35 PM   #74
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Re: start your own business

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And let me guess, no research on demographics or anything like that. It's just a, "This is a great idea. Let's roll with it..."?
Not sure what they did before opening the business. They have or had a grass cutting business and next thing I know they are in the music business.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:56 PM   #75
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Re: start your own business

The more I study for certifications, the more I realize that good prep materials really lack. They write these 800 page books full of fluff that you have to sort through to get to the things you actually need to know. I'd LOVE to see a line of books aimed at people that basically know what they're doing, but need to pass the test. So you look at what subjects are on the test, cover those subjects without frills, and move on. For the Cert I'm studying for now (Security+), the book Im reading could easily be condensed to 100-150 pages instead of 800.
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